MOJAVE 3, SID HILLMAN QUARTET
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CALVIN JOHNSON, SAM JAYNE, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY OF THE VOLCANO
(Speakeasy) When Calvin Johnson performed alone at a local record store, he did excellent Halo Benders and Beat Happening songs, minus the flailing antics, and was thoroughly charming. That's right, charming. When Sam Jayne (formerly of Lync, currently of Love as Laughter) played his last solo show at Graceland, he revealed himself to be a great, honest songwriter, playing a set of quiet songs that left this listener stunned and wanting more. Get the Hell out of the Way of the Volcano, aside from being the most poorly named project in the known universe, is one woman from Olympia. Unfortunately, I've never heard her, so all I can do is bag on her dumb name. JEFF DeROCHE
(Gordon Biersch) We have no idea what Mountain Con's James Nugent will sound like solo. Probably a lot like Mountain Con, considering he's the songwriter and frontman. Expect hooky, rootsy pop songs, clean-cut and earnest. JEFF DeROCHE
RAINER MARIA, ROCKY VOTOLATO, MIKE KINSELLA
(Paradox) See Stranger Suggests.
ENEMYMINE, SWARMING HORDES
(Sit & Spin) The most recent ENEMYMINE CD, The Ice in Me (Up), is icy, sure, on a lyrical level: "You won't see me laughing at you/You won't see me at your funeral." But, like bass player/vocalist Mike Kunka's former band godheadSilo, ENEMYMINE is by no means a cold project. Given that it's a three-piece consisting of two bass guitars and a drum kit, one may expect the performance to be heavy-hitting and overwhelming on the low end, which is what makes anguished hardcore like ENEMYMINE so blissful to witness live. JEFF DeROCHE
CREEPER LAGOON, PETER PARKER
(EMP) You probably weren't there last time Creeper Lagoon came to town. The Crocodile was pretty empty, and the city felt strange that night--the anniversary of the WTO protests. But when the band members took the stage, they captivated the whole audience with their unique style of rock and pop--blending obscure sounds and heartfelt lyrics into something more honest than either of the genres could offer singularly. Ian Sefchick's vocals sounded beautifully smooth and melodic on stage--not the result of some ridiculous production tricks in the studio. And the guitar, bass, and drums fit together so tightly and fully, I swore I was listening to their records. It was that good. Go see them, damn it. LISA GUNTER
MARS ACCELERATOR, KINSKI
(Monkey Pub) Mars Accelerator has been flying low on the radar these last couple of years, but thankfully its members are back on the scene with their infectious cache of Built to Spill-esque pop songs. If you like smart lyrics and guitar-driven rock, you'd be well-advised to hunt down a copy of the band's late-'90s release on RX Remedy, I Am the South Pole. This show at the U-District's Monkey Pub, also featuring maelstrom rockers Kinski, is a benefit for the band's friend DJ Dima, who is fighting leukemia. KATHLEEN WILSON
LYDIA LUNCH, THE NEED, INGA MUSCIO
(I-Spy) See preview this issue.
(Baltic Room) When I first saw J Boogie, I was quite impressed. New to the whole turntablist thing that was all the rage back in the late '90s, I had embarked on a journey with some friends to San Francisco to see the second installment of the Deep Concentration tour, aptly titled Deeper Concentration. DC was a collection of DJs from both sides of the pond, some with much notoriety and others who had just hit pay dirt with the chance to be included in such a scheme. J Boogie, a San Francisco native who had been tooling around the city for some time as a DJ, was a fresh face to the otherwise notorious lineup. He'd been paired on the stage with the likes of the U.K.'s Scratch Perverts and the World Famous Beat Junkies, and came into his own that night with a wicked set of hiphop and electro that got the crowd all riled up. Tonight's performance should be no different, even if it is in support of a record out on OM that possesses a more downtempo feel. Knowing J Boogie's history, he'll rock you all night long, regardless. F. VENTURA-PENA
DILATED PEOPLES, SOURCE OF LABOR, CANDIDT, SILENT LAMBS PROJECT
(EMP) Since the mid '90s, Dilated Peoples have been the subject of much reverence, and for good reason. Rappers Evidence and Rakka, a.k.a. Iriscience, had been figures in the underground scene for some time prior, boasting Rock Steady Crew and Zulu Nation pedigrees. Babu, DJ for the World Famous Beat Junkies, had been taking the circuit by storm, winning Battle DJ championships and raising eyebrows with his premier style. Voluptuous beats and rhythms coupled with stealthy wordplay from the two MCs may have come as a shock, but no surprise. The sound you heard was not the sound of silence but rather the sound of jaws dropping at the fluidity and precision. Which makes the marriage that is Dilated Peoples so great, because it shook shit up and made the world of hiphop take notice. F. VENTURA-PENA
(Showbox) Even sworn trance haters can't argue with Oakey's live skills--his ability to weave hard trance, deep house, and techno tracks into a mellifluous whole and take clubgoers and headphone hermits alike on a sweeping innerspace journey is nearly unparalleled. Thanks to a number of non-dance gigs, including a stint as the British agent for Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys, and touring slots with U2, Primal Scream, and even Boy George (!), this is one guy who knows how to color outside the trance lines. I say, any man who can turn Led Zeppelin's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" into a spooky, spaced-out cosmic trip deserves all the cash money and fame he gets. LEAH GREENBLATT
PEDRO THE LION, STARFLYER 59, SUPINE TO SIT
(Paradox) What Starflyer 59 excels at is creating texture. Over the past eight-odd years, Jason Martin has been taking in various guitar-oriented influences from My Bloody Valentine to the Smashing Pumpkins, processing them through his own suburban SoCal sensibilities, and turning out a series of nicely crafted, not-really-pop albums that have, for some inexplicable reason, gone mostly overlooked. With a new record soon out on Tooth and Nail, Martin and his band are back on the road. Don't miss them this time around. BARBARA MITCHELL
(Temple Theater) New Year's Eve, 1985. Dio is at the height of his power and rocking the Seattle Center Coliseum. He's got the multitiered stage done up like a medieval mountainside and his costume is somewhere between warrior and warlock. After winning a battle with a giant mechanical dragon's head, Ronnie James exits the stage, leaving the crowd eager for the encore when the balloons suspended from the ceiling will drop at the stroke of midnight. But Dio never returns. The lights go up and the balloons never drop, sending thousands of metalheads out into the cold winter night feeling short-changed. The next day we hear rumors that a mystic had warned Ronnie of a horrible fate that would befall him if he was on stage at the turn of the year. Sometimes superstition takes all the fun out of rock and roll. DAN PAULUS
ZEKE, PORTRAIT OF POVERTY, THE BLACK HALOS
(Graceland) Portrait of Poverty is a Northwest punk institution, and for damn good reason. Musically kinetic, the band avoids the relentless riff repetition of a lot of heavy music, and keeps things fresh with manic vocal and instrumental interplay. The singer alone is a one-man show, tossing off bluesy guitar fills like empty bottles, all the while screaming like he's got the lid of a sardine tin lodged in his throat. These guys have been playing the scene here forever, and it shows--tight, dynamic, and a load of fun. If this don't get you slammin', then you ain't punk and you don't rock! DAN PAULUS
LESS THAN JAKE, ANTI-FLAG, A NEW FOUND GLORY, TEEN IDOLS
(DV8) It is fitting that Anti-Flag's Justin Sane and Andy Flag found each other in church. What's a young punk in Pittsburgh circa 1993 to do, especially when Mom is making you go to the holy house? Study up on radical politics, form a band, and play your asses off, for God's sake. Meanwhile, in addition to sporting brass (trombone), having a tendency to cover absolutely horrible songs (The Police? "Every Breath You Take"?) in a most beautiful way, and appearing on around 130 releases, Less Than Jake has this weird thing for Pez, of which they say, "Pez dispenses sugar, and is collectable. The only thing that would make it better is if it dispensed nicotine or caffeine." This is going to be a good one, kids. NATE LEVIN
(Crocodile) If you don't recognize his name, you're certainly aware of his influence. Jeff Tweedy's been leading the alt-country revolution for over a decade now--first with Uncle Tupelo and more recently with Wilco. Tonight is a rare chance to see Tweedy on his own, although his connections to Seattleites like Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck pretty much guarantee that he won't be alone on stage all evening. There's a charming down-to-earthiness and genuine sense of likability to Tweedy. Not to mention a catalog of some truly outstanding material. The relatively cozy Crocodile should provide the perfect setting for a night of casual, informal brilliance. BARBARA MITCHELL
GIRLS AGAINST BOYS, JUNO, ACTIONSLACKS
(Crocodile) This is a kick-ass double bill. New York City's Girls Against Boys rule the low end of the alternative rock spectrum, pounding out devilishly groovy, bass-heavy tunes with gleeful abandon. The Bay Area's Actionslacks take a headier but no less rocking approach. Their brand new album, The Scene's out of Sight (Self-Starter Foundation), is smart, sensitive, and sassy (think late-period Jawbreaker). While both bands are responsible for some great records, they tend to up the ante onstage--and since neither have been touring much, you don't want to miss this opportunity. BARBARA MITCHELL
SPOON, THE GOOD LIFE, JOHN VANDERSLICE
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(Borders) See Stranger Suggests.
RONI SIZE REPRAZENT
(Showbox) Backlash is a bitch. Indeed, all recent talk of drum 'n' bass seems to be of the drone 'n' bitch variety, as cranky music critics dis new jungle offerings right and left, practically writing the genre's eulogy as they sing the praises of the newer, fresher two-step. Even the formerly untouchable Roni Size, who snagged a coveted Mercury Prize in '97 for his breakthrough New Forms, found that when it came to his 2000 offering, In the Mode, his once-adoring press was no longer, well, in the mood. And that was certainly not for lack of crossover appeal; all-star guests, from Zach de la Rocha to Method Man, got packed in Mode wax like chew in a redneck's cheek: hard and tight. Those spotlight tracks were, unsurprisingly, the ones that got singled out, either for praise or derision, but what many failed to notice was that, while Size and Co. delivered nothing astonishingly groundbreaking or new, and nothing likely to single-handedly save an ailing genre, the album did deliver several sneaky delights upon repeated listens. If only an impatient public had given him an hour, not an inch, they may have discovered that. The verdict? His kingdom may be slipping, but Roni is still royalty, and worth seeing if you've got even an iota of jungle love left in your hard, cold, two-step-lovin' heart. LEAH GREENBLATT
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL-STARS, ACETONE
(Showbox) It's been a while since this Los Angeles trio graced the Showbox stage. Opening for Spiritualized a few years ago, Acetone provided a hazy prelude to that band's soaring set by using drawn out, seductive, and lingering downtempo songs, showcasing the band's deft grasp of subtlety. It's lazy and languid, to be sure, but never boring. Be sure to arrive early enough to catch this elusive opening act. KATHLEEN WILSON