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ROY HARGROVE, 11/26-11/28, JAZZ SHOWCASE At the ripe old age of 24, trumpet whiz Roy Hargrove is set to follow a course similar to that of the original "young lion" of jazz, his part-time mentor Wynton Marsalis. Hargrove's similarly young working quintet match him with unswerving taste and support (and fancy clothes), and like the young(er) Marsalis, they cover the terrain of complex, slightly revisionist postbop. But Hargrove is just as likely to mix workhorse standards with his originals. He possesses a startling technique and a thorough knowledge of jazz's myriad styles and forms, but he has yet to break out with a distinct musical personality. He's technically solid beyond belief, but one wishes he'd take a few chances. CHAINSAW KITTENS, 11/26, LOUNGE AX Failing as a fledgling drag queen, Chainsaw Kittens vocalist Tyson Meade has settled for a few gobs of black eyeliner circling his sunken sockets. Unfortunately, this quartet from Norman, Oklahoma, hasn't undergone a similar musical reevaluation. They're still playing a glam-touched rock with post-new-wave flourishes, flitting back and forth between pale Cheap Trick imitations and David Johansen-meets-Perry Farrell melodrama. They're performing in between Triple Fast Action and Seattle's worst pop-rock nightmare, Best Kissers in the World. DOLOMITE, 11/27, EMPTY BOTTLE Dolomite's infrequent gigs should always be approached with some trepidation. As far as I can tell, their unruly and erratic sound is built on deliberately unstable foundations, but it's a risky approach and their songs continually threaten to collapse on themselves. When it succeeds there's an agonizingly fine tension between Rian Murphy's clunky, outta-control drum spray and the spewing guitar patterns of Neil Rosario and John Whitney. Doug Demers's bass holds steady without always working as the band's sonic glue. Dolomite seems to engage in a complete stylistic overhaul each time out, so whether you'll see a pop band or wheezing sack of noise is anyone's guess. Drag King opens. FIGHT, 11/27, THE VIC Ever wonder what it would be like if Judas Priest singer Rob Halford shaved his head and got with some scowling thrash-metal white kids who grew up on his music? You have my sympathy. FAT LADY SINGS, 11/30, BEAT KITCHEN, 12/2, BOP SHOP This Irish combo, touring in support of its new album, Johnson, is being hyped as the successor to pre-bliss-out U2. Nick Kelly's vocals bear an undeniable resemblance to the overwrought soul posturing mastered by Bono (who's moved on to duets with Frank Sinatra). But the band's slick soul-pop is decidedly more urbane than anything U2's done; their musical presence consists of little more than a bland, sweet wash of guitar and keyboards, and lyrically there's no real populist sensibility. If your pantheon of great soul singers includes Sade, Basia, Michael Bolton, and Tom Jones, you might consider adding this band to your list. DROP NINETEENS, 11/30, METRO This New England quintet has undergone a severe makeover between its debut and its new album, National Coma, replacing three of five members, but despite the personnel shift--it still lacks personality. Seemingly pre-fabbed for college consumption, this band's take on loud guitar pop is peppered with gratuitous flashes of wank-off guitar, nasal harmonizing, and polite noise. Their political conscience shows up on "All Swimmers Are Brothers," a protest against the tuna-fishing industry's incidental wholesale slaughter of dolphins; unfortunately, the song also includes a chorus from the Flipper theme. You'd think such PC-ism would steer them free of sexism too. Why not "All Swimmers Are Siblings"? They open for Blur.

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