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GOD STREET WINE 2/10 Metro Blues, boogie, funk reggae, African, fusion, rap, rock, and more crammed into one impossible whole, God Street Wine operate from the dreaded H.O.R.D.E axis, producing one of the most irritating all-genre amalgams I've ever had the displeasure of hearing. If your desert island disc selection includes the Allman Brothers, Steely Dan, Chicago, Spin Doctores, and Bruce Hornsby, this combo will give you your world in a blender; if not you'll recognize GSW as a primo nonalternative demographic distillation preprogrammed for consumption by affluent whites. Elysium open. DEADEYE DICK 2/10, Cubby Bear This New Orleans trio is destined to be a one-hit fluke for its mornonic novelty ditty "New Age Girl" ("She don't like meat/ But she sure likes the bone") from the sound track of the intellectually comlementary Dumb and Dumber. The rest of the material on their debut, A Different Story (Ichiban), finds them to be a spunky, occasionally hooky frat band who've shot their gimmick wad. If they're able to jump around onstage real good there's no reason why they shouldn't be as memorable as the Romantics. MEGADETH 2/10, Aragon Once upon a time Megadeth were synonymous with mainstream metal hardness; while others made a bigger racket, nobody sold the records they did. But with the commercial ascendancy of bands like Slayer, Pantera, and Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine's original band, Metallica, things have chaged. On their latest album, Youthanasia (Capitol), they couch ominous riffing wihtin sensitive guitar interludes, squirm-inducing power ballads, blatantly melodic songwriting, and even some lyrics sung in French. As if such softness weren't enough, they hired celeb shooter Richard Avedon to take the band photos inside the booklet. Despite all these signs of betrayal to the metal world, the album still has its momentes. Brawn-metal champs Corrosion of Conformity open. NECTARINE 2/10, Empty Bottle This young local foursome is the current version of the typical Amerindie pop band. On its brand-new debut, Sterling Beat (Grass), the release of which this gig celebrates, Nectainre shyly delivers shy hooks amid a surprisingly diverse tangle of dual guitar interplay and intentionally stunted rhythms. When clean, post-R.E.M. jangle clogged college radio waves in the late 80s, popsters bounded back with noise and a general unkemptness. Whether the raggedness is a sign of laziness, incompetence, or artistic virtue doesn't seem to matter anymore; people are getting used to swallowing a few nails in their ice cream. Also on the bill is the Wrens. GEORGE DUCAS 2/11, Star Plaza On his eponymous debut George Ducas makes a startling sound, especially when one considers that he's working from within the stifling Nashville machine. His widely varied collection of self-penned tunes updates a Buck Owens honky-tonk sound with a hook-laden pop sensibility, and his clear, effortless singing is an assimilation of influences like Roy Orbison and Willy Nelson that still manages to break ground. In some ways Ducas's music recalss the broad scope of the Mavericks, but since he's a Nashville insider, it comes with some unfortunate formulaic tricks. Still, it's a terrific debut. He opens for the not so terrific Diamond Rio. BEAUSOLEIL 2/12, Vic This year's best bet in the yearly rash of Mardi Gras events. As unlikely popularizers of traditional Cajun music, Michael Doucet's Beausoleil have taken plenty of creativer liberties, infusing the fiddle-and-squeeze-box-dominated music with strong doses of country and pop-rock, but still remaining true to its basic tenets. The recently released Vintage Beausoleil (Music of the World), comprising live recordings made during a 1986 sojourn to New York, highlights the group's less revisionist tendencies with uncanny vigor and panache. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a postmodern update of the funeral marhcing band, also play.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Jim Herrington.

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