KILL HANNAH 1/9, METRO; 1/16, DOME ROOM On its new EP, Sleeping Like Electric Eels, this local quartet featuring ex-Certain Distant Suns guitarist Kerry Finerty offers up edgy dream pop that ought to be very palatable to those who found the Psychedelic Furs too masculine and now find Stereolab too intellectual. PEGBOY 1/9, HOUSE OF BLUES This veteran Chicago quartet doesn't break new ground on its recent Steve Albini-produced Cha-Cha Damore (Quarterstick)--and if it did, its fans would be sorely disappointed. What you know is what you get: full-bodied melodic crunchcore with ragged vocals and right-then-left riffs, the kind of stuff that used to be a staple of college radio before all that lusty rage lost out to stylized self-pity. Live I'm sure Pegboy can bring it all back--but at home I'd rather listen to Husker Du records. RIPTONES, KELLY HOGAN 1/10, EMPTY BOTTLE It's a terrible quandary, what to do when that cool cowboy hat mashes down your pompadour. Back in my curling-iron-and-hairspray days I had to contend with the girlie version of this, and what I learned is that when you're a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll you just have to find a compromise. For me it was getting those layered wings to flip up over the brim of the hat; for the Riptones it's playing rockabilly with equal emphasis on the "rock" and the "billy." In an opening set, Bloodshot Records staffer Kelly Hogan takes the stage with fellow Atlanta native John Forbes, who usually screeches his dirty heart out with boogie manglers Mount Shasta. ROBERT FRIPP 1/12, PARK WEST The King Crimson founder long ago realized that machines can be more interesting than musicians, and over the last few decades has developed increasingly complex methods of looping and layering his guitar improvisations. Reports from his east-coast performances of soundscapes last month say the guitar-philosophy professor starts early, playing "walk-in music"; wanders around the stage and stares at the audience while mesmerizing loops proliferate like rabbits; invites the audience to mingle and "lighten up"; and, if all goes well, invites a question-and-answer session afterward. PLEASURE TRIP 1/14, CHOPIN THEATRE The Guild Complex's two-month Musicality of Poetry festival (ironically saddled with the acronym MUPO), is a vital reminder that the best poetry is closer to music than it is to prose. Tonight's installment features percussionist Leddie Garcia (of Poi Dog Pondering) and DJ Mark Grant, who also perform together regularly at Harry's Velvet Room and Mad Bar. Grant beats and rattles and pings his arsenal of rhythm makers while Grant mixes in underground soul and, at this event only, local poets spin bilingual rhymes. The press release promises "a spellbound journey of music and poetry never before experienced"; methinks it could just as easily be a mess, but the suspense alone is appealing. As with most Guild Complex events, agreeing to read during open mike gets you in cheaper. POLVO 1/14, LOUNGE AX This eight-year-old North Carolina band's second album for Touch and Go, Shapes, seems almost anticlimactic after last year's Exploded Drawing, on which it chased every idea to bold heights and even bolder lengths. But the roomy new annexes of guitar shimmer and stutter are a nice place to escape that January bleariness--or to pursue new dimensions in bleariness. And since guitarist Dave Brylawski has moved to New York and his worthy foil, Ash Bowie, is increasingly consumed by Helium, this will be Polvo's last tour.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Kill Hannah uncredited photo.