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Spot Check

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DJ LADY MISS KIER 2/12, METRO Seems like only a couple years ago that Deee-Lite brought a sinfully infectious pop version of dance culture to the masses--particularly those masses who have to go to bed long before the raving hour--and the sight of 12-year-old girls with peace signs painted on their faces was more common than at any time since 1967. But in fact it's been nearly a decade since Lady Miss Kier's loopy vocals and foxy duds drove "Groove Is in the Heart" to number four, and after a couple failed

follow-ups, she and her partners, Towa Tei and Dmitry Brill, all returned to the relative anonymity of the club scene--anonymity being especially relative when you're a 50-foot queenie surrounded by boys in drab baggies. Her set here is billed as drum 'n' bass; also on the bill is DJ Ani, who joined Deee-Lite after Towa Tei left in 1994. THE LASH 2/12, HOG HEAD McDUNNA'S Good to see someone else recognizes that the Pogues were one of the all-time great rock 'n' roll bands--and that they're as deserving of hero-worshiping rip-offs as any and more so than most. Unfortunately they're harder to rip off than they sound. Lansing's the Lash (as in Rum Sodomy &...) tries shamelessly, but the songwriting doesn't have the poignant bite and the various singers' snarls lack the edge that reminds you that Shane MacGowan formed his first punk band because the Sex Pistols weren't angry enough for him. But for blokes and colleens who can hold their liquor, this is still a lot more fun than the current crop of Slint wannabes. NIELDS 2/12, SCHUBAS Rounder's rock imprint, Zoe, home to Juliana Hatfield, makes another run for the sensitive kids' money with this Massachusetts sibling act's second album, Play. The liner notes are full of quotes on the importance of play, defined very broadly, and you even get a "play," by way of the lyric sheet. So how come listening to this record feels so much like work? Nerissa and Katryna Nields, who front the quintet with their lovely harmonies, don't give themselves much to work with in the tunes they've written with their brother, David, and with lyrics about driving to Santa Fe in search of Georgia O'Keeffe's spirit with Ani DiFranco on the tape deck, they make the Indigo Girls sound like masters of subtlety. LORAXX 2/13, HOOK TORTURE GALLERY This local trio has been a fixture on the homocore scene for years. Its recorded debut, the four-song seven-inch single Jack (Spectra-Sonic), was one of last year's more promising slabs of untamed energy, and on the new CD, Canada, producer Steve Albini condenses the sonic sprawl into killer density. Loraxx has already been compared to early Hole--and yes, on a bad note, front woman Arista Strungys's mountain-lion screech can sound like your scary upstairs neighbor throwing out her junkie lover for the fourth time. But the music's more complex than Courtney Love's. In the jagged guitar spurts, bass counterattacks, and drum feints I also hear pinches of the psych-out playfulness that makes neo-no wave so much fun: a less friendly God Is My Co-Pilot, a more linear Scissor Girls. TERRI HENDRIX 2/17, SCHUBAS; 2/19, the hideout; 2/20, fitzgerald's This Texas singer-songwriter's debut, Wilory Farm (Tycoon Cowgirl), has a little post-post-Dylan harmonica here, a little Joni-Mitchell-by-way-of-Suzanne-Vega commentary there; some I'm-straight-but-lesbians-are-cool sisterhood, some broken dreams and some broken windows, some chiming guitar and some small-town blues. In other words, it's a perfectly pleasant country-rock record that's virtually indistinguishable from 1,600 others that I enjoyed but will probably never play again. Hendrix will be accompanied at these gigs by legendary steel guitarist Lloyd Maines, whose resume includes stints with Butch Hancock, Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Ely, Wilco, and Richard Buckner. --Monica Kendrick

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): DJ Lady Miss Kier.

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