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BLOODSHOT RECORDS 100TH RELEASE PARTY 12/13, HIDEOUT Only a hundred? Hasn't this champion local indie put out a record like every week for the past eight years? Their 100th release, Making Singles, Drinking Doubles, gathers together 18 out-of-print singles and unreleased tracks, showcasing the label's brightest stars as they let their hair down. The pleasures here are loose and ephemeral--the Waco Brothers rejuvenating Jimmy Cliff's played-to-death classic "The Harder They Come," Moonshine Willy's inspired bluegrass take on XTC's "Complicated Game" (Bloodshot's first single), the Volebeats' version of "Maggot Brain Parts 1 & 2," whose cover sleeve features a Delilah's staffer buried up to her neck, in an imitation of the original Funkadelic art. Collectively these slight gems add up to a proud achievement, fitting for a label that's never released a bad record. (Hokey records, sure. Unexceptional ones, yep. But never a genuinely awful one.) Tonight's performers include Kelly Hogan, Dean Schlabowske of the Waco Brothers, Devil in a Woodpile, and Diesel Island, an ad hoc outlaw-country cover band that features two Bottle Rockets and a Rockhouse Rambler. There will be a raffle, and you get two bucks off the cover if you bring canned goods for Open Hand Chicago. NERVES, WHITE OUTS 12/13, EMPTY BOTTLE Garage purists weren't thrilled when sex-on-a-stick locals the Nerves released their third album, 2001's World of Gold (Thrill Jockey). The band's reliably jumpy swagger was still in place, but short punchy songs were no longer a priority and certain moments were downright artsy. But where's the crime in expanding a short good song into a long better song? And if a killer rhythm section wants to weave in a flash of keyboard here and there, hell, let 'em--not all attempts to branch out are doomed to Spinal Tapitude. Tonight they'll introduce new material, some featuring new full-time keyboard player Brahm Fetterton. Those who like their blitzkrieg bop straight up and skanky should enjoy locals the White Outs, whose irresistible eight-song demo splatters more mud than a monster truck rally. NEW PORNOGRAPHERS 12/13 & 14, ABBEY PUB This mostly Vancouver-based supergroup is taking its time following up Mass Romantic (Mint), its 2000 debut. Logistics probably play a role in the delay: band members live in different cities, and Neko Case and Daniel Bejar (indie stars in their own right) keep hectic touring schedules. But since the swell of adoration that met that album doesn't yet seem to have run its course, what's the hurry? The follow-up is due out in late spring of 2003; expect to hear some new material at these shows. BASTARD SONS OF JOHNNY CASH 12/14, HIDEOUT The only remarkable thing about this San Diego band's debut, Walk Alone, was their presumptuous moniker. They had all the classic outlaw moves down, but they hadn't learned to fake the sincerity that brings those moves to life; the result was as flat as last week's keg. The new Distance Between (Ultimatum) is an improvement. As they branch out into the roots rock and bitter folk of the Steve Earle school, these guys still don't have much to say, but at least they've broadened their vocabulary for saying it--originals like "Last Goodbye" and "Burn Down" are as tuneful as they are slight. Unfortunately, the band's of the opinion that the world needs yet another Cash-reverent version of "Long Black Veil." ETERNALS 12/16, EMPTY BOTTLE This post-Trenchmouth, post-many-things trio has come a long way since its introductory 12-inches on Thrill Jockey. Those graceful dub grooves held promise, even if Damon Locks's vocals were too shaky to seduce devotees of the slick. Both The Eternals (DeSoto, 2000) and a 2002 EP on Aesthetics, Black Museum, represented artistic leaps, but if you haven't recently caught the Eternals live, chances are your opinion of the band is way out-of-date. At a trance-inducing yet vigorous Hideout show last month, they turned in over an hour of psychedelic, erotic neofunk. Locks, Wayne Montana, and new drummer John Herndon attack their samplers, keyboards, and various implements of percussion like starving gourmands at a buffet: they want to gorge themselves, but they can't compromise their good taste, even in joyous excess. CANYON 12/18, DOUBLE DOOR On their second album, Empty Rooms (Gern Blandsten), this D.C.-based quintet sets out to decorate spacious alt-country tunage with mildly psychedelic art rock. A tricky task, though they're hardly the first to try it--Wilco's made a career of it. Their tone is distinctly elegiac, and the mood intensifies as the sound thickens, each instrumental layer adding a new dimension of melancholy. Like a dour, countrified Flaming Lips, they write as if their deepest emotions were reserved for the music itself.

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