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ROY BOOK BINDER 9/3, SCHUBAS This acoustic blues fingerpicker, who turns 61 in October, has seen three or four roots-music "revivals" come and go. His first tour, in 1967, was with the Reverend Gary Davis, who he'd met when he called to ask for lessons, and since then he's befriended Pink Anderson, opened for Bonnie Raitt, appeared dozens of times on Ralph Emery's Nashville Now TV show, and taught guitar at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch. For the better part of the past three decades he's lived in a motor home, keeping a tour schedule that makes most rock bands look soft, and Gibson is currently putting the finishing touches on a special-edition guitar that will bear his name. TWELVE TRIBES 9/4, HOUSE OF BLUES The metal-slash-hardcore on this Dayton band's 1999 debut, As Feathers to Flowers and Petals to Wings, sounded a tad generic, but the follow-up EP, Instruments, took a small risk by dropping out vocals--the first hint there was something special going on here. On the recent full-length The Rebirth of Tragedy (Ferret) these guys still have all the emotional range of a sweaty mosh pit--the guitar is 90 percent blocky, sludgy power chords, and the singing is 90 percent hoarse, monochromatic howling--but they've got a sharp sense for the way the riff shapes the song in heavy rock, and they hammer their rage into sometimes arresting forms, with odd fiddly interludes and startling time shifts. Soulfly headlines. DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND 9/5, ABBEY PUB You might say that the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's Funeral for a Friend (Ropeadope), a memorial to fellow New Orleans musician Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, who died in January, is the album the group was always meant to make. Formed in 1977, its original mission was to keep alive--or at least pay homage to--the Crescent City tradition of musical "social aid and pleasure" clubs, which not only raised money for members' funerals but accompanied the processions, giving the dearly departed famously raucous, joyous send-offs. A funky, full-bodied treatment of ten gospel standards, Funeral for a Friend generally sticks to the core eight-piece lineup, forgoing the usual army of guest musicians and getting back to the band's musical roots--and these are the kind of roots that bust up sidewalks. ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE 9/7, DOUBLE DOOR What's a stadium-rock band to do when the stadiums won't have them? This Seattle-based foursome, led by former Meices front man Joe Reineke, trudges doggedly down a well-worn path, somewhere among the trails left behind by Cheap Trick, Weezer, and Skid Row. I think their new Ten Songs in the Key of Betrayal (Control Group) is trying for a don't-give-a-fuck leather-pants-and-Jack Daniel's 'tude, but they utterly fail to rejuvenate the music's threadbare riffs. It sounds like it was tedious, painful work to make this record--and listening to it ain't no walk in the park neither. Tommy Stinson headlines (see Critic's Choice) and opens with a solo acoustic set. G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE 9/7, ARAGON These days even more than usual, there's something obnoxious about being aggressively laid-back--who hasn't wanted to crash a Rusted Root show and start shaking people by the shoulders, yelling, "Like, don't you know there's a war going on?" Hence my ambivalence about G. Love's carefree, summery college-kid grooviness, which attempts to fuse hip-hop, blues, and lite rock but strips them all of every last scrap of tension or urgency (yes, even the lite rock). On the other hand, The Hustle (Brushfire), G. Love's first new album in three years, is as friendly and inviting as you could want, at least superficially, and I hate to harsh such a hard-won mellow--no, wait, no I don't. Jack Johnson headlines; this show is sold-out. SUSHIROBO 9/7, SCHUBAS From the wide selection of prefab poses on the rock marketplace, this Seattle band has chosen robotic detachment and retro-futurism. The new The Light-Fingered Feeling of Sushirobo (Pattern 25) has provoked comparisons to Pere Ubu and Wire, but they're way off; there's no wildness in these guys' meticulous, melancholy electro-pop, no hovering menace, no uncharted territory at all. The lyrics ("Shiva the Destroyer / Will cut down all your clover / And pave your meadow over / You never will recover") are more likely to make you cringe than flinch, and hell, Tones on Tail were scarier. But the songs do have hooks: imagine Gary Numan with his human showing or a cleaned-up, domesticated Silver Apples and you'd be closer to the mark. MELVINS 9/9, DOUBLE DOOR To celebrate their 20th anniversary the Melvins have already released a 224-page coffee-table book, Neither Here nor There, with a companion retrospective CD, and they've got a record with Jello Biafra on deck for October. The current disc from the standard-bearers of Slow Heavy Rules is Pigs of the Roman Empire (Ipecac), a collaboration with one B. Lustmord, formerly of industrial legends SPK. Fierce and pummeling, viscous and squelchy, it offers a tantalizing glimpse down a dark path that industrial music never took. Though drummer Dale Crover seems a bit straitjacketed by the programmed percussion--left to his own devices he can create a heaving, unstable menace with fills that sound like a sofa falling down the stairs--the album's feral, corrosive howl loses none of its force even when the rhythm tracks drop out entirely. It's a vivid reminder that we're no further from apocalypse now than we were 20 years ago, during the heyday of industrial music: we may not be a phone call away from nuclear war, but the way things are going we're still gonna end up handing the planet over to the robots and the roaches. Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant (see Critic's Choice) opens.

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