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Kristeen Young

Predating Amanda Palmer, Kristeen Young’s now logged over a decade of theatrical dervish shows along with a robust, ripe-for-rediscovery catalog of albums full of weaponized piano riffs and lyrics that aren’t TMI so much as too much candor, in the best way. She’s perhaps best known for railing at the canonical rock gods both on record (see: “Strangle Bowie with his neckerchief / Punch holes in the Beatles’ yellow boat”) and on stage. She’s probably best known for touring with Morrissey, getting kicked off the tour after accomplishing the not-entirely-difficult feat of saying something on stage Morrissey didn’t like, then joining the tour again a few years later. That said, her latest, The Knife Shift, is rather studio star-studded, produced by Tony Visconti and featuring players like Dave Grohl and Boz Boorey. She’ll be playing a four-show residency at Bowery Electric this month.

Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 9. Continues through April 30, 2014

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Dave Grohl and Other Rockers Toast L.A.’s Sound City

Here’s something you don’t get to say too often: It’s a shame when Paul McCartney turns up. Before McCartney arrives, rasping, puppy-eyed, and eager to have a go at the hot new grunge sound of 1993, Dave Grohl’s Sound City is an exciting, sometime illuminating documentary about how a squad of technicians and engineers in a hole-in-the-Valley music studio helped great rock ’n’ rollers make great rock ’n’ roll. Grohl treats us to just more than an hour celebrating the history of Sound City, the Van Nuys dump where a clutch of rock’s great records were bashed out—but the movie’s 107 minutes long.

First, in the ’70s, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were lured there by a new $75,000 recording console custom designed by Rupert Neve; later, visiting the studio, Mick Fleetwood heard the resulting Buckingham Nicks LP, and soon the guitarists and singers were all balled up together like mating snakes, recording Fleetwood Mac on that Neve console—and establishing Sound City as the source of one of rock’s most glorious drum sounds.

Banging beautifully on a kit, Grohl demonstrates the quality of that Sound City bottom end: that stellar console wired to a drafty room where drums—for whatever reason – boom out loud and alive. The Mac might have made Sound City a name, but much of the music later unleashed there comes from noisier artists: Fear, Dio, Pat Benatar, many ’80s hair bands, Nirvana. “It was like Fleetwood Mac all over again,” Sound City owner Tom Skeeter exclaims of the boomlet he enjoyed after Nevermind dropped, probably the only time anybody linked those two acts. The highlight, both of the studio’s history and the movie, is Tom Petty, whose Heartbreakers rehearsed for the first time and later recorded the urgent Damn the Torpedoes at Sound City.

Damn the Torpedoes exemplifies the crisp, live-band rock sound that room and console excelled at capturing. We see Petty and the band in grubby old video, talking each other through take after take. (“Refugee” alone, we’re told, took 150.) We also see Petty today, top-hatted and Muppet-bearded, warmly and weirdly talking up the place and the sessions Rick Rubin held there with the Heartbreakers backing Johnny Cash, years after other studios had gone digital.

Where we don’t see Petty is in those jam sessions that take up the film’s final half hour. Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Jim Keltner, and Rick Springfield all turn up to play new songs into that vaunted Neve console, now in the possession of Grohl, who purchased it from the now-defunct Sound City. Save McCartney’s song, the new stuff isn’t necessarily bad—Lee Vigner’s is strong, and Reznor’s, a collaboration with Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, is inspired. But it all follows too much chestbeating about how “real musicians” and “real men” eschew today’s digital recording techniques. Grohl and the band laugh with McCartney about how musicians shouldn’t overthink the craft and performance of rock ’n’ roll—why, then, did Petty do 150 takes? Why does the best surviving Beatle jamming with the survivors of Nirvana not sound as good as Oasis? Great drums, though.

Directed by Dave Grohl. Written by Mark Monroe. Starring Dave Grohl, Tom Skeeter, Stevie Nicks, Butch Vig, Tom Petty, Lee Ving, Rick Rubin, and PaulMcCartney.

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Great Moments In Greg Dulli

Greg Dulli is no GG Allin–to the best of our knowledge, the frontman of the recently reunited Afghan Whigs has never taken a big sloppy shit onstage then hurled his feces into the crowd (well, maybe metaphorically he has). But he’s definitely teetered on the dangerous edge of rock ‘n roll for the better part of 25 years, occasionally tumbling right over into the abyss and yet always somehow managing to claw his way back up to the land of the living. Dulli, who once lyrically celebrated that “I got a dick for a brain,” has scarfed all the drugs, fucked all the women, brawled with all the bouncers, and he’s poured his fury and guilt into the Whigs’ searing, swaggering, eminently soulful songbook, much of which will be unleashed at tonight’s sold-out Terminal 5 gig (which comes a few months after the band’s triumphant reunion show at Bowery Ballroom–their first performance together in 13 years).

Their return has prompted loads of Whigs tribute pieces, retrospectives, reappraisals, and so forth; in the same spirit, here’s a few of our favorite Greg Dulli-related appearances and anecdotes from the past couple decades.

See Also:
Afghan Whigs Are Uptown Again: The emotional anthropology behind the band’s return
Q&A: The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli
Venerated Festival All Tomorrow’s Parties Comes To New York City

Dulli and Donal

One of Dulli’s best friends is actor Donal Logue, who kickstarted his career by playing “Jimmy the Cab Driver” in tons of MTV spots in the early ’90s. In 1994, while the Whigs were promoting/touring the previous year’s Gentlemen, the pair teamed up for a hilarious takeover of 120 Minutes. Check it out above as they smoke and slur like a couple of alt-rock Rat Packers, mock Kurt Loder, entertain a bizarre visit from James Iha, and act out scenes from Scarface and The Godfather II.

“Fat Greg Dulli”
At some point in the early ’90s, a venomous zine called “Fat Greg Dulli” emerged, its mystery publisher gleefully shredding the singer for being, well, fat. And a lout. It featured content like this:

Greg Dulli One-Night Stand Kit:
Nifty Afghan Whigs money clip and dice cufflinks
8 miniatures of Wild Turkey
2 packs of Dunhills
1 bottle of rib sauce
3 moist towlettes
“Karaoke With The Staples Singers” tape
“Best Of America” karaoke tape
1 Today contraceptive sponge
17 condoms
Don Fleming’s phone number

In 2007, infamously hard-partying former Elektra A&R guy Terry Tolkin–who was instrumental in bringing the Whigs to the label back in the day–claimed that he and a female New York City publicist were in cahoots to put out the zine. Whatever the truth is, “Fat Greg Dulli” clearly got under its namesake’s skin. From a 1996 Guitar World interview:

“I’ve never met the woman who puts it out, and she purports to give a shit about the band, but she’s devoted a large portion of her life to ripping it apart,” says Dulli with mournful wonder. “Her shtick is ‘This guy needs to be taken down a notch.’

“Taken down a notch? We didn’t sell 200,000 records last time. Somebody asked me how I felt about being called Fat Greg Dulli. How do you think it made me feel? It made me feel fat. It’s just being grade-school mean, calling somebody fatty on the playground. But why me? You’re automatically limiting the number of people you can sell to to be making it about me. Fat Bon Jovi, I could understand. Or Fat Madonna. But most people are going to think. ‘Who’s that guy?'”

Backbeat Band

1994 saw the release of the drama Backbeat, which portrayed the early days of the Beatles as they were establishing themselves via gigs in Hamburg, Germany. The film wasn’t exactly a hit, but the Don Was-produced soundtrack was interesting–no actual Beatles songs, but a truly all-star assemblage of Dulli, Dave Grohl, Thurston Moore, Mike Mills, Dave Pirner and Don Fleming covering Fab Four tunes. Above, they all hit the stage and tore it up in front of a comatose MTV Movie Awards crowd.

The Gutter Twins
On Valentine’s Day 2008 we had the pleasure of witnessing Dulli and fellow dark traveler Mark Lanegan join forces under The Gutter Twins moniker for a remarkable debut show at Bowery Ballroom. We wrote it up for VV sister paper Seattle Weekly thusly:

The vibe was as deliciously black as the pair’s threads, smoky as the wisps oozing from Dulli’s ever-present cigarette, and gritty as their band name (and, at one time, the streets right outside the venue itself) suggested … For the entirety of the 75-minute-or-so set, Lanegan maintained his standard pose–hands gripping the microphone and stand, his body leaning ever so forward–and cast sideways glances at his partner-in-gloom, while Dulli, often wielding his shiny black Les Paul, was a bit more animated as he flailed and spun, lit cigarettes and guzzled bottled water, and interacted with the rest of his bandmates. Both were in spectacular vocal form, Lanegan’s sepulchral croon and Dulli’s impassioned, anguished howls meshing together more perfectly than you could even imagine. There was little in the way of stage banter, but the band was more interested in creating and sustaining mood with their nocturnal ballads and grimy rock-outs than smilin’ and chattin’.

Dulli vs. Ronstadt
In his excellent 33 1/3 book about the Whigs’ Gentlemen, published in 2008, journalist Bob Gendron revealed the behind-the-scenes brouhaha that erupted over the album’s Nan Goldin-inspired cover art, which depicted a young boy and a young girl on a bed:

Gendron explains that singer Linda Ronstadt–one of the Whigs’ labelmates at Elektra–thought the photo was highly inappropriate and said so to Elektra publicist Sherry Ring, who repped both Ronstadt and the Whigs and whose daughter it is on the cover. Ring’s quote, from the book:

“[Ronstadt] said, ‘You let your daughter do that album cover? I can’t believe it!’ I said, ‘Well, to be honest, I didn’t know it was going to be quite what it turned out to be because Greg sort of kept assuring me that it wasn’t.’ He lied,” Ring says, half-jokingly. “It’s not something I showed around her kindergarten class or however old she was at the time; it wasn’t like show and tell. Look, Linda is very women’s lib and very protective of children. It wasn’t out of line. I thought it was very Linda.”

But Dulli, in typical blunt form, offered Gendron a pretty harsh take on the episode:

“I’m like, ‘Linda Ronstadt: You’re dressed like a whore on the cover of Living in the USA with roller skates, curls in your hair, and shorts up to your twat. Fuck you.’ That was my attitude toward Linda Ronstadt, who was a great singer. Now she’s kind of a bore.”

Return Of The Whigs

Dulli and company killed it at the Bowery Ballroom in May, showing hardly any rust as they plowed through a career-spanning setlist. One of the night’s highlights was the band’s inspired cover of Frank Ocean’s “Love Crimes”–a song lyrically and thematically seemingly tailor-made for the Whigs to tackle, and they made it their own. Hope for it to happen again tonight.

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The Grammys: Rock and Grohl

Sunday night’s Grammy awards were touted as the night America would be introduced to a pop-skewing, Americanized, thumpy version of “dance music.” But Dave Grohl had other ideas.

Grohl was one of the artists who took to the stage for three performances Sunday night, two with his band of rock survivors Foo Fighters and one as part of a show-closing jam where a gaggle of the older white men who had appeared earlier in the evening—Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh—displayed their chops while playing the medley from Abbey Road. (Bonnie Raitt, herself a guitarist with fairly substantial bona fides, was a startling omission from this salute to the past, as was the night’s big winner, Adele, who, though not a six-string whiz, surely would have given a fantastic assist on vocals.) He also took some time during his acceptance speech to rant a little about trends that he considered troubling.

Accepting the award for Best Rock Album for Wasting Light (RCA)—which he recorded with the help of his old pal Butch Vig—the former Nirvana drummer said: “This is a great honor because this record was a special record for our band. Rather than go to the best studio in the world down the street in Hollywood, and rather than use all of the fanciest computers that money can buy, we made this one in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine.” (How tricked-out that garage is, he didn’t let on.)

He continued: “To me, this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what’s important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do. It’s not about being perfect; it’s not about sounding absolutely correct; it’s not about what goes on in a computer. It’s about what goes on in here [the heart] and what goes on in here [the head].” He probably would have talked longer, but his speech was cut off from the viewing audience by the bully-club keyboards of LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and the ever-smiling, overemployed Ryan Seacrest.

It was an odd outburst, though one in keeping with the unspoken themes of the night; the show promised to be a step into the future, with performances by Nicki Minaj and various dance producers heavily hyped in the run-up. But it was bracketed by veterans. In addition to the Beatles tribute closing the show, Bruce Springsteen opened it with his Magnetic Fields-gone-Obama-rally anthem “We Take Care of Our Own.” And the Next Big Hope Adele, whose music won all three of the genre-agnostic categories it was nominated in (Record, Song, and Album of the Year) is, while a spellbinding performer with an undeniably heartbreaking voice, definitely a throwback to the Dusty in Memphis era.

Grohl didn’t steer entirely clear of newfangled fakery. Foo Fighters’ second performance was part of an oddly sequenced “tribute to dance music” which had his band sharing the stage with the mouse-head-wearing Canadian DJ Deadmau5. After the Foos blazed through their track “Rope,” Deadmau5 took over, and the cameras happily cut to Grohl, wearing a Slayer T-shirt and a blazer and a shit-eating grin, jerking his body to the beats and drops emanating from the stage. But Grohl’s tirade about machines and imperfections made me wonder if he’d heard the new album by his fellow grunge-era refugee Mark Lanegan, Blues Funeral (4AD); the imperfect and human are placed side-by-side with the mechanical on the album, and the results are often arresting.

Lanegan’s voice was one of the more distinctive of the alt-rock era, its weariness telegraphing itself from note one. It’s a cracked instrument made even more stunning by its wear and tear, like those super-high-definition photographs of people that don’t get airbrushed, that instead show the lives the subjects have lived by exposing and even highlighting every wrinkle and mole and imperfection. In the early ’90s, his former band Screaming Trees’ bombastic alt-era classic “Nearly Lost You” flirted with MTV notoriety; its placement on the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s love-in-the-time-of-grunge chronicle Singles introduced the band to more casual fans of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, and it’s one of that album’s most indelible tracks. Lanegan’s burr grounded his band’s thick cloud of feedback and snaky, Hendrix-inspired guitar line; the wistfulness with which he sang the chorus’s first words right before the riff came blasting in tugged at heartstrings.

Blues Funeral (credited to the Mark Lanegan Band and produced by Alain Johannes) has a couple of tracks that hew to familiar rock templates. On “St. Louis Elegy” Lanegan moans over a shuffling riff and subtly threaded organ line; “Gray Goes Black” is a desolate tune for a nighttime drive, its shadowy guitars recalling the mournful AM-radio pop of years ago and the gloomy goth tableaux of the Cure. Yet what makes the album on the whole work so well is the melding of new wave ideals and his worn, wounded instrument. Although there are traditional “rock” tracks, some of the album’s most stunning moments come when his voice collides with the synthetic. “Ode To Sad Disco” combines a sad shooting-star guitar line with a methodical dance beat that sounds inspired by the DFA catalog; “Harborview Hospital” has a synth-spangled outro that brings to mind New Order getting lost on a dancefloor, and it could probably extend another eight minutes past its four-and-a-half-minute cutoff point and still be absolutely mesmerizing; the stomping “Quiver Syndrome” places Lanegan’s voice alongside a sparkling pop chorus reminiscent of the Dandy Warhols’ most decadent tracks. Throughout, the lyrics chronicle pain and sadness. Despite the mechanics at work, there’s no party rocking happening, let alone enough to warrant an apology.

Perhaps Grohl was ranting against common ideas of what pop is right now—the Auto-Tuned straw women who lurk around every corner, waiting to have the melismata they can’t hit in live sessions manipulated into existence by masterminds with supercomputers. Blues Funeral, though, shows how the imperfections of man and the shortcomings of the machine can blend into something beautiful, a piece of art that heightens and highlights the humanity at its core.

mjohnston@villagevoice.com

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Foo Fighters

Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl’s first batch of post-Kurt home recordings was greeted by such wild critical and commercial success that it’s easy enough to understand how in the following years his band could gradually spiral into bloated overproduction. His new album “Wasting Light” is really no stronger or weaker than any of the others, but it’s certainly heartening to find some of it occasionally reaching all the way back to 1995 in search of more chaotic guiding principles.

Mon., Sept. 26, 7 p.m., 2011

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Fawning Rock Doc Lemmy Is No Ace of Spades

“Lemmy is the baddest motherfucker in the world,” exclaims Dave Grohl in Lemmy, whose tagline reads: “49% Motherf—er, 51% Son of a Bitch.” It’s a sentiment shared by almost everyone who appears on-camera (Dave Navarro, Ozzy, Metallica, Slash, Billy Bob Thornton) in this fawning documentary. Devotees of Motorhead frontman/certifiable rock icon Lemmy Kilmister will be in heaven watching this gushing love letter to the man who straddles rock subgenres, but anyone who’s not already a fan will cry for mercy long before the nearly-two-hour film ends. Co-directors Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski shot their film through a fanboy filter, sans any real critical (in the truest sense of the word) thought or evaluation. That carries Lemmy for a while as it meanders through his professional highs and lows, and his personal life (Dad was a prick who deserted the family when Lemmy was a boy; the death of a girlfriend when he was a teenager is presented as his “Rosebud,” explaining everything from his choice of drugs to his arms- length treatment of women). But Olliver and Orshoski are so enamored of their subject that they don’t whittle the fat from the meat. While there’s lots of humor and occasional insight, most scenes drag long after a point has been made (or not made, as when softball questions are tossed about Lemmy’s affinity for Nazi memorabilia) and the directing duo is too earnest to play with presentation when they stumble onto irony—such as when a surgically overhauled Joan Jett says of Lemmy, “He’s a renegade. Everybody else assimilates.”

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Our First Date With Them Crooked Vultures

People still throw up devil horns at rock concerts—both hands, full extension, a robust howl of “WOOOOOO!” to convey further enthusiasm—and I find that extraordinarily comforting. No sarcasm, no cynicism, no self-conscious “Free Bird” irony. It’s an unabashedly retro gesture—if you were in a crabby enough mood, you’d almost call it “pre-Internet”—which makes it all the more heartening when the horns come out in full force at Roseland Ballroom Thursday night for Them Crooked Vultures, a band that, at the moment, pretty much only exists online.

It helps, of course, that the first dude to saunter onstage is Dave Grohl, back on drums this time, his klieg-light grin perfectly visible even if you’re lurking near Roseland’s back wall a couple miles away. John Paul Jones, Josh Homme, and a totally non-famous but nonetheless impressively dapper rhythm-guitarist gentleman (nice suit, Alain Johannes) soon follow. Ah, the supergroup. Them devil horns are entirely name-recognition-based: TCV have only a few months of Internet hype and a handful of shows to their credit; unless you’ve got a ticket, their songs exist entirely as lousy YouTube bootlegs. Tonight’s is easily the largest, most raucous crowd I’ve ever seen for a concert in which most folks don’t know a single note: no hit singles, no wacky covers, no respite from 90 solid minutes of unbroken stoner-metal unfamiliarity.

Homme, our affable ringmaster this evening, is acutely, sheepishly aware of this. “We’re gonna play a lot of shit you never heard before, and we hope you enjoy it,” goes an early bit of banter. Later: “A lot of new music here.” Later still: “It’s not often you hear a bunch of new music, and you have no idea what’s happening. Let’s keep it going and see how it goes.” Even later still: “You still with us? There are only four hours left. It’s not that bad.”

Of course, shortly thereafter, after Homme calls out a particularly bludgeoning tune called “Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I,” two dudes brush past me, each precariously carrying three full cups of beer and clenching a fourth in their teeth. It’s a celebration. And even if the songs don’t register as classics, the quartet’s Paleolithic apocalypse of sound sure does, a pummeling triangulation of the bands that really lured everyone here tonight. Grohl, grinning and headbanging as he pounds away, is now perfectly visible mostly as an oscillating blur of hair, a fount of cheerful ferocity that helped make Nirvana friendlier and the Foo Fighters perfectly tolerable. Homme, architect of some of the better underground (Kyuss) and overground (Queens of the Stone Age) hard rock of the past two decades, still affects a disarmingly sexy sort of badassness, his boisterous near-croon of a voice slipping easily into sleazy falsetto, his guitar solos still thrillingly terse blasts of smirking menace.

Yet it’s the old guy who really owns this band. JPJ is a trip up there. The Vultures occasionally get tripped up by here-is-the-butt-simple-riff-we’ll-all-be-driving-into-the-ground-in-unison-for-the-next-four-minutes monotony, a joyless pudding of Ozzfest-era sledgehammer pounding that drains all the personality from a band with three dominant personalities to choose from. But the more indulgent, unwieldy, and ridiculously epic these tunes get—the closer they get to towering Led Zep heights of delicious excess—the better, and having the man himself on bass (and piano! And keytar!) works wonders. Our opening salvo starts as a plodding blues-metal knuckle-dragger, but abruptly speeds up into gleeful thrash or slows to a swamped-out crawl, before dissolving into a long, rambling, psychedelic swagger of a coda, and it’s here that Jones completely takes over, a perfect balance of power and finesse roaming nonchalantly about. “Scumbag Blues” (Homme calls out most tunes by name, perhaps just to help out all them YouTubers) is even better, the surly bassline a deep, muscular echo of the Clash’s “The Magnificent Seven,” marching in thunderous lockstep with Grohl as he oscillates away.

Unhinged, near-formless, Zeppelinesque extravagance is a dangerous thing, of course, and 90 previously unheard minutes of it wears you down no matter how much goodwill you’re showing or beer you’re guzzling. Throughout the night, I get texts from a far less enamored colleague: “This blows,” “This is unbearable,” “Only one of these guys is used to being this indulgent,” etc. And it’s tough eventually to tell what’s good here and what’s simply memorable—the tune with cheesy electronic drums, JPJ on keytar, and a guitarless Homme strutting around like an overmedicated cabaret singer is a fine visual joke but somewhat of an audio atrocity, and the particularly long-winded prog-lite epic that ends with Jones banging out some plaintive, baroque, lovely piano elicits as much confusion as applause.

Plenty of both, though. But will songs with goofy titles like “Caligulove” enthrall us once we can assess them as actual songs? Can Grohl, who’s ultimately a little reserved and unobtrusive here for a guy with his deservedly outsize reputation, recapture the machine-gun grandeur he managed as guest drummer for QOTSA’s mighty Songs for the Deaf? And will we eventually throw up devil horns to honor where Them Crooked Vultures are going, as opposed to where they’ve been?

rharvilla@villagevoice.com

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Them Crooked Vultures

What started as a hypothetical supergroup made up by Foo Fighter/Nirvana alum Dave Grohl for the UK press is now real and touring: Them Crooked Vultures features Grohl on drums, Led Zep’s John Paul Jones on bass, and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme as, well, frontman. They haven’t officially released much music—just a few sub-minute instrumental clips—but what’s leaked has been the sort of jam-rock extraordinaire you’d expect from these three, with all the tongue-in-cheek cartoon imagery and wickedly self-satisfied aplomb to boot.

Thu., Oct. 15, 8 p.m., 2009

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ALL MIXED UP

The latest product of Zach Condon’s globe-tripping adventures as Beirut arrives later this month in the form of a rousing new EP called March of the Zapotec, which Condon recorded in Mexico “with the help of Oaxacan march masters the Jimenez Band,” as he puts it on Beirut’s website. (Zapotec comes bundled with Holland, another EP credited to Condon’s pre-Beirut handle Realpeople; its slight electro-pop pleasures are probably best consumed by already-devoted fans.) Tonight is the second of Beirut’s two-night stint at BAM’s “Sounds Like Brooklyn” series—something of an in-joke, considering that Condon has never seemed satisfied sounding like just one place. Opener Kaki King issued a memo last month describing her recent exploits with Margaret Cho, Dave Grohl, and Timbaland, a namedrop nearly as varied as her whiz-kid acoustic-guitar playing.

Fri., Feb. 6, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 7, 8 p.m., 2009

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FRESH RAGE

With Dave Grohl courting Grammys, Billy Corgan squashing his own legacy, and Chris Cornell aping Justin Timberlake, Trent Reznor is looking like a mighty respectable alternative-nation ambassador nowadays. Free from the major-label slaughterhouse, the doomy hothead is riding an Internet-fueled creative crest that includes meandering instrumental wank sessions (Ghosts I-IV) and brutal signs of fresh rage (The Slip). Though the Nine Inch Nails sound hasn’t progressed much since H.W. swore in back in 1989, Reznor’s wonky attitude toward technology, distribution schemes, and Chinese Olympics–style opening-ceremony LED blind-sides lend his enterprise a winning illusion of evolution. Reznor gets older, but his angst stays the same age.

Wed., Aug. 27, 7:30 p.m., 2008