GRAND OLE PARTY, SOUTHERN BELLE, HOCKEY
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Three-piece bands with arty/bad-girl singers are easy enough to compare to Yeah Yeah Yeahs without the singer having Karen O's hair, and since Kristen Gundred does, there's not a lot a reviewer can do. But San Diego's Grand Ole Party are earthier than their New York albatross-funkier, bass-equipped, and in love with an imaginary version of the blues. Gundred also drums, and her swampy boasts cling tightly to the strut she lays under most of the band's repertoire. (Monotony is a problem here-Grand Ole Party have one album, 13 songs, and about three ideas-but lack of potential isn't.) Opening for Rilo Kiley last year, they were loud, sinewy, and lovable, and whenever the stomp started, Gundred's blushing between-song demeanor gave way to a true siren's presence-which means more than that I thought she was hot, but by no means less. THEON WEBER
Grand Ole Party - "Belle Isle"