DAVE DEPPER, LEWI LONGMIRE BAND, SEAN NELSON (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Dave Depper performs Paul and Linda McCartney's Ram album, while the Lewi Longmire Band tackles Neil Young's After the Gold Rush and Sean Nelson plays a set of tunes by Harry Nilsson. Meanwhile, read our article on Dave Depper.
LOUDNESS, DIRTY PASSION, WAR MACHINE (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) My first exposure to Loudness was when I was given their fifth studio album Thunder in the East from someone who had received it as a gag gift. They displayed the LP in their living room like an ironic knickknack. The Japanese band's name made me chuckle and the photos of them on the back with their pouty lips, red and black leather, and animal prints in unnatural colors added to the comedy. However, once I played the album and "Crazy Nights" started chugging, I knew the beast from the east was no joke. Loudness' pounding heavy metal has the hooks and chops to measure up to Priest, Maiden, or any other legendary act that comes to mind. Guitarist Akira Takasaki has a ripping, classical style that makes him one of the most underrated guitar players in the genre. In short, Loudness provided me with my very first lesson in not judging a band by its feathered hair. ARIS WALES
AGENT RIBBONS, ORCA TEAM, THE HAPPENING (Saratoga, 6910 N Interstate) The Austin-based duo of Natalie Gordon and Lauren Hess, known as Agent Ribbons, are doing their part to build upon the legacy of modern female music, emulating Amanda Palmer's antics and Joanna Newsom's lyrical prowess with a newly minted type of baroque bedroom pop—the thinking woman's doo-wop, if you will. Agent Ribbons have put a lot of thought into what they want to be, and have a meticulous sound as a result—pretty melodies thrown off kilter by slightly-out-of-tune instruments and heady lyrics. This can be overly obtuse, as in the vaudeville "Your Love Is the Smallest Doll." ("Infinities are like Russian dolls/they fit inside of each other/so what did you mean when you proclaimed/ that you'd love me forever?") That said, most of their music sounds pleasant enough, and I imagine that their zealousness makes for an entertaining live show. MARANDA BISH