King Tuff - Screaming Skull by SubPop

KING TUFF, WHITE FANG, MEAN JEANS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The glittery, punky pop of King Tuff is better than any sugar rush, and lasts much longer. With rock-solid bass, speedy drums, and guitars dripping with amplifier fuzz, Tuff and his band make good, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll sound better—and feel better—than anyone else around. NED LANNAMANN


SHY GIRLS, SOCIAL STUDIES, HOSANNAS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Shy Girls' music transports you back to middle school, or the first time you heard those R&B hits on the radio that you can still sing along to. Dan Vidmar writes songs that sound like a mix between Smokey Robinson and Backstreet Boys, and has the formula to this niche squared away. The music is funky and sexy, and makes you want to move your hips and pull out all of those long forgotten dance moves. The songs have a similar, carefree quality to the ones that dominated airplay in the days of Mariah Carey. The distinguishing difference with Shy Girls is their ability to write songs that, while rooted in the familiar, expand past this to add fresh body and soul. RACHEL MILBAUER