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Eliot Lipp, Metal Fest, Beatbox Fred and others

Weekly Volcano critics tell you where to go

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Robin J. Landry

If you get as psyched as I do when Lucinda Williams rips a new disc, then check out Robin J. Landry.  While her voice isn’t as weathered as Williams’, Landry’s insights on life, love and loss are just as compelling as anything the dirty blonde icon ever penned.  Back in the day she went by Robin Taylor in the band Widow.  The group dropped two records and opened for Brian Adams and Stevie Ray Vaughn. After a seven-year run, Widow changed tempo, and Taylor retired to raise a family and write books.  Now that her kids are grown, she’s back and sounding better than ever.  Earlier this year, Landry teamed up with local Seattle blues musician Cory Wilds and began writing.  The result of the duo’s creative spark is her debut, Take You For a Ride, and the disc does just that, beginning with the hardcore country blues title track.  Landry runs the gamut of the country genre. From the old-school Bakersfield sound on “What Used To Be’’ to the string accompanied “Once Upon a Time,” the record features flawless harmonies, great production, and exquisite songwriting. It is a worthy return for the sultry blonde songstress.  — Tony Engelhart

[Fern Hill Coffee Shop, 7 p.m., no cover, 8310 S. Park Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.3180]


The Presidents

You may not have noticed, but Seattle’s Presidents of the United States of America — the guys who brought you “Lump,” “Mach 5,” Drew Carey’s “Cleveland Rocks,” etc. who now call themselves just The Presidents — are performing at Pacific Lutheran University Friday night with the band Colonies.  Neat. — Brad Allen

[Olson Auditorium, 8 p.m., $20, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Street South, Tacoma,]


Anarchy in Tacoma Night

Tighten your pants, fasten your studded belts and flare your hair, because it’s Anarchy in Tacoma Night out at Hell’s Kitchen Friday.

If you’re looking for musical subtlety or sophistication, piss off.

If you’re looking for time signature changes and alternate tunings, leave — You’re not invited.

If you’re looking for bleeding heart crooners with acoustic guitars moaning about feelings and bodies and wonderlands, then why have you read this far?

To hell with nampy pamby indie folkie junk, because The River City Rebels, Teenage Harlets, Durango 95, and The Freakouts are bringing maximum rock and roll back to a city whose electric guitars tend to bleed melancholy and infinite sadness rather than blitzkriegs and bops.

The bands are, of course, derivatives of each other; over the course of three hours inside the hot, dank, yet curiously heavenly armpit that is Hell’s Kitchen, the listener is going to be privy to more than 30 years of punk rock evolution, wrapped up inside of four bands who are, if not the most musically inventive, the most musically explosive. There will be three-chord shred fests, four-on-the-floor dance pits, and more pogoing than a middle-aged Baby Boomer can shake his fists at.

When was the last time you danced with the band instead of in front of the band? — Michael Stasiak

[Hell’s Kitchen, Friday, May 4, doors at 6 p.m., all ages, $7, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]


Cinco de Mayo Metal Fest

The United States has taken a day in Mexican history and turned it into a happy hour. As a result of cheesy marketing ploys, May 5 has become a shallow excuse for people north of the border to eat and drink.  Every Cinco de Mayo I go out just to clumsily trip over my own lower lip. I throw on a Tommy Bahama shirt different than the one that\'s been chafing my moist armpits all day, and throw back frosty Margaritas and Mexican cervezas. 

This year I will say stupid things, acquire random bruises, and then pull it back together at the Cinco de Mayo Metal Fest at The 54 on South Tacoma Way, like the underdog Mexicans when they defeated the French army of Napoleon III in the battle of Puebla in 1862 .  Manntis, Takeover, Church of Hate, Severus, weight of the World, Wide Eye Panic and many more will rock the outdoor beer garden.

So join me as I trip over my lip, spend too much money, and simply wait for the burrito to hit my face. Cheers. — Brad Allen

[The 54, 1 p.m., $10 advance at, 5240 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.473.5454]


Beatbox Fred

Beatbox Fred aka Fred Kellogg is a musical instrument impressionist who has been imitating instruments since he was 7.

“I’ve been doing it on and off for about 30 years,” says Kellogg, “slowly gaining momentum here in Olympia while opening for bands at Le Voyeur. It’s been my launching pad to meeting other artists.”

How did he learn to beatbox?

“I pretty much just figured it all out by myself,” he explains. “I started out doing drum solos of my favorite bands.” 

“I’m very much into a ‘70s funk type of thing,” he adds. “I’m also getting more familiar with hip-hop type of stuff, but I’m a huge Herbie Hancock fan. I have all of his stuff from his ’70s funk days. I wouldn’t say I have all of his albums, but I do have a large collection of them.” 

Beatbox Fred has appeared in the 2001 Experimental Music Project in Seattle, on the Thurston County Television show “Dance O’Dance,” at Ballard Seafood Fest, and once with Bobby McFerrin (the beatbox artist made famous by the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”). He also has his own KAOS radio show on Sunday evenings from 8-10 p.m. that he’s been doing for eight years called “Free Jazz.”

In his live show, he wears a headset microphone and either does a 30-minute improvisational beatbox performance, or he collaborates with other musicians in a band situation.

At his Sunday performance with the F**king Eagles at The Swiss, he will provide the rhythm track for a version of “Wipe Out,” which he and the band will perform together.

“I’m not really looking to get famous,” says Kellogg, “I’m kind of a shy artist. It’s reached a point where it’s got some momentum and generally it’s the younger audiences that appreciate it. I just really appreciate the F**king Eagles and the other bands who are open minded enough to invite me.” — Angela Jossy

[The Swiss, Fistula benefit with The F**king Eagles, The Drug Purse, Paris Spleen, and Those Who Were Dragged, Stephen Minor, Gold Teeth, Helms Alee and spoken word by Jeremy Silas, Sunday, May 6, 2 p.m., $7,  1904 S. Jefferson, Tacoma, 253.572.4258]


Eliot Lipp

Back in the early ’80s I was turned onto an album called League Unlimited Orchestra that was a remix disc of the Human League’s groundbreaking debut, Dare!  The recording did two things for me: it introduced me to electronica and gave me an appreciation for totally synthetic music.  In the wake of acid house and techno that followed, I explored such artists as 808 State, the Future Sound of London, and Orbital.  Tacoma native Eliot Lipp was toddling around in diapers at the time I was discovering this music, but nevertheless, he’s more knowledgeable about it than I.  The 27-year-old composer was first influence by hip-hop artists such as RZA and Hieroglyphics.  After moving to San Francisco, he found underground artist Dan the Automater and Madlib, and began honing his skills.  While his first record, Eastern Developments, showed promise, it would be his self-titled sophomore effort that proved he could hold his own in the electronica arena as he melded elements of ambient, breakbeat and hip-hop. On Lipp’s third release, 2006’s Tacoma Mockingbird (Hefty Records), he went back to basics using familiar beats that he overlaid with vintage ’80s synth lines. — TE

[Jazzbones, with Aaron Spiro, 6 p.m., all ages, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

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