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Choro Famoso, U277, Toga Party and more

Volcano music scribes tell you where to go

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Thursday, Nov. 8

ROCK Toga Party

While the origins of the toga party aren’t necessarily clear, one thing is certain. The toga party is an American institution. Whether “Animal House” introduced you to the idea of donning a bed sheet Greek style and drinking until you fall down, or it was Tom Wolfe — if you’ve never been to a toga party, you’re missing out on part of life.

McCabe’s in Tacoma realizes this. Tonight, Glass Ceiling Music will present a Toga Party as part of its Nothing But Rock series, featuring Big Fat Alice, Society Says, and Alpha Nation. In addition to the metal riffage, a toga contest will make things interesting, offering prizes for “Best Toga,” “Worst Toga,” and crowd favorite “Sexiest Toga.”

Mmmm. Sexiest Toga.

It’ll cost you five bucks at the door if you come dressed in a toga and ten bucks if you don’t. Sounds to me like you’ve got all the inspiration you need.

If you’re looking for a little help preparing your toga (and believe me, there’s more to it than simply finding a bed sheet), check out www. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do. — Matt Driscoll

[McCabe’s American Music Café, Thursday, Nov. 8, 8 p.m., $10, $5 with toga, 2811 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.5403]

Friday, Nov. 9


The ultimate compliment to any band or artist is to have fans so enthralled by their music that they want to emulate them, but tribute bands take this concept to the next level. There are already AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Beatle tribute bands in the Northwest, so why not U2?

U277 not only does all U2 material, they do it with a passion that rivals Bono’s work with the African Aids epidemic. The Tacoma/Seattle-based unit of Sean Bendickson as Larry Mullen Jr., Jason Lindgren as Adam Clayton, Aaron Bendickson as the Edge, and Stephen Minor as Bono, formed two years ago. Performing some of the early work such as “Out of Control” and “Bullet the Blue Sky,” they lay the foundation of U2’s genius. But that’s only half their act. They also cover the neo-psychedelic incarnation of the band’s Achtung Baby and Zooropa period. Present day U2 is also well represented with such songs as “Beautiful Day” and “Vertigo.” — Tony Engelhart

[Station 56, 9 p.m., $5, 5602 S. Washington St., Tacoma, 253.474.2639]

Friday, Nov. 9

METAL jellyneck

Jellyneck sounds like the title of a John Waters film. Despite the campy name, there is nothing kooky about this Seattle-based quartet. Playing a brand of metal that is loud, mean, and unforgiving, these boys don’t f*** around or mince words.

Self-described as a “genre-blending radio metal band,” they mix rock, punk, industrial and every type of metal known for a sound that is unique. Employing only the basics — bass, guitar, drums, and vocals — Jellyneck strip rock to the bare essentials and leave no scraps at the table. As a live act, you’d be hard pressed to find a more energetic group of musicians. The band’s frontman, D.J. Magana, might have very well started smoking cigarettes at age 5, but he can belt out a tune with power and gusto. Guitarist Drew Peterson possesses an arsenal of tight licks, while the rhythm section of Frank Sandoval (bass) and Andy Huffman (drums), keeps the thunderous beats pumping. To date, they have released three discs, 2004’s Playground Kingpin, 2005’s EP Stik Pig, and hot off the presses, Sugar For the Flies. With songs like “Tomorrow (The Devil Walks Beside Me)” and “Guns, Drugs, Money,” Sugar For the Flies is not for the faint hearted. — TE

[Hell’s Kitchen, with Lurid and Zombie Jihad, 9 p.m., $5, Hell’s Kitchen, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

Sunday, Nov. 11

BRAZILIAN CHORO choro famoso

Forget manic Hispanics shaking their pompons to the canned Latin tedium of Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez. Toss that Macarena in the trash can. Lambada? Pas besoin. (Yes, those references date Bobble Tiki.) All Bobble Tiki really needs to have a serious tropical dance party is the gone music of Brazil.

Sunday, the lively, melodic Brazilian jazz-like sounds of Choro Famoso will swirl about smartly at the Varsity Grill in downtown Tacoma. Choro Famoso — Mike Marshall (mandolin), Carlos Olivera (seven-string guitar), Andy Connell (clarinet) and Brian Rice (percussion) — will fire up Brazlian Choro music to benefit Adam’s Square, a Tacoma Rescue Mission transitional housing project for families. Cool. — Bobble Tiki

[Varsity Grill, 7 p.m., $20, 1114 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.347.1394]

Sunday, Nov. 11

BLUES mark whitman

Mark Whitman is not only one of the best guitar players in Western Washington, he’s also righteous nice. While he looks like a badass biker, he has a gentle soul, a quiet presence and an inviting spirit that makes everyone feel welcome.

I have seen Mark perform more times than I can count, and every time I’m blown away by the ease of his playing. It’s as if his guitar is a part of his body. With a combination of blues, R&B and jazz, his tone is rich but not overpowering.

Growing up with Joe Johansen puttering around my parent’s house, I am obviously critical of any guitar player, and I would definitely put Whitman as a close second to the late bluesman.

Whitman recently suffered a reaction to a medication that resulted in stroke-like symptoms and has left him partially paralyzed and unable to perform. To help with the medical expenses, there have been benefit shows throughout the Northwest. The next will be held at the Swiss on Sunday. With many of the area’s premier blues players donating their night to this very worthy cause, it will be more than worth your donation. — TE

[Swiss Pub, 7 p.m., donations, 1904 Jefferson Ave,. Tacoma, 253.572.2821]

Sunday, Nov. 11

PUNK the old haunts

It doesn’t get much more punk rock than Olympia’s The Old Haunts. With a couple of Kill Rock Stars releases under their belt, and a third on the way, the Old Haunts pretty much personify everything that’s good about the genre. Punk is not a new shtick, and evolution hasn’t necessarily been kind to it. While the term punk once embodied a diverse field of sounds, from X to the Ramones, these days punk is something you can put on your credit card and find at any Hot Topic.

The Old Haunts bring you back. The band doesn’t need to speed through three chords in ninety seconds to prove they belong. The Old Haunts wear their allegiances on their sleeve, and even though the band employs a number of sounds, from eerie surf numbers to dirty Americana, to straight-up blues, the Old Haunts are always punk.

The Old Haunts play The Brotherhood in Olympia Sunday, Nov. 11. Drummer Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill) has been added to a lineup that also includes talented vocalist/guitarist Craig Extine and bassist Scott Seckington. Together they’ve been ripping it up. Check out 2006’s Fuel on Fire record on Kill Rock Stars, and prepare for the show. If ever there was a band meant for the Broho, the Old Haunts are that band. — Matt Driscoll

[The Brotherhood Lounge, with Militant Childrens Hour and Borful Tang (both from Oakland), Sunday, Nov. 11, 9 p.m., $5, 119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360.352.4153]

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