HELL'S KITCHEN 10TH ANNIVERSARY
>>> Friday, April 27
Tacoma's credibility in the world of local rock can be traced directly to the opening of Hell's Kitchen at Sixth and Proctor. With the well-known, well-respected Flash from Portrait of Poverty at the controls, Hell's Kitchen had enough credo and connections to bring bands such as the Melvins, Mudhoney, Dick Dale and the Supersuckers to town (just to name a few). Since that day in 2002, the Weekly Volcano has applauded and backslapped Hell's Kitchen too many times to count. This weekend, Hell's Kitchen now rockin' downtown Tacoma, celebrates its 10th anniversary, including a fitting bill Friday night featuring Zeke, Lemons, Redneck Girlfriend and South 11th. As far as Tacoma rock history goes it doesn't get much thicker than this. A lot of bands have come and gone since Zeke first plugged in back in 1993, and a lot of their Northwest peers have grown a lot more famous than them. But Zeke just keeps on rockin', punching the old punk clock, record after record, show after badass show. - Weekly Volcano
HELL'S KITCHEN, ZEKE, LEMONS, REDNECK GIRLFRIEND, SOUTH 11TH, 9 P.M., $10 ADVANCE, $12 DOOR, 928 PACIFIC AVE., TACOMA, 253.759.6003
>>> Friday, April 27
For years, now, Colonies have been upholding the indie rock and shoegaze flag in Tacoma. While our city has its fair share of punk, garage, metal and psychedelic rock, indie music has not typically flourished. The success of Colonies (who have now been booked at Seattle's colossal who's who festival, the Capitol Hill Block Party, by the way) lies in their tightly constructed continuation of the legacy of trailblazing and literate indie bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Minus the Bear and the Shins. The band's sound is expansive and large, without sacrificing flourishes of intimate emotions. As their name might suggest, Colonies also have a special interest in issues global and political. This is triumphant indie rock of an order that you don't normally find in Tacoma. - Rev. Adam McKinney
HARMON TAP ROOM UNDERGROUND, WITH SLOWWAVE AND OCEANS ON FIRE, 9 P.M., $5, 204 ST. HELENS AVE, TACOMA, 253.212.2725
GRAB THE BAT KILLER
>>> Saturday, April 28
Grab the Bat Killer is one man who sounds like a lost transmission from a very dark dance floor somewhere in the world, late at night, after booze and other substances have thoroughly infested the exhausted minds of after-hours revelers. The persistent beats are like desperate pleas to keep the party going. It's as if the music itself is fighting for energy. Earlier in the night, perhaps the synths were sunnier, the beats more buoyant, but in the terrible light of nearing early morning, Grab the Bat Killer's electro-dance is rickety and lurching, like a reanimated skeleton who's taken to a nightclub. You know those tired rays of sun that penetrate a dim bar, illuminating bits of dust that insistently flutter in the air? That's Grab the Bat Killer. - Rev. AM
LE VOYEUR, WITH MOTHRIDER, 10 P.M., NO COVER, 404 E. FOURTH AVE., OLYMPIA, 360.943.5710
>>> Saturday, April 28
Michelle Shocked was a nomadic activist of Mormon/atheist parentage who fell into music along the way. And it's her travels that color her folk-rock with dimension and wisdom. Initially discovered in 1986 while singing by a campfire in Kerrville, Texas, by a Johnny-on-the-spot record producer with a Walkman, Shocked became a sensation in Europe before she was even aware of it. Shocked's music is folk in content, punk in ideal and fascinating in its application.
In 2010, Shocked launched Roadworks, a five-year touring project that curates audience's favorite songs while developing new, unreleased material, which brings her to the Open Space for Arts & Community on Vashon Island with multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Cabeza deVaca. According to hype, "Shocked will then take requests, likely including old favorites such as ‘Anchorage,' ‘Memories of East Texas,' ‘Come a Long Way.' Then the duo will perform new songs from the as-yet-unrecorded Indelible Women album, including ‘Algun Dia' (Frida Kahlo), ‘Take Your Time' (Billie Holiday,) and ‘I Will Be Loved' (Marilyn Monroe), and a few new compositions inspired by activism with Occupy Fights Foreclosures. Shocked's 2012 ‘Roccupy' theme asserts that ‘Art is Occupation' and also a critical element in the development of democratic movements. She is actively engaged as a member of Occupy Fights Foreclosures www.occupyfightsforeclosures.org."
And damned, if she doesn't sing so pretty. - WV
OPEN SPACE FOR ARTS & COMMUNITY, SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 7 P.M., $23-$28 AT BROWNPAPERTICKETS.COM, 18870 103RD AVE. SW, VASHON ISLAND, 206.408.7241