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Dirty Bird, Kill Your Ex, and Chris Cain

Volcano scribes tell you where to go

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ROCK dirty bird

A short visit to’s definitions of “dirty bird” tells me that this simple phrase means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. One thing is for sure, it’s a popular band name. A quick Google pulled up six bands with the same or damn similar names, two of which are within a 50-mile radius of Tacoma. You’ve got the Dirty Birds rockabilly band in Seattle, the Dirty Birds rock/southern rock/punk band in Olympia, Tha Dirty Bird hip-hop artist in Massillon Ohio, Dirtybird the techno/minimalist/crunk artist in Chicago, Ill., The Dirty Bird indie rock band in Lawrence, Mo., Dirty Bird blues band in Williamsport, Penn., and Dirty Bird Records in San Francisco. I personally think all of these bands should give that last one a call. Why did the Tacoma band choose this name?

“It explained our attitude toward people, the dirty bird — the middle finger,” explains vocalist Angel McPherson.

According to the band, their influences from rock, blues, jazz, and contemporary music make them a hard band to pigeonhole into any particular genre. Dirty Bird consists of McPherson on vocals, Don Shoben on drums, Yura Vodyanitskiy on guitar and Josh Olesberg bass. McPherson’s vocals could easily be mistaken for Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson. Acoustic southern rock is the closest genre match I could come up with. Either way, this band is headed in the right direction. They have a gig at Jazzbones Friday. They will also appear for the second time on “This Ain’t Karaoke,” a local television show, in May, and in a recurring spot on a live Internet radio show called “The Vic Mendosa Show” at WIRN in June, which you can check out at For more information about the Dirty Bird band from Tacoma, go to: — Angela Jossy

[Jazzbones, Randy Hansen headlines, 9 p.m., $10, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]


ROCK kill your ex

Portland band Kill Your Ex does not condone violence of any kind. The band’s name simply refers to moving on from one’s past. The band is Joey Rubenstein on guitar and lead vocals, Joe Colett on bass and background vocals, Mark Haines on drums and Dan Schafman on lead guitar. These young math wizards employ complex time signatures in their music in order to dazzle the ladies with their science. They also employ lots of homoerotic humor, which is equally effective. It doesn’t hurt that they’re in a full fledged rock band that is taking the Kill Your Ex party across the country starting with Tacoma. Fans of From First to Last or Fall Out Boy will feel right at home with Kill Your Ex. I won’t bore you with labels such as nu-emo or alternative contemporary rock or pop punk. I’ll just give you the link so you can check them out and learn the lyrics, because I know you’ll want to memorize them so you can look cool singing along at the show: — AJ

[Club Impact, with A Chance Without, Denelian, The Real You, 7 p.m., all ages, $8, 754 Pacific Ave., Tacoma,]


BLUES chris cain

As you are probably aware by now, it takes a hell of a lot for a “so called” blues player to impress me.  Sure, some can fake it really well, but without passion, it just ain’t the blues.   Chris Cain not only has the technique down to a master level, but he is fiercely passionate about the music he plays. Akin to Stevie Ray, he puts his heart and soul into every note he bends. From wicked shuffles to slow burning blues, Cain plays with the authenticity of blues masters Freddy, Albert and BB King. 

Cain was drawn to the blues as well as the guitar at the age of eight, and prior to hitting his 18th birthday, young Chris had been playing professionally for years. A well-rounded overall musician, Cain is well versed in jazz improvisation as well as blues, which accounts for his off-the-cuff and seemingly effortless solos. To date he has recorded seven discs. His debut, 1987’s Late Night City Blues, established him as a force, as it received four WC Handy Award nominations.  However, it was his third recording, Can’t Buy a Break, that showed his diversity as he switched between R&B, funk, jazz, jump blues, and Chicago blues without breaking a sweat. — TE

[Jazzbones, 9 p.m., $12-$15, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

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