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Face melting acoustic rock

I got hitched and the Senate visits Jazzbones Saturday — happy days!

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Last Saturday marked a monumental day in this writer’s life.

In a move I’d envisioned many times over the last year, I opened my MySpace account, clicked on “edit profile,” and with a single tear of joy dripping from each of my bloodshot eyes, I calmly made a mouse click that forever changed my life.


Yes, ladies and gentleman, it’s true. My days of marathon Madden tournaments on the Playstation with my forever adolescent buddies are over. No longer will I occasionally bag a drunk chick on the strength of my Weekly Volcano mug shot.

It’s time for a new chapter. It’s time for responsibility and grownup s***. It’s time for me to start taking things seriously and be a productive member of society.

However, strangely enough, the occasion that marked the start of this new chapter — my marriage — was basically a three-day binge of booze, breakfast in bed and wedding cake. There was no time for being grown-up, and there was certainly no time for serious work on this week’s Rock Rhetoric.

I guess what I’m getting at here is simple — I’m ready to accept being more responsible than I have been in the past, and ready to start taking my life (and my job) more seriously. But that stuff’s going to have to start next week. For one more column, at least, I’ll be relying on wit and sarcasm like usual.

While most of the talk I hear about Jazzbones lately centers around their Monday Rockaroke, and the 30-some bottles of Jagermeister that fuels it, on Saturday, April 28, the Senate will hit “the Boneyard” for a show with Left Hand Smoke and Friday Mile. I’ve heard from friends and family (my cocktail waitress sister), that the Senate puts on one hell of a live show. In fact, Bobble Tiki was in the middle of telling me just how “must see” the band is at my wedding, right before he passed out in the punch bowl.

So I have good reason to believe there’s something to it. Too many mouths have opened in favor of the Senate for it not to be, at least partially, true.

The Senate is a confident bunch. Search “the Senate band” on Google, and there’s the band’s Web site (strangely named, after one of the band’s two guitarists and singers), proclaiming — “the Senate — Face Melting Acoustic Rock.”

Before conducting the search, I was unaware that acoustic rock was capable of melting faces.

You learn something every day.

The Senate celebrated its 2nd anniversary in February, and to date, has released one EP and a single. The guys have built the majority of their fan base on energy-injected live sets and their uniqueness. The Senate employs and deploys two guitarists and a standup bassist — all acoustic. It’s not your usual setup, and the result is not your average band. The Senate’s guitarists, Nick Drummond and Oliver Franklin, both sing, as does the band’s bassist, Andrew Pulkrabek (who is also credited with beatboxing). Together, the three senators lay down electricity-free jams, diverse in inspiration, and certainly not lacking in liveliness. They list influences from D’gary to Sabbath, and the strangely oomph-filled acoustic racket they’ve honed lives up to it.

Basically, these guys must be seen to be fully comprehended. Lucky for you they’re playing Jazzbones.

"They\'re amazing, and really entertaining. A lot of their songs are a fusion of genres," said Jazzbones General Manager Jennifer Johsnon, who booked the Senate for Saturday\'s show.

"To me, they\'re what live music is suppossed to be. They\'re just a great live show."

If you’re not already intrigued, the bios of the three senators (available at, should be enough to push you over the edge.

Drummond lists his turn-ons as mutual aid and free association. His only turnoff is listed as fascism. In his opinion, the coolest person ever is Noam Chomsky, and his spirit animal is a giraffe.

Mix those answers and beliefs with Pulkrabek’s, whose turn-ons are black eyeliner, ripped jeans and insatiable curiosity. His only turnoff is, no joke, poor spelling. In Pulkrabek’s opinion, the coolest person ever is PT Barnum. And, of course, his spirit animal is a ferret.

It’s an odd bouquet, the Senate, and it only gets more varied when you factor in Franklin. His spirit animal is a wolf, and he thinks the coolest person ever is Pete Best. His turn-ons are “Openmindedness and flexibility,” and his turnoffs are “untempered gravitas.”

It’s enough to make you wonder how these guys gel.

Hmmm? A ferret, a giraffe, and a wolf.  I smell a new Disney “Homeward Bound” movie, only with some face melting thrown in for good measure.

But back to what’s important. Answering how the Senate mixes so many influences into a cohesive and definitive statement would take far more time and space than I have left this week. But it is safe to say seeing the Senate yourself, in person at Jazzbones on Saturday, will be far more descriptive than any words I could offer. With Left Hand Smoke and Friday Mile on the bill, it’s a no-lose proposition — one you’ll kick yourself for missing.

Trust me.

The Senate

With: Left Hand Smoke and Friday Mile

When: Saturday. April 28, 9 p.m., all ages

Where: Jazzbones, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396. 9169

Cost: $8 advance, $10 door

Matt’s It List

Mistress and the Misters

Perhaps the best show this week that you haven’t heard about yet — not because you’re out of the loop, but because Olympia is secretive sometimes — is the Mistress and the Misters show going off at Le Voyeur on Saturday, April 28.

There’s nothing shocking or out of the ordinary about Mistress and the Misters (Matm), but that’s not to say this Spokane band can’t easily get a whole room of sweaty hipsters to break into frantic convulsions of rock ‘n’ groove. They most certainly can. Matm is rough, but rough in all the right places — and they wield a nasty right hook of ADHD garage riffs.

Mistress and the Misters, Saturday at Le Voyeur.

Now you know.

[Le Voyeur, with Boom Chicken and The Beautiful Boys, Saturday, April 28, 10 p.m., no cover, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.5710]

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