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Voxxy Vallejo, Gail Pettis and others

Volcano music scribes tell you where to go

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Friday, Feb. 1

VARIETY benefit for lewis county flood victims

Holy schnieckies! Nine bands, one night, great cause and all for a five buck donation as the 4th Ave Tavern will play host to a benefit for Centralia and Chehalis flood victims. Looks like a doosey, too — with a diverse lineup. The night will begin with the acoustic sound of Back Porch Swing, then some country with the Moss Brothers and finally, some teeth-grinding rock with Listen Louder, Big Fat Alice, Mojo Filta, Moms Rocket, Jupiter Crash, and Numbered Days. So pick your poison and show up when your favorite bands will hit the stage.

Moms Rocket is the band who gave us the heads-up on this gig, so I’ll lean a little more their way. The Olympia-based quartet of Tom Roney (vocals), Jason Celestine (guitar), Jeff Meschke (drums) and Randy Keller (bass) will go on at the latter part of the evening as they rock with an attitude. With basic rock ’n’ roll chord structures, hard crashing rhythms and plenty of volume, Moms Rocket are an in-your-face kind of band. With just a little twang, they are a bit like Lynyrd Skynyrd on steroids. — Tony Engelhart

[4th Ave Tavern, 6:30 p.m., $5, 210 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia, 360.786.1444]

Saturday, Feb. 2

BLUES ROCK the fat tones

I’m always a bit skeptical of white guys playing blues despite my father’s caucasian ethnicity, but I am equally always surprised when they get it right. Comparable to Double Trouble, this band’s name pretty much says it all as The Fat Tones employ richness to every note they play. The trio of Bobby Patterson (guitar and vocals), Bob Ehrgott (bass and vocals), Mike Hays (drums and vocals), are not straight blues by any stretch of the imagination. Incorporating funk, Southern fried R&B, and straight ahead rock, the Spokane unit has an arsenal of musical weapons to choose from.

Their grooves drive as smooth as a Cadillac and as fast as a Porsche. The guitar licks Patterson lays down vary from slow and easy to sharp and nasty, while the rhythm section supplies some of the steadiest beats around. While they harmonize as well the Doobie Brothers in 1977, they tend to perform a lot of instrumentals. The group has offered up three discs in the past four years. Their latest venture, Fifty Bucks and Free Beer, is sheer blues/rock heaven and a smoker from beginning to end. It’s no wonder these dudes have been praised by Inland Empire Blues Society with seven awards. — TE

[Jazzbones, with James Howlett Band, 8:45 p.m., $10, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.369.9169]

Saturday, Feb. 2

ROCK voxxy vallejo

I took in the Angela Jossy and Sammy Barrett show at Jazzbones last Sunday, and by chance learned some interesting information via the time honored journalistic skill of eavesdropping. (For the record, everything I heard was later confirmed via the Internet.) Outside smoking, like I frequently do at Jazzbones, I listened to the two members of Voxxy Vallejo (guitarist Gene Vallejo and singer Voxxy) telling an interested acquaintance about the video their band will be shooting this Saturday, Feb. 2 at Bob’s Java Jive. Apparently it will be the band’s first, and they’re both very excited.

You heard it here first.

Voxxy Vallejo are few in numbers, but formidable in power. On stage it’s just the two of them — the blues heavy licks of Vallejo spliced with the awe factor of Voxxy’s vocals — but that’s more than enough. Voxxy Vallejo have the ability to make you forget it’s just the two of them, especially on record where the multi-instrumentalism of Vallejo makes their sound complete. Not that it will be incomplete at Bob’s Java Jive. There’ll be more than enough Voxxy Vallejo to go around.

Deborah Page will open the show Saturday at Bob’s Java Jive, and after Voxxy Vallejo plays a set and shoots their video, Kurt Lindsay will finish things off. It’s an impressive bill and a show that should be more than worth the three buck cover. Plus, you’ve got a chance to be in Voxxy Vallejo’s music video. What more could you want? — Matt Driscoll

[Bob’s Java Jive, 8 p.m., $3, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.475.9843]

LINK: Photos from the Voxxy Vallejo show.


Saturday, Feb. 2

ROCK the centre cannot hold

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

These are the words of William Butler Yeats, from his poem, The Second Coming, published in 1921. Whether Yeats’ words are the inspiration for The Centre Cannot Hold (the band) who will play Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday, I can’t say for certain. However, having interacted with plenty of “intellectuals” and “college students who go to class” in my time, I’m inclined to think it’s no coincidence. I find people rarely make graduate-level literary references by accident.

To go along with the band’s presumed literary prowess, The Centre Cannot Hold has a sound obviously above the relative GED rock of many of their contemporaries. Walking a line in tune with a few of their apparent influences, At The Drive-In and Seattle’s These Arms are Snakes most notably, The Centre Cannot Hold have done their homework. Their live show and limited recording work, which can be sampled at, are proof of this. Employing distinctive drum beats and progressive indie guitar work, along with the pained and troubled vocals kids in black go crazy for these days, The Centre Cannot Hold should definitely be on your radar. If they’re not yet, their show at Hell’s Kitchen this Saturday is your chance.

The Centre Cannot Hold may be smarter than you, but don’t hold that against them. It’s not their fault.  — MD

[Hell’s Kitchen, with Death First, Destruction Island, and Return of the Bison, 5 p.m., all ages, $7, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

Sunday, Feb. 3

JAZZ gail pettis

Great Jazz vocalists are born with an extraordinary gift that can’t be taught; it’s a part of their makeup. Diana Krall aside, there aren’t too many modern/authentic jazz singers who have really impressed me as much as innovators like Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald. When I listen to jazz, I listen to jazz; not crossover, not pop-jazz, and not contemporary jazz, but the real stuff that was cut before I was born.

Pettis understands jazz and sings as an accompaniment with her fellow musicians. In other words, she’s not an overbearing singer who craves all the attention. Her debut CD, May I Come In, is proof positive of her talent. With a mix of standards, originals and lost treasures, it nabbed a nomination for Best NW CD of the Year in 2007 from Earshot Gold Ears Awards. While it fell short, Pettis was awarded NW Vocalist of the Year. — TE

[Dockside Bistro, 6 p.m., no cover, 501 Columbia St. N. Olympia, 360.956.1928]

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