Death By Mixtape

Punks jump up to get beat down?

It's one thing when Ja Rule devotes an unhealthy allowance of his new record to bloodlust for arch-nemesis Curtis "Two Quarters" Jackson (that's Fitty Cent for you no-KUBE-listening muthafuckas out there), and it's another thing when Louis Farrakhan "intervenes" with Ja on an MTV- televised sit-down in an effort to extricate the beleaguered hip-hop community from Pac vs. Biggie 2: The Not Remotely as Electric Boogaloo. Problem is, both instances are just that: things. We're numb to the spectacle of millionaire MCs desperately straining to keep it street. Ja and 50 have reportedly already come to blows over their beef in Atlanta and New York, making Ja's on-wax perpetuation even more ho-hum. It's a cheap distraction at best, a modern-day cockfightsuccessful, gifted, black men goaded into senselessly tearing one another's heads offat worst.

Rock-and-roll feudsand their rare, complementary physical altercationsare even more frivolous, if not laughable. At least, they were until last Saturday, when previously thought-to-be-docile Edward Scissorhands doppelgänger Jack White allegedly beat the holy hell out of Von Bondies vocalist/guitarist Jason Stollsteimer at Detroit's Magic Stick nightclub. The expression "holy hell" is not being employed lightly here. See for yourself at, but be warned: it makes Fight Club look like Pokémon.

I mean, who inflicted this beatdown, Jack "I Can Tell We're Gonna Be Friends" White or Jack "Heeeeeere's Johnny" Torrance? First the Darkness seal the devilish deal between indie-rock and glam-metal, then Mr. Zellweger returns us to the halcyon days when Vince Neil nuked Izzy Stradlin for kicking his wife in the stomach. All of a sudden, we've got to take rockers seriously as pugilists again. So a new burning question plagues our formerly safe, predictable winter nights: How would our favorite Pacific NW artists fare if a certain red and white-clad blues man came storming through the bar like a seven nation army?

CARISSA'S WEIRD. Not a band any more and never a particularly intimidating one, duh, but Jenn Ghetto always looks like she's two beers and a dirty look away from taking somebody's face off. Plus, she has a metal band. Plus, her last name is Ghetto.

AKIMBO. White boys with Afros are generally pushoversI wouldn't take the Mars Volta over any two Chili Peppers, for example but this hardcore trio's drummer Nat Damm is a formidable exception, especially teamed with his rabid, rottweiler-lookin' bandmates.

LE TIGRE. They still kinda count as local, even though Kathleen Hanna has long since relocated to N.Y.C. Anyway, don't we all secretly pine for a rematch with Courtney? It would be the greatest impossible triumph of clear-cut good over clear-cut evil since Balboa took down Drago in Rocky IV.

PEARL JAM. Don't these dudes bro down with NBA stars and shit? Isn't Jeff Ament, like, 7 feet tall? Seems like they're into everything Zen these days, but I bet around the time Ten was just getting rolling, they got plenty of practice "dealing with" unruly, heroin-tracked crowd-surfers.

MINUS THE BEAR. Lovers, not fighters. Probably more interested in coordinating black fitted T-shirts than black eyes.

DAVE BAZAN (PEDRO THE LION)/DAMIEN JURADO. Soulful, bright, unassuming singer-songwriter types who happen to be burly. Tough call. Something tells me these guys don't turn the other cheek when/if someone messes with their livelihood. We'll go Vegas on this one: no line.

SLEATER-KINNEY. Maybe traditional fisticuffs aren't their thing, but Janet Weiss looks like she could carry out a pretty efficient knifing.

PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The bald singer dude tests new songs for an audience of stuffed animals in his bedroom. Not touching that. Not in this lifetime.

KEVIN MARTIN AND THE HIWATTS. Thank God Weekly Notable Shows standards dictate that I usually don't have a byline when I rip on Candlebox's ex-frontman. [He means "we," folks. "We."Notable Shows Ed.] He has worn his hat backward in public. Never annoy a guy who wears his hat backward, unless of course, you do as well.

HOT HOT HEAT. Short of a spat stemming from that time-honored "do you tip the owner of the salon or don't you" debate, I don't see them engaging in any brawls any time soon, at least not successfully.

VELLS. Uh, they wear scarves.

AUDIOSLAVE. Chris Cornell is the singer, so let's pretend these dorks are a Seattle band, just for the sake of this thread. If he teamed up with the bassistyou know, the guy with the all-black tat sleevesin a steel-cage match against everyone else on this list, well, let's just say Seattle wouldn't have much of a scene a half-hour later.

ROCKY VOTOLATO/JOHN PETTIBONE (HIMSA)/ ANY EX-MURDER CITY DEVIL. If you starred in The Edge of Quarrela classic, locally filmed melodrama pitting straightedge and punk gangs against one another, Quadrophenia-styleyou have at least a fleeting affection for beating ass. Avoid at all costs. Even you, Ja.

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