Guitar Wolf

Also: Black Mountain and Oneida


Chop Suey at 9 p.m.

Fri., March 11. $8 adv.

Shticky from the get-go, Japan's Guitar Wolf have been known to insist that they're all actually part wolf, that they have no musical skills (but make up for it with good looks, guts, and high action), and that 2000's Wild Zero wasn't a zombies-and-flying-saucersploitation flick, but a documentary. A cartoon based on the three-piece is inevitable. No, really—the heavily black-leathered punks are currently negotiating with the Cartoon Network. (Now there's a meeting I wouldn't mind sitting in on.) Can you think of a better yin to the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show's yang? Especially given that the Guitar Wolf tribute album, I Love Guitar Wolf Very Much (the U.S. version will be released in April by Narnack) features—along with Lightening Bolt and J. Mascis—Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura? Then again, as much sense as it makes to create American anime out of some super-hot, super-sexy Kawasaki-riding rawk dudes from Tokyo, aren't Guitar Wolf's famously colossal live shows cartoonish enough? Yes, but there's no subtly in the "Jet Generation." Forget what you hate about 19-year-old garage rockers. Forget that you don't even really like rock and roll. Forget that you stopped watching cartoons back when you stopped sleeping in footed pajamas. Guitar Wolf, whose 1993 debut predates the garage revival, aren't really a rock band, and they won't really be properly captured in animated cells. But when your ears are bleeding and Seiji has jumped from the stage for the 11th time and he hasn't even broken a sweat, you'll get it. LAURA CASSIDY


Crocodile Cafe at 8 p.m.

Sun., March 13. $8 adv.

Like The Monkees, Black Mountain's self- titled debut album on Jagjaguwar starts with a manifesto. "Modern Music," plump with rock sax and white-souled girl coos, has Stephen McBean singing with blank-generation sangfroid, "1-2-3/Another pop explosion!/1-2-3/Another hit recording!" Then, lest the irony go unnoticed, he spits, "We can't stand/Your modern music/We feel afflicted." The Vancouver band's disdain for modernity grows more evident as the record proceeds, and thankfully, we're not talking about a fondness for the tepid-Brit-disco-rehash-fashion-forward 4/4 that reigns supreme these days. Strummy, urgent psyche workouts give way to heavy '70s stomp. At times, the album sounds like Dylan on the Rolling Thunder tour—except the Velvet Underground rather than The Band are backing him up. Composed mainly of members of barely-known-outside-the-Pacific-Northwest-punk-ne'er-do-wells Jerk With a Bomb, the five-piece generally keep their scrappy roots to themselves and stick with a brooding rock formalism usually ascribed to bar bands. Without reading the bio, you'd never be the wiser that Black Mountain (or their porn-rock alter ego, Pink Mountain) are really a gang of hirsute politico-punks with tattooed fists. The band's secret weapon, and only consistently beardless member, Amber Webber (often caught playing Michael McDonald to McBean's Donald Fagen), has a velvety voice steeped in a haggard quiver that suggests she's seen the other side and is worn out by this mortal coil. Recalling the Patti Smith Group's least lucid moments, she cuts through the righteous sludgery like an arc welder. McBean and Webber's dueting is seamless, notably on the bleak war narrative and album closer "Faulty Times," on which their voices—sweet, weary, and raw—rise over the shambling solos and trilling Hammond organ. "'Cause nobody likes/your fucked-up plans/of shooting up some foreign land," they sing, etching modern sentiments on their decidedly unmodern



Crocodile Cafe at 8 p.m.

Sun., March 13. $8 adv.

In the Brooklyn School of Rock, Oneida are fifth-year seniors. Sure, they are a little special, but as fellow Brooklynites went supernova (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, the Rapture), the mighty trio of Kid Millions, Hanoi Jane, and Fat Bobby were held back yet again. Even their strongest album to date, last year's Secret Wars, couldn't spring them to the next level. It didn't seem to matter that they had been toiling at it the longest in shop class (i.e., in the loud loft parties and cramped bars of the industrial wasteland), honing their take on psychedelic rock so as to merge Devo's jittery sugar rush with a scratched-up Slayer CD. Creating a highly energetic and hypnotic mechanized minimalism, Oneida make quaffed cans of PBR seem psychoactive in live, sweaty settings. Anticipating their seventh album, The Wedding, the peculiarly punctuated Nice./Splittin' Peaches EP (Ace Fu) fine-tunes the band's strengths. "Summerland" is a catchy dinosaur stomp, with Charles Waters (from William Parker's Baby Huey Orchestra) gusting out a sax solo that's less jazz than the type of sloppy squawk audible on the Butthole Surfers' PCPPEP. The brief pop songs in the middle hit like the Flaming Lips circa Hit to Death in the Future Head, but serve as mere appetizer for closer "Hakuna Matata." Fourteen-plus minutes of non–Lion King mesmerism, Oneida's mumbled mantras and post-dub sound-slush are propelled by guest Fred Wallace's banjo, which provides a plucky chug that furthers the trepanning tom-tom thud, ultimately levitating the band's holy modal war whoops up another plane. ANDY BETA

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