Not all musical supergroups pass muster. Velvet Revolver is a bit shriveled and disheveled, Zwan couldn't even get its engine started, and the New Pornographers are simply too polite. Thank heavens for Banyan , an all-star lineup of talented punk and alternative rock heroes whose skills combine to form a Voltron-like supergroup that explores the messy intersection among punk, rock, and free jazz. Banyan was first established in 1997 by drummer Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose), guitar god Nels Cline (Nels Cline Singers), and keyboardist Money Mark (Beastie Boys). The latter has departed, but trumpet player Willie Waldman as well as "action painter" Norton Wisdom have been added to bolster what is now predominantly a live project (check out the recently released Live at Perkins' Palace). Banyan invents raucous, free-form instrumental jams at 12 Galaxies on Saturday, Jan. 8; call 970-9777 or visit www.12galaxies.com for more info.
-- Tamara Palmer