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Angelina Jolie's ex, Mr. Billy Bob Thornton, shifts from the big screen to Slim's stage

Wednesday, Aug 29 2007

It wasn't until Chromatics ringleader Adam Miller split with the band's other founding members that he began mastering a different form of popular music. He kept the name for himself, and eventually ditched the unapologetic basement no-wave of the band's early days for a stripped-down, downright dour disco mutation aesthetic. Either way, the man writes melodies that stir crowds to the dance floor. Take, for example, the ice-cold vocals and staccato guitar tingle of "In the City," one of the outfit's latest tracks. It's just one of the many reasons to check out the Italians Do It Better compilation, which also features the latest from equally adept Northwest dance-party constructors Glass Candy. Chromatics perform on Thursday, Aug. 30, at Rickshaw Stop at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 before 10:30 p.m.,$8 after; call 861-2011 or visit for more info. — Grant Brissey

Sid Vicious may stand as the face of fucked-up punk nihilism, but no figure in the genre's history better embodies its DIY ethic and righteous idealism than the late Joe Strummer. As the principal songwriter and political conscience of the Clash, Strummer brought a passion to music-making that continues to inspire players the world over. The inaugural edition of an event that aims to be an annual celebration of Strummer's work, "Endless Strummer" brings together a host of talent: Local rockers Le Plebe, the Odd Numbers, and the Hooks share the stage with L.A. tribute band the Clash City Rockers and Bauhaus/Love and Rockets mainstay David J. They'll pay homage to the legend while raising funds for his estate's charitable music foundation, Strummerville. The heartfelt salute of "Endless Strummer" occurs on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $10; call 626-4455 or visit for more info. — Dave Pehling

"I am not your fucking monkey," Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe (in)famously snarled near the end of a mostly abortive Atlanta show in 2005. A local reviewer then pegged him by saying that if nothing else, Newcombe was certainly the monkey on his own back. As seen in the 2004 documentary DiG!, Newcombe was micromanaging and condescending, but he also happened to be one hell of a tunesmith, having developed from John Cale-informed drone poems to jangle-drenched poetic drones. Would snotty swells and Eastern-tinged, drum-loop-dappled amalgamates be as accepted on the indie circuit had it not been for Newcombe and company? Sure, for many the freak show is the show; but if Brian Jonestown Massacre pulls it together for even one exploratory jam during this show, then you might just go ape for more than the backstory. Brian Jonestown Massacre performs on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 3-4, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $20; call 771-1422 or visit for more info. — Tony Ware

It's easy to assume that actor/director Billy Bob Thornton is just another ego-fueled Hollywood schmo dabbling in music. Turns out the guy has been playing drums since age 12, he was in several Arkansas bands from high school to pre-H'wood, and he's released four albums since 2001. Thornton's 10-miles-of-bad-road singing goes well with his songs, some of which echo characters he's played on the big screen — the simple and weary types riding on life's lost highway. Plus, the singer isn't swamped by famous cohorts — the only "name" helping out on his latest, Beautiful Door, is Graham Nash [!] on backing vocals. Billy Bob and his boys appear Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Slim's at 8 p.m. Admission is $25; call 255-0333 or visit for more info. — Mark Keresman


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