If King Louie, the grizzly one-man-band-and-train-wreck, can't get you giggling and hoofing along with his oddball ditties about propane, hitchhiking, nuclear crucifixions, stinky cabbage, stinkier feet, and "wampus," perhaps the banjo duo Pineapple Princess can get a rise out of you with their luau renditions of classics by the Ramones and Kiss. If not, you suck. King Louie and Pineapple Princess support the Groovie Ghoulies on Thursday, May 30, at the Justice League, with the Triggers opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8; call 289-2038.
If Malcolm McLaren still mattered, he'd be drooling over Violet Discord, three beguiling punkettes who summon all the bright, bouncy, snotty sass of Bow Wow Wow and much of the cathartic irreverence of X, without the need of a single boy. Such self-sufficiency might make McLaren run for the nearest pub -- if he hadn't already been trapped by the first two songs on VD's debut, American and Hot: "Mean," a sprightly anthem about grade-school viciousness and in-crowd psychology, and "MIQ," a throbbing masochistic request christened by pristine three-part harmonies and four thick chords. Nearly every Violet Discord song -- from "Queer Boy" to "Piece O Meat" to "Take It" to the surprising banjo-laced "Blister Finger" -- involves some pre-pubescent pettiness and/or complicated sexual dynamics, and VD possesses the perfect combination of chirpy exuberance, musical acuity, and punk rock humor to capture and conquer both. In grand, goofy style, the band celebrates the release of its CD with free food, hula hooping go-go dancers, immoral puppets, fire-eating backup singers, rock 'n' roller derby girls, and eXtreme Elvis on Friday, May 31, at the CW Saloon, with Venus Bleeding and the Solvents opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6-7; call 974-1585.
Jill Sharpe's documentary Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture explores the delight and impact of pranksters and artists who challenge consumer society by appropriating and manipulating popular advertising images. From the large-scale defiance of our very own Billboard Liberation Front to the protests of the Church of Stop Shopping to the legalese of the Constitution and the rights of paying advertisers, Sharpe looks at the phenomenon from all angles, with delightful bias. Culture Jam screens Friday through Thursday, March 31-June 6, at the Roxie Cinema (3117 16th St. at Valencia). Admission is $7; call 863-1087.
The Lack has been disparaged for sonic bedlam -- both by critics and by club owners whose rooms have been rattled by the subsonic frequencies the band unleashes -- but by combining the chaotic abrasion of noise artists with the lyrical composition and rhythmic volatility of electro artists this Ohio group has created music that's truly industrial in form and function. At once poetic, hypnotic, orchestral, savage, hideous, and impenetrable, the outfit's compositions command emotion, even if you try to withhold it. The Lack arrives with two full drum sets and a pile of electronics on Saturday, June 1, at the Tempest Bar at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 495-1863. Another barrage comes Sunday, June 2, at Talk of the Town in Oakland, supporting Nightmare Syndicate at 10 p.m. Tickets are $6; call (510) 534-8255.