For the first time in nearly two years, the Seemen -- a 40-person collective obsessed with maniacal machinery and mechanical mayhem -- present a performance in the Bay Area. Unlike Survival Research Laboratories, whose large-scale exploding monsters of iron and steel are better left in the hands of "professionals," the Seemen invite volunteers to climb inside and operate their machines. That is not to say you are safely out of harm's way, however. With names like The Shark Cage, Fire Shower, Bicycle-Powered Sisyphus, and Born Again Booth, protective footwear is suggested at the very least. The Seemen present "Machines for Removing Desire" at SPACE on Friday and Saturday, June 18-19, at 10 p.m. Tickets are $7-10; call 263-0953 for directions.
Led by the crisp, refreshing voice of one-time jazz singer Linda Sharp, Atlanta's Floraline found its way onto the aptly named Minty Fresh label, which specializes in shivery taste-sensations from Sweden like the Cardigans, Melony, Komeda, and Doktor Kosmos. Like fine Swedish furniture and Alpine slopes, Floraline's lines are clean, light, and airy, with delicate symmetry and cool, revealing surfaces. Floraline supports Julie Plug at Bottom of the Hill on Saturday, June 19, with Sissybar opening at 10 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 621-4455.
If you couldn't make it all the way to Libertaria, but the idea of hard rock without walls gets your blood pumping, might I suggest Tidal Wave II, an outdoor metal festival held in a picturesque bayside location near the Ferry Building. When the city OK'd this Sunday brunch-time music permit, it probably wasn't the dulcet sounds of Old Grandad, Vile, the Sick, Sons of Chaos, Exhumed, Psyopheria, and Sangre Amado that came to mind, but to the leather-bound and acrimonious, this is like church service. Tidal Wave II will be held on Sunday, June 20, at Market and Steuart at noon. Admission is free.
Still haven't ruptured your tympanic membrane? For sheer aural aggression and machinelike pragmatism, there's nothing quite like a Teutonic industrial band. Following in the nimble footsteps of great German noise-makers like EinstYrzende Neubauten, Rammstein might sound like a tank in a china shop, but behind Till Lindermann's Hadean snarl lie lyrics as delicate as a blushing girl: "Protect one another from heartache/ For although it may be many years/ It will seem to have passed in minutes." Of course, who's going to pay attention to lyrics when the man singing is engulfed in flames? During Rammstein's last tour, Lindermann broke fluorescent lights across his chest, sodomized his keyboard player with a flamethrower phallus, whipped himself in the face with a cat-o'-nine-tails, and lit himself on fire. He said he was bored. This time, Rammstein promises not to bore you at Maritime Hall on Sunday, June 20, with Soulfly and Mindless Indulgence opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25; call 974-0634.
Recognized mainly for his session work on no less than 200 formidable albums with everyone from Dolly Parton to Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Carlene Carter, Warren Zevon, Neil Sedaka, and Ry Cooder, David Lindley would be better recognized as one of the early fathers of "world music" as it's known in the Western Hemisphere. Before David Byrne had located Cape Verde in an atlas, Lindley was playing Hawaiian lap steel, Turkish saz and chumbus, Middle Eastern oud, and Irish bouzouki. In 1991, he and Henry Kaiser traveled to Madagascar, where they recorded six albums of indigenous music that garnered a Grammy nomination, but, more importantly, venerated the Malagasy musicians with whom they worked. For nearly a decade, Lindley has toured with a single percussionist -- previously a formidable Jordanian named Hani Naser and more recently Wally Ingram, touring percussionist for Blues Traveler, Sheryl Crow, and Jackson Brown. The casual mobility of a duo allows Lindley to travel the world cheaply, continuing his never-ending musical education; onstage it allows room for his garish pants, buoyant wit, and very large pile of necessary accouterments. David Lindley performs at the Great American Music Hall on Tuesday, June 22, with Danny Pearson of Clodhopper opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16.50; call 885-0750.
-- Silke Tudor