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Get your improvisational noise on with the "Jyrk Jamboree"; get your Mexicali rock on with Los Lobos 

Wednesday, Dec 14 2005
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For fans of psychedelically experimental sound, the "Jyrk Jamboree," which hits the Hemlock Tavern on Wednesday, Dec. 14, looks to be an intriguing event. This traveling caravan of indie-noise freaks from the Bay Area and Portland includes performances by four outfits: the Yellow Swans, Axolotl featuring Inca Ore, God, and World (a spinoff of one of the Northwest's premier underground units, Jackie-O Motherfucker). Each of these groups is capable of constructing some gloriously droning noise by hot-wiring electronics and by playing traditional musical instrumentation in some very nontraditional ways. But they are also prone to technical difficulties and off nights, because that's the sink-or-swim nature of live improvised music. Having said that, I'm anticipating the collaboration between San Francisco's Axolotl (aka Karl Bauer) and Portland's Inca Ore (aka Eva Saelens). It promises to be a hypnotic fusion of Bauer's statically charged violin and treated vocals and Saelens' layered vocal meditations, which gracefully oscillate between an angelic wail and the collective purr of all your household appliances. I'm betting the farm that these two will be quite magical together; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info.-- Justin F. Farrar


One of the most distinctive and eclectic American rock outfits to emerge during the '80s, Los Lobos has managed to stay close to its roots as an East L.A. bar band while constantly confounding industry expectations to follow its own muse. The success of the group's 1987 soundtrack of Ritchie Valens covers for La Bamba might have led more commercially minded musicians to stick with stripped-down retro rock. But Los Lobos followed that platinum album with a collection of acoustic norteño folk songs. Gritty R&B, blues, and traditional Mexican music have always been cornerstones for principal songwriters Dave Hidalgo, Louie Perez, and Cesar Rosas, but in the '90s the band comfortably wrapped its songs in the electronic textures of producers Tchad Blake and Mitchell Froom for three of its most experimental and acclaimed efforts. When it recorded 2004's The Ride to spotlight collaborations with guest musicians, Los Lobos steered clear of ubiquitous, chart-topping hacks like Wyclef Jean and Rob Thomas to work with soul legend Bobby Womack, Mexican indie-rockers Café Tacuba, and iconoclastic songwriters Elvis Costello and Tom Waits. The seasoned act's annual marathon blowouts at the Fillmore never fail to ignite the stage, with this week's dates -- Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16-17 -- set to include a live rendition of the seminal album Kiko in its entirety; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info. -- Dave Pehling


Trash culture is all about shtick. Think of the Jerry Springer formula: Bring together some very close family members for a public face-off, and in no time harsh words will be exchanged, fists will fly, and (on a good day) skanky mamas will brazenly bare all. North Carolinabred Southern Culture on the Skids is an indie-rock variation on Springer's House of Fun. In lieu of cussing and cursing, this rootsy rock 'n' roll trio (with inclinations toward surf, rockabilly, and swamp blues-boogie) sings evocative numbers about its neighbors' trailer-park obsessions: hot cars, dirty sex, hard drinkin', and greasy eatin'. Rather than instigating messy brawls, guitarist Reverend Rick Miller prefers to stir up a congregation by luring a gang of go-go girls up onto the stage to launch fried chicken into the grasping paws of the crowd. Talk about a hoedown! And speaking of girls: Cherry-picked from among the big-haired hotties in the club, they're not shy about flashing a bit of skin and swinging their hips under the spotlight, which tends to give old man Miller a terrible sweat. It's a sight to behold. Go see for yourself when Southern Culture on the Skids plays on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Slim's; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com for more info.-- Sam Prestianni

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