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Great Night Out

As we soak up this early summer in the City, here is your first your bi-weekly six-pack of hits for you to choose from for a great night out. I'll help you find that elusive show, the one where you realize you are at the right place at the right time, seeing the right band. So where to begin, the king - Alice in Wonderland - once said one can "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." The king is dead but not forgotten.

Here are the suggested paths these weeks: 1. The 80s (ever notice how many 80s events go here in SF, makes me wonder...) and 2. Country, I never thought I would ever suggest a country pick but here are two classics that you can't let go by.

The 80s Track:

1. March 20th, Saturday: Fishbone
@ The Independent
With The Expendables and El Jefe
time: Doors 8pm / Show 9pm
admission: $16

Time for Fishbone in your Face!! Remember when "Party at Ground Zero" only wanted to make you move? Then there's the classic "Bonin' in the Boneyard" and "Freddies Dead". With Fishbone now out on the road supporting a greatest hits package, this is the time and the venue to check out their funky-ska alterna-rock hybrid fusion sound.

2. March 21st, Sunday: Henry Rollins
An Evening of Spoken Word @ The Warfield
time: show at 8 pm
admission: $25 main floor/balcony, all ages

Hank's "Shock And Awe My Ass Tour" lands at the Warfield this Sunday Night, and there's little doubt that the war in Iraq will be one of his many insightful and poignant rants.

Well how does spoken word qualify as music you ask, well it's because Henry Rollins Rocks that's why! Not only does he have more tattoos than all the Sex Pistols put together but he rocked harder in Black Flag then all of today's young punks. Catch him now before he heads out on his second USO tour in late April when he will go out and cheer up the troops in Baghdad. No kidding.

3. March 26th, Friday: The Church
with Mello Drunk @ Slims
times: 9 pm
admission: $20

Two words: Bagpipe Solos. Nothing gets the lighters out quicker than a good ripping bagpipe solo. While it goes down in rock 'n roll lore that "Under the Milky Way" was written during an acid trip, you can't deny Marty Willson-Piper's infections crystalline 12-string guitars, bassist Steve Kilbey's mordant tenor and the ubiquitous bagpipe solo. Australia's neo-psychedelic standard bearers are out supporting 'Forget Yourself' (produced by drummer Tim Powles) on the very cool Heyday Records. Check out their site for more great gems.

4. March 28th, Sunday: Gene Loves Jezebel
with Sunshine Blind @ Cafe du Nord
Show: 8 pm
Door: $10, 21+

Once upon a time, Joni Loved Chachi and Gene Loved Jezebel, Then they didn't love each other any more. Cofounder Michael Aston (the more goth brother/twin) had his version of GLJ and the other Cofounder Jay Ashton the (the more POP brother/twin) had his GLJ. After winning the rights the band name after a 24 hour marathon hot-dog eating contest, Michael ended up victorious with the band name... (well no that's not exactly true- but it is the stuff legends are made of) So this Sunday, frontman Michael Aston, brings his "official" version of JLG along with a new album "Exploding Girl" (not to be confused with the popular '80/goth DJ Melting Girl.) On Exploding Girl he stretches his musical boundaries to include electronica-tinged grooves and African-style percussion. This should be a great show to check out at du Nord!

The Country Track:

5. March 24th, Wednesday: Mekons
@ Amoeba Music Upper Haight
Free Show!

Did I say free, you betcha- and what better way to show your inner redneck by seeing them play at Amoeba for free as they support their new album Country Punk!! (if you are so dedicated you can't leave work early enough to get there by 6PM you can pay the $15 dollars and see them at Slims) Since their release of Never been in a Riot way back in 1977, these guys did more than put the Y in Ya'l-ternative. The current line-up is their longest lasting and most successful, using C&W as the jumping off point to styles ranging form folk to punk and reggae.

6. March 26th, Friday: Red Meat
@ Cafe Du Nord

We all know the west was not won on salad. Red meat is the real deal. Proclaiming themselves too country for New Country or Yall-ternative, they created authentic country and western music. Fronted by the every popular Smelly Kelly, channeling Buck Owens, Gram Parsons and the Maddox Brothers, and Sister Rose, the music of Red Meat keeps the honky tonk vibe alive. Check out the band that had a number 5 record in France of all places.