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January 21st to February 4th

Are the amps plugged in or not? We probably won't know for a few more weeks, but one thing is for sure, Thee Parkside will never be the same. Change is constant in clubland and Thee Parkside is no exception. The stage remains, the staff is gone and only time will tell who will want to play and drink there again.

One time defying constant is Amoeba Records, which grows bigger and better year after year. A majority of this column is dedicated to the fine live music they will be presenting in next two weeks. January is usually the summer doldrums for fans of live music, but Amoeba has put together a feast of performers as eclectic as the City itself -- there's something for everyone.

The Moving Units
Amoeba Records
January 22nd, 2 PM

The Amoeba festival kicks off with Los Angeles based dance punk trio, The Moving Units. The bands is supporting its debut LP, Dangerous Dreams, out now on Palm Records. Get ready to shake those CD racks!

Bonnie Prince Billie and Matt Sweeney
Amoeba Records
January 23rd, 2PM

Bonnie Prince Billie (aka: Will Oldham) and former Zwan axman Matt Sweeney croon seafaring alt-shanty tunes at their only Bay Area appearance. The two perform in support of soon-to-be released full length Superwolf, which will be available at the show.

Lou Barlow
Amoeba Records
January 26th, 6 PM

Former Sebadoh and Folk Implosion frontman, Lou Barlow, performs a solo set of songs off his latest release, Emoh, out now on Merge Records. Come listen and sing along with one of the founding fathers of indie rock. This is Lou's only Bay Area appearance.

Thalia Zedek with The Heavenly States and Continental
Bottom of the Hill
January 27th, 9 PM
$8 ~ 21 and over

Former Live Skull and Come frontwoman, Thalia Zedek, is one of rock and roll's unheralded veterans. If you're a fan of the current Williamsburg/East Village scene, then take some time out to catch one it's most prolific artists. Info and MP3's can be found at:

The Phenomenauts with Peelander-Z and The Struts
Cafe Du Nord
January 28th, 9PM
$10 ~ all ages

The Phenomenauts are a triple shot of rockabilly, surf wipe out and Devo look alikes. The band's high energy "rocket roll" and stage full of toys will keep you shouting for more. Adding kitsch entertainment value is Peelander-Z, the self-proclaimed "Japanese Anime Comic Punk Band" from Japan via NYC. The Struts will strut their stuff.

Giant Haystacks and The Drogues
Buddha Bar Basement
January 29th , 9 PM
Free ~ 21 and over

Nestled at 901 Grant Avenue in the heart of Chinatown, The Buddha Bar, with its faded Imperial Palace décor, is an unlikely venue for a punk rock show. Giant Haystack's jangly post punk album, We Are Being Observed, has drawn nods from both the Village Voice and John Peel (RIP). Their sound draws comparisons to both Gang of Four and the Minutemen. The Drogues, similar in vein, open. It's Saturday night and it's free. Venture out, order a Mai Tai and scare some tourists.

Kaki King
Amoeba Records
January 30th, 2 PM

Kaki King picks and pats her guitar in the same new age vein as her mentor Michael Hedges. Kaki also performs her solo instrumental set later tonight at the Cafe Du Nord.

Built Like Alaska
Amoeba Records
February 1st, 6 PM

If you missed BLA's Autumnland record release party a few weeks ago at the Independent, here's your chance to hear keyboard drenched music that rocks and rolls as gently as the band's Central Valley landscape. Highly recommended for fans of Grandaddy. BLA closes out Amoeba's eclectic Beat the Doldrums Festival. More music, please!

Just Announced

The Futureheads
Slim's 333
March 10th

New Music Express heralds, "The future is the Futureheads" as they place the band's self-titled album square in the middle their Top 10 of 2004. The BripPop revivalists made their SF debut in an opening slot on last year's Franz Ferdinand tour. This will be your last chance to catch the four lads in four-part harmony on the small stage. Get your tixs now or wait to catch them at the Warfield in September.

**I can be reached at: [email protected]