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ART LOINZ & THE WET DIXXX 9/22, SCRAP SKATE PARK The promotional single these local boys sent me, "She Cannibal," is hooky balls-first hard rock for those who always thought Def Leppard were pussies but could never quite commit to Motorhead. In fact, the only certain indicator that this is an ironic project is the name--if these guys were serious they'd have called themselves Krokus. EUGENE CHADBOURNE 9/23, INTUIT Eccentric though he may be, it's pushing it to apply the term outsider artist to a veteran of a thousand collaborations and a member of the editorial board of the avant music magazine Signal to Noise. Eugene Chadbourne has settled into the New York downtown scene like a native on recent long visits, setting up festivals of guitar gluttony at Tonic and practicing his mangled take on improvisation and roots music with anyone who'll sit still long enough. Hell, some people might call a guy like that an insider. So he probably isn't the most exemplary naif to kick off Intuit's "Intuitive Music Series" (see Post No Bills)--but who cares? HIGH ON FIRE, Acid King 9/24, DOUBLE DOOR High on Fire guitarist Matt Pike, formerly of the legendarily heavy (and legendarily high) band Sleep, has Tony Iommi's belly-of-the-dragon guitar sound down so perfectly you have to wonder if he cut off a few fingertips to get it. But it's merely a starting point for the six bludgeoning cuts on High on Fire's debut LP, The Art of Self Defense (Man's Ruin), which constitute a sort of trance music that's all about the joy of submission. Also on the bill are Acid King, the San Francisco sludge-rock trio led by guitarist Lori S, whom old timers may remember from the Chicago band Bhang Revival. BARBARA KESSLER 9/24, SCHUBAS In the four years since Boston singer-songwriter Barbara Kessler released her second album, she's had a kid, undergone vocal surgery, and gone DIY, but these major life developments don't seem to have translated into musical ones: her third album, self-titled, is yet more breathless, relentlessly competent guitar-based regular-gal pop, full of literal-minded meditation on her, herself, and her relationships--she actually uses the word "self-esteem" in the lyrics to "Kristin." If she's ever had a revelation that defied pop psychology, it didn't survive the recording process. DILATED PEOPLES 9/27, THE VIC On The Platform (Capitol), their second full-length (and the first to actually come out on a label), this LA hip-hop trio continues to show little interest in hyping the mean streets. MCs Iriscience and Evidence came to hip-hop through graffiti art, and their proving ground is still the realm of art: the rhymes, the rhythms, the discipline, and the honing of craft are what separate wheat and chaff in their world. In fact, with so damn many raps about poetry itself, The Platform sounds at times like a street-style writer's workshop. But ultimately it's the efficient ease of the Peoples' sound that demonstrates the dues paid. The Jurassic 5 (see Critic's Choice) headline. ORIGINAL BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF LOVE 9/28, SCHUBAS Several years ago, brothers Jamie and Tim Monger drove up into the densely forested and storied patch of almost-Canada known as the Upper Peninsula with a couple guitars and a Tascam Portastudio; they came back with an idea for a band. They developed it on the Ann Arbor coffeehouse circuit, where it's morphed into a lively but sometimes painfully self-conscious folk sextet. Their ambitious, romantic, fully arranged debut, The Legende of Jeb Minor (Telegraph Company), sounds like the work of boys significantly older than 26 and 22, its dreamy sea chanteys and grim fairy tales executed on a small orchestra's worth of instruments ranging from guitar, mandolin, organ, and violin to coffee cans and scissors. Even the tune based most closely on adolescent experience, "The Rich People Across the River," is poetically mature: "Pretty, your country club's pretty / Wasted, we pass your houses wasted, sometimes tingling from the view." TUMMLER 9/28, EMPTY BOTTLE The local quartet Tummler are celebrating Queen to Bishop IV, their first release on the Man's Ruin label. They (surprise) play heavy stoner rock that's so retro it's pretty much the real thing, which in small doses can be delightful, but couched in a "scene" starts to lose its charm. MIKE WATT & THE PAIR OF PLIERS 9/28, DOUBLE DOOR Watt, more than any other veteran of the 80s underground, is still a man who lives for the road, so more's the pity he was kept away from it for most of this year by a rather gruesome ailment. I'd spare you the details of it, but his recovery is the only occasion for this tour, so ponder the phrase "infection inside the perineum" for a few minutes. After a prolonged fever, major weight and blood loss, emergency surgery, and four months in bed, he's apparently psyched to embark on what he's calling the "Enough With the Piss Bag Tour." His backing band is the Pair of Pliers--Tom Watson on guitar and Vince Meghrouni on drums--and the set list is supposed to draw from "all phases" of his career. Count on favorites from the Minutemen and Firehose years and probably some of the same inspired covers this lineup played last time around. When this tour ends, Watt will hit the road again immediately with J Mascis, in support of Mascis's new solo album.

--Monica Kendrick

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