By Ian S. Port
By Cory Sklar
By Godofredo Vasquez
By Gil Riego Jr.
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Christopher Victorio
By Ian S. Port
Wednesday, June 19
Hayden A couple of years back, this Canadian performer began plucking at his guitar for the rock crowds around Toronto. As was to be expected, the earplug-dependent were resistant, but Hayden just turned up the volume until the barroom chatter evaporated in the face of his throaty baritone and resonant songwriting. Although much of the material found on his self-produced debut, Everything I Long For (Outpost), was recorded on a four-track, there is nothing sparse or unfinished about the work; it's a power-punch to the psyche. Yet while Hayden's voice is undeniably wrenching, it is his dire dry wit that suggests he may be capable of surviving his angst. Sunshine Club headlines; Eels open. Bottom of the Hill, 9:30 p.m., $7.
Thursday, June 20
M.I.R.V. Rule No. 1: Don't drink with M.I.R.V. You can drink while listening to M.I.R.V. You can even drink while watching M.I.R.V., but if M.I.R.V. was to actually offer you a beer and, god forbid, a cigar, just say, "No!" Much better to stay at a safe distance; frolic to the rock derangement that is part operatic aria, part satanic worship, and part tractor pull; and leave with your sanity still partially intact. With a video already in heavy rotation on Beavis and Butt-head and a new album -- Feeding Time on Monkey Island -- out on Prawn Song, this show is a bargain at twice the price. But wait, there's more! Not only will the night include a crosscut saw and funny glasses, but the band has just mastered the fine art of lawn bowling (kinda makes you all tingly, don't it?). Just stay away from Kehoe's nose whistle. The Clowns and Walrus open. Slim's, 9 p.m., $7-8.
Friday, June 21
Heartbeat Culture Splash celebrates 15 years of pumping out red-hot reggae riddems with four of its most crucial acts. Michael "Ruff" Rose, the voice of Black Uhuru, continues with his second solo album, Be Yourself, to be one of the most vital commodities of roots 'n' culture. Sister Carol (pictured), who moved from Jamaica to the Big Apple in 1973, displays the fiery charisma and quick tongue that made her one of the forerunners of the new wave of women in reggae. The Meditations, one of the most popular vocal trios to come out of Jamaica in the '70s, show off their sheer vocal diversity, unmatched in contemporary reggae. And finally, Derrick Morgan, who when ska was at its height in Jamaica ruled the dance halls with his immaculate suit and brimless pork-pie hat, makes his first-ever U.S. appearance. Slim's, 8 p.m., $15.
Saturday, June 22
Battery One of the first industrial bands to sport a woman on vocals, Battery has managed to get by in the amorphous realms of violent postmodern synth-pop without losing either its emotional presence or its edge. Walking a tightrope between siren and shrew, singer Maria Azevedo turns wandering in a cold, computer-driven world into a lush and sensual journey, expressing rage and orgiastic intentions over a grinding backdrop of high cybertech. Check out the band's cover of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" on its new album, Distance (Cop International). Journal of Trauma opens. Cat's Alley Bar & Grill, 9 p.m., $6.
Sunday, June 23
Loop Guru Scavenging the far reaches of the Earth for samples, Britain's Loop Guru has been occasionally accused of musical plunder, but in the case of Amrita ... All These and the Japanese Soup Warrior (World Domination) the ends may justify the means. Amrita combines the music of over a dozen cultures with Loop's own trance-inducing dance rhythms. The fusion feels virtually seamless, as if the band morphed with each culture as it found it, leaving the spiritually rich fibers intact but making it accessible to commercially driven Westerners. DJ Cheb i Sabbah spins; 1008 Gopis provide the visuals. Sound Factory, 8 p.m., $15.
Monday, June 24
Red Archibald & the Internationals celebrate the release of It Just Won't Go Away with a combination of high-energy soul, heartfelt blues, and swinging jump tunes that span the continental U.S.A. from Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Memphis, and Texas. Biscuits & Blues, 9 p.m., free.
Tuesday, June 25
Irakere According to Yoruban legend, when drums were used in the forest to communicate, the strongest drummer was called Irakere. In this lies the strength and soul of Cuba's most significant post-revolution band whose complex, symphonic stylings put huge emphasis on drumming. Led by world-renowned pianist and composer Jesus Valdes, Irakere has fathered some of the finest musicians in Cuba, including saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and has virtually redefined the meaning of Cuban jazz by incorporating bebop and classical composition. Yoshi's Nitespot, Oakland, 8/10 p.m., $18-20.
By Silke Tudor
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