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June of 44/Rex/Grassy Knoll/A Minor Forest
Looking for a little mindless diversion to usher out the hand-wringing anguish of election season? Best look elsewhere, because the bands on these two triple bills share a mutual sense of foreboding -- a lingering fitulness that doesn't exactly square with the notion of "entertainment." Alternately leaden and alarmist of tempo, prone to brooding and the occasional vocal conniption, these groups uniformly suggest that there's precious little fun left to be had in this life. Ponder the eternal questions as Chicago's June of 44 gnashes and wails through its castor oil of a catalog; as their vanmates Rex challenge fellow melancholics Low and Bedhead to a staring contest; as locals the Grassy Knoll perform the soundtrack to their own private Zapruder film. Marvel as another Bay Area troupe, A Minor Forest, acts out the fine-print notation of their new CD, Flemish Altruism (Constituent Parts 1993-1996): "A Minor Forest supports the destruction of mankind." Now there's a ballot initiative that would surely shake off voter apathy.

James Sullivan

June of 44, Rex, and the Grassy Knoll play Saturday, Nov. 9, at 10 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. Tickets are $7; call 621-4455. The first two bands join A Minor Forest on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. at the Kilowatt, 3160 16th St. Tickets are $6; call 861-2595.

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