The House of Tudor

During Megadeth's Youthanasia tour, bass player David Ellefson (the only non-hair-farming band member) began posting his journal entries to the Web. They were often funny, sometimes instructional, and more expansive than the column he writes for Bass Player magazine. The popularity of those postings eventually led him to write Making Music Your Business: A Guide for Young Musicians, which succeeded in answering many of the questions posed by his young tech-savvy fans: How do I get started in the business when my mother won't let me out of the garage? What should I do about management, agents, indies, publicity, publishing, and groupies? How do I get my band signed? Where do I find a band? What do those contracts really say? Will groupies be included? And, of course, how can the Internet help boost my career? And what about groupies? If reading is not your specialty, but music is your fancy, an educational lecture by Ellefson, presented by the Learning Annex, may be just the ticket. Before you pooh-pooh, remember Ellefson was playing bass professionally at 13 and that Megadeth has made a lot of money playing fairly unconventional music, whereas your band is still waiting for a call back from the Boomerang. Ellefson speaks at the Velvet Lounge (443 Broadway) on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $29-49; call 788-5500.

In the early '90s, Miracle Legion gave New Haven, Conn., townies a reason for conceit; they finally had something the sweater-necked coeds at Yale could appreciate more than a ride in their car. (Michael Bolton, another local, hadn't packed the same umph.) After a string of influential albums and a sheaf of national press coverage the group finally took the Big Record Deal. And that was it: Besides one indie release, no one heard from Miracle Legion again. Lead singer Mark Mulcahy likened the experience to being held underwater for two years. While his band was slowly drowning in the Marsh of Corporate Constraint, Mulcahy was writing -- slowly, carefully, tentatively, but writing nonetheless. Six of the 10 songs on Fathering, his first solo album, walk right up and bite you on the nose, hanging there like little musical imps who will not drop off until you've memorized all the words; the other four tracks creep up like a Van Morrison fog. Of this offspring, Mulcahy can be most proud. Mark Mulcahy performs at the Hotel Utah on Wednesday, Feb. 18, with Jeff Krebs opening at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 421-8308.

If you don't remember Tito Larriva from 1977, when he fronted the Los Angeles punk band the Plugz, perhaps you recognize Tito & Tarantula from their performance of "Angry Cockroaches" in Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn (Tito was allowed the great privilege of killing Quentin Tarantino in a very nasty way), or perhaps you recall the countless blood 'n' guts roots rockers who have spiced up film scores like Dream With the Fishes, Repo Man, Mi Vida Loca, and Desperado. Even so, forget about it. Nothing compares to seeing this band in the flesh. With Peter Atanasoff on guitar, Jennifer Condos (Don Henley, Sheryl Crow) on bass, Nick Vincent (Frank Black, Devo, Frank Sinatra) on drums, and Lyn Bertels on guitar, mandolin, and violin, this is enough collective badass to make Charles Gatewood's bloodsuckers look like Care-Bears. Bring a machete and a loved one and prepare to sweat through two hours of revved-up border madness at the Transmission Theater on Friday, Feb. 20, with Engorged With Blood opening at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10; call 861-6906.

The Shaking Man in Moscone Center is just one of the many art pieces that Terry Allen has created -- others have been kept in the SFMOMA, the NYMOMA, and the Musee Saint Pierre in Lyon, France. As with The Shaking Man, Allen comes at songwriting from several angles, infusing a wry political wit into his work that can go unnoticed by the cursory ear. While Allen hails from Lubbock, Texas -- home to Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore -- he is most often compared to two other Texas troubadours from the 1970s: Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Since Van Zandt passed away last year, this show comes as close to perfect as you can get. Clark, whose elegant attention to detail and loving use of characters from his childhood home have made him one of the greatest living storytellers captured on album, co-headlines with Allen at the Great American Music Hall on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15; call 885-0750.

-- Silke Tudor

 
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