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Oneida: A disaster waiting to happen. Plus Ken Stringfellow, a lovable singer/songwriter

You love natural disasters, admit it. If you could, you'd stand in the eye of a hurricane, a six-pack and a bong in hand. You'd walk on stilts along the San Andreas fault during an 8.6 quake. You'd fry wieners in the midst of a raging five-alarm fire. You'd be there when the shit went down, if only you weren't so chickenshit.

All of the above explains why Oneida is for you. Oneida is the kind of natural disaster you can survive (but just barely). Oneida will make your ears ring, your organs shudder, your blood rush to your groin. You will hear the voice of God -- even if you don't believe in him. Oneida plays loud and heavy rock 'n' roll: repetitive and unwieldy and overwhelming, like a monster truck ramming into you, again and again. Organ, guitar, drums, a few chanted vocals -- that's all the New York trio needs to pummel you into submission. Then you will know what it means to have the Guess Who and Can rule the elements, to hear Godzilla turn his amp up to 11, to surf a 100-foot tsunami smack into an erupting volcano. Oneida detonates on Friday, Aug. 6, at 12 Galaxies; call 970-9777 or go to www.12galaxies.com.
-- Dan Strachota


One imagines the smell of cooking and pictures an autumn dusk when first listening to Ken Stringfellow's latest release. The former member of power-pop quartet the Posies has made a romantic-sounding record with Soft Commands, the sort that makes you sigh in contentment when you've got someone to love, or run for melancholy brood-land when you don't. As you'd expect, the lilting piano and slow-strummed acoustic guitars are ever present, as are Stringfellow's tales of sunrises and body parts. Even when the songwriter contemplates death (which happens frequently in the latter tracks), the sentiments are warm and cuddly. Soft Commands lacks the quirk of Stringfellow's former band, but it's refreshing to hear something so sentimentally positive. Expect more of the same when Stringfellow performs with Oranger and the Junior Panthers on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Café Du Nord; call 861-5016 or go to www.cafedunord.com.
-- Abigail Clouseau

 
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