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Radio 4's politically charged dance-punk; A Flock of Goo Goo's punk'd '80s pop; Kaki King's six-string sting

Standing motionless with your arms crossed at indie rock shows is soooo two years ago. New York's Radio 4 , along with bands like Interpol and the Faint, wants to make rocking out cool again by mixing an indie ethos with throbbing bass lines and techno beats lifted from some rave you candy-flipped at in 1991. And like Interpol, Radio 4 takes a cue from the U.K. post-punk scene. From its name (cribbed from a Public Image Ltd. song) to its sound (think the Clash meets Dirty Vegas) to its politics, this Brooklyn troupe wouldn't have been out of place in Liverpool circa 1980. The band's currently touring behind its second full-length, Stealing of a Nation. Layering political commentary over distorted guitars, atmospheric keyboards, and a healthy dose of oontz-oontz beats, Radio 4 will make your booty shake in those Diesel jeans this Thursday, Jan. 27, at "popscene" at 330 Ritch; visit www.popscene-sf.com for more info.
-- Maya Kroth


Sigh. Another '80s cover band ... Jesus, how many different ways can a group play "Come on Eileen"? But cover bands are like an old friend, ain't they? Inviting, predictable, and good for a night of heavy drinking. A cover band must have the following: a sense of humor, excellent musicianship, and a genuine love of the material being played, no matter how much irony is heaped on top. Luckily A Flock of Goo Goo has all three, so you can rest assured that when this act hits the stage, the sea gulls will be screaming, "Kiss her, kiss her!" The assorted band members meet all the criteria and then some, with shows that are starting to draw more people than those of their "real" bands, the Adolescents and Manic Hispanic. Prepare for punk-tinged covers performed by goofball old-school freaks on Thursday, Jan. 27, at Café Du Nord as part of "Stinky's Peepshow"; call 861-5016 or go to www.cafedunord.com for more info.
-- Katy St. Clair


Instrumental guitarist Kaki King is a pouty, lip-pierced girl, which is both the wrong attitude and the wrong gender for a genre typically the domain of haughty long-haired boys (who don't call it wanking for nothing). But the NYC-based 24-year-old commands respect with awesome finger-picking and fretboard-tapping chops that she openly admits jump off from the innovations of the late Michael Hedges. Not unlike Hedges, who both defined and defied the so-called New Age guitar space, King is developing her own voice by paying homage to and broadening this marginal tradition. Beyond meditative soundscapes, she explores percussive punch, groovy riffs, and speed-demon folk melodies on her expansive second album, Legs to Make Us Longer.She even sings in a sorrowful-sweet voice on the shoegazer track "My Insect Life." Of course, this isn't exactly playing by the rules. But for King, it's clear that the rules are meant to be broken. Catch this rising star on Sunday, Jan. 30, at Café Du Nord; call 861-5016 or go to www.cafedunord.com for more info.
-- Sam Prestianni

 
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