They coulda been OutKasts: Kentucky's CunninLynguists

The OutKast comparisons buzzing around Lexington, Ky., duo CunninLynguists might've been louder were it not for the latter's misleading moniker. Far from nasty, the duo (rappers Deacon The Villain and Kno, who also produce others as A Piece of Strange) smartly spears hip-hop stereotypes: Recent song "America Loves Gangsters" adopts the irresistible minor chords and R&B hooks of thug rap while calling out the genre's hypocrisies. Bomb DJs Dave Paul and Jeff Harris provide deck support for the cunning crew on Wednesday, May 23, at Milk at 10 p.m. Admission is $7; call 387-6455 or visit www.milksf.com for more info. Tamara Palmer


When performing as a band, the members of British electro-pop quartet Ladytron often project an aesthetic that's more frosty than frothy. While there's a New Romantic undertone to its music, a Ladytron show isn't sex-drenched, per se, unless Stereolab really soaks your knickers. But when its band members step from behind the diffused synths to take on the DJ booth, it's time to bang the box. Next thing you know, oscillating analogues meet digital dementia. Ladytron DJs manage to be more livewire than electro-cute by incorporating into their sets a cheeky current of indie robofunk, as well as classic electronic body music and acid house. Experience the binary bustle and glitter gulch as Reuben Wu and Mira Aroyo kick it at Rickshaw Stop on Sunday, May 27, at 9 p.m. Admission is $13.50 adv; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com for more info. Tony Ware


Valet's debut, Blood Is Clean,evokes the imaginary, at times nightmarish, worlds of Brian Eno and Jon Hassell. Synths and guitars cry like toads in a lightless forest, and hand drums bubble between your ears. The physical disquiet is further revealed in the words of Honey Owens, the Portland experimental music fixture behind Valet. She murmurs of "hot flesh on shaky skin" on one track and admits "I got the Devil in me" on another, her spells cast in the resultant guitar solos. The lyrics resound as lurid journal entries, eerily suggesting the delusional diary-making that Dame Judi Dench's character furiously scribbled toward in Notes on a Scandal. Hear the scandalized psychedelics live when Valet performs on Tuesday, May 29, at Annie's at 8 p.m. Admission is $5; call 974-1585 or visit www.anniessocialclub.com for more info. Andy Beta

 
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