The Short List: This Week's Recommended Shows

OFF!/Wednesday, February 13

Keith Morris may not blurt lyrics as fast or yell as inaudibly as he once did, but the founding Black Flag/Circle Jerks (and current OFF!) frontman has not lost an ounce of energy over the years—he's simply focused it more acutely on his delivery. Few vocalists can get away with dominating a song the way Morris has on most of his projects; each track becomes a loosely poetic, feverish rant about whatever has most recently irked him. But Morris' greatest talent is that he irks the issue right back, owning it before repurposing it as a battle cry. The constant venting definitely gets old after, like, two minutes, which is why it's good that most of OFF!'s songs clock in at about half that length. With Negative Approach, Bad Antics. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005. 8 p.m. $15 adv. All ages. TODD HAMM

Red Fang/Saturday, February 16

When beer-slugging sludge-metal champs Red Fang aren't trotting the globe with Mastodon, they're releasing hilarious medieval L.A.R.P. slaughter music videos and dreaming up skull-crushing riffs to unload on their audience. Life is good. Sure, they're not the psychedelic visionaries their godly touring mates are, but they're more than capable of delivering some delightful low-end snarl. Guitarist Bryan Giles' gruff vocals harken back to John Garcia's surprisingly functional, antimusical bark on so many Kyuss favorites— even if he and bassist/co-vocalist Aaron Beam try to carry the melody a bit much for their brand of rock—but when the balance is right and the build-ups start crashing, they are definitely worth their weight in distortion. With Federation X, Dog Shredder. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442. 8 p.m. $15. 21 and over. TODD HAMM

***EDITOR'S PICK

The Presidents of the United States of America/Saturday, February 17-Sunday, February 18

So how does a band keep an annual residency fresh without a new record to support? "We will play a never-before-heard Presidents song," says frontman Chris Ballew. "How about that?" That'll work. Ballew says that the band is plotting the release of a few unreleased tracks from PUSA Vol. 1— the "Lump," "Peaches," "Mach 5" years—and will perform at least one this weekend. And in keeping with the recent trend, they'll perform their self-titled debut album in its entirety each night. Oh, and both shows are all-ages, so feel free to bring the kids. After all, Ballew says the trio may take a crack at covering one of the rock-and-roll gateway drugs he pushes on young folks as Caspar Babypants. With Campfire OK, Aaron Daniel's One Man Banned, Godfrey Daniels and the Red Balloon. 1426 First Ave. S., 628-3151, showboxonline.com. 7 p.m. $20–$25. All ages. CHRIS KORNELIS

The Ruby Suns/Sunday, February 17

Creatively, New Zealand's the Ruby Suns have traveled some distance from the playful '60s pop of their self-titled 2005 debut to their latest release Christopher. Informing the new album is frontman Ryan McPhun's real-life globetrotting; his recent stay in synth-loving Scandinavia is heavily woven through it. The addition of Grizzly Bear/Beach House engineer Chris Coady to the brew contributes a singular dreaminess to tracks like opener "Desert of Pop," which recounts a meeting with Swedish pop star Robyn, and "Dramatikk," which pits the fanciful landscapes of Sigur Rós next to the chilly beats of The Knife. It's a glossy little number, and McPhun has embraced the new landscape with aplomb. With Painted Palms, USF. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

The Helio Sequence/Sunday, February 17

After five albums and 17 years together, alternative rock duo The Helio Sequence—Brandon Summers on guitar and vocals, Benjamin Weikel on drums and keyboards—changed things up on their latest Sub Pop release, Negotiations. After having to move studios under threat of being flooded out, the group decided to embrace vintage equipment like spring reverbs and analog synths, which give the record a warmer, more organic resonance. The purity created by the undigitalized tools makes each sound stand out, and the heavy psychedelic vibes send listeners into a dreamlike state. With Talkdemonic. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 682-1414. 8 p.m. $16.50 adv./$18.50 DOS. ASHLEY ROE

 
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