Live Music Roundup: Wednesday, May 27

Thunderbird Motel (CD release), the Ironclads, the Magic Mirrors at Tractor Tavern, 9 p.m., $7

Thunderbird Motel (pictured) plays the kind of blues-inspired, rootsy rock that once monopolized your father's teenage record collection. If the band existed 30 years ago, your dad would be hanging out in his best friend's Midwestern basement sort of stoned, trying to cue up his record player to play "Witchy Ways," a down-and-dirty track off TM's soon-to-be released album. When the song finally started, that smoky basement would be filled with Who-inspired basslines, Steve Miller Band-style guitars, and throaty vocals belting out lyrics like, "Let me pour some funk on you!" It's the sort of garage rock that sounds like it was actually written in someone's garage. But to say that TM is simply a 70s throwback band would be shortsighted: The band hails from Seattle, after all, and there slight tinges of grunge in TM's heavy guitars and drums. There's just a hint of 90s alternative rock, too: The lead singer--identified as "Captain Morgan" on the band's MySpace page--sounds a little bit like Scott Weiland on songs like "Fire and Water." It's the perfect formula for out-of-control, sweaty rock music--and there ain't nothing wrong with that. PAIGE RICHMOND

The New York Dolls, the Cliks at El Corazon, 7:30 p.m., $22 adv, $25 dos, all ages

Going to see the New York Dolls is an odd proposition. On one level, it's hard to deny the importance of a band so central to the legacy of rock and roll, and punk music in particular. Their genre and gender bending brand of heavy hitting raunch rock is still vital, even if its shock appeal has waned with the years. On the other hand, you can't actually see the New York Dolls. The debauchery and hard living that fueled the Doll's creative fire has also helped to snuff out all but two of the remaining members, so all you're getting these days is Syl Sylvain and David Johnasen. While they might not match the Doll's original swagger step for step, they do an amazing job of keeping the spirit alive, with a strong fuck-off vibe and plenty of sloppy riffs and concrete jungle menace. While it may not be the same as the New York Dolls of Manhattan in the '70s, it's a fair bet that they still do what they do better than anyone else. NICHOLAS HALL

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