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The metal mavens of The Valkyries play with Metal Shakespeare Company, who just finished a brand-new, split pink 7" featuring a song from each band (both of whom are playing the Blue Moon Tavern tonight with Brewtal Thirst). It's at the Blue Moon Tavern, starts at 10 p.m. and costs $5.
It's easy to dismiss the Metal Shakespeare Company as one big joke. There's something inherently hilarious about four twentysomething-year-old dudes from Portland who dress in Shakespearean costumes and set the Bard's greatest soliloquies to Iron Maiden-styled metal. In the band's most recent music video (for "To Bleed or Not to Bleed," the MSC's musical version of Hamlet's famous speech to the departed Yorick in Act 3, Scene 1), a character is transformed into a donkey as lead singer Lord Simms serenades a skull and drummer William Sly throws up devil horns between beats. But despite all the kistch, it's clear that the Metal Shakespeare Company is striving for authenticity. Aside from occasionally beefing up the chorus ("To be or not to be / Who are we that is the question / Matters not, to bleed or not to bleed / For we are metal!"), the songs are written to keep Shakespeare's original language and words intact. Even the band's MySpace page is written in Old English. And for those Bard-haters, the MSC is totally, undeniably metal: clean keyboard solos, super fast guitar riffs, and Lord Simms' Sebastian Bach-styled voice would rocketh mightily even without Shakespeare's words. With Brewtal Thirst. PAIGE RICHMOND
Magic Slim & the Teardrops at the Triple Door, 8 p.m., $18, all ages
Unlike a lot of blues artists creeping into their '60s and '70s, Magic Slim records on a fairly consistent basis. Since 2000 the Windy City juke joint icon has dropped a half dozen or so full-lengths, including 2008's Midnight Blues. Though he's no spring chicken, the album proves Slim still possesses a more than hearty appetite for hard swinging electric blues. You'd have to cover the Hound Dog Taylor standard "Give Me Back My Wig." Over a greasy, dirty, nasty slide guitar, Magic Slim howls at his lady, "Give me back my wig/ Honey now let your head go bald/ Give me back my wig/ Honey now let your head go bald." Personally speaking, I would never date a no-good, misbehaving bald chick, but hey, different strokes for different folks, right? JUSTIN F. FARRAR