From this week's Short List:>"/>
From this week's Short List:
Every time the subject of MxPx comes up, I tell the same story: My freshman-year roommate at the University of Idaho (Go Vandals! Vote Palin!) was a kid from Minnesota named Rudy who exercised by lifting my box of laundry detergent and slept wearing an eye guard to keep the light out. From the first time he took off his shirt, I knew he was an MxPx fan. He had their trademark image tattooed on his shoulder. I told him I'd gone to high school in Bremerton. He told me he'd made a pilgrimage there. MxPx never attained universal stardom, but their fans are among music's most devout. And if frontman Mike Herrera--performing tonight along with the Maldives, Vince Mira, and Sweet Water--wants to help raise some serious coin at tonight's benefit for earthquake victims in Haiti, he'll contribute to the silent auction a guided tour of Bremerton, complete with green eggs and ham at Hi Lo's 15th Street Café, a jar of Harvey's Hot Buttered Rum mix, and a walk through his studio, Monkey Trench. You won't be able to stop the bidding.
ALSO TONIGHT: Tower of Power, Jazz Alley, 7:30 & 10 p.m., $40, all ages
It makes perfect sense to assume that any band that's been around for over 40 years is past its prime, so there's no logical explanation for how Tower Of Power sounds so tight and invigorating this late in the game. Much of the Tower's fine form these days can be attributed to drummer Dave Garibaldi, a veteran of the group's early-'70s heyday who re-joined in 1998 and brought back his inimitable groove. But by no means is Garibaldi solely responsible. An awe-inspiring juggernaut, the horn section has the presence and bearing of a well-oiled jumbo jet - elegant, built for soaring, but above all powerful and large. Bandleader Emilo Castillo has not only preserved, but improved on the Tower's signature ra-ta-tat-TAT rhythms. What started out as a funky soul fusion group has aged into nothing less than a peerless orchestra making an ever-deepening impact on music history. SABY REYES-KULKARNI
Kids and Animals, With Skeletons With Flesh on Them, the Purrs, Royal Bear. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $10.
If all the songs on this Seattle band's self-titled debut EP sound familiar, there's good reason: Kids & Animals owes some credit to a handful of bands that gained popularity in the past decade. "46th Street" has the super-electric guitars and chanted, near-shouted vocals that have beome Modest Mouse's trademark. "Solstice" possesses the same meandering yet symphonic quality as Okkervil River's songs. Even the opening guitars on "Blind Spots" mimic The Bends-era Radiohead. On the one hand, this means the band members borrow heavily from their influences; on the other, it means these five guys must be incredibly talented to pull it off. All the bands Kids & Animals draw from--Arcade Fire is on that list, too--are known both for pop sensibility and technical precision, two qualities this little band has in spades. The result sounds innovative and interesting but still approachable, giving Kids & Animals a chance to make it just as big as the bands they admire. PAIGE RICHMOND