Tonight: The Davanos, Wild Orchid Children, The Femurs

Fred Holzman, drummer of the Davanos.
The Davanos. Little Red Hen, 7115 Woodlawn Ave. N.E., 522-1168. 9 p.m. $3. The Davanos are local legends--if you live in Lake City, that is. Every Wednesday, the three-piece cover band--featuring Dusty 45 Jerry Battista on guitar, Fred "Right On" Holzman on drums, and a rotating cast of bassists--plays to packed crowds in the Rimrock Steakhouse's tiny, raucous bar. Their renditions of Zeppelin and Rolling Stone covers are peerless, and the charismatic Holzman, despite an appearance that might make you think he forgets everything except what to do at 4:20 each day, is like a steel trap when it comes to popular music lyrics. They play the city's lone honky-tonk, the Little Red Hen, with some regularity too. And the Hen being a honky-tonk, their set list tends to be a cross between what the Davanos play and the twangier vibe they achieve as an acoustic alter ego called The Lazyboys (every first and third Monday at Mr. Villa in Maple Leaf). But, as Battista says, even the most ten-galloned Hen regular "still loves Pink Floyd." These guys played my fuckin' wedding, man. Can there be a more genuine endorsement than that? MIKE SEELY

Wild Orchid Children, with Strong Killings. Can Can, 94 Pike St., 652-0832. 9 p.m. There's good reason why Wild Orchid Children's sound is so hard to define - the amount of conflicting elements in the band can be overwhelming. Kirk Huffman's voice is eerily reminiscent of Zach De La Rocha's, near-shouting and impossible to ignore. Thomas Hunter and Ryan Van Wieringen's guitars are pure psychedelic rock, prone to solos and drawn-out jams. Members of the band also moonlight with the experimental music amalgamation Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground and once played in Gatsbys American Dream, a pop-hardcore-synth fusion band. Perhaps the only way to actually define Wild Orchid Children is by the drums - they're the most consistent and persistent instrument in their songs, always echoing, always driving the beat, no matter how many tempo changes a single song has. It's like listening to improvisational jazz, if it were performed by a drum circle--on acid. PAIGE RICHMOND

The Femurs, with The Love Tycoons, Sickeversince. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116. 9 p.m. $5. Imagine the Ramones unplugged, or the Violent Femmes without quite so much angst, then imagine it all being played by one guy with a semi-acoustic guitar perched atop one leg and kick drums at his feet. Now you've got at least some idea of the good time you're in for when you catch the Femurs live. That one guy is Seattle-via-New York singer and multi-instrumentalist Rob Femur, who's led the Femurs through four albums (including the recent Ride Together) and has also been spotted playing drums for local pop-punks the Cute Lepers. Occasionally Femur is joined by other players onstage, but no matter what the configuration, you can expect smart, spiky pop tunes with a fun-snotty punk edge that don't overstay their welcome. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

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