Tonight: Theoretics @ The Triple Door, The Box Elders @ The Funhouse

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Theoretics, with Gravity. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7:30 p.m. $9. All ages. Theoretics is exactly what the Seattle hip-hop scene needs--what any scene looking to maintain an edge needs, really--at the moment: a funky fresh infusion of live instrumentation and Jurassic 5-style lyrical showmanship. The seven member-strong outfit isn't earth-shatteringly original or mind-bogglingly good. They sound a bit like a mix between The Physics and The Saturday Knights, who sallied forth into the local consciousness riding a wave of hype and good intentions only to sort of peter out. But Theoretics doesn't seem to have that kind puffery stalking them right now, which is a good thing. It'll give them the space to continue making danceable, feel good tunes that sound like this city looks in the summer. KEVIN CAPP

The Box Elders, with Jaguar Paw, Evander Brolyfield. Funhouse, 206 Fifth Ave. N., 374-8400. 9:30 p.m. $6. By name alone, Omaha's Box Elders sound like there's a decent chance they might be a well-timed Pavement tribute band. Thankfully, their records reek less of 90's literary lo-fi and sound more like some of the forgotten, Farfisa-drenched fuzzed-out pop of the Nuggets compilations. Box Elders are charmingly scrappy and sloppy, recorded just a little too loudly, but they still somehow ooze out an absolute ease and infectious joy. Instantly catchy without being boring, the music is a toothache-y sugar rush of joyful, garage-pop blasts that would be a perfect soundtrack to some oddball, all-night malt shop full of sleepy drunks, the coffee and cigarettes literati, and gaggles of bright-eyed high-school kids pushing their suburban curfews. GREGORY FRANKLIN

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