Tonight: Smashing Pumpkins at the Showbox Sodo, Crooked Fingers at the Sunset, Menomena at the Showbox

Wendy Lynch
The Smashing Pumpkins, with Bad City. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $14. All ages. On one hand, Billy Corgan is as lame as Courtney Love and Axl Rose for continuing to record and tour under his iconic old band's name when he's the only original member left, surrounded by a gang of hired guns. On the other hand, it's a rough economy right now - ol' baldy can still probably sell tickets to the handful of folks who don't realize the Pumpkins 2010 isn't nearly the band they remember and love. If you're not turned off by Billy's recent courting of Jessica Simpson or yet another pretentious album title (Teargarden by Kaleidyscope), or just wanna sing along to the old hits like it's karaoke night, this gig's for you. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Crooked Fingers, with The Mynabirds, Barton Carroll. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $12. After a ten-year run fronting Chapel Hill indie-luminaries Archers of Loaf, Eric Bachmann and the rest of the band stepped away from the limelight at the height of the band's popularity. Now, having spent just as much time creating music as Crooked Fingers, it would seem Eric Bachmann is pretty comfortable in his own skin. Steadily pushing away from the noisy caterwaul of his previous band, Crooked Fingers has become an increasingly interesting experiment; Bachmann has gone from sparse, tortured troubador to a worldlier, gypsy-esque feel. Unlike the obscure lyricism that made up a good chunk of the Archers catalog, Bachmann has now fully embraced the storytelling/songwriter role, unapologetically guiding the listener through both bright, golden-tinged days and sinister, india-ink hued nights. GREGORY FRANKLIN

Menomena, with Say Hi, Suckers. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 652-0999. 7 p.m. $16 adv./$18 DOS. All ages. Wet and Rusting!

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