Once again, rain was pelting us just as the evening was getting started. Which no doubt put a bit of a damper on the artists of Sector Seventeen, who were nowhere to be found when I snapped the pic you see here. Still, the mural is looking like a real humdinger, though progress has been slow.

Made my way over to the El Korah Shrine just in time to catch local quintet Storie Grubb and the Holy Wars. These cats are entertaining as hell. A little birdie told me they did a small tour of the Northwest last fall, but it’s been ages since they played to a hometown crowd. I’d been feeling a big sluggish since I woke up, but after a healthy dose of accordian, and a smattering of Idaho-shaped guitar, I felt right as rain.

The following band, The Muckers, were a mystery to me. But they sauntered onto the stage in snazzy threads, with hair like they’d just been sleeping in a van five minutes beforehand, so I figured I’d lend them my ears for a spell. And, jesus, was I ever impressed. If you’ve never heard them, or even heard OF them, just you wait. These four lads from Brooklyn are going to be a household name one day, mark my words. Angular guitarwork, stiff, four-in-the-bar drumming, hooks coming at you left and right, gorgeously melodic bass lines–it reminded me of the first album by The Strokes, but with a bunch of Chuck Berry licks thrown in for good measure. Run–don’t walk, run–down to the record store and find their album.

My mind thoroughly blown, I zipped on over to The Olympic to catch And And And. Here again, I was pleasantly surprised. The opening number, in which the singer manned the keyboard, was a gorgeous bit of songwriting. I thought to myself, “Oh, these guys are clearly fans of Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson.” Lots of sophisticated chord-work, with augmented and diminished notes thrown in. But then, the very next number, they cranked up and played an angry little scorcher of a tune–proving they were no one-trick pony. The singer mentioned you can download their newest album, “Idiot,” from their website for no charge. I suggest you do, because these dudes are superb.

Next up was a blistering set by Nashville lads, Pujol. Holy fucking shit, these guys are exquisite. With a dual guitar attack, a bassist who absolutely shreds, and a lanky drummer who rocked his kit as if he was having some sort of rhythmically perfect seizure, these four fellas are performers in the truest sense of the word. By the end of the set, I was considering renouncing all my worldly possessions just to follow them on tour. You absolutely MUST hear them.

More news tomorrow, my pretties.

New Cassette by James Plane Wreck