- Sindust is ready to rock your world most righteously.
If Tom Phillips hadn't tripped over singer Chris Donley at an Ashland University jam night, the Sindust silliness never would have taken off. Three CDs of melodic hard rock later, the quartet has graduated from impromptu sessions on campus to big-city gigs at the Odeon and Peabody's. "In years past, there was no voice or support of local music," says Phillips, the group's drummer. "Who knows? Maybe this will be a rock city once again." The band's secret to making that happen lies in not taking itself seriously. "We really enjoy acting like idiots, and we're good at it, too," says Phillips. "And real quick -- if anyone wants to dress their mom up in a see-through tutu and donate her to Sindust's stage show, please contact us ASAP!" Sindust plays at 11 p.m. Friday at Voodoo Lounge, 153 East Cuyahoga Avenue in Akron ($5; call 330-384-0749) and 9 p.m. Saturday at Bulldog's, 2437 Canton Road in Akron ($3; call 330-699-6528). -- Cris Glaser
Chick With a Shtick
Dixie Chick barked all summer. From April to August, the 30-year-old drag queen from Cleveland pounded the pavement in Provincetown, Massachusetts, to pass out leaflets for her shows at the Gifford House, the country's oldest gay inn (the publicity stunt is called "barking"). "From three to five in the afternoon, you're out there handing out fliers, because the competition is just two steps away," Chick says. In the guesthouse's bar and restaurant, she was booked on the same bill as notable impersonators Varla Jean Merman and Hedda Lettuce. "Not knowing what to expect, I got experience from the greatest queens in the country," says Chick, whose specialty is performing parodies on famous felons Winona Ryder and Martha Stewart. "If I'm 40 and still look good, I'll still be doing this." Chick performs from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday at Club Decó, 11213 Detroit Avenue. Admission is $3; call 216-221-8576. -- Cris Glaser
Hest in Show
Singer-songwriter Ari Hest has that John Mayer thing going for him: He's a young, good-looking guy who writes catchy songs that often spill the contents of his heart. But he never gets whiny or morose. The Bronx-bred singer's major-label debut, Someone to Tell, is fueled by crisp production and a solid backing band that steps aside and lets him do his thing. Traveling with just an acoustic guitar, Hest is on a promotional tour of small venues. He stops at Borders Books and Music (30121 Detroit Road in Westlake) at 7 p.m. Thursday to sign his CD and to play a short set. Admission is free; call 440-892-7667. -- Michael Gallucci