5 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

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FRIDAY, APRIL 1

Archie and the Bunkers


Last year saw the release of the first full-length album from local heroes Archie and the Bunkers. The band sent demos to several labels, but the folks at the UK-based Dirty Water Records were the most excited about releasing the album. The guys recorded 12 songs at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit. Producer/engineer Jim Diamond captured their "HI-FI Organ Punk" sound that the duo describes as "rock 'n' roll that's been peeled back to its raw foundation." Tonight's show serves as a send off for the group's European tour. (Jeff Niesel) 9 p.m., $8. Beachland Tavern.

Ani DiFranco

Politically minded folk singer-guitarist Ani DiFranco embarked on a Vote Dammit tour way back in 2000. With a presidential election looming on the horizon, she’s now on another such tour. DiFranco, an icon in the folk/singer-songwriter world, has started to work on some new tunes too. Since she's said they take on political issues, it wouldn't be surprising if she busts one or two of them out at tonight's show. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $27.50-$65.50. The Kent Stage.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2

Pookie & the Poodlez


Part of the Bay Area garage punk gang, Pookie & the Poodlez cracks its collective knuckles next to the likes of Hunx & His Punx and Shannon & the Clams. Nobunny released the Poodlez’s debut EP, The Last Thing I Did as a Teenager, on his own Rubber Vomit Records. Are these dogs really more bark than they are bite? I’d stay on their side just to be safe. (Bethany Kaufman), 9 p.m., $5. Now That's Class.

Tadpoles 7-inch Release

The former members of the Tadpoles, the band that featured the late Happy Dog co-owner Sean Kilbane on vocals and guitar, will celebrate the release of their one and only album, which was recorded at Kilbane's parents' house by Mike McDonald, on vinyl as a 7-inch and as a repressed CD with tonight's show at the Happy Dog. Additional liner notes will accompany the releases. The band will feature guitarist Mandy Look, bassist Dave Molnar, drummer Jason Look (who will sing and play guitar) and drummer Greg Boyd, who didn't play in the original band. Local singer-guitarist Chris Allen will join the group for a song as well. "It will be a tribute to Sean and a way to celebrate the music and record," says Allen. "And I think he would have loved having the album out on vinyl." The Boys From the County Hell, the local Pogues tribute act that was a favorite of Kilbane’s, will also play a few select songs that Kilbane would have liked. Other guest musicians will participate as well. (Niesel), 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.

Paul Thorn/Joe Ely

As the story goes, singer-songwriter Paul Thorn had his first brush with fame when he sang the Lionel Ritchie tune “Three Times a Lady” at a talent show when he was in grade school. He suddenly went from being a social outcast to the most popular kid on the playground.
Thorn actually tried his hand at a few different things before becoming a full-time singer-songwriter. He was even a pro boxer at one point and fought world champ Roberto Duran. But his 1997 debut Hammer and Nail established him as a singular talent, thanks in part to his woozy, bluesy voice. 8 p.m., $30 ADV, $35 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.


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