NERF HERDER GO BROADWAY: You heard it here
first. Parry Gripp, of the aforementioned herders
of nerf, has been busy in the theater arts, producing the musical
score for the latest and greatest play to come out of our beloved
theater scene in weeks, Center Stage Theater’s
production of Far Away. Parry’s influences for the
play’s score stemmed in part from the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic
“I Put A Spell on You,” cumulating in an atmospheric soundtrack
that suits this dark intellectual play, which shows Thursday
through Saturday at the Center Stage Theater until April 1. And
that’s the night that Nerf Herder is playing a
triumphant show later at The Mercury Lounge — this is not an April
Fools joke! Theater then rock? Thank you, ye gods!!
Brier Random

INDIE INVASION: March won’t go out like a lamb
this year at Velvet Jones. Dance the night away on Thursday, March
30, to an overload of indie rock, starting with the Ohio-based trio
Rediscover; the band Sputnik
, whose music — unlike their name — is gimmick-free
and refined; and singer/songwriter Hodges Taylor.
And then comes April, which the Jones will kick off on Tuesday,
April 4 with The Big Provider. They’ll cool things
down a bit with a smoother, groovier sound that’s reminiscent of
bands like The Police, with blasting vocals big
enough to match. They’ll share the stage with Flame
. — Mary Vanderpool

FAGEN FUN: Donald Fagen and Walter
met in the late 1960s at New York’s Bard College
and then moved to L.A. in 1971, where they got jobs as songwriters
with ABC/Dunhill Records. After gathering musicians and extracting
a band name from William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, Steely
was born. Thirty-four years and a score of records
later, Fagen still is rocking, evident by the March 7 release of
Morph the Cat, his first solo album in 13 years. He’s been touring
the nation in support of this solo release, and his March 31 show
at the Arlington closes out his one-month stint. Fagen will
hopefully also tap numerous selections from his past life with
Steely Dan, a life that churned out decades of Grammy-winning pop
songs that fans insist carry more substance than their slick
arrangement may suggest. Hear Fagen tell about it live at the
Arlington. Call 963-4408 for tickets. — Alastair

MATH IS HARD: It’s ironic that a band with
roots in math rock would add up to more than the sum of its parts.
But equations be damned, The Life and Times
manages to improve on the efforts its members made in their
previous bands. Composed of frontman Allen Epley
of cult favorite math rockers Shiner, bassist
John Meredith of Someday I, and
drummer Mike Meyers of Strings and
, The Life and Times formed in 2003 in Kansas City
with intent of unleashing lush, multilayered rock. Currently
working on its sophomore release, the band promises proficient
guitar work during the show at The Hard to Find on Tuesday, April
4. — Drew Mackie

WHO’S MIKE JONES!?!? “Still Tippin’” rapper
Mike Jones is coming to the Earl Warren
Showgrounds on April 1, in honor of April Fools’ Day. Who is Mike
Jones, you say? For those of you not in the know, Gulf Coast rap
has been sweeping the hip-hop charts with its distinctive
“screwed-up” lyrical style, which Mike began furthering in his
name-dropping fashion when he first hit the scene from his north
Houston ’hood in 2001. From then, it’s been a fast-track to
success, culminating in his 2005 debut Who Is Mike Jones?, which
went platinum in less than two months. For those of you still
curious about who Mike is, you can find out at the Showgrounds on
Saturday. — Hudson Hornick

SOHO GOT MO’: This week, as usual, SOhO boasts
a full schedule, highlighted by the sounds of a reunion show from
The Messengers on Friday, March 31; then, on
Sunday, April 2, watch out for Long Island, New York’s folk-pop
band Telly. The week winds down on Wednesday with
“vintage rockers” Big Blue Hearts, fresh off the
south-by-southwest train. And then on Thursday, the debut event
called NAKED from the new music marketing firm Aria Global will
feature Jennifer Terran, Matthew
, Jason Serfling,
Ona, Stephanie Croff, and
Jonas Day in an acoustic buffet. Ten percent of
proceeds go to the Save Naples Coalition … Speaking of reunions,
Spencer the Gardener will have a reunion show of
sorts this Saturday, at the Brewhouse, when frontman
Spencer Barnitz is joined by trumpeter
Nate Birkey — fresh off his SOhO jazz show — and
percussion wizard Cougar Estrada.


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