Bowling for American Kids
If you're looking for generally happy-sounding, gently angst-ridden power-pop-punk, then this is the show to go to. All in one night, and in the same place, you'll get to see Bowling for Soup, American Hi-Fi and Riddlin' Kids.
Better get the credit cards out now because if you don't get tickets right away, your alternative-music-minded teenaged son or daughter won't speak to you for at least a week.
For those not familiar with the acts, here goes: Ska-punk band Bowling for Soup - a band that comes up with cool titles for songs as adeptly as they write the songs themselves - first came into the spotlight with their EP, "Tell Me When to Whoa!" in 1997, which lead to the 1998 release of their first full-length album, "Rock on Honorable Ones!!!"
Their newest release, "A Hangover You Don't Deserve," features a lot of songs that you may have already heard on your favorite WB TV shows; their song, "1985," for instance.
American Hi-Fi features the talents of former Veruca Salt and Letters to Cleo drummer Stacy Jones. They're more of a traditional (1980s traditional, anyway) rock'n'roll band than the other acts on the bill, which works well for that whole '80s-nostalgia-is-in kind of vibe.
Over the past three years, the Riddlin' Kids' sound has evolved from the polished punk-emo melodies of their earlier releases to the full-blown rock explosion that is their newest album, "Stop the World." The result is a sonically diverse, smart and hummable collection of songs that even grown-ups can appreciate.
Tu Feb. 1, 5 p.m. The Quest, 110 N. 5th St. $11 in advance, $14 at the door, 338-3383, thequestclub.com.
Concert for Darfur
This concert is a great way to see some of the cream of the local musical crop, as well as to lend support to an important cause.
For the past year, the Darfur conflict has made western Sudan an extremely inhospitable place to live. The war pits the Janjaweed - a government-supported, Sudanese armed militia recruited from local Arab tribes - against the non-Arab peoples of the region.
As of October 2004, the head of the World Health Organization had estimated 71,000 deaths in Darfur since the conflict's beginning, mostly by starvation and disease.
More than 1.2 million people had been displaced from their homes; an estimated 200,000 have fled to neighboring Chad. The large majority of victims are non-Arab black Africans fleeing Janjaweed attacks. In fact, the conflict has been labeled genocide by the United Nations.
Prior to the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the Dafur conflict was considered the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Artists on the bill include The Honeydogs, Dan Israel, Rob Skoro, The Vestals, Melismatics and Yawo. All proceeds will go toward funding The American Refugees Committee's emergency health care programs in Darfur.
Sa Feb. 5, 7 p.m. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Ave. N. $12. 335-8187, finelinemusic.com.
Something serious this way comes
Singer-songwriter Griffin House is one of the most intriguing songwriters to emerge in recent memory. House explores conflicting themes of spirituality and desolation, love and pride, hope and pain, divinity and darkness, and other
In fact, there isn't a single lightweight song on his fascinating debut, "Lost & Found." Without a voice as strong as his, and a persona as rich, tackling these topics and painting with such broad strokes could easily come off as melodrama. But the resonance of Griffin's voice resolutely rings true thanks to a style that careens across the influenced-by spectrum from Dylan to Pavement.
F Feb. 4, 7 p.m. The Quest, 110 N. 5th St. $8. 338-3383, thequestclub.com.