Downtown music

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March 7, 2005 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Holly Day
Holly Day

Making a living playing live

Fronted by Dublin native Dave King, Flogging Molly draws on influences ranging from traditional Irish folk music to even more traditional punk rock. Joined by Bridget Regan on fiddle, Dennis Casey on guitar, Nathen Maxwell on bass, Bob Schmidt on mandolin, George Schwindt on drums, and Matt Hensley on accordion, Flogging Molly has consistently been one of the most eclectic bands on the Warped Tour lineup, and possibly the most eclectic band you'll see on any punk circuit.

In a short amount of time, Flogging Molly has gone from being a small-club L.A. band to one of the most popular punk bands in the States. Since their 2000 debut, "Swagger," came out on SideOneDummy Records, they've been on numerous TV shows, including "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," the "Late Late Show" and "Jimmy Kimmell Live," and were named Best Punk Band in the Third Annual New Times Los Angeles Music Awards.

While it's definitely nice to sit back in the comfort of your home and listen to the Flogging Molly catalog, which most recently includes the album, "Within a Mile of Home," the best way to experience this band is live.

Said Schmidt, "We're just not a band that can put records out like the music's a product. It's hard enough for us to get into a studio to record, and the idea of being put on a real schedule to do so - it's just not us. The bottom line for us is that we're a live band. We make our living playing live, and our reputation's built on our live shows."

Th, March 10, 5 p.m., First Avenue, 701 1st Ave., $19 in advance, $21 at the door, 332-1775, www.first-avenue.com

Geezer with a grudge

Yes, just what I need - more evidence that I'm falling further and further behind the rest of the world in the computer revolution. Every time I put the new Interpol CD in my CD-ROM, my entire computer crashes, and I get all sorts of neat little pop-ups all over the place about programs I'm missing in order to properly enjoy the CD. Boy, I never have this problem with vinyl.

But I understand that it's just not that kind of world anymore, where a girl can just sit around with her record player and enjoy music. Nowadays (and yes, I know, nobody under 80 uses the term "nowadays"), getting a new album is akin to a trip to the arcade, complete with annoying pop-ups to tell me I don't have a clue what I'm doing.

Barring the OpenDisc software on the new CD, which I just can't figure out for the life of me, the music on Interpol's new CD is very cool and 1980s synth-pop sounding, drawing on obvious Joy Division influences that'll probably sound very fresh and new to anyone under 25.

Sa March 12, 6 p.m., First Avenue, 701 1st Ave., $24. 332-1775, www.first-avenue.com

Country rose

North Carolinian Tift Merritt has a startling voice and a startling set of songs, taking on those places where traditional country, rock'n'roll and folk bump elbows and trade secrets, branching out to blues, rock, pop - and even some Memphis soul. Merritt calls it a "rock-soul throwdown." Fellow North Carolinian Ryan Adams first gave Merritt a leg up, getting her the gig with the Lost Highway label where she sits very comfortably alongside the likes of Adams, Lucinda Williams and Kim Richey. With her newest release, "Tambourine," Merritt proves that she's more than just another pretty face on the alt-country scene, combining the tenderness of her earlier music with an ebullience and self-assuredness that is refreshingly distinctive.

Sa, March 12, 8 p.m., Fine Line Music Caf, 318 1st Ave N, $11 advance, $13 at the door 335-8181, finelinemusic.com

Holly Day can be reached at lalena@bitstream.net.