Pop-punks the F-Ups hail from Rochester, Minnesota, where "things are really cliquey," says singer and guitarist Travis Allen. "If you're not part of something, you better stay away. It's sort of like school." That's something Allen is very familiar with: He and his bandmates only recently graduated from high school. Youth, claims the 18-year-old, is on their side. "There aren't that many young bands out there." Apparently, good luck is on their side too. The F-Ups' self-titled debut comes out on Capitol Records next month, and they're part of this summer's Vans Warped Tour. "We're going out in a van and trailer," Allen says. "That's part of the experience that I've wanted to do since we started. But it's pretty surreal. We're still a bunch of kids, and we had to grow up pretty fast." The F-Ups are at the Odeon (1295 Old River Road) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $8 and $10; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci
Lucky in Love
Three years ago, Melissa Etheridge's Skin chronicled the end of a 12-year, tabloid-dogged relationship. Amounting to little more than an hour's worth of cathartic closet-cleaning, the album was a tough listen. On the new Lucky, Etheridge is in love again, and the change has done her good. No longer wallowing in grief, she plugs in, strikes a grin, and sings songs about how happy she is. It's a new sentiment for Etheridge, who's made a career out of longing and desperation. Overjoyed to be in love, she's made her least fussy album, a work as liberating as Skin was bruised. Etheridge is at Tower City Amphitheater (351 Canal Road) at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets range from $25 to $78, available by calling 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci
Kids 'N Plays
First-grader Nataya Lyons needed only one sheet of paper to write The Baby Egg, her contribution to the Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival. "The first- and second-grade plays are always charming," says artistic director Joyce Casey. Among the festival's 20 one-acts is a "stylistically different" story by Shaker Heights senior Tim Israel. "[His plays] are not kitchen-table dramas," Casey says. Performances are 7:30 and 11 p.m. Friday; 5, 7:30, and 11 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30, 5, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Dobama Theatre, 1846 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. Admission is free; call 216-932-3396. -- Cris Glaser
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