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Melody Makers, Joe Satriani, Melody Makers, And The Toadies Lead This Week's Concert Picks 

Sindust at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 11, at Peabody's

The guys in the local hard-rock band Sindust are such perfectionists, they weren't even happy with "Heartache Lottery," the propulsive single from their last album that got some rotation on regional rock radio. As a result, they re-recorded the tune and included it on Not Trust Mirrors, the new album they celebrate the release of with a show this weekend at Peabody's. "It had a great chorus, but we thought we could do better," drummer Tom Phillips says of the tune one afternoon over lunch at the Warehouse District's Waterstreet Grill. "The first time, we thought it was really only halfway there. We made some changes to it, and it worked." The new version of the song sounds even more radio-ready, with its hiccupping vocals and wailing guitar solos. In fact, initial sessions for Not Trust Mirrors were so productive, they the band recorded between 60 and 70 songs at its rehearsal space in Erie, Pennsylvania. Sindust then pared them down to the 12 that appear on the CD. At first, the guys were going to record at New Jersey's Barbershop Studios, but when that didn't go as planned, they ended up using Cleveland's Ante Up Studios. They couldn't be happier with the results. "The disc is more like what we sound like as a band," says guitarist Aaron Nichols, the classic rock fan in the band, which also features singer-guitarist Chris Donley and bassist Mark Gordon. "We just want to be known as a solid rock band with some melody. Our songs are ones you can sing along to, but they still rock. There's no frills." American Rockstar opens at 7 p.m. at Peabody's (2083 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999). Tickets: $8. - Jeff Niesel

A Static Lullaby

Out of five founding members of A Static Lullaby, only two remain. That's a formidable amount of turnover for any band out there, let along one whose innovative full-length debut, …And Don't Forget to Breathe, debuted a mere five years ago. They've gone through three labels over the course of four albums, including a short-lived and painful stint with Columbia. There's also the matter of helping establish, for good or ill, the entire screamo movement while ultimately failing to reap the same monetary/critical rewards as a slew of derivative latecomers. But even though its impossibly heavy, post-hardcore stylings might suggest otherwise, the now-foursome has yet to lose its sense of humor. September's aptly and winkingly titled Rattlesnake! walks as fine a line between melodic and aggressive as ever, even lyrically encompassing frontman Joe Brown's divorce and stint in rehab. The truest testimony to the power of sanguine resilience, however, is the falsetto-spiked, alt-metal hidden track "Toxic." Yes, a cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic." It's as experimental as the sluggishly received Faso Latido, a seething commentary on the glossy, transient nature of pop-music stardom and undeniably genius. If this is moving on, may further drama befall A Static Lullaby - as soon as humanly possible. Maylene & the Sons Of Disaster, Showbread, Confide and Attack Attack round out the bill. The show starts at 6 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $12 advance, $14 day of show. - Julie Seabaugh Joe Satriani With all the side gigs he's taken on over the past two decades, it's a wonder where guitar god Joe Satriani found the time for his own career. But somewhere in between collaborating with, filling in for and serving as teacher to a goodly number of the best players on the planet, the Long Island-bred axemeister has laid down one of the more impressive bodies of rock guitar work around. It's impressive, in part, because while his jaw-dropping technique alone would warrant his stature, Satriani reliably wraps his monster lead work up in ear-grabbing compositions. Blistering solos work their way through smartly crafted arrangements, each tune distinct from the one before. "Satch" is not a mere lick machine. The dude has a hell of a résumé. Prior to the chart success of his 1987 album Surfing With The Alien, he taught David Lee Roth leadman Steve Vai and Metallica's Kirk Hammett, among others, their skills. While growing his discography and picking up Grammy nominations, Satriani worked a Mick Jagger solo tour, replaced Richie Blackmore in Deep Purple, recorded with Alice Cooper, Spinal Tap and the Yardbirds and organized the G3 concert tour series on which he's been joined by players as diverse as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Robert Fripp. His latest album, Professor Satchafunkilus and the Mysterion of Rock, brings his solo catalog count to a dozen. A hookup with Sammy Hagar, tentatively titled Chickenfoot, is due next year. Mountain opens at 8 p.m. at House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583). Tickets: $37.50-$55. - Duane Verh

Peter Hammill

As one of the members of British progressive rock outfit Van der Graaf Generator in the 1970s, Peter Hammill inspired many musicians and composers of his generation, including David Bowie and the Sex Pistol's John Lyndon, who called him "a true original" after the release of Hammill's 1975 solo album Nadir's Big Chance. That record, which in effect was recorded by a reformed VDGG after a temporary breakup, is considered by many a prototype of the punk-rock sound that emerged around London a year after its release. Onstage, you can't really predict what might happen during a set (an e-mail question sent about the topic remained unanswered), but you can be sure that it'll include music from 2006's Singularity, his first solo release after a heart attack almost claimed his life three years earlier. You might also expect some material from Hammill's VDGG days. The band reformed in 2004 after a two-decade hiatus. Those who attend should come to the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave., 216.226.5681) without expectations. The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets: $20. - Ernest Barteldes


Since its earliest foundations were laid by bands like Venom and Celtic Frost, black metal has strayed in nearly every conceivable direction. From orchestral atmospheres to tape-manipulated noise, most flavors of extreme music have been blackened, at least to some degree, by someone. Meanwhile, since its inception in Sweden back in 1998, Watain has maintained a fierce devotion to black metal's first wave. And the guys got the pedigree to do it - they're Scandinavian, they love them some Satan and they're self-serious to the point of near-parody. Nevertheless, the Swedes know how to put on a show. Corpse-painted, spiked, leather-clad and dripping in blood, Watain covers all the bases expected from your standard European black metal fare, yet its preoccupation with all things ominous never hinders its ability to execute raw and anthemic heavy metal. The band's latest effort, Sworn to the Dark, taps into the proto-thrash and punk influences that have often gotten lost as the subgenre permeates into new styles. Atlanta-based Withered opens. Its dense tower of guitars made Folie Circulaire one of the standout metal releases of the past year, while Seattle death metal crew Book of Black Earth round out a swell night of blasphemin' and headbangin'. The show starts at 7 p.m. at Peabody's (2083 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999). Tickets: $16. - Matt Sullivan

The Old 97's

It's hard to believe the Old 97's are celebrating their 15th anniversary. It seems like only yesterday that they were poster boys of the Next Big Genre: alt-country. But it actually has been a decade since they co-headlined a No Depression magazine-sponsored tour with fellow scene wunderkinds Whiskeytown. In many ways, the Old 97's are the anti-Whiskeytown. While the turbulent, Ryan Adams-led band burned through a busload of musicians and supernova-ed, the Old 97's original quartet (singer-guitarist Rhett Miller, bassist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples) has remained intact, although Miller has wandered off several times to solo land, and Hammond just recently put out a much darker and starker acoustic album. More importantly, the Old 97's have stayed true to their original musical mission (even if alt-country never broke big). Their current release, Blame It on Gravity, is an unbridled excursion populated with bright, British Invasion-inspired pop hooks cut with dusty, Texas-bred twang. Miller's boyish vocals float smoothly over Peeples and Hammond's galloping rhythms and Bethea's often-overlooked guitar work. Tunes like the slinky "Dance With Me" and the highly caffeinated "Early Morning" rank among the band's best. After all these years, the Old 97's aren't showing their age: Their music still exudes a youthful exuberance. Sharing the bill is the genuine living country music legend, Charlie Louvin, who's 81-years-young and has not one but two new albums due by year's end. The doors open at 8 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets: $18 in advance and $20 at the door. - Michael Berick

Cobra Starship

A member of the Decaydance family of bands that also includes Gym Class Heroes, Panic! at the Disco and, of course, Fall Out Boy, Cobra Starship has, for lack of a better term, blasted off into some kind of emo superstardom since the release of its first album, 2006's While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets. The catchy dance-pop of that record's first single, "Bring It (Snakes on a Plane)," has laid the way for the band's successive songs, on last year's Viva La Cobra! The swaggering pop-emo style is a bit "so hot right now" and leaves something to be desired for those in search of any sort of musical depth, but singer Gabe Saporta (who used to be in Midtown) and his band have a way of getting the crowds' hips moving. You probably won't remember them in three years, but it's best to live in the moment, right? Sing It Loud and Hit the Lights open at 8 p.m. at House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583). Tickets: $15.50-$17. - Emily Zemler Steve Smith Better known for powering the rock group Journey in the '80s and for leading the fusion ensemble Vital Information, drummer Steve Smith can also boast some solid jazz chops along with a thorough understanding of the music's drumming heritage. Dedicated to honoring the contributions of such icons as Tony Williams, Art Blakey and Elvin Jones, Smith's Jazz Legacy has set out to uphold the tradition, while pushing the music in new directions. The quintet's front line, alto man Andy Fusco and tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, boasts impressive résumés, including time spent with Buddy Rich's legendary big band. Pianist Mark Soskin has been a regular member of Sonny Rollins' group for many years, while bassist Baron Browne has gigged with many contemporary jazzmen, including Billy Cobham and Jean Luc-Ponty. Bringing jazz chops to the fore, don't miss a chance to see Smith's all-star quintet during its two-night stint at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd., 216.795.0550). Shows are tonight and tomorrow at 7. Tickets: $30. - C. Andrew Hovan


You'd be forgiven for thinking that Jonathan Meiburg named his band after a migratory seabird because it sounded good and nobody else was using it. After all, Shearwater started life as a side project collaboration with fellow Okkervil River member Will Sheff, so a tossed-off name makes sense. Meiburg walks the walk, though, as the dude is slowly but surely pursuing his graduate degree in ornithology at the University of Texas. But his bird studies have slowed down recently, ever since Shearwater evolved from an outlet for Meiburg's non-Okkervil River sounding tracks to his primary band (he rarely appears with Sheff's band these days, and Okkervil's success means that Sheff no longer collaborates with Shearwater). After being unceremoniously dumped from Misra Records a couple of years ago, Shearwater found a better home at Matador, which released a re-recorded version of its superb 2006 record Palo Santo. Meiburg and company followed that up earlier this year with the breathtaking Rook, a mature piece that captures the band in impressive stylistic and tonal shifts. Meiburg's quavering voice is always in the lead, though - a Jeff Buckley-like instrument that has grown along with his band's songs and approach. Shearwater's evolution from side project to full-on band has mirrored the evolution of its sound. Meiburg's complex songs and arrangements, impressive on record, are awe-inspiring onstage. Openers Hospital Ships is the nom de solo of Minus Story's Jordan Geiger. His fine debut, Oh, Ramona, plays as a poppier version of his day-job band. Night Lites starts everything off at 9 p.m. at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets: $10. - Chris Drabick

Man Man

Dressed in head-to-toe white, face covered in tribal make-up. That's not Pocahontas on her wedding day; rather, it's the go-to costume for the members of Man Man, who cite everything from Charles Barkley's elbows to Aztec pajama rituals as influences for their anything-goes performing style. Their own onstage rituals are unpredictable and wildly fascinating. They might include any or all of the following: percussion breaks that don't seem to follow any specific rhythm, group shouting, the sporadic pitter-patter of a xylophone and finger-waving dance moves. The Philadelphia band's music sounds like elevator music the Addams Family might dig, the companion soundtrack to Lord of the Flies or perhaps what you would actually expect the music of an Aztec pajama ritual to sound like. In addition to keyboard and guitar, members of Man Man play an accordion, a Moog keyboard, soup pots and squeaky toys. While all this chaos may grind on your ears in large doses, the show will entertain to no end. Their concerts are a remedy for anyone sick of watching bands that conform to society's norms (or any norms, for that matter). Helper T-Cells opens at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $10 advance and $12 day of show. - Danielle Sills


After years of rumors and one-off reunion shows, the Toadies are back. Maybe they got tired of hearing "Possum Kingdom" played endlessly on alternative radio. Maybe the royalties from Guitar Hero gave them the courage and financial incentive to hit the road. Or perhaps waiting seven years between releases was their plan all along. In any case, they're back together and touring their third proper album, No Deliverance, with new bassist Doni Blair. After the Feeler/Heaven Below-Stars Above fiasco at the turn of the century, it should come as no surprise the band decided to stick with Kirtland Records, who picked up the band's back catalog from Interscope. The Toadies are a bit darker and edgier this time around but are still quirky as hell. The lyrics are about relationships (yawn), but Todd Lewis' shrieks and croons are spot-on. This is garage-rock at its best. People in Planes open at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $17. - Nick DeMarino

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