NEW BOMB TURKS 2/11, VIC These deliberately lowbrow Columbus bohunks deliver a hyperreductive strain of raunchy garage punk that’s most concerned with brutish male pastimes like getting fucked up (with beer as the chosen method) and getting fucked. Their unparalleled eloquence with three chords and well-channeled grunts and shouts is on a bill with Cyclone Temple and the exceptionally awful Mighty Mighty Bosstones. ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT/RODAN 2/11, LOUNGE AX Kings of San Diego’s overhyped punk rock explosion (Trumans Water, Drive Like Jehu, aMiniature, Fluf, etc), Rocket From the Crypt exploit a good-timey grind replete with fat sax honking to forge a never ending onslaught of charged, anthemic fist-shakers without a cause. Their aging but most recent release Circa: Now (Interscope, 1992) offers 11 such calls to arms, many in the form of what sound like punked-out drinking songs (especially “Ditch Digger”), but only a few tunes stand out (the hooky primal stomper “Hippy Dippy Doo”). Their live show has a hot reputation, however. Rodan are Louisville’s new postpunk darlings, and their forthcoming debut Rusty (Quarter Stick) finds them to be obedient disciples of their hometown’s infamous trailblazers Slint. Rodan’s quiet-to-blaring leaps and the rough-hewn textural swaths between the two poles offer evidence of a promising combo still searching for, but closing in on, an identity. ’68 Comeback opens. “ON A WINTER’S NIGHT” 2/11, PARK WEST Cliff Eberhardt, John Gorka, Patty Larkin, and Cheryl Wheeler, four leading lights of New Folk–a strain of highly literate, well-mannered, adult folk rock–come together with just their voices and guitars. The four will sing originals in rounds of various combinations as well as create songs from topics suggested by the audience. GLEN MEADMORE 2/12, CZAR BAR This six-foot-seven Los Angeles drag queen/performance artist has settled down to play a spartan, rather hilarious style that can only be called homocowpunk. Meadmore’s worked in the past with both Vaginal Creme Davis (in the semilegendary Pedro, Muriel, and Esther) and RuPaul, and while his music is decidedly more “straight” than theirs he revels in proudly queer expression; the ebullient chorus of “Tan My Hide,” for example, is “Take me out back / Take me out back / Grease my crack.” There are all kinds of stories regarding his live shows, and antics like hiding fresh chicken heads in his posterior region have earned him comparisons to artists as diverse as Divine and G.G. Allin. The music on his most recent album, Boned (Amoeba), melts country down to the ultimate two-beat gallop with occasional, typically incongruous wank-off guitar solos. His support band features guitarist Brian Connelly and drummer Don Pyle of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and bassist Beverly Breckenridge of Fifth Column. Swollen Spleens open. HANK FLAMINGO 2/12, WHISKEY RIVER Cornball country rockers in the tradition of Jason and the Scorchers only less aggressive, these Nashville patriots raise some dust on covers of “White Lightnin'” and John Hiatt’s “Tennessee Plates,” but schlocky originals such as “Redneck Martians Stole My Baby” and nauseating flag-waving hokum like “Grandaddy’s Place” only lend credence to the idea that old habits die hard down in country music’s capital. JULIANA HATFIELD THREE 2/14, RIVIERA The forced tension between the sweetness of Juliana Hatfield’s ultragirlish chirp and her band’s pinched, tinny go at rocking hard is so brazenly mediocre it’s a wonder she hasn’t become the Patty Smyth for the disaffected 90s. Sensitive types might notice that I’ve purposefully ignored the specious profundity of her celebrated lyrics. Dig and Chicago’s newly ordained “next big thing” Veruca Salt open. 8 BOLD SOULS 2/17, HOTHOUSE This is the last show of a three-gig run at the HotHouse by saxophonist Edward Wilkerson Jr.’s phenomenal 8 Bold Souls, an octet of staggering breadth and power. A performance a few weeks ago featured a handful of brand-new tunes (the group is getting ready to record its third album), along with numbers from previous recordings that have been so perpetually rearranged that they seem like eternal works in progress. The Souls’ ambitious, restless energy and searching is palpable in their usually firebrand performances, which run the emotional gamut from brooding to scalding. On the international front they’ve been the vanguard of Chicago jazz for a long time; it remains a travesty that they don’t attract swarming masses at home. NAKED SOUL 2/17, AVALON Fronted by Mike Conley, once the leader of Orange County’s generic hard-core hacks MIA, Naked Soul is out to cash in on punk rock’s new marketability (‘cept now they call it “alternative”). The calculatingly heartfelt, ragged pop rock on the band’s recent Visiting Your Planet (Scotti Brothers) plods along, sputtering out stale, watered-down takes on the Replacements and Superchunk. On top of that, Naked Soul continue to bank on an earnestness they proved was bogus when they canned their former drummer, Larry Pearson, at the suggestion of a producer. NICK HEYWARD 2/17, PARK WEST Pretty boy Nick Heyward, still best known for his stint as leader of England’s effete one-hit wonder Haircut 100, is aiming for serious stateside success with his new From Monday to Sunday (Epic). While the album basks in pleasant Beatlesque melodicism, it’s just as squeaky clean, saccharine, and limp-wristed as its creator. Pop addicts with no tolerance for grit or raw emotion in their music will shake to it without breaking a sweat (natch); the rest of you might just want to wait to hear it in the dentist’s office. Moxy Fruvous opens.