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Music Critics' Picks: Camp Wisdom, Full Moon Radio, Alex's Hand

Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Alex's Hand: You won't drop your beer during their shows. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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On a recent re-watching of the great Band documentary, The Last Waltz, I was once again struck by the sheer awkwardness of that final performance. As all of the film's guest stars come back on to perform "I Shall Be Released" together, what they end up creating is a gangly Frankenstein of voices (oddly enough, the voices of Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison and Dr. John don't quite mesh as well as one would hope). The majestic feeling of unity that they're going for is actually captured quite well in the harmonies of Camp Wisdom - though you do miss the sight of a patently stoned Neil Young embracing a nervous Joni Mitchell. Camp Wisdom takes folk rock and imbues it with the kind of riled-up enthusiasm that's necessary to unite those singular voices into one. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

CAMP WISDOM, w/ Lures, Generifus, 8 p.m., Northern, 414 ½ Legion Way, Olympia, $5


Full Moon Radio, the female trio who has been on my must-listen list for at least a year, has added a fourth female member AND is playing their first Tacoma show. So, for those of you who live north of their normal playing ground of Olympia, and haven't had a chance to see these girls rock out with sweet and sassy vocals, powerful instrumentals, and pure indie rock vibe, now is your chance. "We play a ton of Olympia shows so we can't wait to make some new friends in Tacoma," says Jessie Jackson, guitarist and vocalist for FMR. Plus, the girls are gearing up for an album in the making, so it's a great time to catch some new songs. Prepare to be rocked. {NIKKI MCCOY}

FULL MOON RADIO, w/ Grave Babies, Wimps and Wild Berries, Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


Few things tend to evoke more viscerally polarized reactions in music lovers than this series of words: "they're like a progressive jazz-fusion band." At that point, you absolutely know whether you're in or out. All of those obnoxious people who claim to be into "all kinds of music" - throw that one at them and see how quickly they backpedal. Alex's Hand is a band that can be described as such, though their brand of progressive rock lands more on the Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart side of things, as opposed to Happy the Man or Gentle Giant (shout out to my dad, that prog-rock-lovin' son of a gun). That is to say, this is progressive jazz-fusion with rough edges, a sort of blend that refuses to let the listener hypnotically drift along. Alex's Hand wants you to feel every hard corner they turn. {REV. AM}

ALEX'S HAND, w/ Trash Heap, 10 p.m., Le Voyeur, 404 E. Fourth Ave., Olympia, no cover, 360.943.5710

LINK: Live music calendar in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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