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Music Critics' Picks: CZAR, Endino's Earthworm and Nightmare Boyzzz

March 29-30: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Nightmare Boyzzz / Photo credit: Ali Copeland

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Recently, a band called Skinny Puppy sued the U.S. government for playing their music at Guantanamo Bay. The price? $666,000. The crime was to use Skinny Puppy's music as a form of torture. We've heard many stories of these practices, over the years, of various bands (Metallica, Van Halen and Red Cross have all reportedly been used to break down interrogation subjects). I'll admit something right here: A 50-second song from CZAR played twice is enough for me to give my Social Security Number. I'm a perfectly decent fan of loud, aggressive, compositionally strange music, but CZAR take it to a different degree. The vocals make my throat hurt, the music pummels my tender ear drums, and it all leaves me crawling for an easy listening station. That being said, I'd spill all of my secrets if "Piano Man" played on repeat, so there's that. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

CZAR, w/ Breag Naofa, A God or An Other, the Vatican, 8 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


It's been nearly a year since Endino's Earthworm played Olympia. I'm stoked they are making a much-needed return. Jack Endino, whose music-producing career includes Nirvana, Zeke, Soundgarden, etc., takes his ear for detail and his soul for sound to his own band, Endino's Earthworm. Blistering? Heavy? Punk/grunge/old-school? Sometimes words are too bland for what good music does. While reading about an awesome band is a static experience, what should really be done is to watch a band live, and let your being tell the description. Is it the cosmic rocking of neurons? The physical sensation of vibrating chords? The internal centering that shifts into play when a band has your full attention, keeping you from worry of the daily grind, allowing a more authentic existence to emerge? Show up to McCoy's Saturday night and find out. {NIKKI MCCOY}

ENDINO'S EARTHWORM, w/Hellbelly, Mosquito Hawk, 9 p.m., McCoy's Tavern, 419 Fourth Ave., Olympia, $3, 350.352.0696


Huntsville, Alabama, band Nightmare Boyzzz win points for not sounding anything like what their name might suggest. This is a band that is built of brittle sugar, constantly threatened at every turn with crumbling. While the riffs are firmly in the garage rock vein of bands such as the Black Lips, the vocals are consistently on point and prettier than necessary. Here, again, is a band that values melody, even as it streaks its songs with distortion. Nightmare Boyzzz's most recent single, oddly enough, resembles a s---faced version of the Shins. Maybe there's a change in store for Nightmare Boyzzz on the horizon? In any case, what's on the menu for this band is dizzy, amicably bewildering nonsense, served up just right. This is the kind of garage pop that goes down easy, but might give you heartburn. {REV. AM}

NIGHTMARE BOYZZZ, w/ guests, 9 p.m., The New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, cover tba, 253.572.4020

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