Back to Critics' Picks

Critics' Music Picks: C.F.A., McTuff, Muscle and Marrow, Sam Vicari

July 6-11: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Sam Vicari / photo courtesy of Facebook

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article


When you just need to beat the heat, or shake a shitty day, or celebrate a good one for that matter, then a good rock show can fill the void, getting into all the crevices of your brain and soul, like a quality coating of caulking. Not many folks in Tacoma do it better than Cody Foster Army, or C.F.A. Punk rock with a peppering of metal and stoner, C.F.A. always delivers a stellar live performance - so much that Ripple Music, the label that put out C.F.A.'s recent album, posted this on its blog: "To those of you who have had a chance to catch their live set, you understand what this entails. If you have not? Think, the Banana Splits. Just less appropriate and more sweaty." If that doesn't sell you on this show, let me add that two Olympia bands - Gunslinger and Lady Ablaze - are there to solidify the rock. Oh, and there's no cover. {NIKKI MCCOY}

CODY FOSTER ARMY, with w/Gunslinger, Lady Ablaze, 9 p.m., O'Malley's Irish Pub, 2403 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, no cover, 253.627.9403


Hammond organist Joe Doria, guitarist Andy Coe and saxophonist Cliff Colon cross the barriers of jazz with powerful keyboards, rhythmic drums, screaming sax and sometimes fuzz-distorted guitar in their band McTuff. Improvisational and funky with a whole lotta swagger, the band's epic jams knock the mind into the far reaches of a 1970s version of space and then butt into an uncontrollable groove. The Seattle band will give their drummer Tarik Abouzied a break, and pick-up drummer Barrett Martin (Mad Season, Screaming Trees, Walking Papers) for a free show at Doyle's Public House Saturday night. The show will be a sensory explosion, from the scent of Irish whiskey and the sound of improvisational wizardry to the vision of four talented musicians so deep in a jazz jam that they will be able to stop bullets, run up walls and crack heads from 40 feet in the air. {RON SWARNER}

MCTUFF, 10 p.m., Doyle's Public House, 208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, no cover, 253.272.7468


Hailing from Portland, Muscle and Marrow is the project of singer and guitarist Kira Clark. I want to emphasize those words: singer and guitarist. Muscle and Marrow is entirely concerned with the dance and interplay between Clark's tremulous voice and the fuzzy tones emitted from her guitar. The gauzy guitar makes a bed for Clark's simultaneously strong and vulnerable voice, which at times resembles Jeff Buckley's indelible, ghostly vibrato. These songs aren't light affairs; they tremble and lurch, cloaked in a foggy air that lends intrigue as much as it couches Clark's lyrics in a damp mood. On record, though, Clark is joined by Keith McGraw, whose drums lend some muscle and backbone, which helps to lift the songs up from their melancholy bend. Fans of Sharon Van Etten and Mt. Eerie will find much of interest here. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

MUSCLE AND MARROW, w/ Rowhouse, guests, 8 p.m., The New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, cover tba, 253.572.4020


The opening chords of "The Things I Say," by Sam Vicari, give me chills of recognition. With its gently chugging guitars and sugary sweet vocals, it is instantly reminiscent of decades of power pop, its melody even stretching back to the two-minute guitar heaven of early Beatles. Vicari is clearly a practiced creator of jangly pop, making the deceptively difficult act of crafting immaculate hooks and pristinely ringing melodies look utterly effortless. Recalling everyone from Matthew Sweet to Weezer, They Might Be Giants to Big Star, "Teenage Dirtbag" to C-86, and generations of spangly, guitar-driven songsmiths in between, Vicari's music is blessedly uncomplicated and unpretentious in its worship of the song as an unparallelled importance. There's something gloriously nerdy and charming in his voice, both lyrically and vocally, that serves to draw the listener even further in. {REV. AM}

SAM VICARI, w/ Captain Algebra, 10 p.m., Le Voyeur, 404 E. Fourth Ave., Olympia, no cover, 360.943.5710

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search