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Music Critics' Picks: Rappin' 4-Tay, the Family Curse, Survival Knife, Lake Island

May 30-June 4: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Lake Island / photo courtesy of Facebook

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Legendary is a status reserved for the few. Some earn this status with a career as an artist, an indelible act or having been part of a movement or moment. Some, who know his tale and trials and tribulations, call Rappin' 4-Tay a legend. Hailing from the Bay Area, you can't deny his formidable voice on such classic tracks as Too $hort's "Don't Fight The Feelin," as well as his seminal classics "Playaz Club" and "Ain't No Playa." 4-Tay represents the "playa"-isms of the game and does so with nitty gritty authenticity.  Expect a whole lotta game and lyricism Friday night at El Protrero, when he headlines Tim-Me's album release party for Still Growin' Cuts of Cannabis. {JOSE GUTIERREZ}

RAPPIN' 4-TAY, 8 p.m., El Protrero, 4314 E. Portland Ave., Tacoma, $15, 253.473.8450


The Family Curse describe themselves as "electro filth rock," and that definitely does a more succinct job of letting you know what they're all about than I could. To be more specific, the Family Curse sound positively caked with grime and some weird sticky substance that you don't even want to think about. Everything is unspeakably heavy and harsh, like a flaming freight train blazing down the tracks, catching seagulls and squirrels in its path. Vocalist Megan Tweed howls and chants atop the jagged bed of industrial riffs. Listening to this band requires imagining the Carpenters being challenged by the Family Curse to a chains and brass knuckles brawl in some seedy alley on the wrong side of town. Loser leaves town. Something tells me the Family Curse are sticking around. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

THE FAMILY CURSE, w/ Survival Knife, Criminal Code, Wimps, the Kitchen, 8 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


Survival Knife is fresh off a West Coast mini-tour with Modest Mouse. Next stop: hitting up their home turf, the South Sound, and specifically, Bob's Java Jive. The foursome will show up at the Jive's front door with a California glow and a fresh-cut, debut LP, Loose Power (out April 29). Not having the pleasure of listening to the new album, I turned to Pitchfork for a couple teasers: "... Loose Power is a well-fed, red-blooded specimen. And a tuneful one" and "... that overt love of the classics adds a wholesome swagger to an otherwise gnarled clutch of rock songs" and "... not to mention a tangle of metallic guitar harmony that nests neatly inside a thunderous Black Sabbath vibe. ..." Based on my calculations, which include the aforementioned review excerpts, a healthy serving of intuition and the measured success of past projects - expect Survival Knife to eject a giant puff of steam out of that campy little kettle with their post-punk, mixed measure, post-hardcore sound. {NIKKI MCCOY}

SURVIVAL KNIFE, w/The Family Curse, Criminal Code, Wimps, The Kitchen, 8 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


Radiohead took a weird turn after OK Computer. Instead of jettisoning into the atmosphere of rock gods, they pulled back and decided to make music that they could enjoy, which meant alienating a section of their audience. They continued this trend, making their music more and more specific, until they'd shrunk their fan base down to only the most dedicated few. Lake Island sound like what might've happened if Radiohead, instead of dissolving into a melancholy band of ones and twos, turned their proclivities outward. Lake Island's sound is reminiscent of Radiohead, but their warmth is radiant. Even as they drift away from rock into ambience, there's always a tactile gentility to their music, which goes a long way toward shunning the cool distance that tends to marry with these ambient textures. {REV. AM}

LAKE ISLAND, 10 p.m., Le Voyeur, 404 E. Fourth Ave., Olympia, no cover, 360.943.5710

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