Music Critics' Picks: Nasalrod, The Classical, Rocky Sandoval

Feb. 27-28: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

By Volcano Staff on February 25, 2015

[PUNK] + FRI, FEB. 27-28

Setting aside any of the other qualities that I'll be billboarding about Nasalrod, the one thing that you need to know is that they're a lot of goddamn fun. The punk rock Portland foursome create impossibly energetic music that doesn't so much pummel as it grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you about. With stop-start dynamics and gleefully deranged vocals, Nasalrod recall the early days of New Wave and art-rock just as much as the glory days of punk. What makes Nasalrod incredibly exciting, though, is the presence of former Fear member Spit Stix on drums. Having a member of one of the godfathers of punk in your band - and having that person named Spit Stix - is a very Portland thing to have happen. If I were you (and if I had no tact), I'd corner Spit Stix and ask him about that bonkers SNL performance of Fear's. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

NASALROD, w/ C Average, Bullets or Balloons, 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27, Deadbeat Olympia, 226 N. Division St., Olympia, $5, 360.943.0662

NASALROD, w/ Cold Truth, C Average, Chrono Bats, 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28, Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, cover tba, 253.475.9843


San Francisco duet The Classical make concise descriptions quite a task. The easiest way to sum them up is to call them baroque art-rock, though that doesn't quite cut it. "Shovel & Bevel" combines clinically mesmerizing drums with odd phrases repeated over and over with darkly expressive strings to create a creepily compelling product. Lead singer and songwriter Juliet E. Gordon pushes the lurching songs forward with her sighing vocals, leaving long stretches of meditative blank space before reappearing to offer more cryptic intonations. There's a looseness that may reveal an improvisational bent to The Classical, even if that's just my hunch. Though the songs tend to move slowly, there's a disjointed structure to most of them that manages to keep you on your toes. {REV. AM}

THE CLASSICAL, w/ Fruit Juice, Retrospecter, 8 p.m., Deadbeat Olympia, 226 N. Division St., Olympia, $5, 360.943.0662

[R&B] + SAT, FEB. 28

Tacoma's homegrown crooner Rocky Sandoval is the definition of an artist on the verge of stardom. After graduating from the Musicians Institute in L.A., he was featured on MTV's Score, then made top 15 on Making the Band. His greatest national exposure to date has probably been season one of American Idol, but Sandoval is no also-ran: in the last five years, he's opened for Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Boys II Men and Brian McKnight. His own debut album Throwback dropped in 2014. He's a smooth R&B operator whose latest single, "Throwback Sex," is a certified panty-dropper. Check out his propositional slow jam "All Over Your Body" - or better yet, add it to your next date-night mix CD. {CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL}

ROCKY SANDOVAL, 9 p.m. The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, $10, 253.572.2821