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MUSIC PICKS: Radio Active, Southern Skies, Survive The Darkness, Witchburn

March 4-7: Live music in the South Sound

Skerdio/courtesy of MySpace

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>>> Thursday, March 4

I may be off base in my assessment of Radio Active, but he sure sounds like a really nice guy. On top of that, he sounds as if he wouldn't mind me saying so. Radio Active is a rapper and accomplished free-styler whose songs are overwhelmingly positive. If he ever dips into the self-promotion that one expects from many rappers, it's always from the point of view that he's so good that you'll have a good time hearing his music. One of Radio Active's songs is a legitimately funny and very silly take on the ABCs. He does stuff like experiment with salsa music in a song where he expresses his desire to take a vacation. In all, the guy is pleasantly surprising and wonderfully endearing. Thursday's show will include saxophonist extraordinaire Skerik performing with Radio Active in what's being called Skerdio. Definitely a show not to miss. - Rev. Adam McKinney

[Eastside Club Tavern, with Skerik, 9 p.m., 410 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.357.9985]


>>> Friday, March 5

Oh, the beautiful racket to be made with only a drum set, acoustic guitar and banjo. If the off-the-grid Olympia lifestyle had a soundtrack, chances are it would sound something like Southern Skies, a (predominantly) two-piece, bluegrassy plucking outfit made up of banjo pro Kendl Winter and guitarist Joey Capoccia. Joined by drummer Kevin Rainsberry on stage - not to mention the occasional Dobro - the music of Southern Skies, according to MySpace, "holds a captive audience telling stories of traveling, breaking down, and moving on down the road in vehicles that rarely cost ‘em more than $500." As the proud owner of an '88 Toyota with more miles on it than Joan Rivers - not to mention an Evergreen bumper sticker - I think I can relate. Friday, Southern Skies will be at Northern with Tilted Stilts and Trainwreck Riders. - Matt Driscoll

[Northern, with Tilted Stilts, Trainwreck Riders, 9 p.m., all ages, $5, 321 Fourth Ave., Olympia,]


>>> Saturday, March 6

I know the people behind "We Are The World 25 For Haiti" mean well, but the song is an abomination. What's worse is I know it's possible for a star-studded song for charity to not suck - mainly because it's already happened. Shane MacGowan gathered together his punkiest punk friends, and together they recorded a drunken, sloppy and pretty fucking awesome cover of "I Put a Spell on You." What does this tell us? Music can work for charity, so long as it's crazy awesome and comes nowhere near Celine Dion. The Survive the Darkness concert for Haiti more than meets those requirements. It's packed with great bands, including Kimya Dawson, Congratulations, Mirror Mirror, Rainbow Bridge, and Western Hymn. It'll be the best time you've had being a good person. - Rev. AM

[The Loft on Cherry, with Kimya Dawson, Mirror Mirror, Rainbow Bridge, Western Hymn, Congratulations, 5 p.m., all ages, $10, 525 Cherry St. SE, Olympia.]


>>> Sunday, March 7

"Bible stories, witches and whiskey." Admit it. You're a bit curious now. Well that is just a sampling of the influences of Witchburn. Some might attend the show for the eye-candy of the women on the stage, some might prefer the heavy Southern guitar riffs, and some might just like a heavier brand of rock. One thing is for sure: the music of Witchburn is an enchanting combination of all three. Just in case the audience isn't convinced of the unconventional nature of this rock and roll brigade, an electric violin is thrown in for legitimate artistic measure. Be prepared for passionate metal delivered with gritty energy and confident musical ability when Witchburn sets Hell's Kitchen aflame. Guitarist Dudley Taft, of Sweet Water fame, headlines the show that benefits the Fish Food Network. - Weekly Volcano Staff

[Hell's Kitchen, with Dudley Taft, Bone Flower, Plaster, Semi-Automatic, 6 p.m., $10 or $5 with three items of non-perishable food, 928 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

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