Plenty of post-emo hand-wringing in town this week, beginning Thursday night at Rubber Gloves in Denton with an appearance by Chicago brainiacs Milemarker, on tour in support of a recent Jade Tree EP, Satanic Versus. The band, led in part by bassist Al Burian, author of the terrific Burn Collector fanzine, gets a lot of acclaim from agoraphobic scenester types who mistake songs not about girls for aesthetic revolution; Versus won't rearrange your paradigm, but its imagistic brawn might move your azz. The Blood Brothers, a group of caffeine-buzzing Seattlites with a Ross Robinson-produced CD called Burn Piano Island, Burn waiting to be released, open; the Brothers' serrated guitars, manic drumbeats and sassy vocals might rearrange your insides.
For songs about girls, head to Deep Ellum Live on Monday night, where you'll find snarky Orange County geeks Something Corporate; the band's MCA debut, Leaving Through the Window, imagines what the Buzzcocks would've sounded like if Billy Joel had snaked Pete Shelley's spot behind the mike. (And if the Buzzcocks had totally sucked.) New Epic signees Vendetta Red come from Seattle, too, though evidently from a different neighborhood than the Blood Brothers: On Between the Never and the Now, due later this year, the band wonders if kids who didn't see Singles (because they were 4) would dig Mother Love Bone; this is an important question, even if you wouldn't necessarily know it from the Vendettas' songs. Headliner the Juliana Theory doesn't have as long a memory--on Love, its own just-released Epic debut, the band's happy to insist that the Verve Pipe (with whom it shares a big-ticket producer in former Talking Head Jerry Harrison) got a raw deal. Moan on, dudes.
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Luckily the scene offers its own built-in relief from these kind of dramatics; where do you think we are, Canada? On the same night at Gypsy Tea Room, Philadelphia-based one-trick pony Atom & His Package rides into town behind Attention! Blah Blah Blah, his latest blast of sampler-abetted synth-punk. His funny jokes are no funnier than they've ever been--"Mustache T.V." winningly suggests taping a fake mustache to your television screen to improve SportsCenter and Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire Who Isn't Really a Millionaire If You Don't Get Kicked off the Island or Do the Dishes First--but live, playing after hand-wringing post-emo groups, Atom can still amuse. Hand-wringing post-emo groups like openers Mae, for example, who, judging by Destination: Beautiful, its blandly pretty new Tooth & Nail disc, will provide lots of pathos for Atom to complement. Funny how these things work.