Scene Creamers; Oxes, Minus the BearScene Creamers; Oxes, Minus the BearScene Creamers; Oxes, Minus the BearScene Creamers; Oxes, Minus the Bear

Too old and jaded for the Sunny Day Real Estate reunion Wednesday night at Trees? Don't fret: The Scene Creamers, the latest band from elaborately attired D.C. agitators Ian Svenonius and Michelle Mae, will be at Rubber Gloves on Friday night, holding it down for indie rockers who prefer clever shtick to midsong sobbing. (Don't use that word around Svenonius, though: "That's just so stupid," he said when I asked him about it last week. "It's that whole mind-body Western dialectic thing, where something beautiful is not intelligent or deep. The greatest groups are conceptual groups, and they're often denigrated as shtick. But really that's just more; the fact is, that's a total art piece.") I'm not sure why I Suck on that Emotion, the Creamers' new Drag City disc, couldn't have been issued under the Weird War handle Svenonius and Mae used last year, or even how it differs wildly from the work they did as the Make-Up, but I've no doubt Svenonius knows. Stick around Rubber Gloves till Monday and you'll double your dose of rock-with-concept: Baltimore's bassless power trio Oxes favors wireless electric guitars (that's a concept, right?) and songs with more parts than some Yes albums. The rough-edged guitar-pop Seattle's Minus the Bear offers on Highly Refined Pirates, its latest Suicide Squeeze disc, is less distinctive, but the band's song titles show off a sharp mind at work: Don't leave before hearing them say they're going to play "Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister" and "Booyah Achieved."
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Mikael Wood