Beats kill, prog saves

Dressed in White gets their metal on at The Refuge.

Dressed in White gets their metal on at The Refuge.

Photo By Amy SCOTT

Starlite Lounge

1517 21st St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 704-0711

Dusty jams and whorish ditties:
I can’t remember where local electronica act Dusty Brown headlined on a Saturday night, but the place was pretty empty (about 15 people, including the two other electronica opening acts). And this was both a bad and good thing: a bummer because people missed out, a bonus because Dusty and his brother, Zac Brown, “played some jams” that they normally wouldn’t play, as they put it.

Dusty Brown the group usually is a trio, but Jessica Brown, the principal vocalist, was MIA for the show, leaving Zac and Dusty alone—which they deftly handled. Their first three songs, especially, were winning: Dusty operated a Moog and his usual laptop sequencing; Zac grooved on guitar, which was clean except for a bit of reverb dressing and transitory effects.

Dusty and Zac said they are “done” with a new album—except for the fact that, according to Dusty, he “can’t let it go” and keeps going back to tweak. These new songs are a relatively big departure from their last EP, a self-titled five-track release from ’05, and—based on Saturday’s preview—are worth the wait.

After Dusty Brown’s set, my posse headed over to Golden Bear, where DJ Whores now holds fort on Saturdays (night’s called “Sweaty”; no cover), playing dance-friendly bro tunes … like Madonna’s “Into the Groove,” uh, which, in retrospect, is probably not all that bro-friendly. Still, it begs the question: Which track is better, “Into the Groove” or “Borderline”? (Nick Miller)

Knowing is half the battle:
Little did I know that on my way to work each day, I walk past one of Midtown’s newest all-ages live-music venues. Though they have been holding shows there since mid June, I had never even heard of The Refuge until a friend recently asked me if I wanted to see a show there. I’m not used to attending metal shows, but I frequent the local music scene and was interested in finding out more about this place that had eluded me. Until now. The Refuge is run by St. John’s Lutheran Church, which has worked extremely hard to make it the family-friendly environment it is, complete with snack bar and sofas. I spoke to Darren Zinzer, director of youth industries, who gave us a tour of the facilities. There are shows scheduled every other Friday night the rest of the year, from 7 to 11 p.m., with a $5 cover charge. This leaves you with enough time to catch another show at your usual Friday night Midtown hangout. (Amy Scott)

The crowd gathers round Lucky Dragon Monday in Midtown.

Photo By LIndsey Walker

Bull, mark it:
DJ Shaun Slaughter’s birthday party is this Friday at the Townhouse (1517 21st Street; $3 before 11 p.m., $5 after). And, like all deejay birthday parties, the ante must be upped. Accordingly, deejay Miss Toats will stop through, there will be a hoedown cowboy/cowgirl costume contest, and—rumor mill spins—I’m told mechanical bull riding will be the surprise attraction of the night. If that doesn’t pique your interest, then go ahead, stay at home Googling “mechanical bull riding,” loser. (N.M.)

Dog Party party:
Sac’s youngest post-punk band, Dog Party, has a new album out, their first; the CD release show for the over-21 crowd is this Friday, November 13, at Old Ironsides (1901 10th Street, 9:30 p.m., $7; with the Snobs and the Brodys). OK, so SN&R gives a lot of ink to these girls, but go to their MySpace page (, check out DP’s new single, “Fire & Ice,” listen to Lucy Giles’ throaty roar on the final few choruses and try to tell me of another local singer who brings that kind of angst and vigor? Exactly. Then listen to “The World Is Not a Game” and stop being a Party pooper. (N.M.)

This wri-ter needs mo’ ed-u-ca-tion:
Lately, I’ve been reading that people on the Internet think this column, Sound Advice, is weak because all we do is write about “the scene” and never write about “the music”—even arguing that the writers probably just aren’t into music.

And so, I’m going to put a chip in their corner: I’ve never listened to Pink Floyd’s The Wall. And I don’t really want to; I hated in high school when the dudes I was jamming with only wanted to riff that corny octave run from “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2.”

Nevertheless, I’m for some reason excited about this Saturday’s Tribute to Pink Floyd’s The Wall at Harlow’s (2708 J Street; 9 p.m., $10 advance, $12 door), with acts Light Rail, Sexrat, Ol Cotton Dreary, the Ricky and Del Connection, Furious Claire and Seventy. This will be a cover-band night, but for me, hey, it’ll be all original material—a very The Squid and The Whale moment. (N.M.)