Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Language lessons

| December 16, 2011

“C’est la vie, adios/Good riddance, fuh –” oh, my. Coming up, you may find yourself getting some inexact language lessons from Five Finger Death Punch, or maybe just working on the ones you know with either Great Society Mind Destroyers or Ximena Sariñana.

Actually, what Five Finger Death Punch are teaching isn’t how to deal with pesky, mumbojumbo-speaking immigrants, but the flaws in the system. American Capitalist (Prospect Park) mocks, threatens, scolds, and stabs its way through the scourge of inequity, with a tightly coiled metalcore punch. The band aren’t interested in too much nuance, so once things start to boil a breathtaking, fist-raising chorus pulls everything together. It’s a tricky plan to conjoin personal outrage with the sort of band-of-brothers anthems that fill the sequence, but with all this we’re-the-99-percent protesting, it’s damned timely. (Sunday@Riviera with All That Remains, Hatebreed, and Rains.)

Locals Great Society Mind Destroyers won’t have much trouble distinguishing them from the ’60s band who wore half their name — those folks became Jefferson Airplane — though their paranoid, psychedelic blues-rock spurts from the same vein. Spirit Smoke (the first offering by city-based Slow Knife), however, won’t have you flashing back to fringed suede jackets: it howls and billows smoke like a torch that’s collected fingerprints from Iron Butterfly, Trouble, Kyuss, and Sleep. (Tuesday@Empty Bottle with Rodeo, Velocicopter, and T-Bone.)

The letter “X” is the coolest thing to say in rock ‘n’ roll, especially if you’re Scott McCloud. If you’re Catalonian or Basque, the letter becomes the equivalent of “ch” or “ssch,” and makes you seem cosmopolitan when you tell people how to pronounce Xavi. Ximena Sariñana (hi-MEN-a sa-rin-YAH-na) exploits neither, but there are plenty of people who pronounce it without care. The singer/songwriter — a famous actress in Mexico — enlisted the help of TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek and The Mars Volta’s Oscar Rodriguez-Lopez for her self-titled Warner Bros. debut. A cast like that doesn’t imply sonic consistency, and Sariñana flits between genres — some sweet, some not so — with impunity, but never without an edge nor the quality the company she keeps would imply. (Thursday@Schubas with Graffiti 6.)

— Steve Forstneger

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