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Music Critics' Picks: Hungry Ghost, Hip-Hop 4 The Homeless, Michelle From the Club, Tin Man

Saturday, Jan. 25: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

HUNGRY GHOST: Heavy blues riffs without entering the darkest depths of Mordor.

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[ROCK] + SAT, JAN. 25

With its heavy blues riff and falsetto refrain, the opening moments of "Shame" instantly call to mind Led Zeppelin. Hints of Zeppelin are peppered throughout Hungry Ghost's eponymous LP, but the influences are more varied and far-flung than your typical Zeppelin-indebted bands. A supergroup of sorts, Hungry Ghost assembles the talents of members of Unwound, the Corin Tucker Band, the Irving Klaw Trio and the Drags - not to mention the producer of the album, Sam Coomes, who has worked with the likes of Quasi and Elliot Smith. Hungry Ghost are great at keeping you guessing, starting off the album with winsome guitar that takes a sudden right turn into head-banging heavy rock. This is the sound of some seriously music-loving people having internalized every bit of aural information and wrestling it into an unwieldy and intoxicating form. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

HUNGRY GHOST, w/ Lozen, Shore, 9 p.m., The New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, $5, 253.572.4020

[HIP-HOP] + SAT, JAN. 25

In its 12th year and for the seventh straight year in Olympia, the community is invited to take part in an active weekend of highlighting the plagues of poverty, discrimination, inhumanity and homelessness while simultaneously celebrating the spirit of togetherness during the annual Hip-Hop 4 The Homeless Benefit Weekend, which is held every final weekend in January. The weekend kicks off with a 3 p.m. KAOS 89.3 FM broadcast Friday, Jan. 24, followed by a family-friendly concert Saturday night. For the cost of donated items such as food, clean clothing, hygiene items and cash, concert goers may enjoy Afrok & The Movement, Speaker Minds (Portland), AKA & The Heart Hurt Goods, The Sharp Five and Real Life Click, plus the annual 25360 Awards celebration. At 11 a.m. Sunday, a meal, free massages, haircuts and goods collected the night before will be available for those who need such items. Hip-Hop 4 The Homeless represents the original principles of hip-hop: peace, love, unity, having fun and knowledge. {JOSE S. GUTIERREZ JR.}

Hip-Hop 4 The Homeless, 5 p.m., all ages, The Olympia Ballroom, 116 Legion Way, Olympia, $5 and/or clothes, canned food

[ROCK] + SAT, JAN. 25

Michelle from the Club recently found themselves opening up for Surfer Blood at a show at Pacific Lutheran University. That's a pretty potent feather in the cap for a band that values the power of steadfast guitar riffs as much as Michelle from the Club clearly does. While the anthemic roar of Surfer Blood is slightly outside of their purview, this Tacoma duo washes their songs with as much dissonant tone as their guitar-and-drum setup can allow. Having just had their debut EP funded by Kickstarter, this is a band that's getting ready to capitalize on their momentum. As for the music, Michelle from the Club does a fine job of combining the outbursts of guitar rock with more contemplative verses, ending up with the time-tested loud-quiet-loud structure that's served so many of their influences quite well. {REV. AM}

MICHELLE FROM THE CLUB, w/ the Sherman Family, Eternal Fair, guests, 8 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


Most of the time, my music picks are of my own accord, bands I've loved for years, or maybe a hot new number a friend has turned me onto, or I found while bar hopping. This time, my pick comes from the boss, Pappi Swarner, who has a great ear and even better dance moves. (Ask him to show you his pop-in-lock next time you see him.) His recommendation is for Tin Man, a member of Maurice The Fish Record's growing family, and hot to release their sophomore album, Broke Wisdom. I have to agree with the boss, and MTFR, Tin Man has their singing and songwriting down. Initially reminding me of something in the Bonnie Raitt or Leonard Cohen vein, Tin Man has a little more twang, a little more pluck and a lot more Northwest feel. Hear for yourself this Saturday at Louie G's. {NIKKI MCCOY}

TIN MAN CD RELEASE PARTY, 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, all ages, Louie G's Pizza, 5219 Pacific Hwy., Fife, $7, 253.926.9700

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

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