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Music Critics' Picks: Shawn Thunderchief Lloyd, the Heels, Keola Beamer, the Funs

March 20-26: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

The Funs / Photo credit: Jason Balla

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Every third Thursday El Protrero packs them in for live hip-hop, rap and DJs. That's right, El Protrero has remained a bastion for the type of hip-hop/rap that reflects the streets and attitude of Tacoma and Lakewood - among other enclaves in Pierce County. This Thursday, everybody and their momma will hit the stage, including Shawn Thunderchief Lloyd, Peeriodic Table, Sic Ill, Golden Brown Entertainment (Neno Brown and Sal Rivera), Cole Z and Tom Hutcha, with DJ Eddie Monster on the turntables. These types of shows are dwindling. With some positive support, energy and an enthusiastic crowd, we may just be able to keep hip-hop healthy in The 25360! Peep it! {JOSE S. GUTIERREZ}

PRE-FUNK, 9 p.m., El Protrero, 4314 E. Portland Ave., Tacoma, $5, ladies no cover before 11 p.m., 206.571.3126


"Whether they admit it or not, everyone's got a bit of a heel fetish." So proposes the bio of Seattle glam-power-poppers the Heels. For a band as preoccupied with aesthetics (sound-wise and clothing-wise), it's easy to see why they'd think that. Further, on their Joan Jett-esque anthem, "Fetish," they name-check leather, pencil skirts and angora sweaters. Coming from the rock scene of Los Angeles, frontwoman Paula Spas relocated to the Pacific Northwest, where she uncannily assembled the type of band that you might see play a booze-soaked set at the Whiskey a Go Go in the '70s. This is playful punk at its finest - winking and sexy in equal measure. The Heels exist in a world where everyone has a little secret (which they might be wearing right now, underneath their civilian clothes). {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

THE HEELS, w/ Gold Records, the Jilly Rizzo, Needles and Pizza, 8 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.984


Tropical breezes, the scent of coconut oil mixed with blooming plumeria wafting under your nostrils, the salty ocean waves gently rolling on shore, inches from your bare feet - ah, Hawaii, how we wish we were there. Since we're not, and the pleasantness of spring in the Pacific Northwest is just barely here, we'll go with Plan B: Keola Beamer and Moanalani' at the Capitol Theater. These two islanders create a sweet combination of hula dancing and traditional island instruments used in innovative arrangements, embodying the experience of Hawaii on one stage. Beamer's entrancing slack-key guitar style comes from a five generations of musicians and has garnered plenty of attention, including being part of the musical score for the Oscar-nominated movie Descendants, a testament to his talent and allure. Prepare to be transported to the land of Alohaaaahh. ... {NIKKI MCCOY}

KEOLA BEAMER, MOANALANI, 8 p.m., Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave., Olympia, $20-$25, 360.754.6670


Chicago fuzz merchants the Funs bringing a chugging, lo-fi bravado to your more standard garage rock. Fittingly, given the recent passing of Gary Burger, the Fuzz at times recall the motorik drive of proto-punk weirdos the Monks (whom Burger fronted). Even with the buzzy noise that surrounds the Funs' music, there's still a hypnotic lull that it's quite easy to fall into when listening. The insistently strummed guitars and primal drums eventually fade into pastiche, letting the hazy vocals drift to the front. All of the discordant guitars and jumpy time signature changes - which surprise, after you let yourself settle into the groove of things - eventually amount to more or less a smoke screen for the Funs' cool, laissez-faire attitude, which ends up being the starring element of their sound. The Funs are laid-back, but far from resigned. {REV. AM}

THE FUNS, w/ Criminal Code, Dreamdecay, Vexx, Thee Samedi, 7 p.m., Le Voyeur, 404 E. Fourth Ave., Olympia, $5, 360.943.5710

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