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Resistance Rock

Four great bands come together for a night in support of immigrants’ rights

Sound Off! winners COSMOS bring a vibrant mix of hip-hop, electronica, and indie rock. Photo credit: The Place for Things

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We're living in times of absolute insanity, as I'm pretty sure most people are aware. For a while, waking up every day to check the news seemed to carry with it the same feeling of panic and dread that action heroes probably face when they're trying to decide whether to cut the blue or green wire on a ticking bomb -- except the bomb's instructions long ago burned in a fire and imminent catastrophe seems the likeliest outcome. It's hard to stay that on-edge for that long, though, so it's natural for people to become inured to this constant chaos, to slump into a malaise of hopelessness and pessimism.

Still, there's so much fighting left to do, and the arts have always existed to keep our blood pumping, to keep our fists up, and to hold us steady on our feet. A concert at the Capitol Theater, this Saturday, is doing its part to push back. Dubbed "Rock Against Trump," the show was organized by a group of high school students, and features an eclectic bill of four fantastic bands, with proceeds going to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the rights of immigrants through legal support and community education.

Rock Against Trump has booked four bands with a wide variety of sounds, beginning with the headlining act, Girl Trouble. While this quintessential Tacoma band is not an overtly political one - at least when it comes to music -- Girl Trouble has become increasingly vocal over the years, especially when it comes to artists' rights, combatting big business acquisitions and treacherous land deals, and always supporting the little guy. Musically, they remain as vital, joyous, and impactful as ever, mixing garage rock, surf, punk, and ‘50s and ‘60s grooves for a sound that is uniquely their own.

Forty Feet Tall is a Portland-based quartet that began its life in Los Angeles in 2011. Blending elements of blues-rock and Southern rock and covering it up with a scuzzy veneer that denotes its Southern California roots, Forty Feet Tall is not concerned with complicating their songs any more than necessary. This is no-frills music that favors fuzzy guitars, bottom-heavy bass, and absolutely annihilated drums. A 2016 EP finds Forty Feet Tall covering Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Run Through the Jungle," and somehow imbuing it with even more swampy atmosphere than the original's already humid texture.

Seattle outfit COSMOS attracted a lot of attention after winning EMP's Sound Off!, a youth battle of the bands competition. It's easy to see what audiences saw in them, with their vibrant mixture of hip-hop, electronica, indie rock, soul, and jazz. I normally consider it a bit of a risky venture to try and combine so many different styles into one band, seeing as how that can result in each element getting a bit of a short shift, with the outcome being an unfocused sound. COSMOS, meanwhile, have a laser-focused sound working in support of lead vocalist Campana's impassioned verses. A crackling energy runs through the core of COSMOS, and that energy proves infectious.

Lastly, Littlespirits represents the recently formed duo of Star Anna and Robert Roth, two of the Pacific Northwest's most consistently excellent and evocative singer-songwriters. As a pair, they create music that builds on a folky base and extends into psychedelic pastures. Their songs are all about tension and release, with each calming moment always on the verge of exploding into an all-encompassing wave of sound.

On a night that's dedicated to unity and resistance, these bands are there to lift you even higher.

ROCK AGAINST TRUMP, all ages, w/ Girl Trouble, Forty Feet Tall, COSMOS, Littlespirits, 5:30 p.m., Saturday, June 2, Capitol Theater, 206 5th Ave. SE, Olympia, $15-$20, 360.754.6670,

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