July 20, 2012 in Features

Coathangers, King Tuff to share bill at Mooty’s

By The Spokesman-Review
 
If you go

The Coathangers, King Tuff, Jail, and Vicious Things

When, where: 10 p.m. today at Mootsy’s, 406 W. Sprague Ave.

Cost: $10

The Coathangers are on one end of the schtick and King Tuff is on a whole other level.

Combined on a co-headlining bill, these two audible oddities promise an evening of mind-spinning extremes in simplicity.

Where The Coathangers excel in being explicitly descriptive, King Tuff is expertly enigmatic.

The Coathangers derive their name from a rather graphic image of a rather grim subject. And the all-female punk quartet’s individual stage names – Crook Kid Coathanger, Minnie Coathanger, Rusty Coathanger and Bebe Coathanger – take matters another step on the line of blatant irreverence (though, all the band members are pro-choice).

Their song titles are often less subtle, usually beyond anything printable in a family newspaper, full of expletives and relentlessly cavalier.

The Atlanta foursome started as a joke and now – despite the vulgarity of their song content, or perhaps in part because of it – they’re getting international attention for their brand of experimental punk-rock belligerence.

The Coathanger’s rock ’n’ roar music is equal parts raw, rowdy, raunchy and raucous but as loud as it is, there’s not much going on besides the minimalist aggression.

On the other side of the map is King Tuff, who is all about underselling it.

Often hidden behind his signature sunglasses and shining his gold-toothed grin, Tuff’s elusiveness is also his allure.

Even his alter ego has an alter ego.

Kyle Thomas previously performed under the project name Happy Birthday (I know, right?) before changing to King Tuff.

Before that he played in a plethora of bands with far-reaching styles, including freak-folk group Feathers, and stoner-metal project Witch, which featured Dinosaur Jr. guitarist J Mascis.

But Thomas doesn’t want you to know any of that.

He wants you to believe there is nothing to his music.

Don’t listen to it with critical ears producer Bobby Harlow urges in the liner notes on King Tuff’s sophomore album released on Sub Pop Records.

The eponymous LP is steeped in the philosophy of embracing imperfection and the beauty that comes with it.

“Don’t pay attention. Blast it. It’s not precious … An artist should never be careful,” Harlow writes.

But the new record isn’t as weightless as the artists would have the listener believe. The 12 tracks that make up the album aren’t the progression of two-minute wham-bam-thank-you-sams that fans of the first record may expect.

Throughout, the nomadic King Tuff explores glam rock, anthemic power-pop, punk, acoustic slow songs, country barnburners, avant-garde folk, and gravelly garage-rock.

In every way that The Coathangers are what-you-see-is-what-you-get, King Tuff is more than meets the eye.

Stephanie Hatzinikolis CD Release

When, where: Wednesday at 7 p.m. at The Vault Social Club, 120 N. Wall Street.

Cost: $10, free CD with entry, through www.stephaniemusic.com

Spokane chanteuse Stephanie Hatzinikolis self-releases her debut album and unveils the first video all at one swank soiree Wednesday.

Hatzinikolis’ new album, “This Side Up,” mixes the light with the dark in a contrast between lyrics and melody.

“The songs within themselves are sad sounding, but the words are inspiring in a sense. It’s about overcoming life’s obstacles and a lot of dark thoughts from my past and I translate that to thinking in a positive light,” Hatzinikolis said.

The record features Hatzinikolis on vocals and piano, accompanied by drums, electric guitar and violin.

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