People usually associate the War Memorial Auditorium with graduation ceremonies, computer sales, and the gun shows that are a godsend for all the people who need guns but can't be pestered with mundane details like background checks. It is not, in short, generally used as a concert venue.
But this Saturday's Second to None Indie Rock Showcasemanages to defy logic. The night of disparate tunes features Releese, A New Level, the Mary Tyler Whores, and GarageStar. Releese should be familiar to many, at least if there is any sort of statistical significance to New Times "Best Of" readers polls -- in which you, dear reader, named this group Best Local Rock Band. Releese has just put out an album, Ghost, ensuring that its hard-rocking sounds grace CD players as well as the occasional club.
A New Level is the baby of singer and sometime actor Marc Claus. Yet another of the ubiquitous rap-rock groups, it took the stage at last year's Zeta Fest but failed to springboard into the stratosphere the way more-punky Zeta Fest bands such as New Found Glory and Nonpoint did. Could it be that neopunk will topple rap-metal as the favorite of the TRL set? The third band on the bill, the Mary Tyler Whores, would probably applaud this shift in prepubescent allegiance, were it not too busy figuring out how it can best continue to appall audiences.
The Whores are a fairly common sight at the Culture Room, where their onstage antics have grown to folkloric proportions. Blending stripped-down guitar assault and clever gimmicks, they continue to delight punk-rock fans of legal drinking age.
Finally GarageStar offers perhaps the most mainstream of the evening's tunes. Formerly known as Crush, the band plays radio-friendly alterna-pop-rock, the sort of stuff with a hook for all seasons and riffs that people hum in their sleep days later. This bill doesn't quite offer something for everyone, but if you like loud guitars and an independent spirit, chances are you'll find something at the Indie Rock Showcase that'll set your toes a-tappin'.