This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

 THU 13

The Punk Rock Class of '94 graduated many an aggressive young band into the ranks of indie label stardom (due in no small part to the windfall from Green Day's major label success). Some were opportunists and quickly vanished once the money dried up. Others, like Southern California's Strung Out, only pushed harder, distancing themselves from the ranks of mediocre NOFX/Bad Religion rip-offs. That's not to say the guys have toned it down -- there are still plenty of fast, butt-kicking tracks on Strung Out's latest album, Exile From Oblivion. It falls somewhere between pop-punk and melodic hardcore with a few unfortunate alt-rock flirtations (take the sappy "Swan Dive" -- please!). Strung Out joins Evergreen Terrace, the Explosion, and Protagonist tonight at the Factory (2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Show starts at 6:30 p.m. and tickets cost $12 to $13. Call 954-564-ROCK. (JB)

FRI 14

Matriarch: the new Spice Girls
Matriarch: the new Spice Girls

Not that you need another excuse to hang out at Java Boys (2230 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors), with its comfy couches and board games, its eye-catching clientele, and most wonderfully, its staff, who always tell you how fantastic you look, call you "sweetie," and know how to lay the froth on a strong, dark, full-bodied cappuccino. Tonight, for an added dose of loveliness, the coffee shop hosts an art reception for Tom Landis, who manages a sign company by day but has a secret nighttime identity as an amazing watercolor artist. Inspired by a trip to Slovenia and Croatia, Landis usually paints European-style buildings -- but in such rich fashion that it's no surprise to hear him say, "I just enjoy the hell out of painting." Check out the work -- and enjoy the free hors d'oeuvres and international wines -- from 7 to 11 p.m. Call 954-410-4024. (DF)

SAT 15

There's only one thing you'll think the first time you hear the Puerto Rican metal band Matriarch: Where the hell are those vocals (in both English and Spanish) coming from? Surely they can't be coming from any of the four attractive young women in the group. But they do, and the result is as intriguing as reading about the chupacabra (or "goat sucker," which according to UFO Magazine, has mutilated 2,000 animals in two years). Matriarch's musical influences range from the classics (Iron Maiden) to the classical (yes, muzak) to the crazies (Burzum, a.k.a. Norwegian black metal murderer Varg Vikernes). The girls aren't afraid to throw some synth/goth experimentations into the mix as well. And, of course, vocals deeper than a hundred hair metal bands. Matriarch swoops in tonight to the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale), performing with Incantation, Mortician, the Chasm, and Arsis. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $12.75. Call 954-564-1074. (JB)

If you prefer your music a little less aggro, and your dollars to go toward something other than another tube of black eyeliner, check out the tsunami benefit concert featuring singer/songwriters Jim Camacho, Jesse Jackson, and Raffa, plus bands Stone Soup (funky bluegrass), Storyville (funk-rock-pop), and Brendan O'Hara & the Humble Ones (jazzy hip-hop folk-rock). It goes down at Wherehouse 1415 (1415 NE 129th St., North Miami). For a $10 donation, drink all you want from the kegs. Visit www.brendanohara.org. (DF)

SUN 16

We're not gonna get into gory details, but let's just say north county resident Ritchie Myers lost his eye in a surfing accident. Thankfully, Myers has friends. Generous, fun, guitar-playing, drum-pounding friends who are throwing a benefit concert to help him out. The reggae/rock jam will be headlined by Boxelder, whose music has been featured in all kinds of surf videos and even on ESPN's X-games. The Quarterdeck Bar and Grill (1096 W. Indiantown Rd., Jupiter) isn't charging a cover, but bring some green to donate to the cause. The fundraiser lasts from noon to 7 p.m. Call 561-743-6383. (DF)

MON 17

You're always talking about how Radiohead is a modern-day Mozart, what with the band's carefully arranged compositions and avoidance of formulaic pop tunes. But it took National Public Radio's Christopher O'Riley to take that concept one step further. O'Riley, who hosts the radio show From The Top, took on the tireless task of transcribing the Brits' electronic-tinged songs into piano music. A lot of work, yes, but O'Riley is a huge Radiohead fan (a "head-head"?), and it seemed only natural for him to perform the band's music the way he performs Bach's or Stravinsky's. So if you're up for O'Riley's unplugged versions of "True Love Waits" or "Subterranean Homesick Alien," check out Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead tonight at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32. Call 561-832-7469. (JB)

TUE 18

It's been more than ten years since Melissa Ferrick's songwriting career got a boost from a chance encounter with Morrissey. Yet we're still hearing about the incident, as if that was her crowning achievement. Surely something more interesting has happened to her since. Let's check her online journal then, shall we? From December 25: "[I] am so happy to let you all know that my song 'Everything I Need' is currently running as the music for the HBO commercial" -- impressive! -- "[and] I just found out that Sears has optioned 'Everything I Need' for a 13-week run nationwide." Well, it looks like someone had a merry Christmas. Ferrick brings her brand of forceful folk-rock to the Bamboo Room (25 S. "J" St., Lake Worth) at 9 p.m. It costs $14. Call 561-585-2583. (JB)

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