In a millennium past, unhappy minstrel huns known as "grungies" noisily broke from the ranks of the wuss-metal paradigm. Like the ryders of Krom, these hair-flipping, flannel-donning, underemployed philistines pillaged the airwaves -- not to mention people's daughters -- while making smack dealers and David Geffen as rich as Catholic kings. But like flaming meteors slapping into spaceship Earth, the influences of heroin, Kurt Cobain's suicide and the ascent of choreographed boy bands heralded the tragic demise of these balls-out Northwestern rockers. Shaking off the chains of anachronism, Valis -- a grunge übergroup featuring former members of the Screaming Trees and Tad -- pedal-hops its way out of the slime of rock's nearly extinct genre like a phoenix in cutoffs. In other words, Valis asserts, this grunge horse ain't been properly flogged yet.
Valis brings its five-man revue and boat show to the Hurricane (4048 Broadway, 816-753-0884) on Monday for a heavy-duty dissertation on commitment to '90s rock. Tear thy denim in expectation!-- Scott Hartley
If the "garage rock" label were meant to be taken literally, Modey Lemon would be the genre's essential band. Songs fuzz out, levels vary wildly and the band sometimes sounds as if it's playing in the next room. But garage rock is actually about enthusiasm over virtuosity, and that's where Modey Lemon shines most. With two albums and a slew of singles, the simple two-man act is considered a forerunner on the scene in its native Pittsburgh. At 10 p.m. Tuesday, the musicians bring their haunted and pessimistic catalog to the Replay (946 Massachusetts Street in Lawrence). Opening are Gris Gris and Washington D.C.'s the Apes -- who replace bass with guitar and Stooges moods with psychedelic organ rolls. It's one of those rare opening acts that make accidentally showing up early worth the wait. Tickets cost $2. For information, call 785-749-7676. -- Christopher Sebela
Spring is heating things up for hip-hop in the Mo-Kan region. Package tours, a DJ residency, a wax clash, a B-boy battle, showcases, rallies, parties, worthwhile local acts and notable out-of-towners are giving area beat lovers something to look forward to besides warm weather. We recommend checking out the Lone Catalysts. J. Rawls and J. Sands make up this underground duo; Rawls' beats were used by Talib Kweli and Mos Def on their Black Star recording in 1998. The Lone Catalysts play with Approach and DJ Sku this Friday at the Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire Street in Lawrence. Admission is $5 and $7. For details, call 785-842-5483.-- Michael Vennard