By Drew Ailes
By Joseph Hess and Mabel Suen
By Kenny Snarzyk
By Dave Geeting
By David Thorpe
By Ben Westhoff
By Shea Serrano
By Drew Ailes
This package show is the most notable in the four-day celebration of Wash. U. student radio station KWUR-FM. The yearly event, tagged "KWUR Week," is usually as underwhelming as the campus station's 10-watt signal, but this year looks a little different.
As indicated by frontman Frankie Delmane's campy furs and sunglasses, the Teenage Frames are hedonists with hearts of gold. Their new album, 1% Faster (Jump Up Records), alternates guitar snarlers such as "Drug Power" with more anthemic pop-rock like "Just Can't Seem To Take It." They clinch it with a couple of affecting slower songs in the Stones/Dolls tradition, and well-chosen pseudonyms (Ted Cougar, Eric Vegas) and song titles ("Glitter Parade," "Teenage Letdown") complete the package. There's nothing revolutionary about 'em, but they write catchy tunes and fly the trash-glam flag with a lot more wit, style and guitar power than most.
The rest of the bill for this show is a weird little museum of used-to-bes. The official headliners are 22 Jacks -- a decent but bland, overly slick SoCal skate-punk act featuring ex-Adolescent Steve Soto. Very Secretary includes former members of Champaign, Ill., indie-emo heroes Braid. And Silver Standard comprises the remnants of mediocre St. Louis punk band the Rabies, with ex-Skalars personnel along for kicks. But so what? Someday the Teenage Frames will be trading on their pasts, too, so take this chance to catch them on the way up.
Check the calendar listings for the other KWUR Week events, including Thursday, Feb. 17, screenings of documentaries on the Clash and Fugazi; a DJ spin, also on Feb. 17; and a "socially conscious hip-hop extravaganza," featuring Boston's Akrobatik, Mass Hysteria from Chicago and St. Louis' Bits 'n' Pieces, on Feb 19.