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Sleater-Kinney have parted ways with Kill Rock Stars, the label that’s released the band’s past four albums, beginning with their 1997 breakthrough Dig Me Out and culminating in 2002’s post–September 11 magnum opus One Beat. And though S-K have yet to sign with a new label, they’re road-testing songs for their next album on a short tour that comes to Brown University (866-468-7619) in Providence on Saturday — a one-off on-the-green show with Jurassic 5 — and the Roxy (617-931-2000) in Boston on Sunday with the Thermals.

Meanwhile, former S-K openers the Quails have brought back the sound and attitude of revolution grrrl circa 1994; they’re touring behind last year’s anti-war-fueled The Song Is Love (Mr. Lady) with shows at Smith College (413-584-2700) in Northampton on Tuesday, the Midway Café (617-524-9038) in Jamaica Plain on Wednesday, Flywheel (413-527-9800) in Easthampton on May 1, and AS220 (401-831-9327) in Providence on May 3. The first and the last of these are with Traci + the Plastics, the one-woman live-and-on-video electro-punk " group " who just played the Whitney Biennial and have a new CD/DVD, Culture for Pigeon (Chainsaw), out this month. Former Team Dresch singer/guitarist and queer-punk icon Kaia Wilson’s band the Butchies left Mr. Lady just about the time the Quails showed up; they’ve just released their first disc for Yep Roc, Make Yr Life, and they’re on a tour with former Moldy Peach Kimya Dawson that hits the Iron Horse (413-584-0610) in Northampton on Friday, the Middle East (617-864-EAST) in Cambridge on Sunday, and Club Metronome (802-865-4563) in Burlington on Monday.

From Portland, Oregon, the keyboards-and-drums quartet the Get Hustle have an enchanting death-punk frontwoman called Valentine and a punishing assault that sounds like Nick Cave, a cement mixer, and a very unhappy ending. They’re at BAR (203-495-8924) in New Haven on Sunday with the gothic folk/punk outfit the Young People.

It wouldn’t feel like Boston if there weren’t a few juicy Cave In rumors circulating. Like, they’ve been dropped by RCA. Or they’ve gone back to the style of Beyond Hypothermia. Or they’ve turned into a stoner-rock band. Having listened to their latest demos, which were recorded at New Alliance with Andrew Schneider, we can tell you that all of the above are absolutely not true. So what does it sound like? Bassist Caleb Scofield does do some screaming, but the band have maintained their feel for great melody while adding some smoke-on-the-water classic rock to the mix. They’ll have copies of a promo-only live album to sell when they hit the Living Room (401-521-5200) in Providence on Friday and the Blackout Bar — at the Paradise Lounge (617-562-8814) in Boston — on Wednesday.

Last but not least: Higher Ground (802-654-8888), the club in Winooski, Vermont, is going under: its final show will be Afropop greats Orchestra Baobab on Sunday.

BY CARLY CARIOLI

Issue Date: April 23 - 29, 2004
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