But it also gave GRETA MATASSA a thorough knowledge of the jazz repertoire. Matassa relishes the challenge of finding new ways to sing the standards. Self-taught, she's studied Sinatra and Ella, Anita O'Day and Sarah Vaughan. She opens her rendition of "I Will Wait for You" throaty and slow, with only a bass as accompaniment. Hints of Carmen McRae and Shirley Horn punctuate her delivery.
Why, then, is Matassa -- one of Seattle's most respected jazz vocalists -- just a regionally known jazz singer? Going through a divorce and caring for two young daughters has a way of keeping you close to home. Also of getting you into touch with a jazz singer's many emotions.
-- MICHAEL BOWEN
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & G & lt;/span & reta Matassa at Centerstage on May 4 at 8 pm. $20. Call: 74-STAGE.
Those Whitworth kids love to dance, and Seattle electro-pop outfit UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA loves occasionally supplying the soundtrack. USE first played through last March and had a good enough time that they've decided to take a break from writing and recording their sophomore album to play exactly one gig: in Spokane, in the HUB's multi-purpose room, to a crowd of rollicking Presbyterians.
The lyrics are simple ("C'mon party people, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon," for example), but the melodies aren't. Like the event openers and former Spokanites Vellela Vellela, the seven-piece USE employ a bunch of people and scads of instrumentation and effects (vocoder, notably) to approximate sounds generally created by a dude and his laptop. Overkill? Perhaps, but seven people on stage makes for a far better party spectacle than one (Girl Talk notwithstanding). And anyway, since when has partying -- or art, for that matter -- been about efficiency?
-- LUKE BAUMGARTEN
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & U & lt;/span & nited State of Electronica with Vellela Vellela and the Popular Butchers at the Whitworth HUB on May 5 at 9 pm. $10; free, students. Call 777-1000.
If you're younger than, say, 26 years of age, you probably don't remember WARRANT. If you do, I all but guarantee the only song you remember is the song the band never wanted to release. They fought hard to keep "Cherry Pie" off their sophomore album. The label, wanting to repeat the multi-platinum sales of their debut, but not seeing any real barnburners, insisted.
The song wasn't their biggest hit. That honor goes to the power-ballad slow jam "Heaven." It certainly, though, became iconic. Hair metal had been at the more obscene, misogynistic end of an androgyny fixation popularized by Bowie a decade earlier. When the song dropped, the nauseating double-entendres hit that nail on its quickly receding head.
By 1990, grunge was on its way in, theatricality was on its way out and the soaring, screeching licks of "Cherry Pie" would prove to be very near hair metal's swan song.
-- LUKE BAUMGARTEN
Warrant at the Grail on May 5 at 8 pm. $20; $25 at the door. Call (208) 665-5882.