by INLANDER & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & D & lt;/span & eer Park singer/songwriter ANDY MAC is a dyed-in-the-wool Christian rocker. I mean, he's got it all -- the bright-eyed sincerity, the catchy John-Mayer-lite acoustic guitar strummery, the four chords, the song in which he sings from the perspective of God about a troubled young woman.
And while his music may be derivative, you've got to give the dude credit for one major fact: He plays in prisons -- at this point, almost exclusively in prisons, according to his MySpace page. After a show at the state pen in Walla Walla, he's bringing his guitar to the Airway Heights prison for a show. Yeah, maybe inmates would rather take their gospel Johnny Cash-style - with more cussing and braggadocio. Then again, you don't see anyone else volunteering to play shows there, do you? These are people we try our best to forget about. But there's at least one Christian rocker who hasn't.
-- JOEL HARTSE
Andy Mac at the Airway Heights Corrections Center on Saturday, Aug. 18. Time TBA. Call 244-6700.
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & D & lt;/span & o we still need anthems? I don't mean like "Oh, Canada," I mean like pop anthems, fist-pumpers, beer-spillers. Is anybody writing them these days, or are we going to be stuck shouting, "You gotta fight! For your right! To paaaaaaaaar-tay?" Because there are a few other things we've probably gotta fight for these days. Seattle's THE CLASSIC CRIME is trying its best to fill the anthem-gap with songs like "Blisters & amp; Coffee" from its new album Albatross, which features an intimidating gang of vocalists singing the words, "Desperate /We will lift up our hands/Stronger/We will rise up against/Freedom/It's a part of us all." These lyrics work for anyone and anything, which is the genius part. Seriously, who doesn't like freedom? Who doesn't want to rise up against ... something? Package that with screamo vox and nimble, knife-sharp guitars, and it's time for some serious fist-pumping.
-- JOEL HARTSE
The Classic Crime with Just Surrender, Powerspace and Sullivan at the Blvd. on Sunday, Aug. 19, at 5:30 pm. $8. Call 455-7826.
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & n the stale world of power-pop and emo, any band attempting to gain attention and acclaim must grab at anything that'll give it a sense of novelty. LOST OCEAN's gimmick is the piano. While other bands coddle their guitars as they rock out, this Bakersfield, Calif., band places the piano front and center, with the guitars serving as a postscript.
The subsequent sound is definitely akin to Coldplay but also has hints of emo mainstays Jimmy Eat World and Copeland. While its ghostly harmonies soar, Lost Ocean's instrumentation remains smooth and tight, creating music that is simultaneously catchy, likeable and poignant. Basically, the Ocean musicians don't rock your face off, but they don't put you to sleep, either. And although their angst-ridden lyrics and vocals (as well as shaggy hairdos) are stock, Ocean's impressive musicianship exhibits substantial potential. Old dog, new tricks? Yes. But any effort to breathe new life into a cookie-cutter genre is noteworthy enough to garner a solid round of applause.
-- KATIE PEIFER
Lost Ocean with Barcelona at Caterina Winery on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 8 pm. $5. Call 328-5069.
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.