by INLANDER & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & L & lt;/span & eonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is a gorgeous, haunting song and a near perfect meditation on faith and its manifestation through the body and mind of another. Local songwriter KORI HENDERSON came to it through Jeff Buckley's cover -- more famous than Cohen's original and probably more stunningly rendered. It's a daunting, impossible song that exposes all the character and imperfections in a voice. Henderson says she found it beautiful and so she "just kind of started trying to figure it out on guitar."

The version she ended up covering was Buckley's, down almost to the word. It's less the details of the story that matter, though, than the telling. Where Cohen comes off as tired and Buckley tortured, Henderson feels tentative, a young singer with a young voice and an exuberance of feeling tempering the song's emotional downbeats with flits of innocence. Not what L. Cohen intended perhaps, but certainly possessed of its own power.


Kori Henderson with Vespertine and Thomas Bechard at Prago on Friday, May 31 at 9 pm. Free. Call 838-9819.

& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & t's been a while since we left intrepid do-gooders THE SIDE PROJECT in their west side environs. Almost exactly two years ago former Inlander staffer Leah Sottile warned that their debut 14 "will force you to refill your high school lithium prescription and sniffle yourself to sleep." Fast-forward six months to A Comfortable Struggle. Lead vocalist Suzie Bradford told me that they'd gone more for spooky atmospherics. True enough.

Now in the ought-7 (and for much of the ought-6, by the looks of it), the band is in the midst of another shift. Always the central artist in residence of the swirling collective of members that is the Project, Bradford has put her name on the band and gone upbeat in search of new sounds. "Bathroom at the Bar" begins with a bouncy, funky, carnivalesque synth line, like Regina Spektor and Gogol Bordello channeling Smash Mouth, while "Wake Up Call" finds her channeling Tracy Chapman. Broad the search has been, to say the least.


Suzie Bradford and the Side Project at Caterina Winery on Friday, June 1 at 8 pm. $7. Call 328-5069.

& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & A & lt;/span & t what point does a simple, propulsive hardcore song become unwieldy enough that it ceases becoming classifiable as "hardcore?" When, I suggest, at the two-minute mark, the screamy yawp of your lead singer fades into what sounds like a 20-head boys choir, that's no longer hardcore. How do we define such things then, besides "Jared Leto-esque?" The common refrain comes, "hell, why not just call it post-hardcore?" Easy enough. You note the underlying influence then add the post- as a nod that they've moved past it.

There's no sense of degree there, though, and that's tough with bands like THE CHARIOT. They're trying so hard to just be hardcore. Their songs are simple, short, explosive and filled with rage (political, mostly, not interpersonal). All very hardcore in the definitional sense, with little, almost cast-off, nods to the here and now. There should be some sort of scale, like air quality standards. Then we could measure the boys-choiry "And They Shot Each Other" in post-hardcore parts per minute.


The Chariot with I Hate Sally, Misery Signals, I am Ghost at the Blvd., on Tuesday, June 5 at 5:30 pm. $10, $12 at the door. Call 455-7826.

Soil Health Stewards Annual Meeting @ Deer Park Fire Hall

Fri., Feb. 10, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
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