Those sassy little minxes The Donnas are back, their heavily Ramones-influenced, bad-girl vibe wearing thin on The Donnas Turn 21, their fourth major release. Even though the '70s-inspired rock quartet has always smacked of a sort of "girls+retro-name+trashy-clothes=success!" air, nobody's ever identified the Kim Fowley behind these modern Runaways. So, let's just enjoy them for what they are: an enthusiastic, if unoriginal, throwback to a simpler, brattier time, a time when roll-on lip gloss ruled and too-tight T-shirts had no irony whatsoever. Also on the bill is bona fide punk rock trio Bratmobile. Hopeless records recording artists the Selby Tigers open Wednesday, March 7, at the Cat's Cradle. For ticket information call 967-9053.
Light-years beyond "sassy" are The Haggard, two dykes from Portland whose hardcore guitar and drum onslaught, screaming vocals, death-metal growls and radical lyrical agenda will be assaulting Kings' patrons as part of the Mr. Lady Records showcase. (Mr. Lady is the Durham-based "lesbocore" label started by Butchies lead singer Kaia Wilson and experimental filmmaker Tammy Rae Carland.) Whether it's Wilson's whisper-to-a-scream vocals or bassist Alison Martlew's breathy alto, The Butchies always rock, alternating passionate gyno-punk with queer politics and catchy punk-pop hooks. Also featured is newcomer Tami Hart, whose 2000 debut, No Light in August, recalls Amy Ray with a dash of Elliott Smith. Check out all three acts at Kings on Wednesday, Feb. 28. And just imagine: You'll be occupying the same space as Southern Championship Wrestling aficionados. Call 831-1005 for details.