Manplanet (pictured) is a Devo-esque, retro-futuristic band you may be familiar with from their appearance on Comedy Central's Let's Bowl (a Minneapolis-based program combining bowling, déclassé culture and plenty o' yucks). The quartet, who look and sound like the Tubeway Army, take a fey, low-fi approach to the Weezer/Rentals sound--like, if those bands had to buy all their gear through the classifieds, thrift stores and pawn shops. On their second EP, this means pop with lots of gurgling synth lines and lyrics about the "future." Durham's Jett Rink shares the bill in this show made in '70s heaven: Keyboardist/old gear aficionado Mike Walters plays ancient rewired boards--an ARP synth, for example--while the band does its late '70s early '80s new wave/glam chug with Gulliver-sized punk diva Viva on vocals. Dust off your spandex body suit and hit Local 506 this Sunday, Feb. 24. Call 929-5506 for details.
The Sunshine Fix, really the baby of Olivia Tremor Control's co-founder Bill Doss, is a sometimes psychedelic tribute to the era when bands had names like The Electric Prunes and The Strawberry Alarm Clock. That would be the, uh, '60s. Doss' new Kindercore release, Age of the Sun, travels the same path as retro devotees Matthew Sweet or Apples in Stereo--even Sloan. Add a healthy respect for The Beatles and the kind of studio techniques and arrangements that recall Brian Wilson (detuned piano, anyone?) and you've got a right smart batch of songs. The Sunshine Fix make the kind of music that reminds you that winter can only last for so long. See them open for K Records chick pop-punks Flying Tigers this Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Go! Room 4 in Carrboro. Call 969-1400 for details.
Raleigh punk rock vets The Bad Checks still kick butt harder'n most of the young 'uns, and Checks' bass player Clif Mann's Demonbeach label is putting out some gear-grinding, raunch-rock releases, including a new compilation of area artists. Jake the Evil Redneck, a band that hails from the banks of the Cape Fear River (aka Wilmington), bill themselves as a goth-a-billy, erotic horror show: They name everyone from Glen Danzig and crew to The Cramps and The Birthday Party as influences. It's gonna be a night of Pure-T rock 'n' roll evil, y'all, and not your mama's variety either--one of the Redneck's Chapel Hill shows featured a live nipple-piercing episode. Catch the jams Friday, Feb. 22, at Kings Barcade in Raleigh. Call 831-0540 for details.