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Fast tracks
The Click Five, SXSW, and more

Quick: name a Boston band whose debut album features songs written by Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, guitars by Kiss’s Paul Stanley, and keyboards by the Cars’ Elliot Easton. If you’ve never heard of the Click Five, don’t worry — we hadn’t either. You might remember them, though, under their old name, the Click. Then again, maybe not: they formed just over a year ago at Berklee, and they recorded their debut, Greetings from Imrie House, at Q Division with Mike Denneen; KISS 108 has been spinning the Schlesinger-penned "Just the Girl." Signed this month to Lava/Atlantic, the band are hopping on the fast track: they’re being handled by Wayne Sharp, the Cambridge-based co-manager of Harry Connick Jr., and they just kicked off a nationwide tour opening for Ashlee Simpson. They’ll play the Orpheum with her on March 18.

South by Southwest (SXSW), the industry’s annual paid vacation during which buzz gets manufactured, majors scout indies, and bands get their hustle on, takes over Austin this year from March 11 through 20, and as usual, there’ll be plenty of Boston bands in the thick of it. Twinemen, Melissa Ferrick, Damon & Naomi, Chris Brokaw, and Mary Lou Lord are among the old favorites who’ll be heading back down; among the newcomers are the Perceptionists, Read Yellow, the Unbusted, Willy Mason (who got discovered at SXSW last year), Emergency Music, Big Bear, Jake Brennan and the Confidence Men, Sarah Borges, and Runner and the Thermodynamics.

With Anthony Rossomando back from touring with British punks the Libertines, the Damn Personals made a grand return to the stage this past Friday downstairs at the Middle East. They’re planning to crank out another album in NYC, but they’re keeping their options open: "We’re going to do this record on our terms," says frontman Ken Cook. If you’re looking for Dropkick Murphys tickets, get ’em now: only a few hundred seats remain for the band’s five-night run at Avalon — all of them for the March 16 kickoff. Darkbuster have changed the title of their forthcoming album again: it’s now called A Weakness for Spirits. And the Beatings have finished recording, with producer Paul Q. Kolderie, the follow-up to 2002’s much talked-about Italiano. A new track is available for streaming at www.myspace.com/thebeatings, and the band play Saturday at Great Scott.

Chris Rucker is the host of New England Product, which airs Sundays from 9 to 10 p.m. on WFNX 101.7 FM.

Issue Date: February 18 - 24, 2005
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