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January 29, 2008

Sick Of It All turns 20; Tiger Army’s lucky No. 13

Wednesday, Jan. 30For hardcore to have one of its practitioners last 20 years is a peculiarly successful feat. Over time, most acts switch up their styles altogether, break up for good or reform somewhere down the line as adults less angry than their former selves.Founded by two brothers, Lou and Pete Koller, in the mid-1980s, New York City’s Sick Of It All has managed to stay tuned up far longer than their predecessors.A tribute album to their seemingly interminable career, Our Impact Will Be Felt, came out last year to celebrate the big 2-0, and features covers from The Suicide Machines, Pennywise and Bouncing Souls, etc.Sick Of It All joins Madball, Death Before Dishonor and Wisdom In Chains tonight at Headliners Music Hall (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088). Doors open at 7 p.m., and the all-ages show is $16.Thursday, Jan. 31The John Cowan Band returns to Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium (2345 Lexington Road, 452-9531) Thursday. Tickets are $12 in advance, and $15 at the door.Friday, Feb. 1The members of Tiger Army grew up in a renowned incubator of West Coast punk rock, 924 Gilman St. in Berkeley, an artist and punk rock collective that put on the earliest shows by Operation Ivy, Rancid and Green Day.These are salad days, the Army’s singer and principal songwriter, Nick 13, remembers fondly.“You see so many scenes where everything is corrective and backbiting. There was definitely a sense of community (at Gilman),” he says. “We were helped out so much by our friends in different bands in the Bay Area.”Joined by Geoff Kresge on stand-up bass and vocals, and drummer James Meza, Tiger Army has crisscrossed the United States many times since its self-titled debut was released in 1999, playing with the likes of The Damned, Reverend Horton Heat and Dropkick Murphys. The group has rotated its rhythm section more than once, with 13 as the only constant member.“Music has always been the most important thing in my life,” he says. “There are a number of times in the band’s existence where the band has been just me. There’s nothing else to replace this for me, and so you move forward.”For last year’s release on Hellcat Records, Music From Regions Beyond, 13 tapped Jerry Finn (Blink-182) to help realize his vision, calling it the first time that “anything that I could think of in my head musically could translate to an actual song the way I heard it.”Part of his decision to find a producer for Regions came from 13 realizing his own limitations.“The first three records were self-produced, and after the third record, I felt like I took the sound as far as I could myself,” he says. 13 sat in while Finn was making an album for Army pals AFI, and 13 liked Finn’s style and work ethic. “Part of it was a personality thing,” 13 says. “And then he had very similar philosophies on recording to me when it comes to the use of analog and vintage gear, and vintage equipment and guitars.”Tiger Army headlines Friday’s show at Uncle Pleasant’s (2126 S. Preston St., 634-4147). Doors for the all-ages show open at 7:30 p.m. Revolution Mother and The Dear & Departed also play. Tickets are $13, naturally.Saturday, Feb. 2The Asylum Street Spankers are making what amounts to an annual pilgrimage to Louisville. Saturday finds them at the Bomhard in Kentucky Center for the Arts, as part of the LEO Presents A Little Off Center series. Showtime is 8 p.m.; admission is $23.  Contact the writer at mherron@leoweekly.com