Not too many bands can open for Le Tigre one night and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion the next without skipping a beat. Yet after Olympia, Washington's the Gossip wraps up its current jaunt with Kathleen Hanna's grrrl-power electro outfit, the trio of Beth Ditto, Kathy Mendonca and Nathan Howdeshell will hop aboard Spencer's sweaty, sleazy rock express. In its five-year history, the Gossip has also toured with both Sleater-Kinney and the White Stripes -- a fact that bears testament to the threesome's universal, genre-slashing allure. On its two studio full-lengths, 2000's That's Not What I Heard and last year's Movement, Howdeshell yanks jangling, strangled blues riffs out of his six strings, while Ditto exhales pure sensuousness with all the soul and poetic fury of Etta James, Tina Turner and Patti Smith. Even more compelling is the group's 2003 live disc, Undead in NYC, where its already primordial ferocity gloriously regresses to a nearly molecular level. If that gritty, gutsy document is any indication, the Gossip's show is going to be something to talk about.
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