Bubbapalooza's earlybirds

The idea of live music inside the Star Bar starting before sunset may seem strange, but the unusually long lineup scheduled for this weekend's Bubba-palooza necessitates early showtimes. Two local bands, each slated for opening slots during the event, are actually excited about playing during daylight.

"Most of our friends usually haven't even made bail by 5 p.m. on Saturday," says Jeff Evans, frontman of Chickens and Pigs, "but we'll play for whoever shows up, God bless 'em." Evans' ersatz combo — which includes bassist Henry Watts, drummer James Sweeney and guitarist Buck Buckley — offers an especially gritty approach to country music, with strong injections of Exile on Main Street-era Stones energy amid hilarious tall tales twisted into songs such as "Bears Like Corn."

An equally unconventional spirit (perhaps spirits is the better word) infuses the Dry County Drunks, who are scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. The raucously inebriated swamp-twang band is actually a loose confederation of musicians moonlighting from Kickstand, the Bluejays, Bully and other groups. Their leader is Charlie Leach, better known as Chaz Lounge, curmudgeonly columnist for local zine Stomp and Stammer.

"I'm happy we're on early enough so that my lovely wife will actually come hear us for the first time," says Lounge. "After that, I plan on drinking."

Although they share an irreverence toward music, the Drunks and the Chickens differ on the value of Internet promotion. Leach, who works in web design, maintains a modest site for his group at www.cloun.com/drunks.htm; but the Chickens bandleader has long asserted that computers are "against my religion." However, when several Chickens songs proved overwhelmingly popular during an experimental MP3 offering, he sang a very different tune.

"I think it's time," says Evans, "to change my religion."

Chickens and Pigs play Sat. at 5 p.m., and Dry County Drunks play Sun. at 6 p.m., during Bubbapalooza, May 25-27, at the Star Bar.??