Sounds juicy

Dark sludgy feedback churns like a runaway locomotive. This then gives way to the light, dreamy vocals of Amber Valentine, who sings over pummeling guitar dirges on Jucifer's new EP, War Bird.

Informed as much by the grimy punk aesthetic of the Melvins as by the blues, Jucifer makes a sound that exists light years away from that other rather popular color-coded male/female duo.

"We are hoping that we continue to evolve while not becoming some weird band that we were never supposed to be," Valentine says. "I think fans of our other music will be able to get that much if not more out of the new record. The main thing for us is whether we get something out of it. We [consider it] foolish to think about your audience and who you're trying to please when you make music, unless you're into music simply to make a lot of money. In that case, you should simply copy whatever is hot. And obviously we're not doing that."

In their decade of making music, Valentine and boyfriend Ed Livengood have seen enough to be skeptical of the current fascination with two-piece bands. "If you've been a two-piece band for a long time, like we have, you know what a lot of mainstream America ... doesn't know," Valentine says. "I've seen so many overlooked bands in my time. So many better versions of what ends up being popular, that it has to make you sort of cynical. But at the same time, personally, it has never been our goal, or priority to follow in the shoes of Britney Spears, the White Stripes, or whomever is the next big thing for five minutes."

Jucifer will play two entirely different sets at the Star Bar Fri., Oct. 22 and Sat., Oct. 23, at 9 p.m. each night. $10. Brass Castle and Abiku open on Friday, Suckpig opens Saturday. Call 681-9018 or visit www.starbar.net for more info.