17

SATURDAY

The I-can’t-hear-the-damn-words critique (usually from old people) of punk rock never held water with me. You figure that either the singer doesn’t really want to be heard or, more likely, the lyrics suck anyway. At a recent Galaxy Hut show, one very serious band worked a good 15-minute groove that was all but destroyed by the singers’ Jim Morrison-isms. I dare you to read—really read—Patti Smith without laughing. Lucky for us, Turing Machine plays without jamming lofty lyrics in our ears. Instead, the former Pitchblenders grind out tough stop-shudder-and-start-again pyrotechnics. On their now-too-old debut, A New Machine for Living, the band engineers songs that feed off the emotion of its own playing. You hear blooz nudges, Sonic Youth tics, and a ton of bass. But it’s the drums that will give you a serious case of the head nods when Turing Machine works out with Q and not U, Excelsior, and The Devil Is Electric at 6 p.m. at the Wilson Center, 15th & Irving Streets NW. $5. (703) 670-3842. (JC)