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The Show Band that Wouldn't Die

Three things you didn't know about Vince Vance and the Valiants

3. Serious. 4. Deep, profound. The world lost great philosophers and poets when Crowbar decided to go into sludge-metal instead of grad school. The band's songs address existential issues, spirituality and sacrifice in simple yet striking language, with a few empathetic messages for the self-help crowd. For example: "Born again in time / You're not alone in what you're feeling," Windstein roars during the obliquely inspirational "…And Suffer As One."

5. Burdened. 6. Sluggish. 7. Drowsy. Crowbar often sounds oppressed, as if it were carrying on its shoulders the weight of, well, Crowbar. Its average composition moves like an anvil-filled ship dragging anchor through a concrete lot. A large dose of Crowbar might induce sleepiness and subsequent nightmares (though the aforementioned "Dream Weaver" could spark Tia Carrere fantasies).

8. Loud. Crowbar's rare speedy songs detonate like dynamite, and its more trademark numbers move with the pendulous force of a wrecking ball. Either way, the walls are coming down.

9. Important. Crowbar released a greatest-hits album in 2000, a rare feat for an underground act with no radio singles. In addition, Pantera's Phil Anselmo produced Crowbar's 100,000-selling second album, then joined three of its members (Windstein, bassist Todd Strange and drummer Jimmy Bower) in the doom-laden side project Down. A reliably smart and innovative act, Crowbar demonstrates how a plodding tortoise can surpass the genre's jack rabbits. -- Andrew Miller

Crowbar rumbles onstage Saturday, July 2, at the Engine Room, 1515 Pease, 713-654-7846.

I'm Lovin' It

Destiny's Child leads the way toward a new, corporate-friendly era of music touring

So we see that the current (and possibly last) Destiny's Child tour is traveling under the following McDonald's- sponsored banner: "Destiny Fulfilled... And Lovin' It."

Tacky? Yes. Crass? All the way. A total sellout maneuver? You betcha.

But still, we're, ahem, lovin' it. Every act should do it. After all, corporate sponsorship is what America's all about, isn't it?

We thought it would be fun to go back through the annals of both music history and America's highest art form -- advertising -- and come up with some new, improved tour names. In doing so, we discovered that many companies could do well to just swipe some album titles and use them as their new slogans -- how about "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" as a street-savvy ad campaign for a staid old firm like Merrill Lynch or Smith Barney or as The Wall Street Journal's new, in-your-face motto? But others require a little more mixing and matching, and thus the handy little chart we put together. -- John Nova Lomax

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