HANK & CUPCAKES
Coruscating dance-rock duo Hank & Cupcakes are filed under: "Rhythmic Male/Female Twosomes, see Matt & Kim." Yet, the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Tel Aviv husband-and-wife team are a different kind of rock 'n roll animal. For starters, H&C's rump-shaking grooves shun synths for a full-on drum and bass assault. In Chuck Taylors and shiny spandex, singer Sagit Shir writhes like a woman possessed as she pummels her drum kit, while Ariel Scherbacovsky's loud bass slip-slides across disco-funk foundations. H&C's tuneful noise plus Shir's sexy stage presence has drawn comparisons to the Ting Tings, but a closer analog is edgy post-punk funksters Gang of Four. Like that '80s quartet, bass drives the melody here, powering addictive songs with deceptively simple lyrics. The duo's message is direct, but they rock with a ferocity that's alien to mainstream pop. It's telling that H&C recorded their latest LP at Berlin's Hansa studios, which yielded the towering bi-polar romance of David Bowie's "Heroes," and that they draw their name from the Skid Row oeuvre of low-life poet laureate Charles Bukowski. H&C's loud-and-catchy ear candy lingers, because it's laced with a piquant touch of carbolic. $8. Aug. 31, 9 p.m. The Saloon, 900 N.C. Music Factory Blvd. 704-716-2327.