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POWERING UP
FUEL AND RUTH RUTH AT THE SHOWPLACE ON TUESDAY

PICK HIT
Modern rock will be on display Tuesday at 8 p.m. when Fuel and Ruth Ruth play the Showplace Theatre, 1063 Grant St. Fuel offers a hard-edged contemporary sound; Ruth Ruth specializes in power pop, with sharp two- and three-minute numbers made for the Top 40. Ruth Ruth just added a couple of new members, Christian Nakata on drums and Michael Kotch, formerly of Eve's Plumb, on guitar.

SCENE'S BIG FIVE
1. Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, featuring Sam Myers: Saturday at 10 p.m. in the Lafayette Tap Room, 320 Pearl St. Funderburgh and Myers team up for some hot and nasty blues.

2. Hot Rod Chicks: Saturday at 10 p.m. in Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. It's a night of female rock with two all-women bands. Local band Ethyl opens things up with its hard-driving sound; Moxie, from New York City, finishes the evening in rocking style.

3. The Sadies: Saturday at 11 p.m. in Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. The Sadies come from Toronto and offer a thrash country sound with loud noise and stage mayhem.

4. Great Big Sea: Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Tralf, 622 Main St. Rock with Celtic flavor by Great Big Sea. The Pushstars, a national band featuring Chris Trapper of Amherst, are also scheduled to perform.

5. The Need: Sunday at 5 p.m. in Alternative Brews, 3488 Sheridan Drive. The Need brings fresh, original sounds highlighted by lead singer Sue Kincaid's vocals.

BIG BEAT STORY OF THE WEEK
KISS is ready to rock once more. The boys are back with a new album and plans for a world tour. The album came out this week and is called "Psycho Circus," the first studio effort since 1979 with the original band members: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. KISS starts a world tour next month, with the Smashing Pumpkins opening.

AROUND AND ABOUT
Elton John had a big payday earlier this month with a performance at Marine Midland Arena. The Rocket Man's show grossed $753,107, according to Billboard magazine. A sellout crowd of 15,446 attended. . . . Debbie Davies plays hard-core blues tonight at 10 in the Lafayette Tap Room. . . . Scene had a blast at last week's Curtain Up! We caught Lance Diamond and Michael Civisca's sets downtown and stopped by the Tralf to see Switch, and watched Mayor Masiello cut a mean rug on the dance floor during a Beatles set. "I love the Beatles," said the baby-boom mayor. . . . Top 10, Sept. 25, 1994: "I Swear," by All-4-One.

The Goo Goo Dolls' new album shipped gold, meaning more than 500,000 copies of "Dizzy Up the Girl" have been distributed by Warner Bros. Records. Shock jock Howard Stern has been ripping the Goos about appearing on his show. . . . Back, back baby: Vanilla Ice returns from obscurity with a new sound and new album, "Hard to Swallow," due out Oct. 20. . . . The Misfits play original rock at the Showplace on Saturday at 8 p.m. Hula and Haply Medium perform Sunday at 8 p.m. . . . Scene quiz: Who said, "Not all men are pigs"? Was it Monica Lewinsky, Shirley Manson or RuPaul? Answer: Manson, lead singer of Garbage. . . . Baseball Furies and three other original rock bands perform tonight at 11 in Mohawk Place. . . . Top 10, Sept. 25, 1980: "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen.

Joe Rubino, big cheese at Nietzsche's, says one of his favorite local bands is Sweatin' Like Nixon. "But I think maybe they should change their name to Sweatin' Like Clinton," says Rubino. This week at Nietzsche's the acts include Rob Falgiano, tonight at 6, and Terry Sullivan and Dollywatchers at 11. . . . Carole plays R & B sounds tonight at 8 in the Tralf. . . . Fearless Leader Man Clinton may be having his problems, but he still digs rock 'n' roll. Clinton recently welcomed Vaclav Havel, head of the Czech Republic, to the White House and rocker Lou Reed was the guest performer. Reed gave a 35-minute set and sang such numbers as "Sweet Jane" and "Dirty Boulevard." . . . This week's words to live by, courtesy America: "I've been through the desert on a horse with no name."

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