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April Is bursting with a thunderstorm of shows

Well, the Ides of March are behind us, and now it's time to brace for the April showers.

And let me tell you, when it rains, it pours. This week, I have so many tasty tidbits, I'm making the entire column an Elsewhere around the Scene.

Are you ready? Get your calendar out and let's do this:

First, mark your calendars for April 27 to get your melancholy on.

Former The Smiths frontman Morrissey, the king of moody indie rock, is coming to Stockton's Bob Hope Theatre that night. Morrissey will kick off his spring tour with the show. Tickets ($39.50-$59.50) go on sale Saturday through, or 373-1700....

Today, hear music with a message as Modesto Junior College's Dead Punks Society throws a benefit concert for the family of singer and guitarist Sid Skibinski.

The MJC student and member of the local group the Jelly Donut Gang died recently from alcohol poisoning.The show also will be a CD-release party for the group Sometimes Sober. Also performing will be Nein Lifes, Hermanos Muertos, Poverty & Violence, Control and Fallen Short.

The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. at the MJC student center, 435 College Ave. Tickets are $5. For more information, call 575-6415.

"Supporting your scene never had so much meaning," said Optimism One, English professor and the faculty adviser for the Dead Punks Society. ...

Also tonight, check former Tower of Power horn blower Mic Gillette presented by Gottschalk Music and the Barkin' Dog Grill.

He will be backed by Ernie Bucio's Latin/Funk Band, with the first show at 7:30 p.m. and the second at 9:30 p.m. at downtown's Barkin' Dog. Tickets are $10. Call 572-2341....

Or, if you're headed to the foothills, pop in and hear the Sammy Leverone Quartet.

The family affair features Leverone family members Sammy, Scott, Jackson and Lauren (who will celebrate her 15th birthday that night). The show runs from 6:30 to9:30 p.m. at Sonora's Old Stan Restaurant. Call 536-9598....

McHenry Avenue's Scrambl'z Kountry Kitchen & Steakhouse celebrates the grand opening of its new bar, Pirates Paradise, Saturday.

The remodeled bar has a "Pirates of the Caribbean" theme with swashbuckler décor and a yo-ho-ho attitude.

The event will feature the group Groove Radio, starting at9 p.m.

The bar plans to have a full lineup of musical events each week, including karaoke Thursdays, live bands Fridays and Saturdays and blues and jazz Sundays. For more information, call 521-6390....

Aspiring female R&B singers are invited to an open audition Saturday. Modesto songwriter Reggie Rucker, the owner of N.O.W.U.S. Ark recording studio, is looking for a singer to record his songs for an upcoming demo CD. To make an audition appointment, call Rucker at 505-9766....

For those about to rock, I salute you and suggest you go see the metal act Testament at the Fat Cat Music House & Lounge on Sunday.

The San Francisco group will feature its reunited original lineup, including Chuck Billy and Alex Skolnick. Also performing will be Better Left Unsaid, And All Was Lost, Fire Through Shadows and Nothing But Losers. Music at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 524-1400....

Modesto hip-hop artist Fig.Mutant was commissioned by Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Mike Swick.

The song "Burn" is featured on the San Jose-based UFC middleweight contender's MySpace site, Swick can next be seen fighting in the UFC 69 on April 7 on Pay Per View. For more on the 2006 Modesto Music Association Award-winning rapper, visit

On Thursday, go Off the Air with the April installment of the indie music series at the Fat Cat.

Performing will be Fat Skeleton, Didley Squat and The Arcane Empire, with an art show and sale featuring photographs by Paul "Polewog" Martin and Vanessa Martin. Show starts at8 p.m. Tickets are $5. Call 524-1400 or visit

If you are more in the mood for a movie Thursday, check out the final film in the MJC Civic Engagement Spring Film Series.

Ending the spring program will be the Patricia Foulkrod film "The Ground Truth." It is a pointed indictment of the American military's treatment of its personnel on and off the battlefield. The film will screen at 7 p.m. in MJC Forum 110, 435 College Ave. Admission is free....

And finally, catch opening night of for the Modesto Nuts on Thursday at John Thurman Field.

The kickoff game against the Visalia Oaks will start with pregame entertainment by Mic Gillette. Music at 5:30 p.m. and game at 7:05 p.m.

For tickets, call 572-4487.

Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at or 578-2284. Read her blog SceneIt at