The Atlanta Constitution (11.5.99)

POP MUSIC: In Concert This Weekend

The Creatures

Side project. Those two words can try the patience of the most dedicated fans. How many R.E.M. devotees regularly listen to the Hindu Love Gods? Remember Fred Schneider and the Shake Society? How about Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha's solo album? Sometimes, though, it works. Occasionally, the side project even outlives the parent band. Take, for example, the Creatures, an offshoot of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Formed in 1976, Siouxsie and the Banshees were initially scorned as a painfully noisy and nearly unlistenable travesty. By the time the band made its recorded debut, 1978's menacing "The Scream," the quartet had crafted a dark, distinctive sound from the ashes of punk. As the group's musical palette expanded, so did its critical and commercial success, with Top 40 hits on both sides of the Atlantic.

While Siouxsie and the Banshees were an ongoing concern, vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and Banshee percussionist Budgie worked on a side project they dubbed the Creatures. It was an outlet for some of the pair's more experimental work, with a special emphasis on Budgie's percussion expertise.

The band that spawned the Creatures no longer exists, having disbanded in 1996 after a 20-year run. Sioux and Budgie continue to make vital music on " Anima Animus," released this year, and a related collection of remixes called "Hybrids," which hit stores last month. The Creatures' percussive wallop and ominous melodicism is right at home in the slave-to-the-rhythm underground music scene of the late '90s.

9 p.m. Saturday. $14 in advance, $16 day of show. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E. 404-249-6400 or 404-577-2007.

--- Shane Harrison

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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