Glancing through the latest issue of any mainstream hipster rag, you'd think there's been a resurgence in power pop -- that late '70s and early '80s phenomenon that gave us Cheap Trick, the Vapors, and the Beat, until new wave took over. The original idea of power pop was that it had, ya know, power to it; not like the snail-paced, soulless falsetto drivel of many of today's "pop" acts. But there are bands, such as Tampa Bay's Barely Pink, that know the roots of power pop and aren't afraid to infuse lots of energy into rich melodies.
Inspired by power-pop gods Cheap Trick (whom they've played with six times) as well as by Todd Rundgren, Big Star, and Brian Wilson, Barely Pink serves up a mix of fast-paced and midtempo pop with an occasional ballad thrown in to round things out. All this is evident in its newest CD, Last Day of Summer, on Not Lame Recordings.
Vocalist and guitarist Brian Merill describes Barely Pink as having "less frosting, more cake," meaning all the bells and whistles are there but only as a supplement to the solid tunes underneath. They don't have to compensate with a million oohs and ahhs. For Barely Pink, it's all about giving audience members the biggest bang for their bucks.
"We're about making the audience glad they spent the evening with us," lead guitarist Mark Warren says. "If you want people to be enthused, you gotta be enthused yourself. You can't just stand there looking at the floor and expect people to get into it."
Warren notes that an important part of inspiring others is remembering the musicians who first inspired him to be in a band. "If someone can come away with a smile saying, 'That was a good evening,' we know we've won the battle, and we'll win the war next week." Barely Pink performs two sets, one of covers and one of originals, at Dada, 52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach, as part of "Popscene Saturdays." Show starts at 10 p.m. Admission is free. Call 561-330-3232. -- Jason Budjinski
Just the funny
An improv comedy troupe performing at a planetarium? It doesn't get any funnier than that! Any chance to say Uranus is comedic gold! Every Friday and Saturday night at the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami), the Just the Funny Improv Troupe, which has performed sketch comedy around Miami since 1999, takes on the audience in an interactive setting. Friday, JTF presents "Lust and Revenge;" one-act sketches about two emotions that pop up more frequently than transsexual hookers in South Florida. "We like the audience to be greased up and ready to divulge their secrets," explains original troupe member David Christopher. "Everyone has a tale of lusting after someone who didn't lust back or wanting to get revenge," Christopher says. "We take those stories from the audience members and reenact how they could have played out years later, whether it's the best- or worst-case scenario. It's the cheapest form of therapy there is." JTF also teaches improv classes for teens and adults. And Christopher even teaches a business improv class for all you aspiring CEO/comedians. Check out "Lust and Revenge" at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-693-8669, or visit www.justthefunny.com -- Audra Schroeder
Insulting for laughs
Depending on one's perspective, it's easy to either love or hate Lisa Lampanelli. The insult comedienne's acerbic wit allows those who agree with her views to laugh right along. And in the rare case in which people have a sense of humor about themselves, they can afford a chuckle too. Of course, there are also those people who will scream, yell, and froth at the mouth after Lampanelli plays up some stereotypes for a few laughs. But, hey, if you get insulted easily and don't laugh at much, what the hell are you doing at a comedy club? Especially when the performer has been described as "a cross between Don Rickles, Archie Bunker, and a vial of estrogen." Lampanelli performs at Uncle Funny's Comedy Club (9160 State Rd. 84, Davie) at 8 p.m. Shows continue through October 5, with showtimes at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Fridays, and 7, 9, and 11 p.m. Saturdays. Tickets cost $8 to $15 plus tax and a two-drink minimum. Call 954-474-5653. -- Dan Sweeney
We all know David Lee Roth is a bit crazy, and not just from the heat. But instead of poking fun at his decidedly eccentric ways, let's take a look into the mind of this one-man show. Diamond Dave put out a video last year called No Holds Bar-b-Que, his effort to catch a bit of the Osbourne family fame virus. Nobody cared. But the video was rife with the id-driven fantasies of a man off his rock 'n' roll rocker. Dave does karate. Dave cavorts with midgets. Dave wears a sailor outfit. You can just imagine Roth at the helm of this ship, shouting orders: "Get the midgets in the wetsuits!" "The Playmates need more butter in their hair!" "More Otter Pops!" What does it all mean? Were those years in Van Halen so traumatic that Roth has regressed into the wet dream of a 16-year-old boy? Or is he content to live in Crazyville, population: him? Oh yeah, David Lee Roth plays the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Show starts at 8 p.m. Call 954-946-2402. -- Audra Schroeder