Viva Los Straitjackets!

The masked avengers are back to put you in a rock 'n' roll stranglehold

 WED 2/18

The cover art for Los Straitjackets' latest disc, Supersonic Guitars in 3-D, depicts the Mexican-wrestling-mask-wearing, instrumental surf impresarios from Nashville flying through outer space. And the group is still in Cloud Nine territory thanks to a Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy nomination for Rock 'N' Roll City, the Straitjackets' collaboration with Chicago guitar fixture Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater. "He's a contemporary of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and Chuck Berry and all those guys," Straitjackets guitarist Eddie Angel says. "He knows everybody."

Los Straitjackets have been dishing out surf-inspired tunes since 1988 and releasing albums like The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets. The Grammy nod is the group's first, and, after more than a decade of literal and figurative anonymity, the 'Jackets welcome the attention. They will attend the Los Angeles awards ceremony, and you might even say they're excited. "This is the coolest thing that's ever happened to us," Angel says. "We've got relatives that we haven't heard from in years calling. Now they know us." Travel arrangements have been made and tickets purchased. The band and Clearwater will be comped for the festivities, but tickets for their respective spouses go for $450. Each. Of course, the Straitjackets will enter the Staples Center wearing the masks that have become their trademark, a move that had to be prearranged with security. And they'll be carrying copies of their CD in case they're asked to provide identification.

Los Straitjackets get serious at Sears portrait studio.
Los Straitjackets get serious at Sears portrait studio.
"Mom! I won the part of 'Greenery'!"
"Mom! I won the part of 'Greenery'!"
Get a clue! Mystery Theater rules!
Mike Gorman
Get a clue! Mystery Theater rules!
Be careful what falls in your lap at Dada.
Be careful what falls in your lap at Dada.

"They said that if we hadn't checked first, they would've definitely thrown us out," Angel says.

Though not counting on victory -- the album is, after all, up against blues legend Buddy Guy and the original Hootie, 85-year-old sentimental favorite Jay McShann -- hope is not lost.

"I'd be really thrilled to win it," Angel says. "It's like a lifetime pass out of Palookaville, you know?" Check out Los Straitjackets at the Bamboo Room (25 S. "J" St., Lake Worth) at 8 p.m. Call 561-585-2583. -- Rob Trucks

Smooth Moves

Get Deeply Rooted

FRI 2/13

When we want to express "sheer, unalloyed joy in movement," we do cartwheels naked or spin around in our office chairs at warp speeds. Some people, like the ensemble of Deeply Rooted Dance Productions, are a bit more eloquent. With powerful, fluid motions, this Chicago-based dance troupe celebrates life's essential elements, like struggle, strength, and miracles. The DRDP's four-part program at the Duncan Theatre (Palm Beach Community College, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth) includes "Flack," a 30-minute "portrait of strife, despair, and ultimate triumph" set to music by Roberta Flack and Quincy Jones. For another 30-minute piece, "Jagged Ledges," the young, buzzworthy black lesbian poet Staceyann Chin was commissioned to record an original spoken-word soundtrack. "Nia Keii -- A Gift of Life" celebrates the birth of the choreographer's niece, and dancers act in the roles of Land, Sun, Water, and Greenery. DRDP's selections are largely guided by its manifesto, which calls for "positive human interaction" and "a meaningful process." As a result, the shows are lively, inspired manifestations of the African-American dance and theater aesthetic. Shows begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost $25 to $35. Call 561-868-3309. -- Deirdra Funcheon

Who Killed Bubba?

Solve a Grit-ty murder

SAT 2/14

When Grandma Irene gets killed in an unfortunate squirrel attack, grandson Bubba ends up with her secret recipe for "Gut-Bustin' Grits." His joy, however, is short-lived. After just one bite of the delightful dish, Bubba gets axed. Who killed him? Maybe his half-brother Schep, who's mad because Bubba stole his girlfriend? Or cousin Maude, who thought Bubba was too dumb to protect the prize recipe? Perhaps cousin Carol Anne, who might use it to lure a rich husband? Grandpa Gilliam, your run-of-the-mill deaf drunk? Figure out who killed Bubba during the Murder Mystery Players' production of Bubba's Killer Grits on Saturdays through March 20 at Dave & Buster's, 3000 Oakwood Blvd., Hollywood. Solve the mystery and you can win gift certificates to spend on raccoon steak, charbroiled chiggers or straight-up Jim Beam. Gift certificates are legal tender in the game room, bar, and restaurant. Tickets to the show cost $32.95 and include a three-course meal. Shows start at 8 p.m., and reservations are required. Call 954-923-5505. -- Deidra Funcheon

Live! Nude! Spoken Word!

TUE 2/17

Lap poetry? It's not as boring as it sounds, according to Delray Beach poetry slam organizer Marya Summers. "I was brainstorming with a friend for fun ways to raise money for the slam so we could send a team to nationals," she says. "We were like, 'What sells?' The answer was obvious. Sex. Especially here in South Florida, where there's more interest in going to strip bars than to poetry events. We simply combined the marketability of sex and the genre of slam and got lap poetry." For this event, participants must dress in their sleaziest garb (whether that means more or less clothing is up to you) and verbally fornicate with the audience. The person who gets the highest bid from an audience member wins $50 in Dada gift certificates and $20 cash. "I like to think it's both a fundraiser and an outreach program," Summers jokes. "Besides, could you see anyone getting as jazzed about a Raffle Slam or Carwash Poetry?" Check out Lap Poetry at Dada (52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach) at 10 p.m. Call 561-330-3232. -- Audra Schroeder

 
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