Contrary to popular belief, rap music was once free of marijuana references, and Carmen Electra's body was once free of silicon. That was before Cypress Hill. Seven albums, 13 years, and thousands of brain cells later, lyrics filled with terms like blunt, weed, and chronic are a dimebag a dozen, and the former Playmate who once dated front man B-Real has upgraded at least two cup sizes.
While endless sessions of herbal rejuvenation should receive some of the credit for the trio's longevity in the fickle world of popular music, the band members' knack for adjusting their sound and evolving musically has allowed them to sustain a career older than Lil' Romeo. Cypress Hill fans -- well, the handful who haven't smoked all of their memory away -- have seen the three go from the straight-up hip-hop of their self-titled debut to the reggae-influenced hip-hop of the multiplatinum Black Sunday to the metal-induced Skull and Bones. On their latest effort, Till Death Do Us Part, the nasal-heavy cries that have become B-Real's signature are gone; in their place, you'll hear a much more calculated delivery. Meanwhile, DJ Muggs has 86ed the metal-friendly beats and replaced them with ska-inspired horns. "With the herb smoking," Muggs explains, "we have a lot in common with the ska culture, so it was a natural progression." No whining from the front man, no aggressive guitar riffs, but the Hill still brings you tracks like "Ganja Bus" and "Bong Hit." Luckily, some things never change.
The 13-year veterans bring their hybrid brand of reggae, Latin, metal, and hip-hop to the Sound Advice Amphitheatre (601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach) on Sunday, May 9. When the smoke clears, if it ever does, pop-punk trio Blink-182 takes the stage to headline the show. Opening act Taking Back Sunday kicks things off at 7 p.m. Tickets -- for general admission lawn seats or reserved seats -- cost $29.50. Call 561-793-0445, or visit www.soundadviceamp.com. --Tim Hammill
Danes of death
It seems like forever ago when heavy metal had the market cornered on demons, death, and gore. And it's ironic too, because both punk and rockabilly have made their own fiendish contributions to the darker side of rock that can't be ignored, most notably with the Misfits (punk/hardcore) and the Cramps (psychobilly/garage). Since the late '70s, both bands have thrived among the mohawked, T-shirt-and-leather-jacket crowd and have reached crossover audiences who just really dig horror stuff. Denmark's Nekromantix, which has been at it for the past 15 years, is part of a new breed of psychobilly bands that infuse a heavy dose of punk into their caldron of songs. And though Nekromantix's latest album, Dead Girls Don't Cry, is on Epitaph Records, the band hasn't succumbed to the Epitaph effect; it doesn't sound like a hybrid of NOFX and Bad Religion -- well, not yet anyway. Call it necrobilly. Nekromantix delivers the ghoulish goods at the Factory (2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) after opening sets by the Heatseekers and the Mary Tyler Whores at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $9. Call 954-564-ROCK. -- Jason Budjinski
THU 5/6 Exploring the perceived link between genius and insanity has long been a favorite theme of authors, playwrights, and Hollywood screenwriters alike. From 2002's cinematic jewel A Beautiful Mind to Robert Pirsig's groundbreaking novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, there's always wonderment in watching someone go bonkers solving the problems of academia. In Proof, David Auburn offers us the story of a brilliant mathematician, Robert, who comes mentally unglued well shy of his 30th birthday. Robert dies a broken man, leaving behind a desultory collection of unfinished proofs. One of his students, Hal, butts heads with the mathematician's daughter, Catherine, who claims ownership of a particular proof. And Claire, Catherine's older sister, sees Catherine traveling the same troubled path as her father. Add a little romance to the mix and it's a wrap. Proof runs Thursdays through Sundays until May 23 at the American Heritage Center for the Arts (12200 W. Broward Blvd., Bldg. 3000, Plantation). Tickets cost $13 to $23. Call 954-577-8243. -- Jason Budjinski
There's that little dance you do in the boudoir for your honey, and then there's the real dance of luuvvvv -- the one that doesn't send people into convulsing fits of laughter. We're talkin' about Romantic Interludes, a world premiere and one of three pieces to be performed during the final program of the Maximum Dance Company's 2003-04 season. This ballet merges contemporary dance with classical music by Johannes Brahms and Antonin Dvorak. The program also includes Silent Night, Still We Dream -- "an abstract approach to our often-wavering personal values" (but you wouldn't know anything about those, would you?) -- and Follow Me, a playful dance marked by a spirit of camaraderie. The performance takes place at 8 p.m. at Bailey Concert Hall (Broward Community College, 3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie). Tickets cost $25 to $50. Call 305-259-9775, or visit www.maximumdancecompany.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon