Whereas most people fear change, Fishbone hugs it, kisses it, lays it down on a merry-go-round, and makes sweet love to it. Embracing flux has had a mixed effect. The Boners' fan base shrinks and swells like the tides, and countless record store clerks are now bald, having torn their hair out after shifting the group's albums from the funk bin to the ska bin to the rock bin and back.
Three of the band's six founders remain in the lineup today; all were four-star generals in the early '90s California-based coup during which "alternative" artists rose up and toppled softies like Hall & Oates off the charts. Band members Angelo Moore and Norwood Fisher played on Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking album and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Uplift Mofo Party Plan. In a move that continues to baffle historians, the sly Britney-trons of the world somehow later wrested power away from organic, creative types. But Fishbone has been hiding out in a cave for the past few years, plotting another revolution. The band is on tour, doing recon, to see how many music lovers want to bring back the funk. Enlist in the movement when Fishbone plays the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) tonight. Tickets cost $12. Call 954-564-1074. --Deirdra Funcheon
A Step Above
Musical stoops to new highs
Call them the Central Perks of their time. In the early 1900s, the front stoops of Lower Manhattan apartment buildings served as gathering spots for immigrants sharing their dreams and disappointments. Writer-producer Jay Kholos had worked on such popular television series as The Dick Van Dyke Show, and New York City's Lower East Side Tenement Museum brought a song to his heart, as well as bringing his Russian-born grandfather's tales of the immigrant experience to life. The result: the off-Broadway musical A Stoop on Orchard Street, chronicled by an aging man and dubbed a sequel to Fiddler on the Roof. Performances at the Stage Door Theatre (1444 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors), now taking place Wednesdays through Sundays, were to end June 20, but near nightly sellouts have prompted an extended run through July 11. Tickets cost $36 by phone, $35 at the theater box office. Call 954-344-7765. --Michelle Sheldone
Hank Williams not once, not twice, but thrice
Hank Williams III could be a dead ringer for his grandpa if it weren't for the long, crazy hair tucked under the cowboy hat. But he does carry on the birthright of love for the rowdier side of life, heartbreak, and a good buzz. Call it hellbilly or even punky-tonk. Hank Williams III brings the family tradition to Fort Lauderdale. Known for his schizophrenic change-ups between traditional crooning country and his love of Misfits-inspired punk, Hank has his own memorable way with words: "Loaded up, hammered back, I'll smack you with my tire jack." Hank III raises some hell at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 22, with openers Porter Hall Tennessee (see Critic's Pick in the Music section) at Satan's playground, a.k.a. the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-564-1074. --Terra Sullivan
The only thing separating the swamplands of North Florida and those in Louisiana are borders drawn on a map by some shiny-shoed Yank. But take a trip to these parts and you'll understand what Swamp Cabbage means when it sings about "Southern Hospitality." The trio takes its country twang over to Alligator Alley (1321 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park) tonight. The free show starts at 9 p.m. Call 954-771-2220. -- Jason Budjinski