Getting Pounded

And the woman's on top

FRI 7/16

Poundstone takes you on a wild ride.
Poundstone takes you on a wild ride.
Boney saxes it up.
Boney saxes it up.
Get Pepper-sprayed at the Culture Room.
Get Pepper-sprayed at the Culture Room.

Comedian Paula Poundstone has a hide of Teflon. Not only is she a self-described "totally asexual human being" (code for the l word in Entertainment Land -- as if her trademark jackets and ties didn't clue us in) but she's still churning out the jokes after one of the nastiest bouts of bad press and public screwups in recent celeb memory. Charged with child endangerment a couple of years ago when she took her three adopted and two foster kids on a perilous ice-cream adventure (Poundstone was drunk as a monkey), she lost custody of the kids and did time in rehab. After months of Al-Anon indoctrination (tough on an avowed atheist), plus a fortune in legal fees, Poundstone, her adopted children, two nannies, and a personal assistant are now back at home sweet home. And in spite of it all, Mommy is still a very funny lady. This is the woman whose hilarious dispatches from the 1996 GOP convention made the charade bearable ("At one point," she says, "I believe they circulated Bob Dole's dental x-rays."). Poundstone performs Friday through Sunday at the Palm Beach Improv at CityPlace (550 S. Rosemary Ave., Ste. 250, West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $21.20 to $26.50. Call 561-833-1812. --Gail Shepherd

Kiss This!

The secret's out

SAT 7/17

There's not much that's still a secret about the Secret French Kissing Society. It's quite obvious, really -- this band can dole out some good pop tunage. And not pop as in the "Oh baby, I love you" variety of fluff. No sirree. SFKS runs several shades of melancholy, à la the Smiths or the Psychedelic Furs, but never quite falls into the depressing category. It's equally bitter and sweet; there are plenty of quirky, upbeat ditties amid the slower, more plaintive dirges. From the up-and-down dynamics of "Suicide Bomber" to the more evened-out pop of "My Girlfriend's Friend," the poignant melodies of singer/guitarist Stavros Polentas take you on a synaptic roller-coaster ride. You might even hear a Cure song or two. Or three; the band knows quite a few and does a damn good job of them too. The audio tongue-swapping takes place tonight at Dada Restaurant Lounge (52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). The free show starts at 10 p.m. with Die Maudlin Tiara. Call 561-330-3232. --Jason Budjinski

Boney Maroney

The skinny on James

TUE 7/20

Saxophonist James Oppenheim isn't exactly the starving musician he used to be. Though lack of food money early in his career earned him the name Boney James, he now has a taste of success. But we can't expect James to change his name now, not after his Sweet Thing CD debuted at number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. What's he supposed to call himself, then -- Fleshy James? Overfed Oppenheim? Biggy J? Uh, that's just not gonna happen. The boney one brings his smooth jazz sounds tonight to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $29.50 to $49.50. Call 954-462-0222. --Jason Budjinski

Island Rock

WED 7/21

Finding a happy musical medium between seemingly unrelated genres can be precarious. Even more difficult is naming such a style. The only way to describe the music of the Hawaiian band Pepper is Kona dub-rock -- a mix of indie rock, reggae, and the sounds of the band's native island. Pepper lays down the groove at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) at 8 p.m. after Lola Ray. Tickets cost $10 and $12. 954-564-1074. -- Jason Budjinski

 
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