It's been mentioned in several articles that Ministry's Al Jourgensen seems to be at his best when a Republican's in office. During Reagan, we had the landmark Land of Rape and Honey. During Bush Sr., we had the platinum-selling Psalm 6. Now, during the regime of Dubya, we have a one-two punch with 2003's comeback Animositisomina and the recently released Houses of the Molé. Sense a theme here?
Born an unhappy synth-pop act, then an electro-industrial pioneer, and now a brutal dispatcher of splattered samples, processed vocals, and unrelenting metal, Ministry has undergone more changes than Michael Jackson's nose. Yet the 45-year-old Jourgensen has never lost his penchant for stoking a fire under his enemies (specifically the GOP), and he's found none more obvious than our current president. Not only is his first single titled "No W" but every song title on Molé begins with w and his latest tour is mockingly coined "Evil Doer North America."
For a man once trapped in the throes of drug addiction, Jourgensen's recent sobriety has allowed him to refocus his energies on making high-impact music, as well as changing the face of our government. By scheduling his tour all the way through elections, registering voters at Ministry shows, and appearing on NPR and several other media outlets encouraging voter turnout, Jourgensen's been a one-man wrecking ball against this current administration.
With snare-bashing beats, a triple-guitar attack, Jourgensen's diatribes, and Dubya sound bites galore, Houses of the Molé might be the heaviest, most politically charged Ministry album ever. It's Jourgensen's first since 1985 without longtime collaborator Paul Barker, whose departure allowed his partner to restructure the band, minimize the studio process, and bring a looser atmosphere to the recording. In fact, Jourgensen himself seems much looser these days, hanging with fans, doing plenty of press, and acting like an energized, 16-year-old punk rocker. At least our president's actions have done some good. Do some evil when Ministry, along with fellow industrial veterans My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and Hanzel und Gretyl, play Friday, October 29, at the Kelsey Club (700 Park Ave, Lake Park). Tickets cost $30, and all ages are welcome. Doors open at 7 p.m. Call 561-296-1407, or visit www.kelseyclub.com. -- Kiran Aditham
Raw like sushi -- That's Jim Belushi
When you're a celebrity, you have two avocational choices: join in the neophyte political punditry (Hi, Ben Affleck) or assemble a rock band (Don't hurt us, Russell Crowe...). For example, punchy Sean Penn just picked a fight with the South Park boys (and sealed his fate as their next target) because they suggested it's OK not to vote if you're an ignorant dumbass who doesn't read the news. But Jim Belushi chooses the smart option. He stays out of politics but brings his guitar to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood) with his Sacred Hearts Band.
The House of Blues' long-time band hit it off with Belushi seven years ago. Jimbo's not just an actor (although he's appeared in almost 100 films), not just a comedian (although he's a Saturday Night Live alumnus) but also a bluesy rocker who will sing, flirt, back-flip, and table-dance his way into your heart. If your heart has a whiskey bar, you may have to call a cab. Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts Band play at 8 p.m. Friday, October 29, at the Ballroom at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Tickets cost $65. Visit www.ticketmaster.com. -- John Shannon
If the kids are united...
Unity -- as one stand together/Unity -- evolution's gonna come. Right on, Op Ivy! A world without unity is like... well, it's like having a cowboy run the United States (remember -- you're either with us or you're with the terrorists). Of course, having Bush in office hardly hurts record sales when bashing him is part of your message. The bands heading to town tonight for the Punx Unite Tour have no shortage of derision for the bourgeois pigs running our country. Leading the tour is New Jersey's the Casualties, a band reared on the sounds of GBH, Discharge, and those Punk and Disorderly compilations. In its 14 years of causing all manner of audio anarchy, the band has gone from playing birthday parties in the Jersey suburbs to sizable rock venues throughout the country. Joining the snotty ones on tour are the Lower Class Brats, a punk-rock re-creation of A Clockwork Orange, and fellow Charged Records punks Monster Squad. It's like 1982 all over again. The tour rolls into the Factory (2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Show starts at 6:30 p.m. with openers No Peace at All. Tickets cost $10. Call 954-564-ROCK. -- Jason Budjinski
Sein of the Times
Long after the final Seinfeld episode put closure on the cleverest comedy series of the '90s (take that, Frasier!), the cast members' descent from prime-time prominence seems to have paralleled television's head-on crash into the bowels of banality. Nowadays, clever TV means a reality show concept that involves more than people torturing and/or embarrassing themselves. It's almost like our affinity for Jerry Seinfeld's brand of art imitating life, absurd as it was, somehow lent credence to the "reality television" revolution. So while Seinfeld may not have anything new on the boob tube, you can check out his latest material the old-fashioned way as he stops by for a two-night sojourn at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach) Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost $51 to $81. Call 561-832-7469. -- Jason Budjinski