Orange County, California, punk veterans the Adolescents were gearing up to record a new album last year, O.C. Confidential, when guitarist Rikk Agnew's penchant for tossin' 'em back got him tossed from the band. Meanwhile, Frank Agnew -- Rikk's brother and the band's other guitarist -- doubled up on ax duty to get the album recorded. But that still left the problem of live shows: Who would fill in for the missing Agnew? Fortunately, Frank already had someone in mind -- another Agnew -- his 19-year-old son, Frank Jr.
However, the smooth sailing didn't last long.
"Frank Sr. just screwed up his knee and has to have surgery on July 12 -- the first day of the tour," bassist Steve Soto tells New Times, noting that 15-year-old Wrecking Crew guitarist Joe Harrison is Agnew's temporary stand-in.
Now the band is ready to face the nation and, with two members still in their teens, well-equipped to disarm those who would scoff at a group of 40-somethings calling themselves Adolescents. Though the band hasn't been a full unit since 1981 -- when the five members split after recording a hugely influential, self-titled album -- O.C. Confidential sounds as fresh and bitterly vivacious as its 24-year-old predecessor. Unfortunately, the catalyst for the album's blistering sense of urgency couldn't have been more tragic for vocalist Tony Cadena.
"Tony recently lost two brothers; one committed suicide, and one was murdered," Soto says. "He called Frank and me saying that he needs an outlet and wanted to do a new record."
And so was born a new set of songs that has been getting the kids out in droves. Yes, that's kids, as in adolescents. Despite its history, the band's fan base remains solidly teenage -- just like back in the early '80s.
"It seems more relevant that we're attracting kids to our first album," Soto says. "If you're a disenfranchised teenager, that's the record to get."
The Adolescents perform with Danko Jones and the Briggs at 7 p.m. Friday at the Alley (1748 NW 36th St., Miami). Tickets cost $10 to $12. Call 800-594-TIXX, or visit www.slammie.com. -- Jason Budjinski
Willow Theatre Likes Short Shorts
Everything is getting shorter these days: library lines, skirts, and the length of time it takes us to get bored with trends. In this modern era of the Internet and on-demand movies and music, we can't stand to wait for anything. Luckily, the Boca Playwrights have acknowledged that and bring the second-annual "Grab Our Shorts" series to the Willow Theatre (300 S. Military Trl., Boca Raton). Watching a series of ten-minute shorts is a lot like channel surfing: You get a decent taste and move along before getting too involved with the characters. The shorts offer subjects ranging from giving birth to a back-and-forth between a snooty waiter and a pissed-off customer. The Marriage of the Spider and the Fly promises a "colossal cast of insects," while The Night Watch confronts the more serious question of just who is watching the press? The Boca Playwrights claim to be quite open and ready to talk. So listen to the readings and then bombard them with questions. The short play series kicks off Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 561-347-3948, or visit www.bocaplaywrights.com. -- Jake Smith
Woods Is Def!
But he's no dummy
Michael Jackson was bad, but now he's just sad. Hell, even when he was at the top of his game, Jacko was about as edgy as Peter Pan. So what makes comedian Tony Woods such a bad boy? Well, aside from appearing in P. Diddy Presents the Bad Boys of Comedy on HBO, Woods tells the kind of jokes that are ha-ha funny and amusing because they're, well, just sort of wrong. For instance, in one bit, Woods describes fighting a guy who had baby arms: "It felt like somebody hit me in the head with a turkey leg or something." That's either the type of comedy that'll get you an ass-beating -- by dudes with full-sized arms -- or a spot on HBO's Def Comedy Jam. Hell, HBO must have liked what it saw, because it invited Woods back twice. He even had his own half-hour special on Comedy Central, and he got to headline Showtime at the Apollo. So he must be doing something right, right? Go see for yourself when Woods performs with Ian Salmon on Friday and Saturday at the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Admission costs $15 to $20. Call 561-470-6887, or visit www.nyccboca.com. -- Jason Budjinski
Summer is a time for Coney Island, barely there swimwear, and aging '80s rockers on steamy revival tours. But Def Leppard's concert in Hollywood is sold out. So if your vacation plans are dropping faster than overstuffed tube-tops on the Broadwalk, just remember: There's nothing wrong with a little vacation at home. Thursday nights at Karma Lounge (4 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) remind us it's all in the attitude anyhow. This week, Mr. Entertainment (pictured) and the Latter-Day Pookie-Smackers bring the good times and songs about roller coasters; the Livid Kittens take care of the sexy stagewear; and the vocal stylings of Secret P.E. Club's Emma Trelles (the former New Times staff writer) are as cool and soothing as rainbow sorbet. Add a solo Robert Johnston (a.k.a., Bobby Load) performance and consider yourself vacationized. Show starts at 10 p.m., with a $5 cover charge. Call 954-523-7159. -- Terra Sullivan