A million years ago (OK, so maybe more like 30), ambient instrumental rock was poised to take over the world (OK, maybe just the record stores). Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and even Pink Floyd were using emerging technologies to weave electronic sounds through the fabric of rock's guitar, bass, and drums roots. And now, Saxon Shore brings these influences to bear, along with those of more modern post-rock practitioners like Mogwai, on its new album The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore.
Now, before you go thinking Saxon Shore is some kind of Pink Floyd revival band, let's be clear: This ain't your father's prog-rock. Saxon Shore uses melody and texture (but no sax) to create an instrumental "allegory of life and death," as the band says. The music alternates between pastoral passages and thunderous crescendos, as if to mimic life's ups and downs. It's pretty heady, complex stuff for an indie-rock band. Through several releases and assorted lineup changes, founder/guiding light Matt Doty has touched on these themes before, but the new lineup -- including former Shai Hulud/Rocking Horse Winner/Poulain guitarist Oliver Chapoy -- really brings Saxon Shore's ambitions to full fruition.
"I met Doty a few years ago while my old band was touring," Chapoy says, speaking from his home in Brooklyn. "We played a few shows together around upstate New York. Matt knew that I had done some programming in the past and approached me about doing an EP [Luck Will Not Save Us from a Jackpot of Nothing] with him. While the band was on tour, Doty left me with sketches of what would be The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore. I worked on programming and synth parts, and when the band returned, each member contributed their own respective parts."
The results are ambient and bold at the same time, introspective yet perfect for a starry autumn evening -- like Sunday night at Dada (52 Swinton Ave., Delray Beach), where Saxon Shore performs with the Mission Veo. The free show starts at 10 p.m. Call 561-330-DADA. -- Lewis Goldberg
The Mob Don't Play Around
When you're a playwright whose production is bankrolled by a group of murderous Mafiosi, the last thing you want to hear before showtime is "Break a leg." But for Terrence, the gawky college professor/playwright in Breaking Legs, there's no turning back once he realizes the nature of the show's funding. Breaking Legs is Tom Dulack's comedy about murder that, ironically, trails the events around Terrence's drama... about murder. With no source of funding for his play, Terrence turns to Angie, a former student and daughter of an Italian restaurant owner/Mob boss, Lou, who has no problem fronting the money. But when Terrence learns that Lou and his pals were involved in the less-than-accidental death of their former associate (the train just happened to hit him, ya know?), the panicky prof starts to get stage fright. Meanwhile, Lou has plans for Terrence and Angie to get married. What'll Terrence's wife think? Breaking Legs opens at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Lake Worth Playhouse (713 Lake Ave., Lake Worth). The play runs through October 23. Tickets cost $50 opening night and $21 to $26 thereafter. Call 561-586-6410, or visit www.lakeworthplayhouse.org. -- Jason Budjinski
Because of Williams
So Harland Williams doubles as a standup comic and children's author. Strange, right? Not really, especially given his roles in kiddie-friendly movies like Because of Winn-Dixie and Robots. But that doesn't mean Williams' standup act is some kind of G-rated family show. The Canadian-born performer has been in other types of movies, you know, like Freddy Got Fingered (the Tom Green gross-out) and Half Baked (the Dave Chappelle smoke-out). Williams is more than capable of humoring an adult crowd -- even when he's joking about kids. Of course, the kids Williams cracks about are a little more grown-up than the Sesame Street-watching youngsters of yesterday. "Kids today -- you gotta love 'em or they'll shoot you," he says in one bit. So when a cute little tyke outside a Starbucks asks Williams why the sky isn't brown, the comic responds in terms any kid reared on MTV can understand: "Fuck off." Williams performs Thursday through Sunday at the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $21.20. Call 954-981-5653. -- Jason Budjinski
Who's Your Daddy Now?
It's possible that you still don't know what reggaeton is. You also may be living under a rock or in an ICU. Well, if you still need an introduction, there's no better man to give it to you than Raymond Ayala -- a.k.a., Daddy Yankee -- whose irresistibly crunk, culo-grabbin' beats take over the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Friday. Daddy Yankee's tracks are a booty-shake brew of hip-hop, R&B, Latin, reggae, and hopped-up soca beats, all served with a generous helping of lascivious toasting, singing, and hollerin' on top. In addition to his mega-hit "Gasolina," the ruler of reggaeton has collaborated with the likes of Lil Jon, Nas, and Noreaga, and his album Barrio Fino has gone platinum. So say it loud: Who's your daddy? Friday's show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $46.50 to $76.50. Visit www.ticketmaster.com. -- D. Sirianni