Paranoid Time

DVD chronicles the life of the Minutemen.

It's awesome. I have a lot more fun on tour, to be honest. I just don't see them on the covers of magazines. I guess the ideal point is when you get to the day and someone's in a band and who they are, whether female, male, whatever race they are, you notice it, maybe it adds to the experience, but at the same time, it doesn't pigeonhole them. — Cole Haddon

The Format, Rainer Maria, Anathallo, and Street to Nowhere perform Wednesday, July 26, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $13 to $15. Call 954-564-1074, or visit

Sonic Surgery

Rainer Maria keeps the pulse.
Christopher Smith
Rainer Maria keeps the pulse.

When I was 12 years old, I developed a strange phobia — a fear of dentists. Hygienists I could handle. But dentists? I'd rather shoot Novocain into my own eyeball. It had nothing to do with pain or discomfort. I just couldn't stand my dentist, Dr. Phish. He was obnoxious, always bragging about the cost of his equipment and how his gear was so much better than other dentists in the neighborhood. It never occurred to Dr. Phish that his patients might not care about the make and model of his drill or that he can twirl around a tongue depresser like a drum stick. And I certainly didn't want to hear recordings of his horrid jam band, which he played on the office sound system. His songs, if you could call them that, were six-minute riffs peppered with improvised blues solos — to put it bluntly, musical masturbation. But poor Dr. Phish was forced into an early retirement after he went blind a few years ago. I knew Dr. Phish was losing his sight, but it wasn't until I saw him at the recent Les Claypool show at Revolution that I understood why: Musical masturbation causes blindness.

Go ahead. Laugh. Call me a quack. I know it's not hard science, but I've seen enough examples of this to know it's more than an old wives' tale. How else can you explain the crew of skinheads slamming to Claypool's funky jams? Do you think they actually read the flier and thought it was a hardcore show? Right. And that's where things get ugly — fans who bask in those hourlong jam sessions are as likely to go blind as the guys who make the noise. It's like one, big, audio circle jerk.

Forgive me if I wasn't gushing in my lab coat at Claypool's technical prowess or how fancy his custom-made bass is. When I have a patient under the knife, there's no time for me to dick around with fancy techniques or worry about "losing the groove"; it's the patient I can't afford to lose. And when I see some wank-tastic musicians blowing their wads with over-extended jams, it's the song that's lost. If I showed up for surgery and spent the first ten minutes twirling my scalpel like Tommy Lee, the only place I'd be able to practice medicine is in a circus. But at least I'd have my eyesight. — Doc Le Roc

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