By Steve Brennan
By Ashley Zimmerman
By Michele Eve Sandberg
By Abel Folgar
By Ashley Zimmerman
By New Times Staff
By Abel Folgar
By Laurie Charles
Friday, March 6
The band that spent much of the past 12 years equally as broken up as they were together began in the late 1970s as fusion-loving jazzheads. Singer ("throat") Paul "H.R." Hudson and his brother Earl on drums, guitarist Gary "Dr. Know" Miller, and bassist Darryl Jenifer discovered punk and reggae after hearing the Clash and seeing a Stanley Clarke/Bob Marley show. Inspired by Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, they adopted a "PMA" ("positive mental attitude") that evolved into Rastafarianism's bluesy, militant positivity, spurred by its vision of an African prophet in Haile Selassie. Early Bad Brains took their cues from the Damned, whose "New Rose" inspired their single "Pay to Cum," as well as other non-African music.
Against Me!, with Flogging Molly, the Aggrolites, and Dub Trio. 6:30 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1806 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $24.50, or $70 for a four-pack. All ages. Visit livenation.com.
Holy Fuck, with Tricky. 7 p.m. at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $22. All ages. Call 954-727-0850, or visit jointherevolution.net.
King Khan and the Shrines, with Tigercity and Jacuzzi Boys. 10 p.m. at the Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. Tickets cost $10. Age 21 and up. Call 305-379-0508, or visit thevagabondmiami.com.
Ozomatli, with Rebelution. 8 p.m. at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $19.99. All ages. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.
The Pogues, with Kiss Kiss. 8:30 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1806 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $41.50, or $121 for a four-pack. All ages. Visit livenation.com.
Tokyo Police Club, with Ruby Coast. 7 p.m. at City Limits, 19 NE Third Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $17 at the door. All ages. Call 561-279-8222, or visit citylimitsdelray.com.
Modest Mouse, with Mimicking Birds and Japanese Motors. 6:30 p.m. at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $29. All ages. Call 954-727-0950, or visit jointherevolution.net.
Bad Brains' legacy has been their ability to channel hardcore's aggressiveness without its negativity. H.R.'s chimerical, PMA vocals — whelping howls, Smokey Robinson-like crooning, jaw-gnashing snarls — leapt from the abrupt time changes, jazz flourishes, and blinding-but-still-swinging tempos. Where other bands started out as three-chord thrash outfits and outgrew it, Bad Brains excelled in it, making punk their bitch, becoming the Charlie Prides of hardcore.
At the age of 15, Against Me! singer Tom Gabel was beaten up by a gang of ten cops in Naples, Florida, badly enough to be hospitalized for two weeks. This radicalized him from skate-punk brat to political anarchist, and over the next few years, he picked up the guitar, moved to punk mecca Gainesville, and became a folk-punk troubadour.
In 2001, Against Me! jumped into the big leagues as a proper band with the album Reinventing Axl Rose, an anthemic melting pot of folk, reggae, and punk rock with enough gang choruses to please an English soccer crowd. Every coffeehouse punk with dreads across the world fell hard for Against Me! These fans were to be bummed out in latter years when the band moved first to punk giant Fat Wreck Chords and then to major label Sire Records — which released its latest album, New Wave, in July 2007.
New Wave features enough midtempo, Gang-of-Four-via-Fugazi rock to make angry young men cry "sellout." And one did, in a Tallahassee coffee shop in August 2007. Gabel subsequently caught a battery charge for allegedly introducing the would-be-conscience-of-punk-rock's face to a table. But Gabel and company are on the road, living their dream — and 90 percent of kids who bitch about selling out are going to wind up selling insurance after they realize their poly-sci degree is worthless.
Eschewing convention, this Toronto electro outfit — with a name only a motherfucker could love — doesn't use computers to create its hallucinatory soundscape. Compelled by an aesthetic defined as "find something in the trash and plug it in," founding members Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh create their effects using tape machines, cheap keyboards, those annoying toy laser guns, and even a 35mm film sequencer (extra points to the bright girl or boy who can identify this device in the music). The act's second album, LP, received a Juno Award nomination (Canada's Grammy) for Alternative Album of the Year as well as a Plug Independent Music Award nomination for Avant Album of the Year. Backed by a solid rhythm section, Borcherdt and Walsh sweep listeners into an electro-industrial, psychedelic dream world straight out of Fritz Lang's id. See Holy Fuck live and the name will make perfect sense.
Saturday, March 7
King Khan's twisted rock 'n' roll ride landed him in a damned fine place. From his stint in trash rockers Spaceshits to the dual lineup of King Khan and BBQ Show to his current leading-man role with the Shrines, there has been a helluva lot of howlin', struttin', and shirtless-stompin' showboating. Khan screams in a raspy yowl like he's trying to break up a fight or get in one, a bit of Little Richard exuded through the Shrines' big band horns into a mess of good time.
And party time fits them well. After all, Khan was originally a would-be protégé of Mike Mariconda of garage punk hepcats the Raunch Hands. Both the Hands and Khan present unrefined schlock, to be sure. But it's showmanship at its finest, going for the type of stage show Khan envisions as its most pure, born of the frantic early days of rock 'n' soul in the 1950s and early '60s. Road-tested by a guy born to Indian parents and raised in Canada who launched his career and is now based in Berlin, this is also music fully at home in our own raucous time.
An expression of Los Angeles' rich cultural melting pot, Ozomatli grew from a loose collective supporting the transformation of an old building into a community center as part of a labor dispute 13 years ago. That generous, familial spirit infuses this horn-driven octet, offering a combination dance party/celebration of the human spirit.
Drawing on disparate backgrounds, Ozomatli blends hip-hop, jazz-funk, Latin roots, and rock, powered by SuperBall bounce vibrating from soulful world-roots fusions to dance-floor infernos that can even find band members leading a conga line through the audience. They scored a major-label deal for their second album, Embrace the Chaos, which, ironically and to the band's detriment, came out on September 11, 2001. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Middle Eastern tones join the mix on their 2004 follow-up, Street Signs.