Behold, the Dukes of Controversy
The Sex Pistols might have scared many a God-fearing Brit in the late 1970s, but that doesn´t mean there weren´t more provocative bands around at the time bands that wore pig masks and wrote songs raunchy enough to make even Johnny Rotten blush. Bands like the Pork Dukes. And unlike the Pistols´ cash crop disguised as a reunion tour, the Dukes´ latest go-round is fueled by something less cynical an undying love of music and playing to new crowds.
¨We´re not dragging up and down the United Kingdom playing pubs anymore,¨ says guitarist Stewart Goldring, a.k.a. Horrendus Styles. ¨We like to do things that interest us like coming to America.¨ However, the Pork Dukes´ first experience with the States wasn´t so welcoming, as Styles recalls. ¨[Around ´78 or ´79] somebody played a Pork Dukes single on a radio station and they closed the radio station down immediately,¨ he says. The song? ¨Making Bacon,¨ whose first verse opens thusly: ¨I´ve got something to give you that may cause you pain/It´s a ten-inch chopper with a varicose vein.¨
Before you write off the Pork Dukes as mere perverts with guitars, remember the English have a little thing called irony. It´s tongue-in-cheek, not literal. ¨We´ve been called a porno-punk band, but it´s a very small part of what we do,¨ Styles says, pointing out the band´s more serious approach on its latest EP, Pop Stars. ¨The song Crack Cocaine´ is about something that happened last year in Birmingham [England], where two black girls were shot by rival gangs. It turns out that one of the shooters was cousins with one of the girls.¨
This doesn´t mean the Dukes have ditched the pork and gone soft; there´s still plenty of bacon to go around pig masks and all. The Pork Dukes perform Sunday, November 20, at Ray´s Downtown (519 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) with F and the Belligerents. The first show is all-ages and starts at 7 p.m.; the second show is for those 21 and up and starts at 10 p.m. Admission costs $6. Call 561-835-1577. Jason Budjinski
Tegan and Sara Bring it
Imagine if Joan Baez were from Canada. And had a twin sister. And the two grew up listening to the Germs, the Stooges, and all that is punk, then began writing and playing their own brand of folky, poppy music. They could be mistaken for Tegan and Sara, the punk-folk phenoms whose tidily crafted gems stick in your brain like sweet aural confections. After independently releasing their first effort, Under Feet Like Ours (1999), the sisters signed to fellow Canuck Neil Young´s Vapor Records. Last year´s So Jealous brought an extra dose of contemporary commercial sensibilities to the table for the dynamic duo, layering hook after hook over post-punk-informed guitar changes. This year, the White Stripes´ Jack White (or Three Quid or whatever he calls himself nowadays) covered Tegan and Sara´s ¨Walking with a Ghost,¨ thereby cementing their upward trajectory out of semi-obscurity. The twins bring their catchy hooks and penchant for onstage banter to the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) on Wednesday, November 23. The show starts at 8 p.m. with openers Rachael Cantu and Vivek Shraya. Tickets cost $14.99. Call 954-564-1074, or visit www.cultureroom.net. D. Sirianni
How Do You Spell Funny?
Brett Butler knows
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Brett Butler is best-known for her character Grace Kelly on the television show Grace Under Fire; she played a single mom and recovering alcoholic struggling to raise three kids. (It was a comedy. Really!) The show drew on Brett´s personal life having had a hardscrabble upbringing in Alabama and Georgia, she developed a comedic style that led some to call her ¨the Lenny Bruce of the South.¨ She´s also a producer, an author (of a memoir, Knee Deep in Paradise), and an 18-year veteran of standup comedy. On top of that, homegirl beat contestants including Alice Cooper and Alan Thicke to win the Great American Celebrity Spelling Bee last year. Brett brings her razor-sharp tongue to the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood) with six shows Thursday through Sunday. Most of the shows are 21 and up, so don´t expect the family-friendly stuff from the sitcom. Tickets start at $21. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com. Shawn McKee
Like any veteran of the road, it´s possible the late Johnny Cash fathered an accidental child or two after a particularly late night. While Mark Stuart doesn´t claim to share the Cashman´s physical genes, Stuart´s band bears more than a passing resemblance, hence its name the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash. The California-based country rockers tell many an impassioned tale, from the laid-back, slide-driven guitar of ¨The Road to Bakersfield¨ to the rockabilly of ¨No Easy Road.¨ It´s good whether you´re up for an upbeat, danceable number or something to drink alone to. These guys seem less like unplanned bastards than happy accidents but they know exactly what they´re doing. The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash perform Thursday at the Bamboo Room (25 S. ¨J¨ St., Lake Worth). The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Call 561-585-2583. Jason Budjinski