Bloody Valentine

Saint Valentine's Day, created by the Hallmark company in the early part of the 20th Century, takes its name from an ancient religious feast day of the same name. According to legend, Valentine was a bishop who was clubbed and beheaded by Roman soldiers on or around February 14, 270. One can only suppose this, because there are half a dozen Saint Valentines, and it was open season on guys named Valentine. Half of them were massacred by Romans about the same time and place.

But that's neither here nor there. By the late Middle Ages, a belief held sway that birds paired up in the middle of February, making it an ideal time for people to hook up too, at least by the logic of the times. The greeting-card purveyors of our own time took this and ran with it, making St. Valentine's Day the most commercialized Christian holiday this side of Christmas (St. Patrick's Day is a distant runner-up). Yet it seems that this year, at least in Broward, Valentine's Day is harking back to the skull-bashing days of yore.

Rather than offer music lovers the standard romantic grind-'em-up, many local venues have chosen to go with the headbang or the pogo. One fine example is the Culture Room, where Valentine's Day is just a whole lot of Trash. Think of them as sort of a trashier, less-talented version of Frank Zappa. Backing up the group is 77 Swindle, F**K, and perennial metal opening band Monster Zero.

If punk rock is more your speed, check out the Factory, where the Adequits, a relatively new addition to the local pop-punk scene, join forces with Mother Tongue and Monster Alice. The Adequits describe their female lead singer as what happens when you put Johnny Rotten and Whitney Houston in a blender. Nuff said.

Finally, there's Club Q, where the St. Valentine's Day Massacre features an array of alt-metal acts. Down Falls the Morning, None Dare Call It Treason, Adore Miridia, Angels Without Wings, and On Our Own will let your valentine know just how much you really care -- enough maybe to save her from serious injury in the pit. Now get out there and bust some heads! -- Dan Sweeney

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