Race Cars 'n' Strip Bars

Dragster's shows are no drag.

FRI 12/26

Fast cars have always been part of rock 'n' roll. From Jan and Dean singing about "Dead Man's Curve" to the Dictators professing their love of "hot cars and girls," the rock 'n' roll bond between man and machine is as canonized as the black leather jacket. And for Boynton Beach's Dragster, it's only natural that its brand of music, like its cars, tends toward the fast side. As drummer Rob Lindsay describes it, "It's revved-up, Boynton Beach rock 'n' roll."

While the band uses a warehouse as rehearsal space, guitarist/ vocalist Aaron Finnell and bassist Diego Pendejo customize their own street-racing cars in the same building. They even rebuilt the Dragster tour van, aptly named "Chester" (yes, as in "the Molester"). But Dragster's not just into hopped-up hot rods. "We're into shitty beer and strip clubs as well," Pendejo added.

Imagine how the Ramones would sound in a nitrous-fueled funny car with no brakes, driving drunk down the wrong lane. And like an exaggerated Ramones, Dragster's lyrics are unapologetically puerile. With song titles like "Beaver Cleavage," "Poop Sandwich," and "C-Word," you know you're not dealing with Shakespeare.

Pendejo and Lindsay have been playing together in various bands since '93. Five years later, they joined with Finnell to form Dragster.

The band took three years off beginning in 2000 when Finnell's love of fast cars nearly ended his life; a traffic accident left him in a month-long coma and temporarily hampered the use of his left arm. But Dragster resumed activity this past June, playing a flurry of shows in the tricounty area. Lindsay notes that a studio recording may be in the works as well. Dylan fans, look out.

Dragster takes off Friday with Miami rockers the Remnants at the Red Lion Pub (10114 S. Military Trl., Boynton Beach). Call 561-737-0434. -- Jason Budjinski

Party Like It's


WED 12/31

Americans have had a long-standing love affair with Canadian talent. From Paul Shaffer to Rush to Avril Lavigne and Celine Dion, we can't seem to get enough of 'em.

Bryan Adams is one of the more memorable exports to come out of Canada. He has been toting his guitar by his side since grade school and has penned songs such as "Cuts Like a Knife" and "Summer of '69," which if you do the math was written about the summer that Adams was 10 years old.

While Adams rolled through world tours for a greater part of the 1980s, his behind-the-scenes work as a songwriter keeps his name popping up in strange places, occasionally rolling past on the credits of film soundtracks, for example. Most recently, his songs appeared in the kid flick Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

Every good New Year's celebration contains one nostalgic sigh. So this year, drop the kids off with the sitter and reminisce about that time when you played that guitar until your fingers bled. Bryan Adams plays Mizner Park Amphitheatre this New Year's Eve at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $35 to $55. Call 561-447-8144. -- Terra Sullivan

Feel the Funk, Y'all

While George Clinton feels, well, all tingly inside

TUE 12/30

Until recently, the word "Flashlight" has brought George Clinton nothing but fame and fortune, but when a cop was on the other end of one recently, it brought Clinton nothing but an arrest and possible jail time.

Fans of the funk should be familiar with Clinton's recent legal woes, wherein he was approached in his car by the police and responded to officers' questioning by informing them that he had some booger sugar in one of his pockets. You'd think a man who has lived the rock-star lifestyle as long as he has would have a little more savvy when dealing with the cops. But, hey, he's got an excuse -- he was probably high as shit.

Meanwhile, the funk remains strong as Clinton comes to the Ice Palace Sound Stage (59 NW 14th St., Miami) this Tuesday as part of "Afterhours at the Soundstage," a four-night series of concerts featuring Clinton, Particle, Soullive, Mofro, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Tickets cost $32. Call 305-358-5885. -- Dan Sweeney

NYE Smash and Grab

WED 12/31

The "New Year's Eve Smash and Grab," we should say straight away, is not an encouragement to do some burning and looting this New Year's Eve, smashing windows along Clematis Street and taking advantage of post-Christmas "sales." Instead, it's an invitation to perhaps the only place for a punk rocker to ring in the new year -- Respectable Street (518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). With the DJs of "Wormhole Wednesdays" spinning on the back patio, a laundry list of bands performs indoors, including Bitchwax, Clouder, Purrplx, Lot Six, Nico, and Silky J. As midnight nears, AC Cobra and then the Heatseekers take the stage, with Billy Boloby finally ringing in the New Year. Free champagne gets passed around to all the rowdy kids -- hopefully in plastic glasses, or "Smash and Grab" will take on yet another sinister meaning.

The doors open at 8:30 p.m., and admission is free from then until 10 p.m. Take note -- that is when you should arrive. After 10 p.m., admission becomes $10. Call 561-832-0706. -- Dan Sweeney

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