Hip-hop's happy-happy joy-joy
First of all, it's not "meena-meena"; it's "m'nah m'nah" (like "phenomena"). The name of the Atlanta-based foursome Minamina Goodsong comes from the 1976 song "Mahna Mahna," sung in the first series of The Muppet Show by a creature called a Mahna Mahna and two Snowths. Secondly, "I don't think we sound anything like De La Soul," says Minamina's MC Pgnut the Prehistoric, "but I'll take that as a compliment."
They're influenced by talking puppets, their songs are featured on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and they make so many pop culture references that "people think we sit around and watch TV all day." Pgnut himself takes care of 70 animals in his home, speaks in a syrupy accent, and has the manners of a Southern gentleman. So it's no wonder that the crew has been called "hippy-hoppers" and has drawn comparisons to De La Soul and early Beasties. But nod your head to Minamina Goodsong's intriguing beats, imaginative use of samples, and addictive rhymes, and realize... they sound "retro" because they remind you of a pre-Tupac, pre-gangsta, pre-bling universe, when hip-hoppers were less focused on pimping all over the world and more interested in having some fun.
This year, the guys in the 5-year-old band -- Pgnut, along with MCs Adahma and Twain and DJ T'Challa -- quit their day jobs when they landed a spot on the Warped Tour. "We weren't expecting people to take to us like they did," Pgnut says. "The Pompano show was super, super hot. We got off stage and sold 45 CDs in, like, five minutes." That CD, Four Farmer Circus, is the band's first national release as well as a concept record. It's a "hip-hop horror show" about a day in the life of the world's most dangerous circus. "More than anything, it was a challenge to see if we could do it," Pgnut says. "The production's real happy and bouncy, but the lyrics are saying some really fucked up shit... We wanted to give it a little twist, show people it's not all daisies and flowers -- De La Soul syndrome, I guess." Minamina Goodsong plays at Alligator Alley (1321 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park) Saturday at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 954-771-2220. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Tonite's The Nite
Johnny Tonite Ends a Nine-Year-Break
A dozen or so years ago, South Florida's original music scene was awash in stoner-rock jam bands and bass-popping alterna-rock wannabes. Meanwhile, a small group of rollicking, song-oriented bands emerged from a close-knit circle of musicians who hung around Bob Wlos' legendary L7 studio in Deerfield Beach. Among those bands was the well-regarded Johnny Tonite, which once included the late, great Pete Moss of many-an-important-local-band fame. For those who might've missed it the first time around, back in the days of Black Janet and RoosterHead, Johnny Tonite is a shambolic rock 'n' roll band that eludes the trappings of any particular subgenre. It's a little bit punk, a little bit lo-fi garage, and lots of rootsy, collegiate angst. If you're thinking Life's Rich Pageant-era R.E.M. or the Sidewinders, you're not too far off. This past May, Johnny Tonite played its first show since 1996. Following an enthusiastic response to early reunion gigs, the band started working on new material and flooring crowds regularly. The flooring continues Friday at 9 p.m. as Johnny Tonite rocks the Surf Café (395 NE Spanish River Blvd., Boca Raton). Admission costs $5. Call 561-392-1965. -- Lewis Goldberg
The Dean's Office...
Is in a comedy club?
You might think that because Dean Edwards' first big standup gig was the Def Comedy Jam, his act would be full of booty jokes and vulgarities. But for this Bronx native and Saturday Night Live alumnus, going for below-the-belt laughs isn't the only way to be funny, and it's certainly not the way to a broader fan base. With an appeal that extends beyond the titties-and-beer crowd, Edwards has landed roles as diverse as a guest spot on The Sopranos, as a priest in the film Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding starring Joey McIntyre (the former New Kid on the Block! ), and a voiceover on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch. Edwards' standup act is a mix of biographical musings and pop culture references. That includes many a celebrity impersonation, from Chris Tucker and Michael Jackson to Snoop Dogg and Homer Simpson. Mmm ... diz-onuts. Edwards performs Thursday through Sunday at the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $15.90. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com. -- Jason Budjinski
Your New Headquarters
Get ready for another night of the same old Franz Ferdinand song followed by the same old '80s hits and a prompt call to the Suicide Hotline. OK, maybe not this time -- not at Headquarters, the latest addition to an expanding roster of underground dance parties cropping up at the Rose & Crown Pub (3680 W. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Organizers TV, Andie, and friends swear on their mothers' graves that no DJ will spin overplayed songs. And, to make doubly sure, they've enlisted the help of two live bands for next Friday's party -- Boynton Beach's Secret French Kissing Society and Broward's Childproof. SFKS features a newly revamped lineup and some of the sweetest melancholic pop this side of the Cure; Childproof churns out loud, noisy Squeeze-influenced rock. The night starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $4. Call 954-731-6245. -- Dominic Sirianni
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