Local legend Charlie Pickett was there before Wilco, before the Jayhawks, before the onslaught of roots Americana and the dilution of rock 'n' roll. His masterpiece, Live at the Button South, was released in '83, when Pickett was a college dropout from UF who returned home to Dania Beach and formed a "temporary" band to play one show at the now-defunct Lauderdale music hall. "The idea was to play [Velvet Underground masterpiece] White Light/White Heat one time in South Florida," Pickett recalls. "The club owner ended up booking us for 12 weekends straight." What followed was five years of relentless touring, a few lineup changes, a record deal with Twin/Tone, and the respect of luminaries like R.E.M. and the Replacements. After living as a bona fide rock star, Pickett decided it was time to head back to school, and he traded in his guitar for a stack of law journals, eventually graduating sixth in his class at Michigan's Cooley Law School. These days, Pickett performs infrequently, bringing his blend of punk, rock, rambling country, and unbelievable showmanship with his new ensemble, the Mothers of Immersion. Catch him while you can.
Charlie Pickett and the Mothers of Immersion play on Friday, February 3, at 10 p.m. at Alligator Alley, 1321 Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park. Tickets cost $5. Call 954-771-9220.