Let's take a gander at some of the lyrics from Strike Anywhere's new CD, Exit English. On "Modern Life," singer Thomas Barnett screams: "I can't see a thing when my eyes are wide open/Under the millennium's shadow hear the rain of justice." On "In the Fingernails," he sings: "I will not fall for the black and white/Armed with no options/We're ghosts in the fight/I won't pull the trigger on the world for you." And on "Aluminum Union," he lays it down: "While we wait for answers/The poor lie dead/There is a war in your head/Lined up for the ticket at the store/Then pushed out for the crime of wanting more." Thomas may have issues, but don't we all? Strike Anywhere is concerned about freedom, the working class, equality, police brutality, and the plight of the urbanite in this blackboard jungle called the United States. The Richmond, Virginia, five-piece grew out of other politically minded bands such as Inquisition, but its speedball music is closer to the D.C. hardcore-era variety. There are hints of bands like the Dead Kennedys and Crass in there too, but SA is a bit more subtle without being an overt "fuck you and your government" band. They just want to get the message across, so listen up. And as Barnett advises: "Don't misdirect your rage/Don't misdirect your rage/Don't misdirect your rage!" Words to live by, kids. Check out Strike Anywhere with the Bouncing Souls at Venu, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Show starts at 7 p.m. Call 954-727-0950. --Audra Schroeder
Privet, comrades! Although Americans remember Russia mainly for its role as a worthy arms-race adversary, there's so much more to the country. Vodka, for example. Also cultural feats that are swiftly going extinct in America -- ballet, opera, even the circus. Instead of relying on trained animals like we do here in the States, the Russian circus amazes solely with human acts, and it does this better than any other group. Acrobats, contortionists, clowns -- you name it, they've got it. Catch one of the best examples of Russian tvorchestvo (creativity) when the Moscow State Circus comes to Young Circle Park (Hollywood Boulevard and Federal Highway, Hollywood) at 1, 4, and 7 p.m. Saturday. The circus then moves on to War Memorial Auditorium (800 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale) at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Monday. Tickets for either venue cost $20 for adults. Call 954-921-3404 (Young Circle) or 954-828-5380 (War Memorial).
Do svidaniya! -- Dan Sweeney
Up in Arms
The three Larrys tell a great story
The three hunks/punks/drunks in Lawrence Arms seem like modest guys. They aren't embarrassed to say they watch Press Your Luck or that they drink cheap beer. They even asked their fans to design a band T-shirt (one of the winning entries is described as "a penguin haunts a Martin Sheen-looking guy"). The Chicago-based band, named after the building they were evicted from, recently completed a new record called the Greatest Story Ever Told. Here's where their modesty might dwindle a bit as bassist Brendan remarks that it "blows the Bible right out of the water." Well, the album does reference QVC and Hot Shots Part Deux, so let's embrace its pop-culture sarcasm rather than scoff at it. Check out the Larry Arms when they perform with Communiqué at the Polish American Club, 1250 NW 22nd Ave., Miami. Call 305-635-2240. -- Audra Schroeder
Silk Degrees of Separation
Do you fancy yourself some Boz? You remember Boz Scaggs. The sunglasses-clad velvet-voiced ladykiller from the 1970s with hits such as "Slow Dancer." Who could forget Boz on the front of the Silk Degrees eight-track, looking like Billy Joel's badass older brother? Well, if you did a lot of drugs in the '70s, you probably have forgotten. And if you're younger than 35, you really don't care. But if you're of the adult contemporary set and you're looking to get Bozzed up, the Scaggster performs at the Carefree Theatre, 2000 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach. Show starts at 8 p.m. Call 561-833-7305. -- Audra Schroeder