A milling clash of attendees piled into the dark, littered space, holding cigarettes over their heads to avoid burning others. A line of fans stretched around the length of the plaza's closed storefronts, waiting impatiently to fork over their $20 cover. Then the rock dropped. Four girls in white vinyl go-go outfits and well-manicured beehives started conjuring the spirits of Detroit's lost Motown Sound. Ladies grabbed one another and made pacts to start bands. Boys stared like gorillas that had just discovered cable TV.
"Everyone was throwing cigarette butts at us... it was great," Amy Surdu, singer for the Gore Gore Girls, says as she reminisces about opening for the Cramps at the Culture Room last year. "We welcome any form of audience interaction, no matter how degrading."
The ladies are back for more abuse, but this time, it's their show. On Friday, the gruesome foursome gives Churchill's Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami) a long-time-coming knee to the groin. The Gore Gore Girls' music -- which combines a 1960s girl-group sound and masculine lyrics about shotgun weddings and unwanted affection -- is infectious and spreads quicker than crabs in a frat house. At a time when any musical act with a distaff ingredient is viewed as a Special Olympics case ("Ooh, they have a girl singer!" ), these ladies swim ahead in the wading pool of stereotypes.
The ability to break traditional gender roles bleeds into Surdu's personal life. A blacksmith by trade, she pounds metal by day and rock by night. Recent success has inspired each group member to scale back or fully quit her day job, putting total faith in the band's music. "It's a little intimidating, leaving that security behind," Surdu admits, "but when you love something, you have to pursue it."
In addition to musical flair, Jen "The Deuce" Pirch masterminds the band's unconventional costuming. Armed with a sewing machine and her cherry-red Burns of London bass guitar, she creates uniforms worthy of the foot-high hairdos rising above them. This band fully intends to rock us hard on Friday, and if they do it in white go-go boots, don't be surprised. Call 305-757-1807. -- Jamie Laughlin
A Motor City Bombing
Oh, shit! Detroit rockers the Dirtbombs are coming -- better say something about garage rock and the White Stripes, right? Wrong, dumbass. Go back to watching MTV2 and thinking the Hives are cutting edge. And while you're at it, pick up the Dirtbombs' Dangerous Magical Noise. That ought to straighten out your skewed frame of musical reference. Led by former Gories front-man Mick Collins, the Motor City band plays exactly whatever the hell it feels like at the time; well, anything that fits under the rock 'n' roll moniker (emo kids need not apply). That means punk, garage, soul, glam, Motown -- any influence still worth a damn. From the Buzzcocks-styled melody of "Get It While You Can" to straight-up punk numbers like "Don't Break My Heart" to "Motor City Baby" (which borders on T. Rex territory), Collins and Co. prove their musical colors run deeper than their white-striped neighbors. They're definitely not "Stuck in Thee Garage." The Dirtbombs square up with the King Coleman-fronted Creepy T's Saturday at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 to $12. Call 954-564-1074. -- Jason Budjinski
Can one ever be truly free of American Idol?
American Idol is sort of like Lord of the Rings. Innocent youths from the quiet, pastoral lands of Middle Earth -- um, Texas and Georgia -- are seduced by the hypnotic sparkle of fan adoration and the dark magic of celebrity judges. Do you hear that? It's Paula Abdul whispering, "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them..." Before they know it, "America's idols" are trapped like slaves in a post-Warholian nightmare chasing 15 minutes of fame with their necks craned and their keening mouths opened wide. My preeeeccccccious... If Tolkien had exec-produced American Idol, though, Clay Aiken would be Gollum and Kelly Clarkson would be Frodo. You see, there's still hope for Kelly. She's finding a path through that teenage pop "princess movie soundtrack" genre. And she weathered that From Justin to Kelly fiasco OK. C'mon, Kelly, don't listen to Gollum... toss the ring into the fires of Mount Doom! She performs at 8 p.m. at Mizner Park Amphitheater (590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). Tickets cost $42.50. Visit www.ticketmaster.com, or call 561-750-1668. -- Dave Amber
If you guessed that the 16 semis and 15 tour buses parked outside the Office Depot Center meant another huge country singer is inside bawling about the train wrecks of his life, then you are right. The country music world is a bottomless well of white men crooning in front of packed, swooning audiences about the simple life somewhere in rural America. In this case, it's Tennessee homeboy Kenny Chesney on his "Somewhere in the Sun" Tour. Chesney is the vanilla flavor of the month, up for three major awards at this month's Academy of Country Music Awards. Tonight, he's performing with the interesting, less vanilla Uncle Kracker, the long-time Kid Rock collaborator who has put out three solo albums of his own, including the recent (sun-themed) 72 & Sunny. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Office Depot Center (2555 Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise). Tickets start at $51.75. Visit www.ticketmaster.com, or call 954-835-8000. -- Dave Amber