Since the formation of the Bad Brains in Washington, D.C., in 1977, Gary Miller, better-known as Dr. Know, has been the solidifying force at guitar for this often polarizing outfit. Firmly educated in jazz technique, it is his incredible speed and precision at the instrument that not only became a signature for the outfit but an often-hard-to-follow blueprint for punk rockers since. As our colleague Matt Preira found out recently, he is not a verbose man.
People in the know often lament as to how little of his guitar actually exists on recordings outside of the significantly small Bad Brains discography. Although that can be attributed to a number of reasons, ranging from H.R.'s eccentric behavior to record labels to whatever you will, that would sadly be the point of another story.
Next week, the Bad Brains will perform at Revolution with one of our favorite local thrashers, the Furious Dudes. Go see this quiet Virgo tear the stage up with the energy of someone half his age. Unless, of course, they choose to do an all-reggae set. Then you'll be treated to some inspired Rasta-flavored jams you can dance to.
Here's one of my favorite BB tracks, "Attitude."
Bad Brains - "Attitude"
Here's another BB classic. Usually considered one of the fastest tracks recorded of its time, I like to think that it is the tightness, not the speed, that counts. Sloppy punk is cool, but tight punk is even better. Wait, that sounds dirty. The video's a little silly, but it has the lyrics.
Bad Brains - "Pay to Cum"
Dr. Know, in all his surgical kindness, has done very little (as far as recording) outside of the BB canon. Here's a nice example of cooperative work with Coheed and Cambria on their track "Time Consumer" off their Second Stage Turbine Blade album.
Coheed and Cambria - "Time Consumer"
This one is just a classic. There's not much to say. Let the doc operate.
Bad Brains - "I Against I"
And this one just makes me happy. It will make you happy too.
Bad Brains - "Stay Close to Me"
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Bad Brains. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25. Click here.