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Malcolm Tent, the Man Who Brought Punk to Churchill's, Returns to Town

If South Floridian music lovers have one advantage by living in God's Waiting Room, it is that our ex-pat musicians need to visit their parents. Hence, the return of Miami punk-rock legend Malcolm Tent for two Broward County shows this Thursday.

Back in the early to mid-1980s, Tent fronted hardcore band Broken Talent, best-known for its anthem "My God Can Beat Up Your God." Back in 1984, he also brought N.C. punk band the Antiseen to the University of Miami as part of his quest to create a sustainable punk-rock culture in Miami. Thanks to his and pal Todd Jenkins' efforts, Broken Talent played the first punk-rock show at Churchill's Pub in 1986.

Shortly thereafter, Tent moved to Danbury, Connecticut, where he played bass in noise-punk bands the Bunny Brains and Ultrabunny. To pay his bills, he founded the coolest record store that ever existed: Trash American Style. Trash was likely the only place where one could purchase lucha libre masks next to a bin that contained LPs by both Venom and the Ohio Players.

Trash American Style was the rare successful 21st-century record store, largely unaffected by the music industry's implosion. Alas, it could not survive its evil landlord, who kicked it out in favor of a print shop's expansion in 2007. Trash's death knell is documented in the 2009 film I Need That Record.

Tent took to downsizing like a champ, bringing Trash's wares to record shows and swap meets all over the Northeast. Musically, he followed suit, putting Ultrabunny on hiatus in favor of his acoustic punk act. He enjoyed the freedom of his new gig so much that this year he sold his house in order to tour full time so he may deliver to the world, he says, "a lot of high energy, ham-fisted exuberance, withered wit, and maybe a song or two you'll recognize despite the mangling."

Malcolm Tent, with Mr. Entertainment and the Pookiesmackers, 7 p.m. Thursday, September 26, at Radio-Active Records, 845 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. He will also be performing later that evening at the Inkwell Pub, 238 N. State Road 7, Margate. Call 954-532-3511.

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