If the Sex Pistols made cash from chaos, Chicago's Projekt label is making money from misery. Founded in the early Eighties by Fort Lauderdale native Sam Rosenthal, Projekt has built a hugely successful cottage industry from the dark thoughts and woeful states of a slew of bummed-out bands, including British mope legends Attrition, the chipperly handled Love Spirals Downward, Thanatos (the name is Greek for death), and Black Tape for a Blue Girl (which includes El Duende main guy Oscar Herrera, whose old Miami band the Sleep of Reason has a compilation out on a Projekt offshoot). As for Rosenthal, he's in both Black Tape and Thanatos.
Rosenthal left South Florida in the mid Eighties and hasn't looked back (or been back, for that matter) since. Thus, the November 17 show at the Kitchen featuring Thanatos and opening act Allegory -- a stop on the pair's Neighbor of the Beast tour -- is something of a homecoming for Rosenthal. Go say howdy if you want, or just stand around and stare at your big black boots and stink up the club with your clove cigarettes. I'm sure no one will mind.
The time and cover charge were unavailable as we went to press, but the Kitchen is located at 3701 NE Second Ave., in the Design District; call 'em at 754-0777. And have a nice day.
Home Town Plug: Just as white boys seldom do it for me in reggae, so do they disappoint when they attempt to bring home the funk. The Minutemen, the Beastie Boys, and Dag notwithstanding, most pale creatures seldom find a unique, distinct groove that can compare to the hard-line funk that's been thrown down by the masters of the medium or its greatest modern practitioners, from James and George to Sly and Prince.
Big Ass Truck aren't quite the rule-proving exception, but they're among a pitifully small number of modern white-boy funk acts who've been able to tap into the music's power without succumbing to the silly retro impulses of their thumpa-thump brethren. On their outstanding debut EP (issued in '93 on the tiny Memphis indie Sugar Ditch; good luck finding a copy) and Kent, their sparkling second album for the Rounder subsidiary Upstart, Big Ass Truck conjure a dense, colossal sound, pulling the essential fragments from funk's deep history but also injecting some hip-hop samples, jazzbo dynamics, and the greasy soul that helped make their hometown famous. Imagine a fusion of On the Corner-era Miles, mid-Seventies Bootsy, and latter day Beasties, and you have an idea of Big Ass Truck's mighty sound.
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The youngish sextet will be at Cheers on Sunday, November 17, with opening acts to be named. Showtime is 9:00 p.m. and the cover is five dollars. You'll find Cheers at 2490 SW Seventeenth Ave. Call the club at 857-0041 for more information.
Tigertail Productions, best known for its avant-garde concert series held every year at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, turns its attention to Brazil, with an eight-day multi-media blowout running through November 16 at various sites throughout the city. The hodgepodge of events has included the world premiere of The Demons' Meeting by director A.S. Cecilio Neto, an art exhibition at Ground Level Gallery, and too many dance events for me even to think about keeping track. Music-wise, though, it's pretty simple: Arnaldo Antunes and Marlui Miranda will both perform Friday and Saturday, November 15 and 16, at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd. in Miami Beach.
Miranda is a singer and composer whose latest album Todos Os Sons is a sonic exploration of songs and chants derived from various Brazilian Indian tribes. The set includes cameos by such luminaries as Paolo Vinaccia and Gilberto Gil. Multitalented author/poet/videomaker Antunes is the former frontman for the Brazilian rock group Titans. He'll be performing O Nome, a multimedia presentation that was originally produced as a video/book for MTV Brazil.
-- By John Floyd