The future must look bright for local polka-punkers I Don't Know, who use accordion prominently in their songs, and occasionally toss in other instrumentation not normally associated with high-energy rock. First, this week the Rhino label will issue a collection of music by accordion greats (Flaco Jimenez, Clifton Chenier) and not-so-greats (Lawrence Welk and Weird Al Yankovic). Though Rhino tries to sneak in a rock connection (mentioning that U2, Talking Heads, John Mellencamp, and They Might Be Giants all have used accordion), nobody A except maybe early TMBG A relies on the accordion the way I Don't Know does. Too bad the band's "Mr. Malcolm's Chronicles" isn't included in the Rhino set. Second, Know frontperson Ferny Coipel was invited on-stage to jam with Ween the other night at the Edge A playing clarinet. You can catch Know tomorrow (Friday) with the entertaining One Eyed Kings at Squeeze.
Speaking of the future, I enjoyed an advance tape of the soon-out Load album, a mix of live and studio tracks by my favorite punk band since the Ramones were fresh. Best lyrics (of the words I actually could discern): "I've got my mojo on my dick in my right hand" and "I went to Churchill's Hideaway and I was fucking stoned." It's all as hell-raising as their earlier stuff, which was hell-raising as hell. Called Load, the first pressing will be available on see-through gold vinyl. The band will be back on the live circuit in early March.
These kids today. Come spring, wild-eyed college students, mostly from the University of Miami, go crazy with what they call Alternative Spring Break. In 1993, for example, the little maniacs spent their break time in the Midwest helping flood victims. Tomorrow (Friday) Jennifer Culture and Sketchbook perform at a benefit to help fund the students' efforts. The venue, Marsbar, promises a percentage of the door to the kids. If you're a Jennifer freak -- and after a recent show I saw, I'd consider myself one -- you also can catch the band tonight (Thursday) at Ruins on South Beach.
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Other shows of note this week include Gigi DeNisco tonight (Thursday) at Tuna's, tomorrow (Friday) at Club M, and Saturday at Smith Brothers Lounge. Mr. Tasty and the Bread Healers heat up the Evolution Room in the Button South tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, then join with another food-related band, Porridge, for a show at the Chili Pepper on Sunday. Mind Mural paints the Button tonight (Thursday). Tomorrow (Friday) the Holy Terrors, Drive Choir, and Pohgoh join forces at Churchill's. Or you can opt for Nuclear Valdez and Red Road tomorrow (Friday) at the terminal Stephen Talkhouse.
Look for a new Soul Asylum album in May. Drummer Grant Young is out. No word yet on his replacement.
Arlan Feiles plays solo every Sunday, beginning this week, at Rose's.
The popular, powerful, and somewhat unstable Collapsing Lungs has undergone another personnel change. Vocalist Brian Tutunick is out. Or, from his perspective, the other six members are out. He owns the name Collapsing Lungs. The other members will continue as L.U.N.G.S. (for Life Under No Greedy Suckers) or just "the Lungs." The group is signed to Atlantic, and is right now in an "option period." Keyboardist and sampler Chris Nicholas explains it this way: "They haven't dropped us, and they haven't picked up the option yet either." As for the group's hard, crunchy sound, Nicholas says, "When we started out, we were more industrial. But each new member brought a different style to the band, and we were moving toward something Brian wasn't about." You can catch L.U.N.G.S. on Sunday at the Button South, with Tension and Culture sharing the bill.
Veruca Salt Photo Contest: You have to hand this much to Veruca Salt: Their existence helped create yet another subgenre A "waif rock." Their album's still weak and the band still overrated, according to respondents to last week's contest in which readers were asked to guess which of the two V.S. publicity photos the group's label wants published. Geffen originally mailed out the pic with the guitar in it, then sent urgent orders to burn that one and replace it with the other one. A couple of reader comments: "My guess is it's gotta be the bottom one [without the guitar] because that's the more glamour shot one. But let's be honest, both of those pictures are like totally vapid and vacant. Who cares? Enough said." Not quite, young lady. Another reader says, "Yeah, I'm calling about that page 83, the pictures of Veruca Salt. There are three pictures on the page, two of Veruca Salt and one of Wet Willie's [actually an advertisement]. I'm not sure which one the label sent out. I think I see the people from Veruca Salt in the Wet Willie's ad, and I would say that's the best photo on the page. I would also say it doesn't matter because Veruca Salt is going to be off the airwaves and out of the music scene quicker than you can imagine, because like every other flavor of the month their shit is weak and there's no substance to it and like all good trends will come to an end not soon enough.