katrina benefit with some-burbs (and westerberbs?)
when the suburbs played merlyn's, i figured it as the last chance to catch them before they became superenormous international arena-rock stars. from the opening bassline of girlache they were larger and tighter than life and i wrote a breathlessly fawning review for the cardinal. i preferred rougher stuff from husker du and the replacements, but knew deep down that they'd never sell many records. the suburbs had a great logo, an up-to-the-minute 1982 new wave fashion sensibility, and could play pretty and poppy as well as completely nuts. i'd seen REM, elvis costello, and others pass through l'il merlyn's on their way up from the van tours and it felt like the burbs' moment to break nationally as well. they put out two intense records, left local label twin/tone for a big contract with polygram, and started opening for the likes of iggy and the b52s. they were way cooler than duran duran and way hotter than depeche mode. they reminded me of new order, with (apologies to peter hook) an even better rhythm section. their live show was supertight and danceable, but with a half-dose of creepy. sadly, i think they lost both their innocence and their edge in the move to LA. if you have quicktime (and patience to wait for the downloads), however, you can see them in their glory because there is a loving collection of videos and music on the twintone site. judge for yourself: check out the low-budget cows video (i defy you not to smile while watching) or the live-at-the-caboose drinking or even the late-period heart-is-in-the-right-place love is the law.
you can see at least "some-burbs" at the "Restore the Rhythm" benefit for flood victims at 4 this sunday at target center. the lineup keeps changing, but here's the latest:
* violent femmes
* dave pirner (of soul asylum) and "the volunteers" (a pick-up band)
*"members of the suburbs" (rumored to be everybody but beej)
* tim mahoney
* chris hawkey and power play
* maybe paul westerberg (i said maybe -- i'm just repeating a rumor i read here)
i've seen everybody on the list but "power play" and they all play loose and fun. i have heard hawkey's classic rock/sports parodies on kfan. my favorites are "oh randy" about everybody's favorite receiver, "two tickets at twice the price" about a super bowl ticket scandal, and flip's gone about the greatest coach in wolves history.
Restore the Rhythm benefit concert at Target Center
(4 p.m. Sun., Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls. $29.75, all of which will go to relief efforts. 651-989-5151.)