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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tonight in Music: Does it Offend You, Yeah?, the B-52s, Prize Country

posted by on May 6 at 11:00 AM

Does It Offend You, Yeah? - “We Are Rockstars”
Yo Majesty, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Champagne Champagne, LA Kendall
(Neumo’s) Okay, so points deducted for excessive punctuation and evoking Austin Powers, but Does It Offend You, Yeah? for the most part, don’t. (And they claim the name is David Brent from BBC’s The Office, anyway.) “We Are Rockstars” is a convincing declaration, switching abruptly but satisfyingly from cowbell and synth gnarl to an insanely hooky vocodered chorus. Elsewhere on debut album You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into, the band flirt with pretty vapid runway rock (“Dawn of the Dead”), Daft Punked electro vamps (“Weird Science”), and Rapturous punk-funk howl (“Let’s Make Out”). Nothing impresses anywhere near as much as that chorus on “We Are Rockstars” (you are humming it right now), but I bet it all looks pretty good on the dance floor. ERIC GRANDY
B-52s - “Funplex”
The B-52s
(Showbox at the Market) Funplex is the first record the B-52s have released in 16 years, and songs like the title track, “Dancing Now,” “Keep This Party Going,” and “Love in the Year 3000” prove that the band haven’t lost their knack for a good party. The whole album is about dancing, shaking, shimmying, and turning on everyone and everything around you. But the songs aren’t as memorable as the band’s goofier early work, when they took bigger chances, writing songs about rock lobsters and tin-roofed love shacks. The biggest chance they take with Funplex is releasing it at all after a decade and a half of silence (save for the Flintstones movie). Still, there are some lyrical gems buried in their reliable but safe party anthems. My current favorite: “Tell your skirt to take a hike!” demanded by Fred Schneider in his trademark campy drawl. MEGAN SELING

prizecountrygroup.jpgPrize Country photo by Ryan Russell

Prize Country, Sirhan Sirhan, Bullet Club
(Funhouse) Nostalgia isn’t a healthy habit, but neither is turning one’s back on the past. The ’90s certainly had its share of cultural embarrassments, but a certain brand of underground guitar rock from that decade remains pretty crucial. One only needs to look at the Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go rosters from that decade for affirmation of the lasting relevance of that era’s trademark ugly guitar noise. Prize Country apparently share that sentiment. They manage to channel the same driving gutter sounds that made bands like the Jesus Lizard, Hammerhead, and Drive Like Jehu institutions, while tourmates Sirhan Sirhan tread a similar line but opt for a campier brand of nihilism. BRIAN COOK

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