PHOTO BY NINA SABATINO
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Snotty and satirical, Philadelphia-based quartet The Dead Milkmen was a college rock favorite in the e_SSRq80s. Its highest visibility came from MTV’s regular airing of the video for their catchy single “Punk Rock Girl.”
It’s a modern classic (in my household, anyway), and whether or not it hides a satiric heart about its falling-in-love characters, the song’s freewheeling joyride spirit is so infectious and full of funny details that it comes off as surprisingly sweet.
Under that tip of the iceberg, The Dead Milkmen had albums full of songs that covered a lot of surreal, silly and dark territory — conspiracy theories, badgers, religion, right-wingers, a Dr. Seuss-like slam on frat guys and much more.
The band called it a day in 1995, but the suicide of original bassist Dave Schulthise in 2004 got the rest of the group — Rodney Linderman on vocals and keyboards, Joe Genaro on vocals and guitar and Dean Sabatino on drums — playing together again for benefit shows (with Dan Stevens on bass). They chose to reunite in 2008, eventually making a new full-length record (“The King In Yellow”) and a few EPs.
The rejuvenated Milkmen return to the area tonight at Pearl Street in Northampton at 8:30. Opening the show is MC Breath, a Providence, R.I., musician who does wacky hip-hop tracks with their heads in pop culture of the e_SSRq70s and e_SSRq80s. For one song, he raps about the beloved cleaning product Didi Seven on top of samples from “Werewolves of London” and Beatles riffs.
Michael Chorney — the guitarist and brilliant arranger and musical director of Anais Mitchell’s affecting folk-opera “Hadestown” — comes to town with his band Hollar General. Brattleboro’s own Wooden Dinosaur start off the show tonight at the Arts Block in Greenfield at 8.
M.O.T.O. (the project of poppy punk-rocker Paul Caporino) and local band Alottle teamed up last year at the Michael Nesmith 70th Birthday Tribute Show for a wall-shaking version of Nez’s “Listen To the Band.” The two acts hit the stage again on a bill that also includes Crowrider. Tonight at 9 at The Elevens in Northampton.
Fiesta Brava has finished its debut full-length “This Is Us Tomorrow,” a full-spectrum guitar-driven alternative rock record that could have fit right in on MTV’s “120 Minutes” back in the days of Buffalo Tom and The Connells. The local band celebrates with an album release show tonight at the Iron Horse in Northampton at 10. Limited-edition CDs will be on sale. The Brass, back from a hiatus, plays first.
Jeffrey Foucault and Cold Satellite play the Parlor Room at Signature Sounds in Northampton on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Poor Old Shine brings its stage full of acoustic gear (pump organ, banjos, washboard, mandolin, upright bass, etc.) from their Storrs, Conn., home base for a show with The Ephemeral Stringband at the Iron Horse tonight at 7.
Jim Armenti plays solo at 7, Ray Mason Band at 8 and The Lonesome Brothers at 9:30 at Luthiers Co-op in Easthampton on Saturday.
The Rick Murnane Band and The Prestons appear at the Basement in Northampton Saturday at 8 p.m.
Shokazoba and Flabberghaster team up for a “Four Twenty Funk Spectacular” at the Elevens Saturday at 10 p.m.
Opel, Babydriver and The Caroline Know (with Terry Rand, brother of late singer/songwriter/guitarist Stephen Rand, taking over as frontman) at the Sierra Grille in Northampton Thursday at 10 p.m.