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Sign of the apocalypse

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I can honestly say that I'm not a Loverboy fan. I know all of the band's songs, though, thanks to the mind-numbing rotation it got on the radio back in the 1980's. By the time the band hit the bigs, I had discovered punk rock by way of new wave, and was too cool for the mainstream school. So imagine my surprise when the band rocked my ass Wednesday, August 15, at CMAC. Looking their age and happy as hell to be onstage, the members of Loveroby were unapologetically retro and fun. And though Mike Reno will never shoehorn his ass into those tight red leather pants again, the man still has all the crayons in his voice box. He sounded great.

And then there was Pat Benatar. Dear Pat: it was great seeing you the other night, although your handlers wouldn't let me anywhere near the stage with a camera. Look, I know you're pushing 60, but girlfriend, I still think you're beautiful. I noticed you've rearranged some songs to accommodate your voice and you've shaved off a few of the notes previously enjoyed only by dogs, but you still sound amazing. And your hubby swings a mean guitar and comb — I mean, how about that snow-white pompadour? I could've taken some pretty pics of both of you, trust me. But thanks to your over-protective management, we're forced to look at a pic of Loverboy instead. Sorry. Love, Frank.

Thursday night at the Bug Jar I got to catch a cool set and the debut performance from Kohler. After the young band got up and running — and dialed back a little of the icepick-to-the-eardrum tone — it exhibited some tight grooves and clever riffs that swirled in the frenetic angst and fury. Tons of potential here.

Hip-hop at the Dinosaur. I know, it's a sure sign of the apocalypse, right? But I'm telling you, Sophistafunk tore it up Thursday night. I couldn't sit still as I tore into my ribeye. Just keyboards, drums, and vocals, this band had the joint jumping. It was fan-goddamn-tastic. I even witnessed my first mouth solo when the keyboardist orally emitted a bunch of clicks and snaps that was part African bushman of Namibia slang, part beatbox. It started raining frogs soon after.

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