ARTS

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November 22, 2002

Ministry of Fun

Mission of Burma

The Metro

November 22

This concert is not yet sold out, and for the life of me, I don't know why. Coming out of Boston in the early 1980s, Mission of Burma basically invented the post-punk genre—that is, punk music played by accomplished musicians. Their live shows are also the stuff of legend: they employed a full-time tape bender, who from a booth at the back of the venue would loop sounds through the speakers; and the concerts were so loud that the band was forced to break up because guitarist Roger Miller was losing his hearing. Their current tour—which is only hitting a few U.S. cities—marks the first time the band has been together in nearly 20 years. Indeed, bassist Clint Conley, the voice behind "Academy Fight Song," hasn't been on stage since the band called it quits. The prospect of seeing a group that's become, to borrow a phrase, more of a legend than a band, should be enough to get each and every one of you out of the dorm on Friday night.

—Tom Zimpleman

Brendan Benson

The Double Door

November 22

A big component of the Detroit Diaspora and a prominent friend of the White Stripes, Brendan Benson and his band, the Well-Fed Boys, will be at the Double Door on Friday night. His 1996 album, One Mississippi, spawned the very minor hit "Sitting Pretty," which, if you're lucky, played on your town's modern rock station once or twice. Then the minutiae of record contracts, and the difficulties of extricating himself from said contracts, kept him occupied for a few years. Earlier in 2002 he released his much-delayed follow-up, Lapalco, a fine power-pop album (with heavy rock leanings) that's earned Benson critical kudos and a growing fan base. —TZ

Matt Sharp

Schuba's

November 24

Matt Sharp, the original bass player in Weezer, left that group a few years ago to devote his time to the Rentals, his side project and a much better band. (N.B. I don't run with the Weezer mafia around this place.) Unfortunately, the second Rentals album, Seven More Minutes, was a commercial disappointment that led to the band's demise in 2000. After recording an album of solo acoustic material, which he plans to release next year, Sharp is out touring to promote his new material and to perform some old Rentals stuff. The evening promises to be an interesting blend of folk balladry and new wave affectation. —TZ