What to Do This Weekend: Death

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A decade ago, the obscure proto-punks Death never even blipped on the radars of the vinyl junkies or noise-lovin’ hipsters who heap praise on them these days. That’s because the three Hackney brothers put out only one single, which was self-released in 1976 and limited to 500 copies. They formed in Detroit in 1970 as just another of the city’s solid but indistinguishable R&B bands. In 1973 the trio caught a Stooges concert and totally scrapped its funky sound in favor of some raw power. Death’s demo landed in the hands of record exec Clive Davis, who set them up in a studio, where the sibs started making their debut album. Then Davis asked them to change their band name to something less sinister. They refused and were booted from Columbia Records, leaving with the seven songs they completed. One 45 was released, and that was it for Death … until one of the songs landed on a punk compilation seven years ago. The slow-building buzz since then eventually led to … For the Whole World to See, which came out earlier this year and includes the seven songs Death recorded in 1975. The two surviving members (one of the guys died from lung cancer in 2000) are playing only three shows in support of the album, and one of them is at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com) at 9 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $13 in advance, $15 day of show. —Michael Gallucci

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