5-22: Southern Culture on the Skids/Los Straitjackets

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4579/1242764258-scots3.jpgIt’s an Americana kitsch party when Southern Culture on the Skids (pictured) and Los Straitjackets pull their doublewide into town tonight. The two veteran groups draw upon a wide range of roots music: rockabilly, country, surf, garage-rock and Tex-Mex — and do so with a heavy slathering of humor. Los Straitjackets perform while wearing colorful Mexican wrestling masks, and SCOTS, who look like country cousins of the B-52s, get duded up in trailer-park chic. But what’s often overlooked among all their corny schtick is just how talented both bands are. On The Further Adventures Of …, Los Straitjackets rumble through their patented surfabilly-noir instrumentals, proving again they’re one of the top instrumental units working these days. SCOTS’ hick antics hide the fact that frontman Rick Miller is a mighty fine guitar picker. On their most recent album, the 2007 covers collection Countrypolitian Favorites, they dish out straightforward and wonderful renditions of Nashville nuggets like Joe South’s “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden” and George Jones’ “Let’s Invite Them Over,” alongside inventively twangy interpretations of the Kinks’ “Muswell Hillbilly,” the Who’s “Happy Jack” and T. Rex’s “Life’s a Gas.” Between SCOTS and Los Straits, this show definitely should be a gas. It’s at 9 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets: $20. — Michael Berick

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