What What-ers?

From the damaged grind of 1987’s classic album Locust Abortion Technician to 1996’s Beck-like fluke single “Pepper,” Butthole Surfers have veered from snotty underdogs to accidental hitmakers and back again. In fact, despite a brush here and there with the mainstream, the band remains one of rock’s most definitive cult acts. Now that the Surfers have regained rights to and reissued their first four albums, their subsequent touring has an added sense of D.I.Y. willfulness. It’s also something of a history lesson: For all the band's silliness, its wrestling and pinning of various genres on the way to exploring music’s fringes remains exciting and satisfying. Also survivors of the pre-grunge underground, albeit with a reconfigured lineup, the Melvins continue to release new albums and tour with dogged sureness. Long signed to Mike Patton’s Ipecac imprint, the burly outfit has won strong reviews for its recent albums (A) Senile Animal and Nude with Boots. An unlikely remix album even appeared this year, featuring Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and a range of more obscure names. Completing this touring lineup is Psychic Ills, an opaque New York quartet with two acclaimed records on the Social Registry. Outsiders of the world, unite!
Fri., Oct. 16, 9 p.m., 2009

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