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The Tubes: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Dec 4 2013

"The more things change, the more they stay the same" is as cliché as cliché can get, but the proverb sure rings true once you check out YouTube clips of the Tubes doing "White Punks on Dope" — the trademark track off the S.F. outfit's self-titled 1975 debut — 30 years apart. The first hullabaloo in '82 finds frontman Fee Waybill donning a ridiculous white wig, skintight silver pants, giant glasses, and platform shoes tall enough to qualify as stilts. Lyrics-wise, "White Punks" is simultaneously an indictment and celebration of youthful indiscretions and ennui, but in the power-poppy act's hands, it's entirely a charming, gleefully garish, cabaret-at-the-dive-bar anthem. A video of a 2012 performance finds the band members clearly older but still maintaining the pep of their juvenile selves. Waybill wears the same kind of getup as before — plus a black boa. The Tubes' commitment to shtick is what keeps them endearing and entertaining; should tongue push any further into cheek, it'll go out the other side.

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Reyan Ali

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