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With chunky guitar lines that reprise the sprightly verve of classic snotty chord ’n’ clang dealers — from Buzzcocks to Propaghandi — Chicago’s Lawrence Arms blow doors on their paint-by-numbers peers. With a melodic cushion pierced with witty social and political commentary, they could be the bratty cousins of John Samson’s post-Propaghandi band, The Weakerthans. There’s even a hint of Samson’s song-titling acumen in such tracks as “The Corpse of Our Motivations” and “3 a.m. QVC Shopping Spree Hangover.” Reminiscent in scruffy spirit of the New Bomb Turks, LA upholds the honor of trad punk, but this time with enough four-on-the-floor passion to remind you what drew you to the din in the first place. Their latest, Cocktails and Dreams, is just out. In true me-and-the-boys rock band fashion, this week’s monomanias come courtesy of all three bandmates.

5. The love song of a traveling beer salesman: I hate lists. Buy me a drink.

4. Rust never sleeps: Old guys in bands who jump around with their guitars are doing the rock ’n’ roll equivalent of having a comb over. No one is fooled. It’s just a little lame and a little sad.

3. Swill by any other name still tastes as sweet. Red Stripe and Pabst taste exactly the same in a blind taste test. True.

2. There are
certain universal truths: Ashton Kutcher is a dickhole.

1. Life, the
universe and everything: Answer honestly and it will determine what kind of person you are, leaving your soul brutally exposed. Would you rather suck off a dog, but no one would ever know but you (and the dog, of course). Or, would you rather not suck off a dog, but have everyone that you know think — know in fact — that you sucked off a dog?


Sunday, May 29, at Alvin’s (5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-4577) with A Wilhelm Scream.

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