by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


If the Black Flag show back in late summer could serve as a warning, be very wary of aging punk bands carrying original billing, for they are always not what they seem. To call Greg Ginn’s current version of Black Flag a s***show would have been a slight to necrophiliacs. It was beyond awful, and that it sold itself as the same band that made Damaged was a demolition of a great album’s legacy. The same Tribute To caution should be exercised for the Misfits show on Dec. 17 at Ziggy’s. No, no reasonable person would walk into a Misfits show in 2013 expecting the same cryptic magic that exploded out of 1982’s Walk Among Us. Only Jerry Only remains from that classic lineup of Glenn Danzig and Doyle, but ironically, while Ginn was proving Black Flag-proper as a shadow of itself, current Misfits guitarist Dez Cadena was ripping off heads as the guitarist for the Keith Morris incarnation, FLAG. He’s served as a more than functional replacement for the muscle-bound Doyle on guitar, and Jerry Only’s brutish presence out front is still a worthy conduit for a roomful of young and old punks to scream out, “I ain’t no god damn son of a bitch.” Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.


In some parallel dimension, families huddle around the fire to watch NBC’s Christmas Eve broadcast of “Die Hard” and the day-after cycle of eating and opening gifts is done to various intervals of TBS’s all-day marathons of “Less Than Zero.” There are only so many servings of the traditional Christmas fare one can consume in a lifetime before their significance becomes eroded, and sometimes the Christmas spirit has to come from unlikely places. Donna the Buffalo isn’t particularly known for staging epic, holiday-themed tours, but they are a band whose natural warmth tends to be amplified by the occasion. They do have one noteworthy holiday song — Jeb Puryear’s plaintive ballad about being stuck in a hotel room during a snowy Christmas on tour called “Jamestown Christmas” — but Donna the Buffalo’s earthy grooves engage the true celebratory nature of the season better than most yuletide extravaganzas. Check their new album Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday. The circle-of-life missive “Working On That” illustrates that intent as well as anything they’ve done. Dave McCracken’s warm synths crackle like a fire underneath archetypal DtB builds that inexplicably end in danceready breakdowns. They’ll bring their roux of rock, zydeco, bluegrass and jam to Ziggy’s on Saturday, and while it won’t be a Christmas-themed show, it will be DtB at Christmastime, which is good enough. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. !