Boyz II Men


It must be hard to be Hanson — you know, the brothers who "MMMBop"ed their little-boy androgyny onto the walls of many a preteen girl's bedroom in the late '90s. Guess what? They grew up, like even the most unwilling adolescents have a tendency to do. Checking into their just-released CD/DVD greatest-hits/new-songs package, I had half hoped to find that the guys had morphed into one of those metrosexual emo-hardcore acts that litter Hot Topic. It would be the logical step, I figured, seeing as they're probably big My Chemical Romance fans by now. Instead, the album opens with a great version of "Optimistic" by Radiohead and a cover of U2's "In a Little While." They're a bit reminiscent of another band of brothers, the equally ridiculed Bee Gees, who had a great career before and beyond the disco era. Still, it must be hard to be Hanson; I mean, who wants to tour with them? They're not exactly the hammer of the gods.

Hanson plays at 7 p.m. Sunday, October 23, at Club Cinema, 3251 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $28. Call 954-785-5224.  

Cool It Now

I know we're all still suffering a sugar hangover from the sensory overload of pop puppets and the hairless corpulent Svengalis manipulating the strings in honor of a dollar. However, New Edition has more in common with the Jackson 5 than with faceless Disney money wranglers. The fact is, when pre-fab Menudos were guaranteed career homicide by age 16, New Edition was just getting started pumping out bubblegum masterpieces. They got older, grew apart, went solo, had amazing careers, and are now back at square one. They have a new album coming out on Bad Boy Records called One Love and have spit out the bubblegum to fully personify the R&B crooner ethos. Which is good. One thing I never understood about slow jam R&B, though, is that it's a lot of work just for some tail.

New Edition opens for Brian McKnight at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. Tickets start at $47.50. Call 786-777-1250.  

The Ex in, er, X


As the voice of Los Angeles' legendary punk band X, Exene Cervenka learned plenty about what the genre's all about — being conversational and controversial and not sticking to the narrow confines of three-chord Ramones riffs. With her new band, Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners, Cervenka has found a new lineup of like-minded musicians looking for salvation through sound. The Sinners' sophomore album, Sev7en, is a titular nod to her bandmates' other group, the St. Louis-based 7 Shot Screamers. With these exceptionally well-trained guns by her side, the Sinners offer a mix of rockabilly and glam, making room for Cervenka's free-form vocal style. And really, there's no better way for Cervenka to work, off the cuff and out in space.

Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners perform Saturday, December 16, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Doors open at 8 p.m. with Knuckel Drager, Charlie Pickett, and the Righteous Devices. Tickets cost $10