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Little Steven's Underground Garage Live 

With the Romantics, Reigning Sound, Cobra Verde, and others. Saturday, February 21, at the Beachland Ballroom.

The Romantics
  • The Romantics
E Street Band guitarist and Sopranos regular Little Steven Van Zandt has taken on another bandanna, that of garage-rock savior. While palling around with Telstar Records (Greenhornes, Swingin' Neckbreakers) honcho Todd Abramson and being privy to the constant club action in New York City, he noticed that there's still a vast number of snotty, three-chord combos out there of the ilk that had been the neighborhood norm during his '60s R'n'R youth. Well, it's the '00s, and since this stuff has barely a snowball's chance, thanks to the airtight media monopoly, he's developed a syndicated radio show to expose these acts -- Underground Garage, which airs Sunday nights at 10 on WNCX-FM 98.5.

Now Van Zandt's taking the concept on the road. It's a little disappointing that '80s acts like the Chesterfield Kings and the Romantics are the headliners, when there are so many deserving young acts that don't regularly get royalty checks. But maybe those "big" acts will rope folks in to see the hooky Fondas, the broken-heart blast of Memphis's Reigning Sound, and the glam-slamming locals Cobra Verde. Sure, the garage trend is sputtering, but to Van Zandt, it was never a trend -- just a way of life.

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