The Real Kids

with the Hentchmen and Quazi Modo. Friday, November 24, at the Beachland.

Josh Ritter Cat's Cradle

Oberlin College Thursday, November 9

What must have seemed like a good idea some two decades ago -- mixing the gritty looseness of the Rolling Stones with the punk simplicity of the Ramones -- still sounds as smart today. It works out even better when you're a band that can just about pull it off. John Felice formed and fronted the Boston-based Real Kids during that city's late-'70s to early-'80s musical heyday. The gritty and grimy Real Kids were the one band that seemed to consistently defy the more infectious modern post-punk conventions of the times by leaning heavily on a dynamite garage trash aesthetic and eschewing any romantic notions of rock and roll as glory. Taking Felice's songs about girls, girls, and, well, girls and fueling his snap melodies with thunderous guitars, the Real Kids snarled their way through the increasingly style-minded world of alternative rock. Unfortunately, the Kids were ultimately relegated to fulfilling the stereotypical cult prophecy. They disappeared after one record (Felice roadied for the Ramones for a while) and re-formed as the Taxi Boys before being reborn as the Real Kids in the mid-'80s. It only makes sense that true believers of this caliber never say never when it comes to the noisy garage they've inhabited for years. Touring some 20 odd years for a career that hardly even shaded the margins of popular music may seem fruitless to some, but then again, so was stepping into that margin in the first place.

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