Downtown music

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December 13, 2004 // UPDATED 4:52 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Holly Day
Holly Day

The new Luchadoras!

I was really excited when FoxKids debuted a show featuring a group of adolescent crime-fighters in Mexican wrestler costumes.

Unfortunately, "Los Luchadores" sucked.

Not only were "Lobo Fuerte" (Lone Wolf, the intended hero), "Turbine" (the smart kid who invents cool stuff) and "Maria Valentine" (think thinner Gwen Stefani) even less believable than the Power Rangers who inspired them, but their "wrestling" stunts were more like bizarre dances to tunes that nobody wanted to hear.

Of all the areas this show could've shone in, it was the soundtrack. All the various Ranger incarnations featured an awesome rockin' band playing the intro and exit music.

Attention, FoxKids execs: replace the uninspiring cohort with Danny Amis, Peter Curry, Eddie Angel and Jimmy Lester -- a.k.a. Los Straitjackets.

These guys could wrestle in the daytime, fight crime at night and, at the end of every episode when the bad guys are caught and everything's neatly resolved, they could play one of their awesome, tight surf tunes.

I guess it'd be kind of like "The Monkees," except the main characters would wear wrestling masks and play surf music instead of bad Beatles' rip-off tunes.

Unfortunately, the folks at Fox are yet to return my call (OK, calls). However, and probably better yet, you've got the chance to catch Los Straitjackets live.

With their astounding guitar work and almost palpable chemistry, even the pickiest audiophile could find little to nitpick with these guys. Virtuosity aside, how can you not have a good time as men in clad in brilliant Mexican wrestling get-ups perform tight instrumental surf covers of the Christmas classics, or gently mock Celine Dion? (Try doing that sans vocals.)

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N. $10 advance, $12 at the door. 332-1775.

Smart country

Texas singer/songwriter Charlie Robison began crafting his own material at 15. Drawing equally from rock and country, Robison's influences can be heard in his work to this day.

Unfortunately, this "waffling" between genres has kept him from getting a lot of play on either rock or country stations. Apparently, while categories like "alternative country" can help identify the kind of music a certain artist plays, they can also confuse DJs and record store employees.

Robison mixes brilliant, sardonic lyricism with acoustic guitars, fiddles and Dobros (resonator guitars), making for what on the surface appears to be solid country but touches on ideas that rarely enter the mainstream country arena.

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 9 p.m. Lee's Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood Ave. $10. 338-9491.

Another happy night out

Longtime Minneapolis outfit the Mighty Mofos are much friendlier than your average garage rock band. Musically, they're a cut above as well.

Come on down and melt away your holiday blues.

Saturday, Dec. 18, 8 p.m. First Avenue's 7th Street Entry, 701 1st Ave. N. $5. 332-1775.

Holly Day can be reached at lalena@bitstram.net.