Mick Collins has been trying for ten years to get people to stop calling the Dirtbombs a garage band. Their recent singles compilation, If You Don’t Already Have a Look (In the Red), includes covers of the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke,” Soft Cell’s “Insecure Me,” and Yoko Ono’s “Kiss Kiss Kiss.” (“Fuck you and your white belt,” Collins adds in the liner notes.) But methinks he doth protest too much. The Dirtbombs make hilarious, tossed-off, anything-goes rock ‘n’ roll whose highest purpose is always to entertain the folks holding the instruments–and if that’s not what a garage band does, I must’ve read the wrong manual. They rearrange Stevie Wonder’s “Maybe Your Baby” as a pub-punk football chant, with a “hey hey hey!” at the end of every bar. They tart up the Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations” like “Sympathy for the Devil”–same congas and maracas, same bass feel, even the same “woo-hoo” backups–and then drop in the chorus from “Hey Jude” on the outro. The originals are just as over-the-top, and in just as many directions–from a comically garbagey stomper like “Don’t Bogue My High,” recorded mostly with a single dictation mike, to a patent-leather waterbed funk number like “Little Miss Chocolate Syrup,” with its ten-ton-marshmallow bass tone and icy falsetto vocals. The Dirtbombs’ live sound is half stampede and half dance party: a bassist, a “fuzz” player, and twin trap drummers back Collins’s dead-on soul shout and hit-or-miss guitar. He can’t keep his instrument in tune for more than 45 seconds, and the slips and stumbles between the overlapping drum parts make the band sound like a gregarious drunk with two left feet–but if that’s still bothering you after the first song, it’s time for a blood transfusion. This show is part of the Electric City Rockfest, a three-day series curated by the Double Door; opening are the Phenoms, M.O.T.O., Popsick (see Thursday), the Decibators, Big Whiskey, and DJ Billiams. Fri 9/2, 8:30 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $12.

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.