D.J. Lebowitz is an itinerant weirdo who has amazed and antagonized audiences from coast to coast. Wide-eyed and bushy haired (when his head isn't shaved), he's a piano-playing singer-songwriter who traffics in a maniacal, singsongy mode of expression that seems influenced in equal parts by Jonathan Richman, Peter Lorre in M, and, oh, I don't know, Johnny Thunders maybe. OK, I'm reaching, but he's definitely an acquired taste, and what do you say about a guy who opens a show with an instrumental version of the Ramones' "We Want the Airwaves," ends up on the floor, choking, at the climax of his own anticigarette epic "Smoke, Suffer and Die"--and is fully capable (I've seen him do it) of playing an entire show with a big part of the audience screaming "Fuck you!" "Get off the stage!" and "Die yourself!" He plays Thursday as emcee for Battle of the Bad Bands II, which pits Jerry and the Luges (featuring Jerry Loser from the play The Weirdly Sisters), the Cracking Love Bites (featuring cartoonist Heather McAdams), and defending champions the Misery Love Co. against each other for the coveted title. "They're bad," says the club's booker. "They're really bad." Lebowitz will play an opening set and perform between contestants as well. Thursday, 8:30 PM, Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport; 248-5238.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mike Arredondo.