When: Tue., Oct. 25, 8 p.m. 2011
If you only had six minutes and forty-two seconds to explain punk rock to someone with zero concept of the idea, you couldn't do much better than showing them the Damned's 1979 appearance on the longtime BBC live-music show Old Grey Whistle Test. It depicts a group of demented-looking young men—imagine Hanna-Barbera's vision of a garage rock band that's gotten into hard drugs and the occult—tearing through a high-speed bubblegum pop song ("Smash It Up") and then a dirgy but still-kinda-bubblegum song ("Just Can't Be Happy Today") before eventually abandoning their set to throw instruments and stage props at each other and the crew. Guitarist Captain Sensible's organ performance on the latter number shows that he obviously has no idea how to play the organ. Dave Vanian looks like a vampiric Roxy Music fan. It's glorious. The recent live album, Rockbands (Empty), is only half as bracing and energetic as that performance, but it's still better than any other live punk album I've heard in years. —Miles Raymer Legendary Shack Shakers and Pirate Twins (DJ sets) open.