Brief attack

The Briefs revisit the old-school
wave of skinny ties and
pogo dancing

for those seeing punk / new wave revivalists the Briefs this weekend, forget about starting a mosh pit to their catchy, stripped-down melodies. Bring back pogo dancing! The Seattle band's songs, wrapped in skinny ties and Day-Glo regalia, so impressed local underground promoters Unity Crayons when the band debuted at last year's Punk on a Rock Festival that here they are back, only several months later, playing what's been aptly described as "the best punk rock this side of new wave."

In concert

Who: The Briefs

When: 8 p.m. today at Pink Cadillac, 478 Ena Road, with opening bands the Hell Caminos, My Ex Is Dead and Sunday Silence. Also 8 p.m. tomorrow at Anna Bannana's, 2440 S. Beretania St., with opening bands the 86 List, Temporary Lovers and Laissez Faire.

Admission: $7, all ages

Contact: michael@unitycrayons.com

"We're stoked," said singer-guitarist Steve E. Nix by cell phone from the Emerald City on Tuesday. Along with fellow singer-guitarist Daniel J. Travanti, singer-drummer Chris Brief and singer-bassist Kicks (who replaces Lance Romance, now pursuing a photography career), Nix says he and the guys "try to maintain spirit of the first and second waves of punk rock" with their fun approach.

We're talking about name-checking such great English and U.S. bands of yore like the Buzzcocks, the Vibrators, the Damned, the Dickies, the Adolescents, and the Boys and the Rezillos (whom the Briefs cover in their sets). "We love all that stuff. We're all record-collector geeks, and even though we grew up in the early '80s on Orange County punk, we wanted to get back to the punk-rock history of over 20 years ago. So for the average kid, this is miles away from what they know.

"It's all about giving the kids something new -- there are no devil horns in our music," Nix joked.

The band's latest album on BYO Records, "Sex Objects," was one of the hidden gems from last year. The label also reissued the Briefs' first and second albums, "Hit After Hit" and "Off the Charts," the latter originally for big boys Interscope back in 2002.

Even though the band was only with the corporate label for a cup of coffee, Nix said their deal "bought us lots of coffee! We're pretty happy right now with our label. ... BYO is run by real punk rockers. With Interscope the only reason we originally signed with them is that we had terrible s--t jobs at the time, and there was the prospect of getting a chunk of money and touring more. So when they got rid of us, they gave us a little more money, enough to buy a van and jump-start our band with a tour in Europe."

Since then the Briefs have been true road warriors. After the two Honolulu shows this weekend, they go home to Seattle for a day, fly to Europe to tour for the seventh time, then to Japan for the first time, and back to the East Coast to join the Vans Warped Tour.

Even though their onstage wardrobe is still undecided for Hawaii, Nix promises they'll wear "no cutoffs and baggy T-shirts. We try to put on a show."

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