Scratch beneath the toughened skin of your average punk-rocker, and you're just as likely to find a closet Weird Al Yankovic fan as you are a closet Metallica fan. In many ways, liking Yankovic was a natural step in the evolution from pop fan to punk fan: He mocked authority figures, he was straight-edge and he would, in the words of one of his nonparody hits, "dare to be stupid." That's punk rock. Philadelphia's Adam Goren (pictured), who performs solo with a drum machine/sequencer as Atom and His Package
, may not play the accordion or rewrite pop hits, but he's the best thing going for the punk scene's closet Yankovic fans. Atom writes funny, Devo-ish punk tunes and delivers them with charisma and showmanship. His latest release, Redefining Music
(Hopeless Records), is filled with insider punk humor (odes to the band Franklin and the File 13 record label) and spot-on punk-rock righteousness, such as the humorously titled but actually well-thought-out diatribe against Native American-themed sports teams "If You Own the Washington Redskins, You're a Cock." On past albums, he has covered everyone from punk legends Born Against to the Geto Boys; on Redefining
, he tackles three Mountain Goats songs and Madonna. Endless touring has taken Atom and His Package from word-of-mouth inside joke to full-fledged underground sensation. This show may not be for purists, but punk rockers who appreciate humor as well as hardcore should check out Atom and His Package.
Also performing is Har Mar Superstar, the over-the-top alter ego of one Har(old) Mar(tin) Tillmann. Bringing a punk-rock, DIY attitude to, of all things, R. Kelly-style boot-knocking soul, Har Mar Superstar must be seen to be believed. Make sure you're in attendance when he teaches the crowd how to kick it, submarine-style.