Correction to This Article
A March 27 Style review of the Minus Five concert at Iota incorrectly identified Peter Buck as the bassist for REM. Buck plays bass for Minus Five but is a guitarist for REM.

POP MUSIC

Ned Rothenberg, Jerome Harris and Samir Chatterjee of the trio Sync.
Ned Rothenberg, Jerome Harris and Samir Chatterjee of the trio Sync. (Courtesy Of Ned Rothenberg)
Monday, March 27, 2006

To those who were turned away at the door at Iota, where the Minus 5 played to a sold-out crowd Saturday: Not to be cruel, but it was a night of insanely infectious power pop delivered by a quartet that played together as tightly as a fitted bedsheet. Beatlesque harmonies, melodies played under melodies -- and a killer rhythm section more familiar with arenas than honky-tonks: drummer Bill Rieflin from Ministry and REM bassist Peter Buck.

And the cult favorite Silos opened.

You should have got there earlier.

Singer-songwriter Scott McCaughey, who founded the Minus 5 in 1993 as a side project from Young Fresh Fellows, played his electric guitar and sang "My Life as a Creep," "Days of Wine and Booze" and "Retrieval of You" (aka the "D.J. Minimart" song) with old-fashioned rock-and-roll fervor. Guitarist John Ramberg seemingly could do no wrong as he blended furious riffs from the poppy '60s with those from the post-punk '90s. Rieflin kept the beat fast and fun, and Buck was the calm in the storm, playing basic, dynamic rock bass with an unwavering grin that was as infectious as the music.

The night got off to a swift and powerful start with the Silos, the seminal alt-country band founded in the mid-1980s by singer-songwriter Walter Salas-Humara. The trio was made up of just bass and drum and Salas-Humara on electrified acoustic guitar and vocals, but the sound filled the room with catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics.

-- Buzz McClain

Reggaeton Spring Bling

There is no spewing, hateful rivalry between dancehall reggae and its Latin beat- and hip-hop-influenced younger sibling, reggaeton. But put a huge star from each genre on the same bill, and it's only natural that a healthy tussle for the loudest applause and screams ensues.

At Friday's Reggaeton Spring Bling at the Patriot Center, dancehall heartthrob Sean Paul handily won the congenial competition for most beloved artist over reggaeton luminary Ivy Queen, but the playing field wasn't exactly level.

After Mafu Crew, Andy Andy and Hector El Bambino (now also going by the more mature Hector El Father) performed, Sean Paul took to the stage accompanied by hype men, dancers and a band. Despite an injured right knee, he jumped around while performing much material culled from his latest album, "The Trinity," 2003's "Dutty Rock" and 2000's "Stage One." In addition to his best-known material, including "Gimme the Light," and more recent chart-toppers, such as the blazing "Temperature," Paul dropped in a couple of verses from collaborations with Busta Rhymes and Beyonce and early dance-floor successes "Deport Them" and "Infiltrate."

The extensive performance, though, ran over into Ivy Queen's time.

The Queen was cheered when she finally emerged, but it was impossible to top Paul's performance with 20 minutes of stage time, a DJ instead of backing musicians, and mike problems. The Queen tried to make the most of her snippet of a set with "Cuentale" and "Te He Querido Te He Llorado," both on "Flashback," but when the house lights came up, cutting her show short, she walked offstage shaking her head. Ivy Queen came back for a quick reprise of "Cuentale," but left the crowd wanting not only more music, but a reggae/reggaeton rematch.

-- Sarah Godfrey


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