As long as there are such things as bottled beer, crowded clubs and pianos on which to pound, there will always be a welcome mat out somewhere for Commander Cody--with or without his Lost Planet Airmen.

The original Airmen, it seems, are still lost in the ozone, but the ol' Commander is doing just fine. Last night he and the five-piece band he's been leading for the past six months or so transformed Desperado's into a jumping juke joint and threatened to "boogie 'til the break of day." While Cody fell a bit short of that promise, his set was nonetheless great fun, an old-fashioned, exuberant rock show.

With fingers and feet, he hammered out eight-to-the-bar patterns endlessly, beginning with "Beat Me Daddy," rippling through "The New Red Cadillac With Jukebox Drive," and ending with "Rock That Boogie." For the most part, he wisely limited his singing to familiar narratives like "Hot Rod Lincoln" and let lead guitarist Glenn Sherba and saxophonist Steve McKay handle the more tuneful songs. McKay's muscle and bite also carried the weight of several songs after Cody set the mood. Pete Segel, one of Cody's older sidemen, added several nice touches on rhythm guitar, pedal steel and harmonica. One thing's for sure: Desperado's will be putting the welcome mat out again tonight.