It’s safe to say that the March 28th set from Japan’s The Dynamite Modern Blues Quartet–known better as DMBQ–at Kings is one of the best things I’ve seen in a few years. I’ve proselytized about the band to anyone who would listen over the past seven months, explaining the way frontman Shinji Masuko was hanging from the rafters in Kings by the end of the show, ripping his pants off and shouting into a gasmask, and how drummer Mana “China” Nishiura looked to be in control of the whole thing with a stock-stare gaze.

Unfortunately, I missed their Kings set on Oct. 29, and now I regret it even more. DMBQ’s van rolled over several times Friday en route to Brooklyn’s Club Exit after a show in Baltimore; China died, and Michelle Cable–who runs both Panache Booking and Panache Magazine and who was DMBQ’s tour manager–was seriously injured. She is recovering, as are the other members. China is also known for her time behind the kit in Shonen Knife. To make a donation to Cable and DMBQ, donate to through PayPal or send checks to Lovepump United, P.O. Box 3241, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. –Grayson Currin

As billed
The Mountain Goats finally took the stage at Duke Coffeehouse Friday night, playing a make-up show that primary Goat John Darnielle had to cancel on Aug. 25. He apologized to the crowd, telling the audience his doctor demanded that he rest his voice before an early September tour of Australia. Darnielle–preceded by Aimee Argote, Reid Johnson, Ivan Howard and Mac McCaughan–played a handful of rarities and “New Monster Avenue,” an unreleased song written for EmSpace, a San Francisco dance company currently interpreting Darnielle’s work. He also explained a handful of his songs, urging the audience not to tell others what “Song for Tura Santana” is about. “I like to confuse people,” Darnielle confessed. “Which is why I’ll never be famous.” And the closer? “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton,” of course.

Top shows of the year?
We’re compiling a rundown of the top shows of the year. Check in at Scan, our music blog (, and click on the Top Shows link. Drop us a comment there or send an e-mail to and let us know what shows were the best of ’05.