Living on Channel Z

B-Sides asks a cadre of local musicians to reminisce about Chuck Berry as he turns 80, while Dr. Zhivegas get down with their debut disc.

Dr. Zhivegas is finally dropping its debut CD, Get Down, a rough-and-tumble full-length crammed with danceable, hair-metal infused party rock — which isn't surprising, considering that current and former members have played with Dr. Dre and local hair-metal gods KINGOFTHEHILL, as well as found fame with hip-hop production team the Trak Starz.

B-Sides: Why release a record of originals now, after a decade of covers?

Paul Chickey, drummer: Our first arguments were, "Do we do all covers?" But come on, that would have been the easy way out. It's like, here's an album of what we do, and we already know x amount of people will like it. But we thought, "Hey, let's go for it. We're capable of doing something else, so let's do something else."

Frankie Muriel, lead vocalist: Then the question was, "Well, we could go into that Jamiroquai/Scissor Sisters, true-to-the-disco-era kind of stuff." [But] when we play our live sets, over the course of a night we start turning it up, rocking more, and people really respond. We thought, "Why don't we do a record that way, just open up the throttle?"

Ten years is a long time.

Muriel: Unbelievable, isn't it? Most bands don't stay together for ten years, let alone stay popular for ten years. And there hasn't been a dip — well, a little dip a few years back. But if anything, the last two years has gone back up.

It's good to see Alonzo Lee succeed on such a grand scale [with Trak Starz].

Muriel: He still comes out to our shows all the time. He sits in with us. He's jonesin' to play, because he's popping out beats all day long. You don't get to cut loose because you're putting the tracks together. So he gets onstage and he's just jamming, letting it fly. — Randall Roberts

8 p.m. Friday, October 13. Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $15. 314-726-6161.

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