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Friday, December 23; the Way Out Club (2525 South Jefferson Avenue)

Psst, hey you. Yeah, you. Want to know a secret? There's a band from St. Louis that's going to be wildly popular with punks everywhere next year — and it's not Story of the Year. Three-fourths of punk-a-billy hellions the 7 Shot Screamers have aligned themselves with Exene Cervenka and become her bandmates in the Original Sinners — the blazing group she fronts when not touring with X or the Knitters. The Sinners' new album, Seven, comes out March 7 on stalwart label Nitro (with an Original Sinners tour also imminent). But judging from the 7SS homecoming Creepy Crawl gig a few weeks ago (and a gruff, sloppy cover of X's anthem "Los Angeles") they're mighty prepared for the rigors of the gig. Chris Powers, Jr. plucked his upright-bass like a man possessed, as vocalist Mike Leahy howled and jumped around the stage in a choice vintage Morrissey shirt, fomenting an atmosphere redolent of the (early-era, a.k.a. good) Stray Cats and scruffy gutter-punks tussling in a dark alley. Go see the 7SS play a tiny club tomorrow night — and secure bragging rights for when they're famous now.

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