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Jerk Rock

It's gotten to where Peter Steele is running out of people to piss off. The singer/bassist for Gothic sludgemongers Type O Negative has had numerous run-ins with record company executives, he's scorched critics who've asked what he considers unimportant questions and he won't stand for even a hint of heckling without responding with a verbal barrage directed at the offender. (Better yet, he might suggest a little after-concert brawl in the parking lot.)

And there's more where that came from. Seals and Crofts -- obviously lacking a sense of humor -- weren't too happy with Type O's absurd 1993 cover of their '70s hit "Summer Breeze." Steele's 1995 spread for Playgirl magazine got him into more hot water. And then there was that little German thing a couple of years back -- when protesters nearly ran the band out of the country after Steele told an interviewer that Type O was more popular than Adolf Hitler.

You could say that Steele likes to speak his mind, and he cares little about who's listening. In describing his group's sound -- summarized as ominously sensual metallic dirge rock smothered in King Crimsonesque keyboards -- Steele says it was chosen to hide the mistakes made by the band members, whom he often refers to as "four uncool jerks."

An offspring of Steele's brutal '80s hard-core project Carnivore, Type O Negative has evolved from a joke into a legitimate band to watch -- albeit one that can be a bit silly. In Steele's world, boy licks girl, girl burns flowers sent by boy, girl turns into werewolf, etc. But if you haven't caught on yet to his drolly defiant sense of humor, Steele would delight in the chance to get under your skin.

-- Greg Barr
Type O Negative performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, at Westpark Entertainment Center, 5000 Westpark. Tickets are $15. Manhole opens. For info, call 629-3700.

Lakeside -- Like nearly everything else that came out of the '70s, funk is enjoying a '90s resurgence. A number of funk survivors are crisscrossing the country on tour, playing the nostalgia card for all it's worth. Lakeside is among them, and if the name doesn't ring a bell, the hits "Fantastic Voyage" and "All the Way Live" might help jog the memory. Recently, Lakeside received a boost when hip-hop superstar Coolio remade "Fantastic Voyage" and "All the Way Live" in his own street-savvy image. And comedian Sinbad is also a fan; he was jazzed enough about Lakeside's performance on his recent HBO special that he plans to include the band on an upcoming CD. What Sinbad got is what all Lakeside audiences get: straight-out, stylized funk, with an emphasis on breaking a serious sweat. At Club Legacy, 5959 Long Drive, at 10 p.m., Thursday, October 17. Tickets are $10. 640-1288. (Craig D. Lindsey)

Amro Diab -- To call Amro Diab the "Michael Jackson of the Arabs," as Diab's press kit does, may be doing the Egyptian pop star a disservice. His music has about as much in common with Jackson's as Frank Sinatra's songs have with the oeuvre of Kiss. If anything, Diab's creative juices flow more freely than Jackson's. And his rich, warbling croon outpaces the King of Pop's by a desert mile. Throughout his career, Diab has maintained a global focus, expanding the traditional sounds of Arabic music into more Western realms. To the defining staccato beat of the dumbek, he's added a full drum kit; he's substituted a couple of six-string guitars for the more ethnic oud; and he's added not one but two keyboards to increase flexibility. While intensely popular on the home front, Diab's sound is also easy on Western ears, something that has contributed to his growing international reputation. His latest album, Nour ElAin, crosses yet another musical boundary, borrowing freely from Latin and flamenco. Combined with a full-course dinner and belly dancing, Diab's performance may well overload the senses. At the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 5150 Westheimer, Saturday, October 19. Doors open at 8:30. Tickets are $65, $85 and $100. 772-1234. (Bob Burtman)

Steve Forbert -- After all these years, idiosyncratic wordsmith Steve Forbert has finally found a backup band with the instincts to fall in line effortlessly behind his intimate, dust-caked tales of alienation and ennui -- and stay out his way when the situation calls for it. So what does he do? He picks a bunch of musicians who are already taken. On Forbert's latest CD, Rocking Horse Head, we get a sample of what could have been on the road. The hired help comes courtesy of a few of the guys from Wilco, and they seem genetically attuned to Forbert's crafty songwriting quirks. The collaboration brings out the best in Forbert, and his scraped-raw vocals have aged well, settling into an amiable, pack-a-day huskiness. And it's a good thing, too, because Forbert is traveling on his own right now, with only his voice, his guitar and his songs to cover him. Then again, what else is new? At Borders Book Shop, 9633-A Westheimer, at 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 22. Free. 782-6066. (Hobart Rowland

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