With Opposite Day and Lick Lick, 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838 or www.fitzlivemusic.com.
Once one of the most popular bands in Houston, Middlefinger has been pretty scarce since singer Matt Kelly moved to Austin, where he now plays in Lick Lick and Baby Got Bacteria while doing the 9-to-5 thing as a schoolteacher. But don't call Saturday's show a reunion, because Middlefinger, which twirled ska, metal, noise and pop around a sturdy punk nucleus, never broke up. And they're still popular. "I guess the story is that I have been getting a lot of prods of encouragement from young people who never saw Middlefinger 'back in the day,' but who like our recordings and would love to see a show," says Kelly, who won raves as the troubled Dutch visionary Herman Brood in Infernal Bridegroom Productions' Frank Black collaboration Bluefinger last fall. "So I got motivated to put one together." The band has been practicing in Conroe, reworking its catalog and even writing a new song, rehearsals Kelly says have been worth the "pain in the ass" drive. "All this When We Ruled H-Town sentiment is awesome, but I think nostalgia can be a dangerous waste of time," he adds. "So I don't see this show as a regrouping of an old band so much as the temporary re-emergence of a band that never fully went away, and [whose] players have only gotten better with time. It should be a sweaty good time."