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Bottle Rockets get it going in the grass

Of the Oakland Press

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So what does "Zoysia," the title of the Bottle Rockets' just-released new album, mean?

"It's a type of grass," explains Brian Henneman, founder and frontman for the St. Louis Americana rock quartet. And he doesn't mean that kind of grass.

"It's kind of a relative of the kudzu family," he explains. "It's one of those grasses that, if you plant it, it's really nice looking, but it sends out little tentacles and grows sideways. If you plant it in one yard, you can't keep it from coming into the next year, and people love it or hate it because it's so thick.

"It's a creeping grass, I guess."

Henneman and his mates are clearly going for metaphor of "Zoysia" (pronounced zoi-ZHA). But while there's plenty of political and social commentary creeping through the album, he says the group was also conscious of making sure nothing could become easily dated.

"We wanted to make sure that we made a record with songs we weren't going to get tired of," Henneman, 44, explains. "We wanted longer shelf-life, basically, more timeless things, stuff that would make sense 10 years from now and not be an inside joke.

"I had a song written about the whole proliferation of SUVs, but it was kind of like, 'Man, in 10 years nobody might know what they are. They might go away.' So we dumped it quick. That was the way we were thinking on this album."

The Bottle Rockets and Bobby Bare, Jr., perform Sunday (June 11) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com.

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