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Reggae, Hip-Hop, and Serious Blonds


DREAD HEAD: The average Radiohead fan might have guessed that a run-in between the famed progressive rock act and any other genre would result in a sloppy sonic mess. They’d be wrong, however. The Easy Star All-Stars have earned praise from reggae fans and Radiohead nuts alike for their take on OK Computer, the aptly titled Radiodread. A follow-up to 2003’s The Dub Side of the Moon, which daringly shined the light of Pink Floyd through a reggae prism, Radiodread put the Easy Star All-Stars’ musical prowess to the test, since few other songs are as firmly ingrained in the minds of alt-rock fans as “Paranoid Android” and “Karma Police.”

The All-Stars comprise the brightest reggae acts from New York’s Easy Star label: Michael G, Ticklah, Eric Smith, and Lem Oppenheimer. No mere cover act, the members can individually count Toots and the Maytals, Burning Spear, MC Solaar, the Toasters, and Gil Scott-Heron among the many acts they’ve performed with. Together, however, they’ve proven that dedicated musicians can transform even the best-known works into something they can call their own. Catch the Santa Barbara stop on the group’s West Coast tour on Thursday, October 19, at SOhO. — Drew Mackie

HIP-HOP HOOK-UP: Rocks is the place to be tonight, Thursday, October 19, for your hip-hop fix. The evening belongs to the 805 Hip-Hop Showcase, comprised of the four furious emcees Sinuous, Scoobroc, Rocright, and FeelingTheGreat, all of whom have been quite busy. Sinuous has recently released his first full-length, Da Archives on Lock, while Scoobroc and Rocright have been hitting the promotional side of local lyricism. The ensemble is known for brandishing an eclectic blend of blues, jazz, and rap, and the rhyme fest will throw down at 8 pm.  — Levi Michaels

PSEUDO STEVIE: Should we suppose that the real Stevie Nicks was busy, off somewhere casting spells and arranging her collection of billowy dresses? Let her do her thing, for in her stead we have Bella Donna, a Southern California-based artist who has made a name for herself by channeling the spirit of Nicks’s onstage persona. Audiences can expect the full repertoire of Nicks hits, including both her solo efforts and those recorded with Fleetwood Mac. Opening for Bella Donna are Antara and Delilah, two local chanteuses whose harmonies, lush instrumentation, and, yes, long blond hair should make them a nice match to Bella Donna. They perform Saturday, October 21, at SOhO.  — DM

ONE-UPPING OUTFIT: The Archie Bronson Outfit plays the kind of serious, literate rock music that’s desperately lacking on radio stations, television screens, and blogs these days. Rather than following the overground path of their U.K. labelmates on indie powerhouse Domino Records (home of Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys), they follow rock’s subterranean genealogy — preferring The Gun Club and The Birthday Party to The Jam and The Clash. The Outfit’s second album, Derdang Derdang, was released in April to rave reviews and their live show promises to be just as thrilling (preview it on youtube.com). They open for She Wants Revenge this Friday, October 20, at UCSB’s Hub, so don’t be surprised if they upstage those Interpol-by-way-of-Depeche-Mode copyists.  — Max Burke

PUNK PALETTE: Stop by Velvet Jones on Friday, October 20, for a punk rock pick-me-up. Featured on the bill are Los Angeles punk veterans the Angry Samoans, who are approaching their third politically incorrect decade of disobedience. Joining them will be Damaged Goods, who have been roaming up and down the coast in support of their latest release, Greatest Hits. Also scheduled to make an appearance are Orange County boys The Pillz, as well as the S.B.-native Deveros. Just be prepared to duck when that chair gets thrown. - LM



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