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Christmas Comes Early

People Under the Stairs Play Velvet Jones


HAVE NO FEAR: Okay, let’s face it. The holidays are a notoriously shoddy time to catch live music. Clubs are closed, friends are out of town, and bands are usually callin’ it quits to go celebrate with their own loved ones. All that said, when things get up and moving again post-Turkey Day, you can bet it’s going to be a party. Case in point: next Thursday’s killer set of concerts. Head to SOhO (1221 State St.) around 8 p.m., and you can catch Latin roots rockers Ozomatli hyping up the crowd. And just a few blocks down at Velvet Jones (423 State St.), you can find L.A. hip-hop duo People Under the Stairs (PUTS, familiarly) mixing soul, jazz, and R&B with some seriously slick rhymes.

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Though PUTS (collectively emcees Thes One and Double K) have been at it for more than 10 years, their style and deliveries create a sound that’s as timeless as they come. Looking to fellow underground acts like A Tribe Called Quest, Jurassic 5, and the Pharcyde, Thes One and Double K have crafted an entire (seven-album) catalogue out of their love of old-school hip-hop. The beats are driving, but not bogged down in bass; the tracks are carefree, not aggressively assaulting; and the lyrics are free-flowing and uplifting, a striking contrast to the West Coast hip-hop scene from which these two came.

Most recently, PUTS released Carried Away, which hit shelves in late 2009. With party-ready, meticulously produced tracks like “Hit the Top,” Away simply served to prove that these two are still at the top of their game—and that well-crafted beats and a love of the classics will never go out of style.

People Under the Stairs perform at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Thursday, December 2, at 8 p.m. Call 965-8676 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets and info.

SECOND TIME AROUND: Sometime last month, for reasons we’re still not too sure of, our beloved post-Polka (myspace.com/postpolkatheband) buddies had to put the kibosh on their annual alt-Oktoberfest concert, leaving many of us to believe we’d have to wait ’til 2011 to get our fix. But such is not the case as this Friday the folks at Muddy Waters Café make good on their promise and present post-Polka’s try number two, Novemberfest.

For true polka fans, this may be as good as it gets. And for the rest of us, who picture a whole slew of horrible when the word “polka” gets mentioned (suspenders, quick steps, obese children named “Augustus”), don’t worry. The musicians behind post-Polka are the same too-smart-for-their-own-good jazz players of Headless Household, meaning we can expect anything but ordinary polka fare. (Think Balkan influences, folk-pop leanings, and a whole lot of experimental fun.) Add to that the stunning and ominous guest vocals of Eliza Rickman (elizarickman.com), and you’ve got yourself a makeup concert well worthy of the wait. Eliza Rickman and post-Polka play Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St.) this Friday, November 26, at 8 p.m. Call 966-9328 or visit myspace.com/muddycafesb for details.

CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY: And if that’s not enough to get your head spinning, don’t fret; things just seem to be getting better in the weeks to come. For those still out of the loop, electronic pop megastars Passion Pit are bringing their energy-filled live show to the Granada Theatre on Wednesday, December 8. (Visit granadasb.org for tickets.) The day prior, Nederlander presents The Black Crowes at the Arlington Theatre. (Visit thearlingtontheatre.com for tickets.) And as of late last week, the booking gods graced us with the news that Interpol will be stopping by UCSB’s Thunderdome in early 2011 with openers School of Seven Bells. (Visit nederlanderconcerts.com for tickets.) Feel free to update your Christmas wish lists now.



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