the-K23-Orchestra--.jpgPISSED PISTOL: In reaction to the wave
of mid-’90s pop and ska bands billing themselves as full-on punk,
Los Angeles’ Pistol Grip formed to remind true fans of the genre
how hard bands like The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers could rock.
Their sound is recognizably influenced by both British and American
yesterpunk of the ’70s and ’80s, a lot of which was released before
the band members were even born. The band has released two albums
on BYO Records — a testament to the authenticity of their
street-punk sound if there ever was one — and their songs recall a
more aggressive, less politically correct era of music that popier
stylings have forced underground. Having recently emerged from an
extensive songwriting period in preparation for the band’s third
album, Pistol Grip’s show on Friday, August 18 at Velvet Jones
could give fans a chance to hear new tracks.  — Drew Mackie

CLIMB K23: When listening to Al Howard and the K23 Orchestra
(pictured), you just can’t help being intrigued by their jams. Who
else would describe a gas station as a “caffeination surrealistic
sensation”? Melding funk, rock, Latin, jazz, and hip-hop, Howard
surpasses genre designations in producing a high-energy sound and
dynamic musical experience. Their “structured improvisational”
style has landed Howard and crew the San Diego Music Award for best
hip-hop band for three consecutive years, including 2006. If you’re
a fan of anyone like The Roots, Aesop Rock, or Radiohead — some of
Howard’s favorites — check out the five-piece orchestra at Legends
Bar and Lounge on Fri., Aug. 18.  — Stephanie Cain

SAMPLE THIS: Going out in style means nothing to this
20-year-old band — they’ve got no intentions of aging nicely or
going out at all. The Samples, who’ve gone from Boulder, Colorado
garage band to major label darlings back to indie rockers, say
their true calling is the road. One must respect the time-honored
commitment of being an in-the-mix band by staying on the road and
putting the time in with real-world situations, realities that give
The Samples the soul that they expound through their
percussion-laden, lyric-heavy music. They hit SOhO on Monday,
August 21. — Hudson Hornick

BIKO BITES: Three groups of angry young men will be tearing
through Isla Vista’s Biko House, giving us a chance to find out how
the punk sounds of Carpinteria’s own Populace Diseased compare to
those of War Against and Fatality, esteemed punk colleagues from
Nevada. Hailing from Reno and named after the Nerve Agents song,
War Against formed earlier this year. Fatality represents the punk
contingent of Incline Village. And, really, who would have thought
there would be a punk contingent in Incline Village? California
punk meets Nevada punk on August 17.  — DM

REGGAE, REEFER, AND A RIVER: The 23rd incarnation of Reggae on
the River came and went last weekend deep in the red woods of
Humboldt County, where more than 20,000 people descended on the
Dimmick Ranch in Piercy to camp along the Eel River, relax in the
sunshine, dance the night away, and indulge in a fair share of
ganja smoke. While a baker’s dozen of world-class headliners such
as Sizzla, Barrington Levy, Don Carlos, the Marley Brothers, Bunny
Wailer, and Sean Paul were the initial draw, it was the
lesser-known acts like Washington D.C.’s roots-rock warriors Soja,
Somalia’s hip-hop guardian K’naan, and Mali’s Salif Keita who
proved the real reward. It was a reminder that the most spiritually
significant music being made in the world today is coming out of
Africa. Read more about Reggae on the River online at  — Ethan Stewart

AND DON’T MISS: Rounding out the week’s live music lineup is
tonight’s concert at the Museum of Natural History, featuring R.W.
Hampton, a tried-and-true cowboy songwriter. Part of the museum’s
Music Inspired by the Environment series, the August 17 show starts
at 7 p.m. … The “Son of Santana” makes a stop at SOhO this Friday,
August 18, when Salvador Santana brings his Latin-infused pop and
hip-hop to town. … And lastly, the Rocks highlights for this
weekend are Arrica Rose and the …’s tonight, Entoven, MAGiSTiR, and
Change on Friday, and Shades of Day and Masterstroke on


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