THE RULER’S BACK: Hip-hop fans, rejoice. A legend will be among us on Sunday, June 3 as the eye-patched, honey-dripping patriarch of storytelling rhymes takes the SOhO stage-that’s right, Slick Rick the Ruler is coming to town. Blinged out and full-on pimping before bling was even a word, Slick Rick has been a mainstay in the rap landscape since the mid 1980s, when he first released what has become perhaps the most covered/sampled song in hip-hop history, “La Di Da Di.”
For those born post 1980, you might need a full line from the hook to make you remember: “La di da di/We likes to party/We don’t cause trouble/We don’t bother no body :” The tune was famously covered by Snoop Dogg in the 1990s, but it was the Ruler who did it first, along with other R-rated classics: “Indian Girl (An Adult Story),” “Treat Her Like a Prostitute,” and the much-celebrated, caustic tale of ghetto violence, “A Children’s Story.” Now in his early forties, Slick Rick continues to be one of the finest storytellers in hip-hop and, after spending the better part of the past two decades in and out of jail, the tales this man can tell are the stuff of legend. Unfortunately, because of his time in the slammer, the opportunity to watch the Ruler perform live has been a rare occurrence for fans.
On his swing through Santa Barbara, the Ruler will be accompanied by East Coast hip-hop band Audible Mainframe. No slouches in their own right, Mainframe will not only open the show but also serve as the backup band for the rap legend. -Ethan Stewart
PRETTY IN BLACK: Be sure to get to Velvet Jones early-8 p.m. should do the trick-on Thursday, May 31 to check out retro-chic Danish hipster duo The Raveonettes, composed of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo. The band’s catchy-as-hell pop tunes tastefully mix elements of the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, the Surfaris, the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las, Jesus and Mary Chain, and the Velvet Underground, among others. The result is two-part vocal harmony and Fender-bending pop perfection. And for those who love to watch beautiful women play killer bass (and who doesn’t?), the statuesque and sultry Foo was voted one of rock ‘n’ roll’s hottest women of 2006 by Blender magazine. L.A.’s Pity Party will join the Raves for the occasion, and following the show, Pato Baton and the Mystic Roots Band will take over the mike. The Rave’s website, theraveonettes.com, features snippets of songs off their 2005 release Pretty in Black. Check it out or simply take my word for it -Sean Mageean
CAUSE TO CELEBRATE: Mini-festivals have been all the rage lately on the S.B. scene, and the next one in the lineup is the Surfrider Foundation’s Concert for the Coast. The daylong concert features Ranier King, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, and The Shys, the last of whom blend an American devil-may-care attitude with distinctly Brit-rock stylings. Also on the bill are melodic reggae acts Rebelution and Iration, as well as moody folk rockers Todd Hannigan and Matt McAvene. It all goes down Saturday, June 2 from 1-7 p.m. at Anisq’Oyo’ Park in Isla Vista, and all proceeds benefit Surfrider. -Sarah Hammill
EXPOSED UNDERGROUND: Sunday, June 3 promises to be a night of solid indie rock in one of Isla Vista’s lesser-known music venues. If you’re hip to it, you’ve already learned to depend on The Pink Mailbox for good music. But if you haven’t yet paid witness to its antics, Sunday night will surely win you over to the Mailbox’s brand of dusty folk. Check out the ukulele lady herself, Jenny Jenkins, Wellbeing‘s psychedelic wonder boys, the sultry sultans of Spider Silk Dress, and singer/songwriter Allison Milham. The Mailbox is located at 6668 Pasado Rd., Isla Vista. For info, visit myspace.com/805showsaredumb. -Nicole de Ayora