Positively State Street

Mixing it Up

SCISSORS BEAT ROCK: When a band leaves the Central Coast for the greener pastures of city livin’, it’s always nice to be front-and-center for their triumphant return. Such is true for San Luis Obispo natives Scissors for Lefty, who make their long-awaited return from San Francisco this weekend. And like their clever moniker, Lefty’s campy writing is a perfect complement to their unique mixture of electro-punk and Brit-pop. They return with a darker, urbane sensibility, complete with minimalist synth, driving guitar, and the thinned apathy of Muse or The Pleased-not to mention the cynically proto-punk vocals of Peter Krimmel. Touting a witty new album, Underhanded Romance, the band is sure to put on a show that proves their shear genius. Catch them at Velvet Jones, 423 State St., on Sunday, October 7. Visit scissorsforlefty.com. -Jessica Hilo

A HOUSE UNDIVIDED: So you’ve seen this guy Joe Woodard’s name in The Independent every week, and he seems like he knows what’s what when it comes to music. Well, now it’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is when he and his labelmates join forces to celebrate the 20th birthday of their homegrown label, Household Ink Records. Also on the marquee for this micro-festival are the Nate Birkey Quintet, Headless Household, Julie Christensen, and flapping, flapping. The jazz shall runneth over on Sunday, October 7 at SOhO, 1221 State St., 7 p.m. Call 962-7776. -Levi Michaels

Michelle Shocked

SHOCK TREATMENT: If you’re looking for a sweet, musical chariot to swing low and pick you up for a ride, look no further than the rollicking and resplendent sounds of Michelle Shocked. The Grammy Award-winning Shocked draws deep from the well of blues, soul, and rock traditions to forge a new style all her own, while paying homage to other canonical female singers like Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Billie Holiday. She is currently touring in support of her recently released album, ToHeavenURide, and you can her hear her soul sermons at SOhO on October 4, 8:30 p.m. -Tyler Vickers

HIP-HOP HURRAY: Think back to a time when Marky Mark didn’t have his Oscar nomination and Run-DMC hadn’t even heard of reality TV. Back then, Dre was laying down tracks with some kid from the LBC, and Salt’N Pepa still made us want to “shoop.” If you’re hungry for truly old-school hip-hop, Too White Crew‘s show is not one to miss. As the world’s first hip-hop tribute band, Too White Crew delivers all the favorites and promises a party vibe so legit, you might just bust out the Roger Rabbit. Watch out, J. Lo; the Crew is also bringing along two Fly Girls to help get the place movin’. So unpack your overalls and get down with your bad self at Velvet Jones on Saturday, October 6 at 9 p.m. Call 965-8676. -Bianca Calhoun

Richard Cheese

SAY CHEESE: With his trademark tiger-striped tuxedos and slicked-back comb-over, Richard Cheese is nothing if not the quintessential contemporary swinger. Cheese is a lounge legend in his own right, as he puts his unique swanky spin on contemporary pop, rock, metal, and rap favorites from “Gin and Juice” to “Material Girl.” Effortlessly combining classical jazz compositions with some of the most lewd lyrics contemporary music has to offer, Cheese and his band Lounge Against The Machine make music that is both incredibly funny and eminently entertaining. With albums titles like I’d Like A Virgin, it’s no surprise that Cheese and his group of deviants have quite the cult following. One of their covers was even featured on the soundtrack of 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, proving that great swinging standards are the perfect soundtrack for pretty much anything-even zombie massacres. Get a taste of the man himself when Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine hit Velvet Jones on Friday, October 5 at 8 p.m. -Mollie Vandor

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