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San Diego Shows–Tuesday, June 16

June 16, 2009 - 11:43 am


PLAN A: Sly & Robbie, Heavyweight Dub Champion, Quinazo, Roots Covenant @ World Beat Center–It’s estimated that Jamaican drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare have performed together on anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 recorded tracks since 1975, which would make them the most prolific musicians in the history of the world. Do the math. They would have to complete more than four songs a day, every day, for all of the 34 years they’ve worked together. Yet, their insane productivity is commonly accepted as fact, and with a résumé that includes work with Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Sting, Ben Harper, No Doubt, Peter Tosh, Black Uhuru, Gregory Isaacs and more, Sly & Robbie have not only altered the course of reggae music, but also the course of pop music as a whole. Can’t argue with that. –Todd Kroviak PLAN B: King Sunny Ade, @ Belly Up–There’s something about the deliberate appropriation of African music by Western artists that’s always irked me. Be it Talking Heads or Vampire Weekend, it usually feels forced—bastardized versions of expressive musical works, diluted for easy digestion by pseudo-intellectuals and people who do whatever NPR suggests. Not that I’m claiming to be an expert on Nigerian Juju musician King Sunny Ade, but better to find out about his groundbreaking use of pedal steel guitar on my own than take recommendations from David Byrne. Less funky, but sunnier and less angry than Fela Kuti’s more familiar Afrobeat, this performance from the legend himself ensures your schooling comes straight from the source. –Todd Kroviak  BACKUP PLAN: Heavy Cessna, Titanarum, The Beat-less @ The Casbah–It’s Ben Johnson’s (Casbah bartender and frontman for The Long and Short Of It) birthday and, naturally, he’s celebrating with another local punk-metal band that’s all about chupacabras.

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