~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

Talib Kweli

With a machine-gun flow and a mind to match, Talib Kweli has become one of the most heralded emcees in the hip-hop underground. Or, at least, the barely-above-ground now, courtesy of radio sits like “Get By,” that have shown this Brooklyn native has pop hooks to go along with his supreme mic skills. He first came to the attention of rap fans as one-half of the legendary duo Black Star along with Mos Def. He questioned the rampant gangsterism plaguing hip-hop at the time and decided to stand up as a beacon of intelligence in a world obsessed with guns, money and bling. When he and Mos went their separate ways, Kweli hooked up with skilled producer Hi-Tek to form the group Reflection Eternal. As his respect grew — even Jay-Z namechecked him on a verse — he attracted major label attention, leading to the proper solo album Quality. While not an earth-shattering cross-over, the record did cement Kweli’s position as one of the most esteemed rappers of his generation. He’s only continued to prove he deserves that recognition over the course of his career, while remaining true to the principles he has based his life on. Kweli performs at SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo on September 3.

SLO Brew, 1119 Garden St., San Luis Obispo, 543-184

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

Fishbone

Fishbone was spawned from the same colorful gene pool as Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Yet, while those bands helped usher in the alternative era, the all-black ensemble never achieved nearly the same mainstream success. Some may blame music industry racism for that; others may say their adrenalized combination of ska, funk, punk and metal was just too far out for mass consumption. Regardless of the reason, Fishbone remains one of the most underrated bands on the planet. After over 20 years and multiple lineup changes, the band is still soldiering forward and still delivering the most high-energy live show you’re ever likely to see. Witness one of the hidden treasures of the Lollapalooza Generation, still red hot and funky two decades on, at Vault 350 in Long Beach on August 19.

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

Diplo

Maybe it should seem surprising that a guy born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised on shrimp boats in Florida would go on to become one of the hottest DJs in the country. But for Wes Pentz, otherwise known as Diplo, he’s been working on his current rep since adolescence, when he discovered Miami bass in between working at his father’s bait shop and talking about alligators with his uncle. He traveled internationally as he got older, spending some time in Japan, where he crafted the first beats that would ultimately land him a UK record deal. Returning to America and settling in Philadelphia, he dropped his debut, Florida, in 2004, and introduced his unique sound — mixing American hip-hop, British grime and Brazilian baile funk — to the masses. Since then, Diplo has toured with RJD2 and Roots Manuva, produced hyper-acclaimed buzz artist MIA, remixed Gwen Stefani and Le Tigre, and performed everywhere from China to Brazil. Not bad for the son of a southern baitshop owner. On August 11, he hops behind the tables at the Cooper Building in Los Angeles.

Cooper Building, 860 S. Los Angeles St.,
Los Angeles, (213) 627-375

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

Blessed with an insatiable gift of gab, Jack Elliott was born to be a folk singer. And that’s exactly what he became. Earning the nickname “Ramblin’ Jack” for his penchant to answer every question with an endless trail of interweaving stories, Elliott is a legendary, if underappreciated, figure in the annals of American music. He first emerged as an artist in the 1950s, a friend and admirer of Woody Guthrie, but rose to prominence on his own accord during the folk revival of the following decade spurred by Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, on whom Elliott was a significant influence. As his career rolled on through the years, Elliott befriended several other members of the rock generation, including Jerry Garcia, who enlisted him to occasionally jam with the Grateful Dead. More than half a century down the line, Elliott continues to inspire and collaborate with artists, as his terrific new album, I Stand Alone, attests: It features contributions from the likes of David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, guitar anarchist Nels Cline, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney and Lucinda Williams, among others. This old school storyteller is still ramblin’ down the road, and he’ll make a stop at Tangier in Los Angeles on August 4.

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Alan Saldana Headlines Levity Live

    August 23 @ 7:00 pm - August 25 @ 8:30 pm
  2. Help & Hope for Early Stage Alzheimer’s/Dementia

    August 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  3. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  4. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 25 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  5. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    August 26 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  6. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House in Ventura

    August 26 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  7. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House

    August 26 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  8. Engage & Enlighten event features United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye

    August 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  9. Dancer’s Body Barre

    August 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  10. Egyptian Belly Dancing

    August 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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