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Also playing Monday:
AMANDA JO WILLIAMS, RIO EN MEDIO at the Echo; THE MOVIES, EVEREST, LOVE LIES SLEEPING at Spaceland; THE DUANE PETERS GUNFIGHT at the Viper Room.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30
The Marshall Tucker Band at House of Blues
While 90 percent of working rock & roll bands were, as the Rolling Stones so aptly put it, “Sucking in the Seventies,” the good ole boys below the Mason-Dixon line were strapping on their balls, wearing their hearts on their sleeves and cooking up a rad, bad, trad-based sound that we came to know as Southern rock — and God bless ’em for it. Chief among this insurgent rabble were Spartanburg, North Carolina’s Marshall Tucker Band, a collection of ragtag, jam-happy misfits with established big-beat cred (various members had started with evocatively monikered groups like the Rants and New Generation), who plunged into the brawny new musical style by combining elements of the mythic Old South and frontier West with an aggressively amplified squall and a boozy honky-tonk soul. The results were as convincing as they were successful, and, despite losing several key members to both the Grim Reaper and classic road burnout, they’re still banging it out today with their original vocalist and a clutch of long-running members — and all of their Dixie-fried appeal fully intact. (Jonny Whiteside)
Also playing Tuesday:
AKON, SHONTELLE at Club Nokia; SNOOP DOGG at Ventura Theatre; THE NIGHT MARCHERS at Brixton South Bay; THE EVANGENITALS, LEGS ON SALE at Mr. T’s Bowl; ABE VIGODA, BOBB BRUNO at the Smell; MEDICAL CARD at Cozy’s Bar & Grill.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31
The Wailers at the Roxy
Recorded while Bob Marley was recovering from an attempt on his life, 1977’s Exodus re-engineered the reggae blueprint by embracing pop, funk and R&B, and by teasing out multiple layers of riffs, melodies and harmonies on each song — and they still get more airplay today than they did 20 years ago. From the blissed-out “Waiting in Vain” to the Jamaican-tourism-board-appropriated “One Love,” the Wailers intend to perform Exodus in its entirety, with a stage full of friends and family. Following Marley’s death, the band continued in various forms over the years, with bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett anchoring the group. These post–Marley Wailers have occasionally been written off as a novelty act, but this song-for-song commemoration promises to be a finely crafted celebration of the album’s transcendent music. The Family Man and crew will light up this New Year’s Eve with a grip of special guests, including the Itals’ Everald Gayle and King Tubby’s keys man, Keith Sterling, to name a few. (Wendy Gilmartin)
The Gears, The Controllers, Paging Beto at Mr. T’s Bowl
If you’re looking for a low-cost, down-&-dirty, authentic punk rock alternative to the glitzy, upper-crust New Year’s Eve bashes elsewhere in town tonight, with their plastic party favors and even-more-plastic piped-in DJ music, you won’t find any cheaper (in every sense of the word) and skuzzier entertainment than tonight’s bill at this rundown former bowling alley. The Controllers would be legendary if only for their shadowy update of Ricky Ricardo’s version of “Jezebel,” which is still the most searing of the tune’s many punk makeovers. But the ongoing trio, who were the first band to play at Hollywood’s historic Masque club in the late ’70s, also slug out such amorally rocking classics as the Stooges-style grinder “Suburban Suicide” (one of the greatest songs ever about wasting away in Van Nuys), the anti–Anita Bryant broadside (and newly timely, with the passage of Proposition 8) “Killer Queers” and the original “Neutron Bomb.” Controllers guitarist Kidd Spike also brings in his early-’80s surf-punk spinoff the Gears, who combine singer Axxel G. Reese’s terminally juvenile lyrical preoccupations (high school girls, smoking dope) with rootsy rockabilly twists and a Ramones-y pop-punk drive (not to mention Dave Drive, the band’s master of deftly thunderous tom-tom fills). Speaking of spinoffs, the rocking, stomping, Stones-y and hard-bluesy Paging Beto are the latest incarnation of harmonica boss Pat French’s Purple Gang, with stellar sidemen including the Blaster’s Bill Bateman and former Top Jimmy bassist Gil T. The cats can play. (Falling James)