We all know that Santa Monica and the Far Westside ain’t got no soul, right? That everything west of Centinela has traded its authentic funkiness for safety, comfort and that overrated sea breeze? Harvelle’s in Santa Monica torpedoes that impression. Harvelle’s is a speakeasy-ish old club decorated in mostly black and red and dripping with cool-cat, “uptown” fanciness from another time. This Westside institution, which dates to 1931, has some of the rawest, heaviest, most soulful R&B, jazz and blues-related sounds anywhere in SoCal. Those include “The Toledo Show,” a smoky, surreal music/cabaret/dance revue in which a very dapper, captivating cat named Toledo leads an ace band and oversees a small troupe of sexily clad “dancers” who writhe on the floor while he alternates between crooning and reciting Beat-style poetry, all with Miles Davis–like intensity. If that ain’t soul, nothin’ is. 1432 4th St., Santa Monica. (310) 395-1676, harvelles.com. —Adam Gropman

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