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Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows
Leah Randazzo

The Leah Randazzo Group ***

Described as “an American version of Amy Winehouse without the drama,” this young chanteuse has one hell of a jazz-into-funk voice and oozes the sultry charm to back it up. Her six-piece backing group of rhythm section and horns has been touring nationally for the past few years and was nominated for Outstanding Jazz Act in the 2007 Boston Music Awards.

Their original spin on soulful R & B (think Norah Jones meets Diana Krall at an Erykah Badu show) is at once familiar and unpredictable, and her band’s tight, sympathetic grooves are undeniable. This is yet another adventurous booking for this upstart music venue on the far West end of River St. that is increasingly becoming known as a place that’s not nearly as afraid to take chances as even some of the more established rooms in town. That said, it’s hard to fill a club of its type several nights a week when the attraction is great musicians who often don’t have marquee value in our town. Consider giving this bar (and this band) a try. You may be very glad you did — on both counts. Listen & Learn: Fri., 9 pm, Live Wire Music Hall.

Drive-In Movies at Tybee's North Beach: JAWS (1975, USA) ***

Okay, okay, this isn’t really a music item — but who can forget the classic theme from this Spielberg-helmed shark attack classic? One of the coolest events in recent memory, this fund-raiser for the restoration of the old, historic Tybee Post Theater (which when finished will resemble a cross between the Lucas Theatre and the Charles H. Morris Center, and reportedly play host to live concerts, films, drama, dance and private functions) finds this beach front parking lot near the Tybee Lighthouse —and just behind the popular North Beach Grill restaurant— being turned into an old-fashioned Drive-In Theater.

The film’s will be shown rain or shine, and its soundtrack will be broadcast over the radio so folks can listen on their car stereo, boom boxes, or personal headphones. Admission is only $10 per carload, and there will be popcorn, candy and soft-drinks available, with all proceeds going to the non-profit Friends of The Tybee Theater organization. If this is a success, they’ll show more films in this manner over the next few months. Perhaps I’ll see you there? Thurs., 9 pm, North Beach Parking Lot (Tybee).

Statts/Williams Benefit Show at The Jinx ***

Though there have already been a couple of benefit shows to help fill the coffers of local musicians Jason Statts’ and David J. Williams’ Medical and Recovery Funds (the two were gunned down without warning in a highly publicized Ardsley Park shooting late last month), and more are in the works, this lengthy affair —all day and into the night— is surely the largest such event to date, and a most generous one to boot.

This popular late-night live music venue was a favorite hang for both bassists, and Williams’s old band i am not a little bus gigged there frequently a few years back. In addition to a fairly staggering amount of donated goods and services from local businesses, tradespeople and artists which will be both raffled off and put up for auction, the following local rock, pop, metal, country and prog-rock bands will appear in no particular order: Hot Pink Interior, Sinister Moustache, Transnational Speedway League (a Clutch tribute), Arum Rae, Tony Beasley, 10 1/2 (a Black Flag tribute), Damon Mailand, Joe Nelson, Unnamed, and Bottled Violence (a Minor Threat tribute). Doors open at 2 pm, with the music starting around 4 pm. 21+ only. Adv. $20 tix at the venue and Primary Art Supply. I’m told even the bartenders’ tips are being donated as well, so be generous! Learn more: Sat., 2 pm, The Jinx.