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Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows

Dubconscious ***

Savannah draws far too few reggae and heavily reggae-influenced bands, so anytime a great example of that genre comes down the pike, it’s cause for celebration — not only among diehard fans of this festive, bass-heavy dance and message music, but among anyone who appreciates diversity in our local music scene.

Both groups should be thrilled to know that after far too long an absence, this award-winning Athens, Ga.-based nonet (who’ve been named Best Local R&B, Funk & Reggae Band in the Classic City by Flagpole Magazine) are returning for a one-night stand at this popular Broughton St. restaurant. Known for deep, deep grooves firmly rooted in the hypnotic combination of reverb-drenched dub beats and soulful, uplifting odes to spiritual awareness and brotherly love, they’ve played in 47 states this year and released their fourth independent CD.


Here's a recent fan-shot live clip of the band:


Devotees of sustainable living, they tour using bio-diesel, sell organic merchandise and promote recycling and ecological issues at their shows. Dyed-in-the-wool Rasta fans will no doubt be packing the joint (so to speak). Listen & Learn: Sat., 11 pm, Loco’s (downtown).

Love or Perish ***

Forget everything you think you know about punk rock. The vast majority of what passes under that header these days is complete krabmeet. If you want a bracing blast of inspired and expertly executed straight-up, old-fashioned agit-prop set to relentlessly slashing distorted guitar and pounding, four-on-the-floor trap drums, look no further than this NYC-based quartet. Currently out on their first serious nationwide tour, this phenomenal combo cites The Sonics, Stiff little Fingers, The Stooges and Ted Leo as key touchstones. Initially formed a couple of years back by ex-Bratmobile and The Frumpies drummer (and punk figurehead) Molly Neuman and a former member of the PeeChees, they’ve since evolved (Neumann is no longer in the group), but the references and balls remain. There aren’t too many groups these days that shamelessly recall the high points of the glory days (Dead Boys, Germs, X, Sonny Vincent), so show up and soak in it. I’m told this show will start promptly at 10:30 pm before the club’s weekly Rock & Roll Bingo Night, so get there on time. Listen & Learn: Wed., Sept. 10, 10:30 pm, The Jinx.

The New Familiars ***

You can’t throw an empty bottle of George Dickel without hitting a band that claims to be reinventing Appalachian music these days, but every so often one comes along that seems to be creating something simultaneously new and completely retro at the same time. The New Familiars is such a group, and if their name wasn’t so appropriate, I’d deduct points for its preciousness. A Charlotte-based quintet of multi-instrumentalists who mix Old-Time instrumentation like mandolin, banjo and harmonica with electric guitar, Dobro and drums, they’re making a beeline to the top of many critics’ rave lists for their glorious, resplendently elegiac combination of traditional folk, bluegrass and blues forms with contemporary Americana and Southern pop that winks at the slightly psychedelic constructs of ahead-of-their-time groups like Big Star and The Balancing Act.


Here's a clip of them playing a stripped-down version of one of their tunes live on a famous N.C. radio station:


Their popularity is growing on the festival circuit, but they’ll make two local appearances this weekend: opening for the Springsteen-meets-Son Volt vibe of Raleigh’s outstanding septet American Aquarium at The Jinx on Friday at 11 pm (21+), and by themselves for the next night’s outdoor ALL-AGES show at this Caribbean eatery. Either show would be a safe bet. Listen & Learn:, Sat., 7 pm, North Beach Grill (Tybee) - ALL-AGES.