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Great Night Out

What better way to kick off the month of May than checking out the 5th Annual How Weird Street Faire! Dance around the may pole and rejoice in the wonders of the city. You never what you'll see or hear this Saturday May 1st in the SOMA(12th and Howard Streets).

May also marks the month of Reggae's greatest ambassador's passing, the legendary Robert Nesta Marley, so celebrate a belated 4/20 and check out one or all of these smoking reggae shows coming our way. On the indie and punk fronts, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Apocalipstick, and the classic 7 Seconds and Groovie Ghoulies all roll into town for your Great Night Out.

1. May 4: Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited
Plus David Hilliard & The Black Panter Fugitives
@ The Independent
Time: doors at 7 pm / show at 8 pm
Admission: $15, 21+

Well I hate to use a quote to open up a preview but this was just too perfect of a way to begin. "Imagine if Bob Marley were alive, recording albums of top quality with a band as good as the original Wailers…that's close to what we have with Mapfumo."- Global Rhythm.

Thomas Mapfumo made revolutionary changes in Zimbabwe's pop-music; Mapfumo's music, chimurenga ("music of struggle"), became popular during Zimbabwe's bitter war for independence. His lyrics delved into the hardships and concerns of the people in the rural areas and young men heading into the bush to fight for Zimbabwe. With his funk-syncopated grooves reminiscent of Fela, this will be a very captivating and funky show to catch for this rare Bay Area appearance.

@ Cafe Du Nord
Time: Show: 9:00 pm
Admission: $10, all ages

In town for a two-night stand, Pretty Girls Make Graves make killer grrl rock with a double 'grrr'. Image any early punky Blondie (Minus the Heart of Glass disco interlude). This Seattle quintet's live shows burn with energy; fronted by Andrea Zollo whose ranting declarative vocals play off of the grinding power-trash guitars of Jason Clark and Nathen Johnson.

3. May 7 & 8: Toots & The Maytals
@ The Independent
Time: Doors 8 pm
Admission: $25

Toots is one of Reggae's founding fathers, in fact his 1968 single "Do the Reggay" is credited with naming the genre. Toots Hibbert's latest release due out this month enlists a multi-genre, multi-generation group of guests from Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Trey Anastasio, the Roots, Ben Harper and No Doubt. With an truly impressive back catalog of reggae greats including the seminal "Pressure Drop", "54-46 (That's my Number)", "Monkey Man", "Cuba", and "Funky Kingston" this is your chance to see and experience a living legend. Bay Area Reggae Icon Jah-Yzer opens the show on the 7th and Reggae DJ Irie Dole on the 8th.

4. May 8: Apocalipstick and Castles in Spain
2367 Telegraph
With Angel of Thorns
Admission: $6
Info: club phone # is 510-848-0886

Mixing up NYC junkie glam-punk with full-blown, Plasmatics-style rock n' roll psychosis, the Apocalipstick are part performance art, edgy fashion, theater, crunchy punk, cock and shock rock. This sexy and bold quartet delivers an ingeniously twisted live show. Fronted by Jackie O' Nasstie, a latex-laden ultravixen who rages from the stage, yelping out speed-glitter punk n' roll. What's more she knows Jiu Jitsu and she wrestles dudes!

East Bay's Castles in Spain ( takes you on a spiritual field trip through the darker recesses of the soul with a gothic Castilian/Moorish flavor.

5. May 9: 7 Seconds & Groovie Ghoulies
@ Bottom of the Hill
Time: 7:30 pm (doors at 7)
Admission: $12 all ages

If you're yearning for the days of DIY musical aesthetic seminal punk rockers 7 Seconds have been the real deal since 1981. Hailing from Reno Nevada, 7 Seconds are an essential part of punk history but have been overshadowed due to more controversial bands. Fronted by Kevin Seconds, his songs with such titles as "Racism Sucks," "Anti-Klan," and "The Kids Are United" are overtly political and confrontational. 7 Seconds were the punk pioneers to a notoriously decadent and self-destructive punk rock underground, introducing sensitivity and social consciousness into the mix.

Celebrating the release of "Monkey Business", Sacramento's Groovie Ghoulies, the trio consists of the husband-wife team of Kepi and Roach Ghoulie and a drummer known as Scampi. Ghoulies blast out their classic kooky monster-movie three-chord tunes à la the Ramones.

6. May 16: Rocker-T and Jah Yzer (Jah Warrior Shelter HiFi)
@ Elbo Room
Time: Doors open 9:00 pm
Admission: $5

East Bay Resident, Rocker-T rolls into the Elbo Room for this Sunday's Dub Mission and is backed by Jah-Yzer, a rankin' selector in his own right, with his stacks of dub plates, and the freshest, positive Dancehall music on the west coast. Rocker-T will be showcasing his first 12' "Retrospect" EP for 2004, his first since 1999's "Tru Ganjaman" which charted in over 30 countries and won High Times' "Pot Song of the Year" 2000. Rocker-T was an integral part of the formation of the downtown New York City Ska scene and cross- over Dancehall/Ragga Hip Hop scene. If you like Reggae, Dancehall, Old Classics, Dub, this is a show not to miss.