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Great Night Out

"Music is a force that can melt your who body into one." --Anias Nin

It lifts you up and gets you out, but how long can you keep it up? As the city's leading importer and melting pot of world music, check out these amazing shows coming to the city. Representing places from Senegal to Columbia and groove music on the Latino tip, these band's will keep you movin' and groovin'. Lest we forget the indie rockers, SF and Boston bands bring on the noise. Along with the North Beach Jazz Festival, celebrating their 10th Anniversary, they present this month with the world's largest Hip-Hop Orchestra.

Also congratulations to all those wrote with this answer to last week's trivia question "Wave of Mutilation" was the song we were looking for. From all the responses, and given that is was the title of the new greatest hits, I was wondering if I went too easy on you. Mike will be SF Station's guest, for the rest of you out there - tickets are still available.

Africa unite!

1. July 18th Sunday: Youssou N'Dour & The West African Highlife Band

@ Stern Grove
Time: 2 pm
Admission: FREE, all summer long...

Come on down to the Shady Grove this Sunday as these bands bring on the hot rhythms of West Africa. Headlining is Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'Dour (credited as the man whose songs were meant to move the world). Youssou blends traditional percussion, Sufi-inspired Muslim religious chanting, and griot singing with Afro-Cuban and indigenous dance flavors.

The Bay Area's own The West African Highlife Band opens the show with rich vocal harmonies, intertwining guitars, and funky percussion.

Local spotlight.

2. July 24th Saturday: Lucy with Recliner

@ Red Devil Lounge
time: 8 pm
admission: $10

Local band spotligtht with Lucy and Recliner hitting the stage at the Red Devil Lounge.

Recliner celebrates the release of their second long player: Making a Friend out on Poison Pen Records. Recliner plays a contagious, danceable rock, a la The Pixies/Cheap Trick/Social Distortion. Recliner describe their new CD, Make A Friend as "the soundtrack for a '72 Nova barreling down the Great Highway at dusk, dodging potholes, drunks and sand drifts."

Meet the Latin Hotstepper...

3. July 27th, Tuesday: Sidestepper

@ The Independent
time: doors at 8 pm / show at 9 pm
admission: $15

Salsa and drum 'n' bass will never be the same. Richard Blair's Sidestepper ignites the fuse on traditional Latin music with high-tech bumpin' dance music. His 12" singles have been credited with bringing the Latin fire to the dancehall. Currently on the road to support his latest release: 3am a funky stew of 21st century salsa, drum-n-bass deepened with tropical percussion and horns. 3am does for Latin music what Bristol prophets Massive Attack and Roni Size did for R&B and hip-hop.

Love that dirty water...

4. July 30th Friday: Muck and the Mires

@ Thee Parkside
times: Friday 8pm & Saturday 10 pm
admission: $3 cover

Ah, Boston you're my home... Well, I could have been talking about our beloved Bay but not in the middle of a write-up for a classic 60s British Invasion garage band from Boston. Regional winners of the Little Steven's Underground Garage battle of the bands, Muck and the Mires take that cross-country trip to hit Thee Parkside for a two night stand to bring that murky water retro sound to town.

Saturday here in the park...

5. July 31 Saturday: North Beach Jazz Festival

@ Washington Square Park - Columbus Street @ Filbert
time: 12 noon - 6 pm
admission: FREE

Nothing better then a great outdoor free show on a sunny day in this city. This year the Jazz festival celebrates World Music. Miami future-Latin groovers, the Spam All Stars will be on the scene, along with New York acid-jazz heroes, the Benevento-Russo Duo. DJ Vinnie Esparza will lock down the breaks. But wait, there are more special guests still to be announced.

I like big Bands...and just butts

6. Saturday, July 31: DAKAH Hip Hop Orchestra

@ Place of Fine Arts
time: 8 pm
admission: $15 - $40, 18+ only

Imagine this the stage of the glorious Palace of Fine Arts filled with an amazing cast of 60 Band Members coming to town to rock the Palace like it has never been rocked before. Experience the world's largest Hip-Hop Orchestra as Dakah's MCs flow over live violins, violas, cellos, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, harps for full effect. Rather then just sample the sounds, Dakah has raided the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for a musical attack by classically trained musicians for the ultimate symphonic hip-hop experience.

This is their first trip to SF up to the Bay Area and a show not to be missed.