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Joe Jackson plays the Fremont Theater on June 7

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Excuse me while I age myself. When Joe Jackson released his debut album Look Sharp! in 1979, I was a high school junior, and the album was a revelation. I listened to it more times than I could count. "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" "Fools in Love." What teenage boy didn't know and understand exactly what Jackson was singing about?

LOOK SHARP! Ultra-versatile Joe Jackson plays the Fremont Theater on June 7, drawing from a catalog spanning more than four decades. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JOE JACKSON
  • Photo Courtesy Of Joe Jackson
  • LOOK SHARP! Ultra-versatile Joe Jackson plays the Fremont Theater on June 7, drawing from a catalog spanning more than four decades.

He followed up his debut three months later with I'm the Man, essentially a Part Two to Look Sharp! It was filled with more amazingly hooky New Wave tracks that became teenage anthems to my surf buds and me. We'd sing along at the top of our lungs and get amped for a surf session.

We had to wait until the following October in 1980 for Jackson to blow our collective minds with Beat Crazy, which shifted away from the first two albums into reggae and ska influences. I credit Jackson—and Elvis Costello—with expanding my horizons beyond The Cars, Sex Pistols, and The Clash.

Joe Jackson has always been a musical moving target. In 1981, he released Jumpin' Jive, filled with classic jump blues tracks by Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, and Busby Meyers. He got supper club jazzy on Night and Day. It sort of felt like Jackson was either mirroring or leading my musical expansion and awakening.

He's one of my early musical heroes I've never seen live, which is why I'm stoked Joe Jackson plays the Fremont Theater this Tuesday, June 7 (8 p.m.; $56.50 to $81.50 at eventbrite.com) as part of his "Sing, You Sinners" tour. His band includes people on his last album, 2019's Fool: Graham Maby (bass, vocals), Teddy Kumpel (guitar, vocals), and Doug Yowell (drums, vocals, electronics).

"The show will feature both the full band and a 'mini set' of Joe solo," organizers said. "The songs will be drawn from Joe's whole career, including some that haven't been heard live in many years. Watch out also for some surprises, including some completely new material. The tour will take the band to some cities Joe has never been or hasn't played for a long time."

I'm there! Also at the Fremont, it isn't music, but comedian Eddie Griffin will perform on Friday, June 3 (8 p.m.; $56.50 to $88 at eventbrite.com). The actor known for Undercover Brother, Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo, and Norbit, as well as his stand-up comedy specials, will bring the hilarity.

Don't forget Paramount's Laser Spectacular featuring the Music of Pink Floyd happens on Thursday, June 2 (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $31.50 to $41.50 at eventbrite.com). Expect a laser show choreographed to the music of Pink Floyd.

RACONTEUR Country singer-songwriter Jon Wolfe brings his narrative songs to The Siren on June 3. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JON WOLFE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Jon Wolfe
  • RACONTEUR Country singer-songwriter Jon Wolfe brings his narrative songs to The Siren on June 3.

The storyteller

A lot of the best country music songs are narrative, telling stories about killing a man in Reno, Lucille picking a fine time to leave, or lights going out in Georgia. Add Jon Wolfe to this fine tradition. In "That Girl In Texas," the protagonist wakes up "not feeling right," and "it wasn't the beer" he "drank last night." Nope.

"I miss those Saturday nights and honky-tonks and rodeos/ The way the sun sets in the hills of San Antonio/ Her beautiful smile, bright blue eyes/ Holdin' her close in the moonlight/ What I miss most is/ That girl in Texas."

Numbskull and Good Medicine present Jon Wolfe at The Siren on Friday, June 3 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $15 presale at eventbrite.com).

"At heart, it's all about being a great singer and storyteller," Wolfe explained in press materials.

QUIRKY COOL Americana singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell plays a SLOfolks show at Castoro Cellars on June 4. - PHOTO COURTESY OF EILEN JEWELL
  • Photo Courtesy Of Eilen Jewell
  • QUIRKY COOL Americana singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell plays a SLOfolks show at Castoro Cellars on June 4.

Shining Jewell

Amazing Americana singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell plays a SLOfolks show at Castoro Cellars this Saturday, June 4 (7 p.m.; all ages; $25 at castorocellars.com).

She's backed by a terrific band and explores a wide variety of genres: folk, classic country, early blues, surf-noir, and 1960s era rock 'n' roll. American Songwriter describes her as "one of America's most intriguing, creative, and idiosyncratic voices."

"Her songwriting is keen and sharp, reflecting contemporary events," SLOfolks says. This one's outdoors, and food and drink are available for an additional charge.

Marley and Marley

Bob Marley's legacy will be on display this weekend when Stephen Marley plays Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Saturday, June 4 (8 p.m.; $39.50 to $49.50 at ticketmaster.com), with Stephen's nephew and Bob's grandson Skip Marley opening.

LEGACY Bob Marley's son Stephen Marley carries on his father's ethos at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre on June 4. - PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHEN MARLEY
  • Photo Courtesy Of Stephen Marley
  • LEGACY Bob Marley's son Stephen Marley carries on his father's ethos at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre on June 4.

In this rescheduled concert—part of Stephen's 2022 Babylon by Bus Summer Tour—the eight-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist plays with his band during a 20-date run that "will showcase a mixture of original songs from his illustrious 40-year career, as well as revitalized classics from his father Bob Marley's iconic catalog," press materials explain.

A dollar from each ticket benefits the Ghetto Youths Foundation that provides aid, resources, and opportunities to communities in need, "including his father's birthplace of Trenchtown, Jamaica, where nearly 100 percent of the population lives below the poverty line."

AFRICAN CONNECTION SLO Brew Rock hosts an evening with W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend To Cause Havoc), originators of Zambian rock, on June 9. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WITCH
  • Photo Courtesy Of WITCH
  • AFRICAN CONNECTION SLO Brew Rock hosts an evening with W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend To Cause Havoc), originators of Zambian rock, on June 9.

Zamrock at The Rock!

SLO Brew Rock hosts an evening with W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend To Cause Havoc) next Thursday, June 9 (7 p.m.; all ages; $20 at ticketweb.com). Back in the '70s, they were Zambia's biggest rock act, spearheading what became known as Zamrock—"fusing influences that ranged from the Rolling Stones to Black Sabbath and James Brown and mixing them with traditional African rhythms and bush village songs," according to organizers. "At the peak of their popularity, the band often needed police to keep fans at bay while their lead singer Jagari—whose name is an Africanization of Mick Jagger's—riled up crowds by stage diving from balconies and dancing manically as the W.I.T.C.H.'s blend of psychedelic rock and African rhythms permeated the surrounding atmosphere."

More music ...

CasaNova plays the charming and intimate wine bar and restaurant Puffers of Pismo on Saturday, June 4 (7 p.m.). Featuring Kenny Lee Lewis (guitar and vocals) of the Steve Miller Band, Jim Stromberg (drums), Dave Keif (bass), and special guest singer-songwriter Mathias Clark (guitar and vocals), expect a wide variety of great music from top-notch players.

Mo Betta Jazz presents the return of jazz vocalist Deborah Gilmore on Saturday, June 4, at the Fremont Theater (8 p.m.; $20 students and $25 general admission, children 12 and under free, at my805tix.com). In a concert called Don't You Worry About a Thing, Gilmore will perform jazz standards backed by a band of jazz professionals and college performers.

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble will be joined by the Zaryab Ensemble on Saturday, June 4, in Cal Poly's Spanos Theatre (7:30 p.m.; $10 for students and $20 general admission at (805) 756-4849). The two ensembles will perform separately and as a combined group, delivering vocal numbers, instrumentals, and a dance troupe.

Super fun boogie band The Cliffnotes is kicking off the Summer Sunday Afternoon Music series at Halter Ranch Winery in Paso Robles this Sunday, June 5 (noon to 3 p.m.; all ages). Expect an afternoon of high-energy New Orleans-flavored dance music.

Enjoy a picnic with family and friends in the Jack House's beautifully landscaped gardens when The Wavebreakers Band plays an afternoon of classic pop rock on Sunday, June 5 (1 to 4 p.m.; all ages; free). Bring picnics and blankets. Trained docents will offer historic Jack House tours for $5.

The Cal Poly Symphony and Cal Poly Choirs will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Dona Nobis Pacem" and William Grant Still's "Afro-American Symphony" on Sunday, June 5, in Miossi Hall of the Performing Arts Center (3 p.m.; $15 to $20 general admission, $10 for students, at (805) 756-4849). "Both momentous works were composed in the 1930s and addressed issues of that time that are equally relevant today," according to organizers. Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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