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Nigerian Afrobeat superstar Femi Kuti & The Positive Force play June 29 at SLO Brew Rock

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Afrobeat, jazz, and funk artist Femi Kuti plays SLO Brew Rock this week, bringing with him an amazing international résumé. The saxophonist, singer, trumpet player, and keyboardist is the son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and the grandson of women's rights activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.

MUSIC ROYALTY Nigerian singer, saxophonist, trumpet, and keyboard player Femi Kuti & The Positive Force plays SLO Brew Rock on June 29. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FEMI KUTI
  • Photo Courtesy Of Femi Kuti
  • MUSIC ROYALTY Nigerian singer, saxophonist, trumpet, and keyboard player Femi Kuti & The Positive Force plays SLO Brew Rock on June 29.

Born in London but raised in Lagos, Nigeria, young Femi began his musical career as a teenager in 1978 when he joined his father's band Egypt 80. In 1986, he broke off on his own to form Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, who'll play this Wednesday, June 29 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $28 at slobrew.com).

"My father was so huge," Femi explained in press materials. "I taught myself everything I knew, so I was learning on the job, and you are not allowed to make mistakes. Being in front of such an icon, it can be intimidating."

In 2001, the Nigerian powerhouse joined with Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright to collaborate on the album Fight to Win. He's caught flak for criticizing Nigeria in songs such as "Sorry Sorry," "What Will Tomorrow Bring," and "97." Like his famous father, Femi has a knack for activism. His most recent album is 2021's Stop the Hate.

Also this week at SLO Brew Rock, check out Kendall Street Company and opener Mofunk on Friday, June 24 (7 p.m.; all ages; free). The jam-alt rockers from Charlottesville, Virginia, formed during late night jam sessions at the University of Virginia. Expect "improvised rock" and "a world of jazz-grass infused psychedelic bliss."

Almost Oingo

Members Oingo Boingo and Danny Elfman tribute band Dead Man's Party like to offer a note to their critics: "The members of Dead Man's Party do not think they are, are not trying to be, nor do they have any delusions of being Oingo Boingo. Danny Elfman has said that he would not reunite Oingo Boingo; that's why DMP exists. Though some former Boingo members do perform as Boingo Dance Party Band on occasion, Oingo Boingo is—unfortunately—no more. No band lives forever. DMP, however, is dedicated to re-creating the Oingo Boingo experience. We are not just a band paying tribute to the music of Danny Elfman and the boys of OB. We work hard to deliver that music true-as-possible to its original sound with concerts that bring Boingo concert veterans back to the good old days, and show the newbies what's what."

'NOTHING TO FEAR' Dead Man's Party brings their tribute to Oingo Boingo back to The Siren on June 24, delivering the manic energy and unbridled enthusiasm one would expect from a Danny Elfman homage. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DEAD MAN'S PARTY
  • Photo Courtesy Of Dead Man's Party
  • 'NOTHING TO FEAR' Dead Man's Party brings their tribute to Oingo Boingo back to The Siren on June 24, delivering the manic energy and unbridled enthusiasm one would expect from a Danny Elfman homage.

It's true! They're not Oingo Boingo, but they're a lot of fun and have the same manic energy. See for yourself when Numbskull and Good Medicine host Dead Man's Party at The Siren on Friday, June 24 (doors at 8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $25 presale at eventbrite.com or $25 day of show).

Good Medicine and Numbskull also bring you the Hot Damn Summer Tour with Through the Roots and opener Likkle Jordee on Thursday, June 30, at The Siren (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $18 presale at eventbrite.com or $29 day of show). Reggae fans, don't miss it!

The 27 club

27 Tribute Band plays Thursday, June 30, at the Fremont Theater (8 p.m.; $27 to $57 at eventbrite.com). The concert pays tribute to the many—too many—musicians who died at the tender age of 27, starting with blues legend Robert Johnson but also including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse.

"Throughout the show, the audience is taken on a retrospective journey of sight and sound, showcasing each artist's respective contributions to our musical landscape," according to organizers. "The show culminates with the artists all performing together on one stage in a rock concert like no other."

Not music but ...

The Atlantic magazine called comedian Nate Bargatze "The Nicest Man in Stand-Up," and indeed, the everyman has no interest in tearing anyone down with his clean but astutely observed and insightful brand of hilarity. He plays the Vina Robles Amphitheatre as part of his Raincheck Tour this Friday, June 24 (8 p.m.; $40 to $65 at ticketmaster.com). His last TV special, The Greatest Average American, received a 2021 Grammy nomination. If you like your comedy Tennessee-nice, check him out.

More music ...

Boogie dance band The Cliffnotes play Mulligan's at the Avila Beach Golf Resort this Thursday, June 23 (5 to 7 p.m.; all ages; free). "A dozen years of bangin' around, jammed into the corners of restaurants and wine bars and we are finally breaking out into larger venues, and crowds are showering us with appreciation," bandleader Cliff "Crawdaddy" Stepp said. "I think some people I know who haven't seen us in awhile are just shocked that I can still remember lyrics and chord changes!"

The Kate Wells Combo plays with Ken Burton at the Broken Earth Winery Paso Blues Jam hosted by Ted Waterhouse on Thursday, June 23 (5 to 8 p.m.). Listen to great players having tons of fun.

Former Atascadero resident and jazz musician Will Wulfeck plays Linnaea's Café this Thursday, June 23 (6 to 7:30 p.m.; all ages; free). Wulfeck is currently getting his doctorate at the University of Miami. "I'm a jazz trombonist, electric bassist, and composer," Wulfeck explained. "I'm putting this show on with my friend, saxophonist Jake Hammer, who is the band director at Atascadero Junior High School. It will feature mostly original compositions by myself and Jake Hammer. My music is a mixture of my jazz, avant-garde, indie rock, and pop influences. It will be instrumental music with improvisation."

Get a dose of Southern blues-rock, country rock, and Americana when American Mile plays The Siren on Thursday, June 23 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). They list Aerosmith to The Black Crowes to Chris Stapleton and Tom Petty as influences.

Concerts in the Plaza returns this Friday, June 24, with mash-up horn band Brass Mash headlining. Local singer-songwriter Chris Beland will warm up the crowd beginning at 4:30 before the main act plays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Get your summer on!

EP RELEASE SLO County "funeral rock" quartet Dead Magic will release their debut EP on June 25, at The Siren. The band includes (left to right) Jake Scurria, Noah Colton, Joe Johnsson, and Conner Martin. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JON LOPEZ
  • Photo Courtesy Of Jon Lopez
  • EP RELEASE SLO County "funeral rock" quartet Dead Magic will release their debut EP on June 25, at The Siren. The band includes (left to right) Jake Scurria, Noah Colton, Joe Johnsson, and Conner Martin.

Local indie-rock quartet Dead Magic plays an EP release party at The Siren on Sunday, June 25 (2:30 to 5:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). Fronted by singer-songwriter Noah Colton, they call themselves "a cathartic rock group" and describe their debut EP Somehow Poetic, Somewhat Pathetic as a "funeral rock record that celebrates the end of all things in hopes of making way for better beginnings." My favorite of the three-song EP is "Mom, Dad, etc.—Radio Edit," essentially a spoken suicide note talked over a melodic chorus of sung voices. The EP is earnest, angsty, musically interesting, with lots of textures.

Western swing act Dave Stuckey and the Hoot Owls plays the next Basin Street Regulars hot jazz concert this Sunday, June 26 (11 a.m. jam followed by the feature performers from 1 to 4 p.m.; $10) at the Pismo Beach Vets Hall. If you like Milton Brown, Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, The Light Crust Doughboys, and The Tune Wranglers, check them out. Classic jazz trio Three Martini Lunch will open. Δ

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

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