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for Fri., March 30
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  • Music

    Urban Music Fest w/ En Vogue, Vivian Green, Althea René feat. Kyle Turner & Michael Ward, Texas Jazz Explosion

    Before Destiny’s Child, Oakland’s En Vogue produced a steady stream of Nineties R&B classics, including “Don’t Let Go” and “Hold On.” Terry Ellis, Rhona Bennett, and Cindy Herron still offer balladic romanticism on Electric Café, their first album in 14 years. For Urban Fest’s 13th iteration, Friday also stacks Philly neo-soul siren Vivian Green, Detroit jazz flutist Althea Rene, Houston’s smooth saxist Kyle Turner, and his San Antonio counterpart on violin, Michael Ward.
    Fri., March 30
  • Music

    Kool & the Gang, Brownout

    Since 1964, Robert “Kool” Bell, brother Ronald Bell, alto saxist Dennis Thomas, and drummer George Brown have lead this “Too Hot” Jersey crew. “Jungle Boogie,” “Celebration,” and “Ladies’ Night” are irresistible wedding reception staples, but the deep cuts reveal a jazz foundation and sophisticated arrangements. Austin’s Brownout also fills dancefloors via big horn arrangements with a Latin twist. Get down on it.
    Fri., March 30, 8pm
  • Music

    Original Pinettes Brass Band, Betty Harris

    Even closing in on 80, Betty Harris retains a booming, emotive voice. The Florida-born singer issued stellar soul sides throughout the Sixties, her molasses-slow cover of Solomon Burke’s “Cry to Me” cracking the Top 10 of the R&B charts in 1963. A prolific four-year run with producer Allen Toussaint and subsequent departure from music earned her the title “Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul” despite never living in the Big Easy. In fact, she didn’t like it there. After a contentious 1965 session where she beefed with Irma Thomas (“I didn’t know who Irma was at that time, but she had a lot of mouth”), Harris worked one-on-one with Toussaint, flying in to lay vocals over tracks the late hitmaker pre-recorded with a rhythm section that became the Meters. “Your first experience is going into Bell Sound Studios in New York and everything is tip-top, first class,” she recalled last Sunday from her home in Connecticut. “Then you get to New Orleans and here’s a barn with nothing in it. I understand what they were doing now, but back then I didn’t. It was kind of dreary.” The sound proved different as well, particularly the blistering funk of 1969’s “There’s a Break in the Road,” complete with screeching guitar feedback and fatback drums. “I couldn’t figure out if Allen had lost his mind or what! I was totally shocked when I heard it the first time. I couldn’t figure the drums out. I thought, ‘What are they smoking?!’ “But the song carries itself and still does today. If you slow it way down, that’s the most funkiest song you’d ever want to hear.”
    Fri., March 30, 10pm
  • Music

    Brian Fallon & the Howling Weather, Ruston Kelly

    While Gaslight Anthem remains on hiatus, frontman Brian Fallon plies both amplified power chords and acoustic plectrum transients. After a two-year solo career running in the opposite direction from The ’59 Sound, his new Sleepwalk finds the singer re-embracing what he does best: Giving Springsteen-scopic arena rock a punk makeover. Kacey Musgraves’ new husband Ruston Kelly, meantime, comes off like Ryan Adams’ scruffier, horror-movie-obsessed cousin.
    Fri., March 30, 8pm
  • Music

    Wax Motif, NuKid

    Australian Danny Chien now spins L.A. house.
    Fri., March 30, 10pm
  • Music

    Khruangbin, Mattson 2

    Fri., March 30, 8pm
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  • Music

    Cut Copy, Kauf

    Aussie electro since 2001 offers September’s Haiku From Zero with L.A. opener Ronald Kaufman.
    Fri., March 30, 7pm
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