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SKA/PUNK | The Slackers
w / DJ Boss Harmony
Thurs. Nov. 2
Cumberland's
$6

Brooklyn-bred ska kingpins The Slackers have taken a career path in direct parallel to their less-than-extroverted name. Since their inception in 1991 — several years before bands like Rancid and No Doubt ushered a Gen-X combo of ska culture and punk rock into both malls and study halls — they've released over a dozen albums, toured the globe, and spawned such side projects as the SKAndalous All Stars and saxophone man Dave Hillyard's Rocksteady 7. One of the reasons the current incarnation of the band — frontman Vic Ruggiero (keyboards, vocals), Jay "Agent Jay" Nugent (guitar), saxophonist Hillyard, Glen Pine (trombone), Marcus Geard (bass), and Ara Babajian (drums) — works so well is that they haven't forgotten the stylistic diversity and cheeky let's-try-anything attitude that went along with the '70s/'80s second wave ska movement. The band's latest release, Peculiar, ably represents that commitment to shaking up the glass with rocksteady, old school soul and Joe Strummer-esque protest songs thrown into the verbiage chopper. —Michael Andrews THURSDAY


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RAP | mc chris
Fri. Nov. 3
Village Tavern
$12

In pictures, mc chris (yes, all lowercase, please) always looks like one angry little mofo. Really, though, those furrowed brows and gangsta pout are somewhat of a façade; the man otherwise known as Chris Ward is actually kind of a dork, albeit one with an aptitude (or is that an attitude?) for rap. This guy with the kinda squealy voice and the mad rhymes carved out a niche that seems to resonate with the hipster crowd as much as the Dungeons & Dragons geek squad. Alternately described as "nerdcore hip hop" or "geeksta rap," the music of mc chris taps into the fact that computer programmers, role-playing gamers, and astrophysicists dig a good beat, just like the rest of us. Although his notoriety first came from his contributions to a slew of Adult Swim shows, mc chris now spends all of his time spitting his flow on songs that are much smarter than their titles ("Cookie Breath," "Robot Dog," and uh, "Kingdom Farts" are just a few) may let on. Don't be surprised if you find yourself scratching your head a bit during his show -- it will all make sense eventually. See www.mcchris.com for more. —Shawnté Salabert FRIDAY


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BLUEGRASS/FOLK | "Harvest Fest 2006"
w/ Blue Plantation, Hungry Monks, Yee Haw Junction, Flatt City, Sounds of Grass
Sat. Nov. 4
Mullet Hall Equestrian Center
$5

It's harvest season on the farm — time to gather the family and celebrate the year's crops with a bluegrass boogie. This Saturday's Harvest Fest will feature local pickers Blue Plantation, the Hungry Monks, Yee Haw Junction, Flatt City, and Sounds of Grass. The wooden outdoor stage is perfect for bluegrass harmonies, and the grassy field outside the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center (2662 Mullet Hall Road on Johns Island) is a perfect Saturday afternoon dance floor. Activities for children will include a "stick pony corral," pony rides, pumpkin decorating, a scarecrow-making contest, and lasso demos, or take the whole family on a hay wagon ride. Country fare, from barbecue to turkey legs, is available along with cold beverages. Some of Charleston's finest bluegrass acts will be on display at an unbeatable price, so shake a leg and stomp yer feet. Music goes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 795-4386 for more info. —Stratton Lawrence SATURDAY

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JAZZ/FUSION | Jeff Coffin Mu'tet
Tues. Nov. 7
The Pour House
$8

It's a night of serious jazz/fusion and improv this Tuesday with the Jeff Coffin Mu'tet — an all-star project led by Flecktones sax player Jeff Coffin (a member of Béla Fleck's group since '97). When the Flecktones announced a year-long hiatus beginning in January 2005, the veteran wind player and composer got the chance to channel his "varied manifestations of musical spirit" into his most ambitious solo project yet. "The spirit and breath of the music is what I take away from listening and playing," says Coffin. "It's what decides for me whether I like it or not." His "Mu'tet" (a word he created to describe his crew of co-conspirators) features wind player Kofi Burbridge, Flecktones bandmate Roy "Futureman" Wooten on percussion, and Felix Pastorius (son of late, great Jaco Pastorius) on bass, among other guests. See www.compassrecords.com for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann TUESDAY


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