Why did LL plead, "Don't call it a comeback"? Because hip hop artists don't ever return from the dead (well, unless they're literally dead, in which case they go triple platinum). Pete Rock has somehow bucked these odds by releasing his most varied collection of beats well into his second decade behind the mixing desk (though the record's not as instantly infectious as his work with C.L. Smooth). Soul Survivor II is a solid slab of sonically conservative hip hop -- straight breaks, lots of soul -- that keeps it right in the pocket. (Now if Rock could only go back and find Gigolo Tony and bring him back, too.) On this tour, he'll be keeping things strictly vintage, with a DJ set spun from rare groove, tried-and-true hip hop, and classic reggae. Decide for yourself if it's a comeback or not when Rock takes to the decks at the Independent on Thursday, Aug. 12; call 771-1421 or go to www.theindependentsf.com.
-- Darren Keast
One of the first strip clubs in the country, the revamped Condor Ultra Lounge is now one of North Beach's latest and most popular nightclubs. Drawing inspiration from this infamous past, "Silhouette Saturdays" returns to the blue cabaret days with a burlesque show and male strip revue by the Men of Exotica. (And, by the way, if you have a penis and think for one second that you can ogle these oily Men and then get up on the bar, quite drunkenly, and dance with the ladies atop the counter, you'd be very wrong. Both you and your XY chromosomes might be thrown out on your ass. Trust me.) After the titillation, DJs Fabian, Hope, Noodles, and Torque spin deep house, hip hop, soul, and your favorite '80s hits. The show starts at 8 p.m.; call 781-8222 or visit www.condorsf.com.
-- Brock Keeling