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Hip hop harbingers Tackhead take to the Independent; French fun is the name of the game at "Diabolik."

Wednesday, Sep 15 2004
If an argument were to break out among the artists who "invented" hip hop, it would be a cartoon clash of charismatic giants, with gold chains, tomahawks, and turntables flying. But while Cool Herc scraps with Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, picture the London-via-New Jersey instrumental trio Tackhead minding the sidelines with geeky grins. Inventors of the genre or not, Skip McDonald, Doug Wimbish, and Keith LeBlanc participated in every major event of its early development: Those are their grooves bumping through the epochal "Rapper's Delight" and setting the urgent vibe behind rap's first politics in "The Message." For all this, they're not even a hip hop act, but a dub-smart funk collective. "Tackhead" may once have been Newarkese for "homeboy," but it also connotes a sharp, cerebral sound: roiling samples, human and robotic drums, incisive bass, and the kind of guitar flares Tom Morello packs in his arsenal. One dose and you realize you've known these guys all along. Tackhead takes to the Independent on Thursday, Sept. 16; call 771-1421 or go to
-- Andrew Marcus

For two years after a change in ownership, the Paradise Lounge kept its doors shut, which some thought signaled a death knell for SOMA's nightlife. Now, after a facelift and lots of hand-wringing, it has reopened as an upscale-ish nightclub -- and instead of showcasing live bands, it hosts swanky club nights. The most popular thus far is the aptly titled Friday party "Elegance," a soiree that goes well into the morning. Resident DJs Allier, Enrique, I-Cuespin, and Mixtek provide the standard blend of hip hop and house, but also throw in a smidge of salsa to set their dance music apart and get the crowd deliriously on its feet. The masses here tend toward the stylish, so leave the flip-flops and baseball caps at home. The elegant evening takes place every Friday; call 621-1911 or visit
-- Brock Keeling

You thought it was over, but you were wrong. Those mod '60s psychedelic sounds and styles from France -- you know, the ones hipsters can't seem to get enough of -- return once again to a dance floor near you. This time they find their way to Hayes Valley's Rickshaw Stop for "Diabolik." Inspired by that bygone era of insouciance, sexy Serge Gainsbourgesque rhythms, and laughable bowl haircuts -- and, perhaps, the 1968 Italian-French pop art flick of the same name -- DJs Jodie Artichoke, Carlos, Major Sean, and Dr. Scott crank out yesteryear's garage, soul, and psych from across the Atlantic to soothe your inner Frog. Although you might find the look of it all a tad pretentious, the music is decidedly not. (Note: This is an 18-and-over night, so stay home, kiddies.) La fête shimmies on Saturday, Sept. 18; call 861-2011 or visit
-- Brock Keeling

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Brock Keeling


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