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Discover a Welsh version of the Beastie Boys, real-deal gospel-punk-rawk, and the new trio of a legendary ax-grinder

Wednesday, May 25 2005
There's some whack shit going down in Newport, and it's got nothing to do with Seth Cohen and Marissa Cooper on The O.C. The Newport I'm talking about is in Wales, and the troublemakers stirring up the drama are Chon Ben-Wa Balls (aka Mr. Love Eggs), Adam Hussain, the Maggot, and the rest of Goldie Lookin' Chain , the U.K.'s biggest hip hop sensation since Dizzee Rascal and the Streets. Like a Welsh version of the Beasties, GLC rocks the mike with rhymes that are more harebrained than hardcore off of tracks with titles like "Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do" and "Your Mother's Got a Penis." The band's latest, Straight Outta Newport, is filled with weird samples (when was the last time you heard clarinet and bassoon in hip hop?), thick accents, and almost indecipherable Brit slang, mostly about getting high and jacking off. And if you believe the tastemakers who caught GLC's showcase at this year's SXSW festival, these guys bring it live. See for yourself Thursday, May 26, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or visit for info. -- Maya Kroth

Amidst the never-ending parade of Detroit garage rock poseurs, veteran West Coast quartet the BellRays stands out as one of the few legit heirs to Motown's legacy. Balancing gritty R&B influences brought by fire-breathing soul siren Lisa Kekaula and the corrosive Gibson SG abuse pounded out by guitarist Tony Fate, the BellRays have refined a unique brand of gospel-punk fury over 12 years of self-released recordings and scorching live performances. Critics strain to encapsulate the band's sound with pithy comparisons (the ever-popular "Aretha Franklin jamming with the MC5" or "Etta James fronting Black Flag"), but onstage the BellRays deliver their self-advertised "maximum rock and soul" with an ecstatic fervor that transcends description. Long deserving of a wider audience, they might be on the verge of a major breakthrough thanks to their song "Revolution Get Down" being picked up for a national ad campaign and their current high-profile tour supporting the Pixies. Don't miss the BellRays' fiery opening set when the two bands play the Warfield on Monday, May 30; call 775-7722 or go to for more info. -- Dave Pehling

Fresh off his Grammy win for last year's Unspeakable, guitarist Bill Frisell is hitting the town with his latest group, an organ trio that steals the rhythm section of Joshua Redman's Elastic Band. On their first tour, drummer Brian Blade and Hammond B-3 maestro Sam Yahel joined Frisell to run through some of his old favorites -- from Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and Monk's "Misterioso" to a sugary-soulful Delfonics cover. But compared to the guitarist's other projects, this group skips the atmospherics and the amber waves of grain to make Frisell's deepest stab yet into groove and R&B. Blade's skinwork is insistent and ferocious, and the ever-surprising Yahel twists Frisell's arm in a way that no sideman has since Hank Roberts. Catch the trio in action Tuesday through Thursday, May 31-June 2, at Yoshi's in Oakland; call (510) 238-9200 or go to for more info. And if you really dig Yoshi's, be sure to check out Frisell's upcoming West/East live recording, half of which was taped in the famous Oakland jazz joint. -- Chris Dahlen


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