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M.I.A. crams global jams into an intimate local venue 

Wednesday, Jul 25 2007
I wouldn't swear to it in court, but Sacramento's Jackpot may subscribe to the "Three B's" school of rock — namely, Beatles, Byrds, and Beck. Not that Jackpot sounds exactly like any of those acts specifically, but this fab four shares the propensities for alternating genial tunefulness and loopy, irreverent creativity. (Maybe that talent stems from the fact that singer/guitarist Rusty Miller was once a member of those Cake wiseacres.) On its '04 opus F+, Jackpot's twisted twang came on like the Dandy Warhols playing Gram Parsons. The group's latest, Moonbreath, shows Jackpot's smart songcraft and hazy melodies just might fill the void left by the dearly departed Grandaddy. A Jackpot, indeed. Jackpot performs on Saturday, July 28, at Café du Nord at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10; call 861-5016 or visit for more info. —M.K.

Following up on her last single "Bird Flu," which propagated online earlier this year, M.I.A. has just released her second new song, "Boyz." The latter tune and its kinetic Jamaican-themed video seem to suggest that M.I.A.'s forthcoming album Kala will dig deeper into her singular, electro-charged funk sound and be at least as fierce as her genre-smashing debut Arular. Visa difficulties have caused the U.K. citizen to cancel some past performances in this country, but a recent Village Voice story makes it sound like the performer is now in the clear. A San Francisco M.I.A. show in such a small venue is almost certain to get crowded, so arrive early when M.I.A. performs on Saturday, July 28, at Rickshaw Stop at 9 p.m. The show is sold out; call 861-2011 or visit for more info. —T.P.

Try to imagine a music world that includes PJ Harvey, Sleater-Kinney, and (shudder) Hole without trailblazers the Slits . Meeting at a 1976 Patti Smith concert, fangrrls Ari Up and Palmolive decided (along with Tessa Pollitt) to do it themselves, becoming one of the first all-female punk bands. Equipped with brash attitude and 2 1/2 chords, the Slits scored a spot on the Clash's '77 White Riot tour. Cut, their first proper album, came out in '79 and remains a singular fusion of punk aesthetics and roots reggae (then a big influence on U.K. punk). No doubt inspiring the Spice Girls to reform, Tessa and Ari's recharged Slits is back with much of the old fiery indignation and deep riddims intact. The Slits perform on Monday, July 30, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $20; call 771-1421 or visit for more info. —M.K.

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Mark Keresman


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