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Rapper Fatlip, industrial innovators Front 242, and the dancehall star who brought us "No, No, No." 

Wednesday, Nov 2 2005
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Promoter Jonathan Mack is on a mission to bring more reggae and dancehall to the bay with his monthly "Angel Magik" parties in Berkeley and the recurring "Dancehall Legends" events at the DNA Lounge here in the city. This latest "Legends" installment features two artists whose iconic tunes are likely to be familiar even to those who don't normally follow the island vibes: Mad Lion, whose 1994 hit "Take It Easy" broke the American barrier between hip hop and reggae, hinting at a sound that's only now coming into its own; and Dawn Penn, whose electric "No, No, No" (also 1994) has been a DJ's sure-fire way to save a flagging dance floor for years. DJs Polo, Apollo, Jonny Mack, White Lightning, and Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist will be on hand as well on Friday, Nov. 4, at the DNA Lounge; call 626-1409 or visit www.dnalounge.com for more info.


Fatlip was the scene-stealing class clown of L.A. rap group the Pharcyde until his departure in 1995. His fans, of which there are many, expected him to drop a solo album almost immediately, but when nothing arrived people started to wonder, so much so that Spike Jonze felt compelled to direct a short documentary on the subject, What's Up, Fatlip?, in 2002. But a decade of silence is about to end, as this week sees the release of The Loneliest Punk, the MC's long-awaited solo debut. The album, which features guest collaborations with folks like Shock G, Volume 10, and Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, attempts to explain Fatlip's absence, from baby mama drama to good ol'-fashioned "Writer's Block." Fellow Angeleno Omni, an underground rapper who's worked with Tricky, Freestyle Fellowship, Living Legends, and many others, joins Fatlip for what promises to be a very special show this Friday, Nov. 4, at Milk; call 387-6455 or go to www.milksf.com for more info.


Belgian quartet Front 242 was responsible for coining the term "electronic body music" (or EBM) in the mid-'80s to describe the dark, insistently hard beats that are now viewed as the predecessor to the industrial and techno styles. Signed to the seminal label Wax Trax!, the band meshed with and complemented the imprint's American artists such as Ministry and Meat Beat Manifesto. Its biggest club hit, "Headhunter," which describes an intricate and rather puzzling trap for catching men, thrums with as much excitement as it did when it was released in 1988, and is still a secret weapon for DJs of many persuasions, a feat few of Front 242's colleagues have achieved. The tune remains the band's defining work, even though it has continued to record, save for a break from 1993 to 2003, ever since. Additionally, these musicians have earned a solid reputation for being perfectionists when it comes to their audiovisual live shows, sometimes working on them for years at a time. Chicago breakbeat purveyors Grayarea, handpicked by Front 242, open, while DJs Mitch, Decay, and Joe Radio man the turntables, when the "Catch the Men Tour" arrives in San Francisco on Sunday, Nov. 6, at the DNA Lounge; call 626-1409 or visit www.dnalounge.com for more info.

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Tamara Palmer

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