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This rebel keeps rockin’

Fri., Sept. 5, 2008

Franti, Spearhead visit Spokane

On his latest release, “All Rebel Rockers,” Michael Franti is still stoking his fiery protest, this time from the flames of Kingston, Jamaica.

To record the album – which is released Tuesday – Franti called in help from legendary dancehall artists and producers Sly & Robbie (Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Dylan, Alicia Keys, No Doubt).

The end result is eclectic and seductive with unifying elements of dub and plenty of hooks-heavy soul.

There are precise guitar melodies slicing through bass-based jams laying the foundation for intricate lyricism that is reminiscent of Franti’s more hip-hop oriented work with Spearhead and even Disposable Hereos of Hiphoprisy. Some songs rely on industrial hammerings while others are minimal, acoustic haunts.

If his last two albums were rockers, then this one is all about the beats, or lack thereof.

Franti appears with Spearhead on Thursday at The Knitting Factory, 919 W. Sprague Ave. Tickets are $26 through TicketsWest (509-325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT,

Blvd. packs ‘em in

In a week already packed with shows at every level – from Kid Rock at the Arena, to Stone Temple Pilots at the Knitting Factory, to Truckasaurus and The Globes at Empyrean – The Blvd. is has a handful of happenings worth checking out.

Invisible City’s flagship bands, Velella Velella and Point Juncture WA., hit with analog synth-funk and ambient dub-pop on Thursday at The Blvd., 333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Velella Velella recently added Seattle chanteuse Johanna Kunin to its lineup.

And PJWA is putting the finishing touches on a new album of cuts incorporating scathing guitars with celestial vibraphone and triumphant, trumpet-driven jams.

It’s a dance show and an earbender all in one. Cover is $8 for the 21-and-older show. Music starts at 9 p.m.

At The Blvd. tonight, Seattle garage rock n’ rollers The Blakes headline a show with support from one of the loudest rock bands to grace The Blvd. stage: female-fronted rock duo Jucifer. Cover is $10 for the 21-and-older show. Spokane’s Meteorites Attack opens at 9 p.m.

Saturday, nine-piece hip-hop and jazz band Sweatshop Union heats it up with locals Jamal Ali and Sake-1. Cover is $8; 21-and-older welcome.

And Sunday, Rhymesayers affiliate, Seattle’s Greyskul, brings “Bloody Radio” bounty hunts to the Blvd. Also on the bill is Grynch, Phil in the Blank, Bela Union, and Spokane’s Knothead. Cover is $8; 21-plus welcome.

Tickets for all Blvd. shows available through TicketsWest.

Download music from Michael Franti’s latest release at Nightwatch tracks the local live music scene.


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