Digable Planets, "Nickel Bags"

Digable Planets, Godspeed, Big World Breaks feat One Family Inc. House Band and friends, DJ Topspin at Neumos, 8 p.m., $18


Tonight's Show Recommendations

Digable Planets, "Nickel Bags"

Digable Planets, Godspeed, Big World Breaks feat One Family Inc. House Band and friends, DJ Topspin at Neumos, 8 p.m., $18

Kevin Capp waxes poetic:

Whatever happened to Digable Planets after its sophomore release, 1994's Blowout Comb, doesn’t change the facts on the ground: one of the most innovative and straight up cool hip-hop groups of the early '90s dissipated like cigarette smoke exhaled by one of its beloved jazz musicians. The trio (Doodlebug, Ladybug Mecca, and Butterfly) bucked the growing popularity of gangsta rap, and instead spoke through both their lyrics and production the lingua franca of jazz greats like Sonny Rollins and Charles Mingus. They and others got sampled and name-checked, and Digable Planets hit the road with real musicians--yet another bold act. If they would've stayed together, they'd be at least as important as The Roots. No matter; Digable Planets reunited in '05 and released a greatest hits package titled Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles and hit the road again. Three years later, they're back--and still cool like dat.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Castanets at High Dive, 9 p.m., $8

Michael Alan Goldberg on Castanets and Ray Raposa:

The long-running project of New York-via-Portland singer/multi-instrumentalist Ray Raposa and an ever-mutating cast of supporting players, Castanets make the kind of atmospheric, moody, trippy sound that you usually only hear when you eat the brown acid. Psychedelic-folk, gospel-blues, twangy country, and avant-garde noise (or maybe it's free jazz) come together like a dream -- that dream where you're walking through the rainy night of a hard-boiled detective novel and then you're stumbling on crunchy bits of glass in a rusted-out, abandoned warehouse and then Bob Dylan turns up in a purple sombrero and hands you a pulled-pork sandwich and it's all really just freaking you the fuck out. Raposa wrote most of Castanets' new City of Refuge during three weeks of complete isolation in a motel room in the Nevada desert, and it shows. Pals like Sufjan Stevens and Jana Hunter appear on the album, and it's anyone's guess who -- beyond the current core of Raposa, bassist/banjoist Annie Palmer, and percussionist Yoni Kiffle -- might show up to flesh things out live.

The Gates of Slumber, Demiricous, Serial Crusher Theory, Pain Syndicate, King Of Tyrus at Studio Seven, 7 p.m., $10, all ages

Andrew Miller, one of our resident metal experts:

The Gates of Slumber play a brand of doom metal that carbon-dates back to a time before the term itself existed, recalling Thin Lizzy and Dio-era Rainbow. The band's solos rip through sludgy riffs like saber teeth through a tar-coated mammoth. Karl Simon's clear, strong vocals synthesize Ozzy Osbourne's paranoid whine and Glenn Danzig's blues-wolf howl, meaning listeners won't miss any details during the harrowing tales of the "Ice Worm" and the "Dweller of the Deep." These longhaired brutes even rock the caveman look, though troglodytes probably didn't sport studded armbands. Tourmates/fellow Indiana natives Demiricious also trigger old-school flashbacks, albeit at a faster speed. The Gates of Slumber move more nimbly than most modern doom acts, perhaps because they don't downtune their guitars until the dangling strings scrape the earth's core, but Demiricious' blitzkrieg thrash will make the headliner seem like a lumbering colossus.

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