Tonight: Steel Pulse, The Wedding Present, The Song Show

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Steel Pulse, with Selecta Raiford. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 7 p.m. $30. In the late '70s, a young reggae band from an inner-city district of Birmingham (England's Detroit), was losing gigs due to their Rastafarian beliefs. Their anti-racist stance linked them to the punk movement sweeping the UK, and they wound up opening for the Clash and XTC. Fast-forward three decades: They've racked up six Grammy nominations for Best Reggae Album, winning once, and they're the lone reggae band to play a Presidential inauguration (Bill Clinton's in '93). A showcase for the singing and songwriting excellence (and world-class dreadlocks) of guitarist David Hinds, Steel Pulse fuses a strong foundation in roots music with a powerful political and social consciousness and take it to another level onstage. MICHAEL MAHONEY

The Wedding Present, with Girl in a Coma. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 8 p.m. $15. Even though David Gedge of the Wedding Present is the stereotypical definition of a prickly British rocker, he's managed to spend the last 25 years delivering the sort of transcendent, aggressive, and literate guitar-pop that Americans sometimes seem genetically incapable of creating. But whether it's because of the constant lineup changes or the fact that Gedge basically shuttered the outfit for seven years, these days the band is mostly a fond memory from the late '80s and early '90s. Now Gedge is reliving the past - in honor of the 21st anniversary of the release of the Wedding Present's high-water mark, Bizarro, the band is together, touring, and playing the classic album in its entirety. JASON FERGUSON

The Song Show. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7 p.m. $15. The second episode of the quarterly Song Show (hosted by City Arts editor Mark Baumgarten) features a swath of performers stripped down to their most honest and exposed. Showcasing a rare glimpse into the inspiration behind the artists themselves and the music they make, on-stage interviews are coupled with intimate performances that proves just how gifted our local musicians are. And while the first Song Show featured some of Seattle's best from across the genre spectrum, this staging - featuring reps from the energetic folk-rock group Hey Marseilles, power-pop ensemble The Lashes, and electro-rap and hipster-hop outfits Mad Rad and Fresh Espresso - seems poised to follow up with no less excitement. NICK FELDMAN

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