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I See Hawks In L.A., with Michael O'Neill, Mars Arizona. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $6. While Buck Owens has given

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Tonight: I See Hawks In L.A. at the Sunset, Femi Kuti at Showbox at the Market

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I See Hawks In L.A., with Michael O'Neill, Mars Arizona. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $6. While Buck Owens has given the Golden State a modicum of country cred, being a twang outfit in Los Angeles has got to be a bit like being an arborist in the desert--you can be damn good at what you do, yet it'll likely go largely unnoticed. I See Hawks in L.A. have been playing rock-solid country music for over a decade. They've toured steadily around Southern California, and have opened for Chris Hillman and transplanted Angelino Lucinda Williams. They just put out a greatest hits album, Shoulda Been Gold, with a significant hitch: It's utterly devoid of hits, because the band hasn't had a proper hit. So they're calling it a "greatest non-hits collection." At least the "great" part's accurate; Rob Waller's lead vocals recall a younger, peppier Gordon Lightfoot. MIKE SEELY

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $31. All ages. The tale of Afrobeat is usually centered on Fela Kuti's musical-cum-political protest, which emerged in 1970s Nigeria, combining a funk-driven brass section and the rich drumming tradition of Yoruba music. Following Fela's death in 1997, his son Femi became one of the few capable of carrying the torch. Femi is touring on his latest release, 2008's Day By Day, and more than two decades of experience and refinement have proved that the son's music is no enshrinement of the father's. The heir to Afrobeat incorporates new touches of neo-jazz and dub regggae that makes captivating music--sonically and lyrically addressing the paradox of modern Africa. NICK FELDMAN
 
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