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Six Degrees of 311

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what race box you check off on your SAT’s, or what class you belong to, everyone has a friend who is obsessed with 311. And, like it or not, that friend will try incessantly to wave their domineering reggae-funk-rock-rap politics in your face like a joint that needs passing. They’ll pontificate over the etymological origins of the group’s name. (Is it the band’s favorite time of the day to smoke pot? Is it a reference to the KKK? Was it lead singer Nick Hexum’s locker combination in high school?) And they’ll try desperately to convince you that 311’s version of “Love Song” was far superior to The Cure’s (Robert Smith is rolling over in his grave… oh, he’s not dead yet?). But there is something instinctual about 311’s sound: Perhaps it’s the admirable and unifying simplicity of using only a single drum beat and guitar riff over a 15-year career. Or maybe it’s that the spacey, undulating thuds and kick-start rhythms of classic tracks like “Down” and “Beautiful Disaster” almost demand a wanton head bob and fervent toe-tap or two. So call up your unemployed buddy and bring him/her to the show this Tuesday at Sound Advice Amphitheatre (601-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $25 to $35. Call 561-795-8883.

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