California's Slightly Stoopid pulls influences that read like most seasoned potheads' record collections. There are hefty pinches of ska, punk, reggae, roots, acoustic rock, and hip-hop in between some of the shake and seeds -- i.e., that Frampton Comes Alive album they'll listen to over and over again with their faces buried deep in a bowl of Betty Crocker's cake frosting.
We're not pointing fingers here, but these guys really do love the reefer. They'll tell you themselves on their latest CD, Closer to the Sun. Just take a listen: "Ganja never hurt no one... Lord, they nev'a gon' be smokin' like some flame bush ganja yeah, me comin' up on the rhythm, but we have to say no but a man don't spill it, pass it" (from "Bandilero"). Other pro-smoke tunes on the CD include "This Joint" and "Fat Spliffs." In addition to the weed-spun songs, they sing reactionary songs against police brutality and injustice and lots of feel-good tunes about life experiences.
If you're thinking this sounds like a modern-day Sublime, you wouldn't be too far off, except for the fact that they've been a band since 1995, when they were high schoolers. Bradley Nowell, Sublime's late singer, even signed Slightly Stoopid to his own Skunk label way back when. Since then, they've stuck to a strictly DIY set of rules with recording, taking a pass on major-label offerings even when the band's sound was on every buzz station in town. This time around, their own Stoopid Records label put out their fifth and latest CD, which includes a collaboration with reggae heavyweight Barrington Levy. Now they're on tour with Fishbone. The Stoopid ones set up at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) for two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday) with local favorites Boxelder getting in on the positive vibe at 8 o'clock each night. Tickets cost $14.99. Call 954-564-1074, or visit www.cultureroom.net. -- Terra Sullivan
There is Life After Titus
Robert Hawkins Cracks Some Jokes
Remember years ago, for a split second, there was a Fox show about a white-trash mechanic named Titus? Well, someone, or some people, had to write that show. One of them was comedian Robert Hawkins, who will be on stage at the Palm Beach Improv (550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach) starting Thursday.
Before and after the rise and fall of Titus, Hawkins has played the comedy-club circuit, appearing on Conan, Showtime, and Comedy Central and pumping out a couple of CDs that explore the miscellaneous facts of his life... all the regular comedian stuff. Before his comedy days, though, Hawkins spent three years as a U. S. Army combat medic. Maybe there's something about patching up soldiers that puts everything else into comic perspective.
What does Hawkins think about Florida, where he spent childhood years? As he says on his website, "Evil lived in South Florida. I once saw two flies doing it missionary style there. THAT'S evil. I could swear they were laughing and gazing into each other's thousands of eyes." Hawkins' run lasts through Sunday. Tickets cost an oddly exact $12.78. Visit www.palmbeachimprov.com, or call 561-833-1812. -- Dave Amber
31 Years and Counting
Third World keeps the reggae vibe alive
They've been together longer than most marriages last, and they're older than the world's oldest wombat (wild or captive). When reggae legends Third World formed in 1973, Roe vs. Wade had just been issued, Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D. ) had just been born, and Bob Marley had just finished recording "I Shot the Sheriff."
Third World got its big break opening for the Jackson 5, then lived through disco-infused releases and multiple lineup changes to establish itself as the reggae ambassadors with the positive message. Their 1982 song "Try Jah Love" (So won't you try, try, try, try, try, try, try Jah love/ love, love, love, love) called for good vibes, and albums like You've Got the Power and Arise in Harmony backed up their reputation. Having recently collaborated with Julian Lennon and Sean Paul and recorded its 21st album, the band (still with original singer Bunny Rugs) hits Revolution (200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) tonight at 8. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-727-0950, or visit www.jointherevolution.net. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Hear the Pitter-Patter
At least you know from the slogan whether you're going to love them or whether you want to stay far away from the potential cloud of patchouli they could draw. Little Feat declares itself "the jamband's jamband." You decide whether that represents the forces of good or evil. The Feat has been around since before the term jamband was even coined -- more than 30 years. That's long enough for Carly Simon, Garth Brooks, and Jimmy Buffett to have covered their songs and for thousands of fans to have made bootleg recordings of their shows, creating a massive tape-trading industry à la the Grateful Dead. Before tonight's concert, the tune-slingers do a meet-and-greet at a TGI Fridays Restaurant (600 Village Blvd., West Palm Beach) at 5:30 p.m. Call 561-471-5888. At 8 p.m., they perform at the Carefree Theatre (2000 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $35. Call 561-833-7305, or visit www.ticketmaster.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon