MP3: The Expendables - "Positive Mind"; Culture Room Show Next Wednesday

The Santa Cruz, California-based quartet the Expendables lives in a musical and mood world we would very much like to inhabit in real life, all the time. It's one in which you never have to rush, nothing depressing ever happens, and the next laid-back, beer-soaked house party full of potential romantic interests is just a stroll away. 

Actually, if you had to picture the ultimate beach-y California band, the Expendables (and peers like Pepper and Slightly Stoopid) is what would come out -- and bless 'em for it. In trying times, there's enough sturm und drang in the rest of the musical landscape.

The band's breezy blend of reggae, the occasional sped-up ska, and touches of rock exists apart from trends and always goes down especially well on coastal areas. Though the Expendables first appeared during the late-'90s so-called "Third Wave" of ska, the band wisely never fed into the genre's cornier stereotypes. Thanks to that, the act has continued to enjoy an ever-growing fan base and healthy touring schedule for some 15 years. After all, there's always a new day at the beach, right? 

The Expendables headline Culture Room next Wednesday, accompanied by Las Vegas reggae-rapper Big B, Floridian Sublime acolytes the Crazy Carls, and Boston dub-jammers iLa Mawana. As a freebie taster, check out this download for the Expendables' slowed-down, groovy "Positive Mind," which, as the title indicates, is the absolute opposite of a bummer.

The Expendables. With Big B, iLa Mawana, and the Crazy Carls. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2. Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18; 954-564-1074; cultureroom.net

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