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How many cops does it take to screw dim bulbs? 

Will short-term memory loss doom this year's 420 concertgoers?

Sunday, April 17, is Pozo Saloon’s annual 420 concert, and one would hope that after last year’s ridiculous sting operation by local law enforcement agencies, concertgoers will have learned their lesson. DO NOT SELL, TRADE, OR GIVE DRUGS TO ANYONE YOU DON’T KNOW PERSONALLY!

Last year, eight people got caught in this little entrapment scheme, in which undercover NTF officers harangued attendees to sell them drugs. In one case, a joint was traded for two cigarettes. In another, when the drugs were freely offered, undercover agents shoved a $20 in concertgoers’ hands and called it a drug sale.

There were something like 50 officers—uniformed and undercover—at the concert of 2,000-plus, and let’s face it, this was a colossal waste of taxpayers’ funds. Yes (sigh), drugs are illegal, but does the county really have the money to waste on busting a scant eight people (most of the charges were later dropped, by the way) who were dumb enough to sell their personal stash to the cops?

And what’s the big deal about some music fans getting stoned in a field anyway? Who’s it hurting?

click to enlarge LET’S GO GET STONED? :  Kottonmouth Kings headline Pozo Saloon’s 420 celebration on April 17. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KOTTONMOUTH KINGS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF KOTTONMOUTH KINGS
  • LET’S GO GET STONED? : Kottonmouth Kings headline Pozo Saloon’s 420 celebration on April 17.

This year’s show features Kottenmouth Kings, Iration, E40, Afroman, Public Defendaz, DJ Donk, and more. As for the bands, they’re still happily promoting the event as a stoners’ holiday.

“We have California-based Kottonmouth Kings in town April 17 at Pozo Saloon for a performance to celebrate the annual counterculture pot-smoking holiday on April 20, commonly known as 420,” wrote Kerosene Media’s James Wright. “Kottonmouth Kings are one of most outspoken and proactive groups in the music business with regards to marijuana reform and legalization. Drummer Lou Dog is the assistant director for NORML Los Angeles and works alongside criminal defense lawyer Bruce Margolin.”

It’s probably good to have a lawyer on retainer, eh Lou Dog?

Let me be clear. Marijuana should be legal. It should not be a Schedule I drug in the same category as PCP, Ecstasy, LSD, Psilocybin mushrooms, Mescaline, and Morphine. It’s been unfairly vilified thanks to government propaganda and the “War on Drugs Industrial Complex.” It’s clearly not physically addictive. It has obvious therapeutic properties. Its minor negative health effects are reversible after discontinuing use. It’s not a gateway drug. And unlike alcohol and tobacco, which annually kill 100,000 and 400,000 people, respectively, marijuana alone has never caused a single death. Never!

Of course, judging from the arrests last year, it does seem to make some people stupid … or at least gullible.

Visit Ticketmaster for Pozo Saloon’s 4/20 concert, and when some shady dude sidles up to you and asks if you’re holding, scream “Stranger! Danger!” Then wave the nearest uniformed cop over and have him haul the narc away.

Philly, rockabilly, and chillin’

click to enlarge PHILLY HERO :  Americana, blues, hip-hop original G Love & Special Sauce plays SLO Brew on April 14. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SWINGIN’ DOORS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SWINGIN’ DOORS
  • PHILLY HERO : Americana, blues, hip-hop original G Love & Special Sauce plays SLO Brew on April 14.

SLO Brew kicks off the week with G Love & Special Sauce, the original Philly back porch crooner, on Thursday, April 14 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $25). Mixing blues, hip-hop, and roots music, G Love & Special Sauce has a sound all their own. The group’s most recent album, 2009’s Long Way Down, was their first released on their own label, Philadelphonic Records, but released only in Australia and New Zealand. You can find it online for about $25.

On Friday, April 15, celebrate tax day by burying your troubles under a heap of micro brewed beer and dangerous rock’n’roll when The Chop Tops headline a show with The Hydramatics and The Sons of KD Elder (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $8 presale or $10 at the door). The Chop Tops are a hard-driving punk, rock-, and psychobilly trio with one foot in the grave and the other on the gas pedal. The Hydramatics are an old-school roots act dripping with authenticity. And The Sons of KD Elder are brash upstarts bent on breaking more strings, more hearts, and more bar glasses than the next 10 bands combined.

If you’re not in jail awaiting trial for selling dope to an undercover agent in Pozo the weekend before, celebrate your freedom to the sounds of SLO Brew’s own 420 party on Wednesday, April 20, with Bare Feet and Public Defendaz (7:30 p.m.; 18-and-older; $5 at the door). These two Central Coast bands will deliver an upbeat evening of reggae and hip-hop.

Songwriters at Play

Steve Key’s series of singer-songwriter showcases continues with a number of intriguing performers.

click to enlarge CHICKEN FRIED GOOD :  New country and western swing act The Swingin’ Doors plays The Porch on April 14. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SWINGIN’ DOORS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SWINGIN’ DOORS
  • CHICKEN FRIED GOOD : New country and western swing act The Swingin’ Doors plays The Porch on April 14.

On Thursday, April 14, be among the first to see a brand new act, The Swingin’ Doors, featuring the always dependable Ted Waterhouse and Ynana Rose (6:30 p.m.; all ages; pass-the-hat). The new Central Coast duo combines classic country, honky-tonk, and western swing music, as well as their own originals. For this first-ever show, they’ll be joined by the terrific fiddler Allan Dick, the amazing pedal steel guitarist Bob Hamilton, and the steady-as-rocks rhythm of standup bassist Fred Murray and drummer Dean Giles.

Local band That Evening Sun will be featured at Sculpterra Winery on Sunday, April 17 (1 p.m.; all ages; pass-the-hat). Featuring Shannon Savage (vocals, guitar), Ben Erchul (bass), Steve Kindel (vocals, bouzouki), Paul Silva (vocals, guitar), and Debra Windsong  (harmonica), expect stunning three-part harmonies.

On Tuesday, April 19, the Steynberg Gallery hosts Bob Dylan-inspired Davis Jones (6:30 p.m.; all ages; $5 at the door). Born in Akron, Ohio, Davis spent his childhood listening to records from his father’s massive collection of rock, soul, and folk. In addition to Dylan, he lists Woody Guthrie, Elliott Smith, and Ben Harper as influences. He’s currently touring in support of Shadows & Gardens, his fifth independent release in seven years.

Finally, mark your calendars for Thursday, April 21, when Jade Jackson plays The Porch. Merle Haggard, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Devil Makes Three, Phil Vassar, and Billy Carrington are a few of the acts she’s opened for, and she recently released her engaging debut, Vintage Heart.

More music …

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Melanie Devaney plays Frog and Peach at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 14. Originally from Iowa, Devaney performs Americana music.

Fun-lovin’ Cali pop rockers Truth About Seafood will reel in fans at Paso’s The Pour House from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16.

HookahStew continues its mini tour with a 9:30 p.m. show at Sweet Springs Saloon on Thursday, April 14 ($5 at the door); a show at Mongo’s on Friday, April 15; and a show at Mr. Rick’s on Saturday, April 16. Their newest, Hits from the Hookah, is a small collection of infectious pop-rock tunes, including “RollerGirl,” which was embraced by roller derby leagues across the country.

SLOFolks is bringing the amazing Portland-based all female folk, bluegrass, and Americana quartet Misty Rivers to town, with a show on Friday, April 15, at Coalesce Bookstore (772-2880), at 7 p.m.; and another show on Saturday, April 16, at Castoro Cellars (238-0725), 7:30 p.m. Be sure to listen to Sonnie Brown’s interview on Song Town on Saturday, April 16, after 2:30 p.m. on KCBX 90.1FM. Tickets, available at the venues, cost $20.

Saturday, April 16, is National Record Store Day, and Malik Miko Thorne from Boo Boo’s wrote to tell about their plans: “It’s a pretty big day for all the indie record stores in SLO country (Cheap Thrills, Vinyl Isle, Aardvark). We have a full day of artists playing, we’re doing free stenciling out front of our shop with special raffles for concert tickets and prizes throughout the day. And did I mention that there are over 200 special releases coming out that day? The biggest thing for me is having Sal Valentino, the front man from the Beau Brummels, doing a set at 5 p.m. With this lining up with [Cal Poly’s] Open House weekend, I think our place will be packed.” The music starts at 11 a.m. and runs until past 9 p.m., with acts like Grand Lake, Ragged Jubilee, Dead Volts, and Red Eye Junction. Support your local record stores!

click to enlarge GROW :  Folk-Americana songstress Gabrielle Louise will appear at Steynberg Gallery on April 16. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GABRIELLE LOUISE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF GABRIELLE LOUISE
  • GROW : Folk-Americana songstress Gabrielle Louise will appear at Steynberg Gallery on April 16.

Folk-Americana songstress Gabrielle Louise and philosopher-sustainability speaker-impresario Chris Garre will appear at Steynberg Gallery on Saturday, April 16 (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $10 presale or $12 at the door). Jody Mulgrew will also play this evening of entertaining, enlightening, and educational fare.

On Sunday, April 17, from noon until dusk in the Cayucos Vets Hall, local musicians are teaming up for “Jammin’ for Japan,” a tsunami relief concert featuring The Hi Beams, Matthias Clark, Stuart Mason & Gary Arcemont, Narrow Bridge with Belladonna, Calinambe, Tropo, Mystery Bros., and Jill Knight. Attendees are asked to either donate to the cause online (donate.worldvision.org) and bring a printout of your donation for admission, or to donate at the door. Make checks out to “WORLDVISION #W10001778.” Worldvision gives 87 percent of what’s collected directly to tsunami victims. Your check is tax deductible. “The other reason for the event is to educate the community on being prepared for natural disasters!” said organizer Robi Duggane. “We will have speakers and literature on how to be ‘pro-active,’ not ‘re-active,’ when it comes to being prepared for earthquakes, tsunami, floods, and fires.”

The tangy nectar that is the Bloody Mary libation takes center stage at Sweet Springs Saloon on Sunday, April 17, during the 28th Annual Bloody Mary Contest (sign-up at noon; contest at 1; $5 raffle at 4:45; awards at 5 p.m.). The Shival Experience provides the afternoon’s tunes.

The Cal Poly Music Department will host the All-State Festival Concert, featuring more than 130 of the state’s best high school musicians, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center. One fun highlight features the Festival Jazz Band performing “Rush” from Cowboy Bebop, a Japanese anime series; “Tri-Bop,” a modern jazz piece combining bebop with pointillist effects; “A Night in Tunisia,” a jazz classic written by Dizzy Gillespie and arranged by one of the greatest big band composers, Sammy Nestico; and “Jack the Knife,” which is based on Kurt Weill’s “Mack the Knife” from his Three Penny Opera. Tickets cost $16 and $19 for the public, $13 and $15 for seniors, and $8 and $11 for students (756-2787).

Crosby Tyler returns to the area with two shows on Sunday, April 17. He’ll play Mr. Rick’s in the afternoon before heading into SLO for a show at Frog and Peach. His blend of back-porch bluegrass with delta blues has been a huge hit with fans. Check him out.

click to enlarge LIFE IS A CABARET :  The delightful Delilah plays Painted Sky Studios on April 17. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DELILAH
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF DELILAH
  • LIFE IS A CABARET : The delightful Delilah plays Painted Sky Studios on April 17.

Delilah is a blast from the past, an entertainer in the mold of Sally Bowles from Cabaret, or Ute Lemper, or Edith Piaf. On Sunday, April 17, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Painted Sky Studios will transform into an American speakeasy, a smoky French café, and an underground German nightclub when the chanteuse known only as Delilah delivers a bawdy, romantic, passionate, and intense show consisting of the music of Piaf, Kurt Weill, Amy Winehouse, Diana Krall, and even Fats Waller. Mark Pietri, Wayne Gamble, and David Norum will provide musical accompaniment. Call 771-8907 for reservations.

On Sunday, April 17, sax and flute virtuoso Gary Foster and fast-rising jazz piano star Joe Bagg join forces as the next attraction at the Famous Jazz Artist Series at the Hamlet in Cambria. Bassist Dylan Johnson and drummer Darrell Voss, along with series co-producers Charlie & Sandi Shoemake, will accompany during two performances: 4 p.m. for $15 and 7:15 for $12. See both shows for $20. Call 927-0567 for reservations.

Hybrid group Ashes to Light plays Frog and Peach on Wednesday, April 20 (10:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). The band just released Shadow of Huma, a six-song EP—the quintet’s debut.

click to enlarge TSST! SHE’S HOT! :  Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will bring their swing and jump blues sounds to Cal Poly’s Spanos Theater on April 21. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LAVAY SMITH
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF LAVAY SMITH
  • TSST! SHE’S HOT! : Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will bring their swing and jump blues sounds to Cal Poly’s Spanos Theater on April 21.

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will bring their swing and jump blues sounds to Cal Poly’s Spanos Theater on Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. The toughest part of this concert will be staying in your seats! Student and adult tickets cost $29 and $36, respectively (756-2787).

Keep up with Glen Starkey via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at Myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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