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Java Jukebox call for justice on “Rise Up”

One defining piece of reggae music is social criticism, a major theme embedded within “Rise Up”, the newest single from Boston-based rocksteady's Java Jukebox. “Rise Up” is an exercise in classic dub form: a bass and drum driven arrangement, arpeggiated horn lines, tape delayed phrases (Rise Up! up...up...up...up), a dancehall breakdown, and of course, social criticism. Singer Samuel Walukouw, rallying in the cool rasp of a Marley, uses “Rise Up” as a call to action, specifically against police brutality; “Put your fist up high in the air, say you’re going to fight this brutality!” The heartfelt commentary and chops behind it all make the music of Java Jukebox truly authentic and unique in the dub-sparse city of Boston. Stream “Rise Up” below, and check out Java Jukebox at Brighton Music Hall on February 2nd. -Charley Ruddell

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The Prefab Messiahs return (again) with “Psychsploitation Today”

Since the initial creation of the garage/psych weirdo collective The Prefab Messiahs in 1981, the band has disbanded and banded again several times, scattering new releases as they came and went. The band’s newest release, the cynical Psychsploitation Today, continues their sonic narrative of the past while highlighting the hysteria of today. The Messiahs are as weird as ever on Psychsploitation, locking into a psych sound of the mid/late 60s when it was hip to be as weird as possible; the whole record is a swirling conglomerate of surf and garage music, chanky tamborine, chorus-drenched harmonies, and a not so subtle nod to the current administration in power (“The Man Who Killed Reality”). Get weird with Psychsploitation Today below. -Charley Ruddell

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Kimbra to open US tour at Paradise Rock Club 1.28

Kimbra is hitting the road this weekend, beginning the first leg of a US tour in support of her upcoming album Primal Heart. The tour’s first show is the Paradise Rock Club, located in the heart of Boston University’s sprawling campus. The indie rock/pop singer, originally from New Zealand, released three singles in support of the new album: “Everybody Knows”, “Top of the World”, and “Human”. Primal Heart is set to release on April 20 through Warner Bros. Records. Check out the singer’s newest video for “Everybody Knows” below, and you can find tickets for the Kimbra at the Paradise here. -Charley Ruddell

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“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” celebrates seventh birthday at Great Scott 1.27

Best known for fab drag performances, rowdy demeanor, and ripping DJs, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Boston’s monthly “Queer party for everyone”, is turning seven years old, marking itself as Boston’s longest running queer party with over eighty-five parties to date. This month’s D.A.D.T is billed at Allston’s Great Scott, and boasts performances by several guest DJs, including Ickarus and Hannah Lou, as well as a “star studded drag show”. For those looking for an exciting night this weekend, think of the official slogan of D.A.D.T- All are welcome who welcome all. Check out the event page here, and some mixes from D.A.D.T resident DJ and host Colby Drasher below. -Charley Ruddell

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Blue Ray goes insane on “GrubHub”

Blue Ray is the frenetic, kooky outlet of musician Johnny Steines, the lone creative mind behind BR’s ninth release, GrubHub. Grubhub is an amalgamation of abstract indie weirdness, a collection of lofi tunes that presumably rattled around in Steines’ brain minutes before being recorded and bounced. It’s part Guided by Voices, part Wire, and part Pavement, exhibiting Steines’ unique relationship with each band's niche, whether it be GBV’s touch-and-go recording approach, Wire’s arty sensibilities, or Pavement’s juvenile hyperactiveness. It’s these types of releases that can reveal raw creative intuition from its creator, where more often than not, the album serves as a real time transcript of the process. GrubHub is both insane and clever, and it deserves a listen or two. Stream it below. -Charley Ruddell   

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