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What to Know Before You Go


Toots & the Maytals
9 p.m. Tue., Aug. 12
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Reggae legend Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the youngest of seven children, left his gospel roots behind at the tender age of 16, when he moved from his Jamaican hometown to bustling Kingston and formed the vocal group the Flames. By 1963, the trio was renamed the Maytals and went on to cut a series of what would become the most seminal recordings of the nascent sound, working with legendary ska producers Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster and Byron Lee on tracks like the genre-coining "Do the Reggay" and the enduring "Pressure Drop." Over the past 40-odd years, Toots has toured and recorded steadily; the Maytal's latest release, 2007's Light Your Light , was nominated for Best Reggae Album at the 50th annual Grammy Awards. The Louisiana-based hip-hop reggae group Outlaw Nation opens. Tickets $26. — Alison Fensterstock




Instruments Have Come
6 p.m. Sat., Aug. 16
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

Photo by Dino Perrucci High school marching bands put their mouths where the Tipitina's Foundation's money is when they throw down with a free battle of the bands outside the Uptown club. The evening's event celebrates the fruits of the Foundation's annual Instruments A-Comin' labors. Students in New Orleans public school music programs will be presented with a fresh supply of donated instruments. At 8:30 p.m., the party moves indoors for a concert by two bands that feature multiple marching-band alums among their ranks: the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Rebirth Brass Band. Free admission from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for outdoor events. Tickets $10 general admission, $30 V.I.P. for indoor concert. V.I.P. ticket includes private seating and complimentary beer, wine and food. — Fensterstock




El Vez for Prez 2008
9 p.m. Mon., Aug. 18
The Parish at the House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, has been peddling his south-of-the-border-flavored tribute to the King of Rock 'n' Roll for more than a decade. With a towering, glossy pompadour and Rudolph Valentino mini-stache, his sequin-spangled revue — featuring the beehived El Vettes and his backing band the Memphis Mariachis — TCB's (takes care of business) with an activist twist, rewriting Elvis classics ("In the Ghetto" becomes "In El Barrio"; "Suspicious Minds" is reimagined as "Immigration Time") with a pro- la raza conscience. For the topically themed "El Vez for Prez" version of the show, expect the usual multiple costume changes and tongue-in-cheek spectacle, tailored to our politically charged times. He performs with chicana singer/songwriter Lysa Flores and Clockwork Elvis — a local Elvis cover band which views the King through Stanley Kubrick's dystopian lens. Tickets $15. — Fensterstock




Young Jeezy
8 p.m. Wed., Aug. 13
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Jay Jenkins flipped Jay-Z's MC-turned-mogul script. The man who would be Jeezy was already a budding industry exec in 2003, when the success of Come Shop Wit' Me (released on Jenkins' Corporate Thugz imprint) put corner-office ambitions on the backburner in favor of cornering the market on Atlanta's front-and-center rap game. Since his inauspicious breakthrough, Jeezy has done just that: via Bad Boy collaboration Boyz N Da Hood , whose eponymous 2005 debut reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200, and solo, where he parlayed a drowsy, Southern growl into one of the most distinctive — and heavily branded — flows in hip-hop. (If you ever wanted to see Jeezy punch Lil Jon in the mouth, the video game Def Jam: Icon makes it possible for $59.95.) It's not all cash and flash, however. In December 2007, Corporate Thugz Entertainment launched Toyz N Da Hood, a planned annual charity drive in which Jeezy and co. gave 1,000 toys to 1,000 kids throughout Atlanta and Macon, Ga. Can we go ahead and call him the gift rapper? Tickets $30. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

click to enlarge DINO PERRUCCI
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