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Upcoming shows you should check out

STEEL PULSE Friday, October 2, Ziggy’s, 170 W. 9 th St., Winston-Salem, 336.722.5000

In the mid-’80s Steel Pulse’s “Earth Crisis” album was a dorm-room staple. The cover represented the general omnidirectional apocalyptic panic of the Reagan era. The music managed to connote cultural broadmindedness, political conviction, and a readiness to party. Steel Pulse play reggae, right? And isn’t reggae all about uplift and positivity, head-nodding syncopation and weed?

Well, yeah. And that’s partly what made Steel Pulse so digestible and popular. These beaming purveyors of good-time music were sometimes singing about doom and revolution, but it was all couched in a strangely cheery vibe. This was island music, but it was island music of the British Isles. Steel Pulse, from the ethnically diverse and economically downtrodden city of Birmingham, were at the forefront of the emerging British reggae scene. And singer David Hinds had a sweet and soulful voice and one of the most amazing proto-Weeknd vertical dreadlocks that anyone had ever seen. They were never as overtly strident as Burning Spear or Black Uhuru, and Steel Pulse often got lumped in with the reggae-pop of Eddie Grant and Third World, but the band wrote catchy songs about racism and injustice and Rastafarianism. “Earth Crisis” and some of the band’s other records of the era may have gotten shelved for a while — some felt it was all a bit over-polished — but with everyone from Taylor Swift to The War On Drugs raiding the ‘80s production playbook, Steel Pulse sounds pretty ahead of their time now. – John Adamian

BRET MICHAELS

Friday, October 2, Cone Denim Entertainment Center, 117 S. Elm St., Greensboro, 336.378.9646

Few things can even shake a stick at the golden era of rock and roll – gold being more or less a reference to the luscious, flowing locks of the band members who embodied the glam band era – like an artist still singing the hits from the 80s. Such is the case with Bret Michaels, the lead singer of Poison and star of VH1’s reality show Rock of Love. Sure the guy is holding onto his legacy of being a sex icon by serenading the ladies with the same ol’ songs, but is that a problem? Nope, it’s not. Michaels still has the same charisma that helped Poison rise to prominence, and he still has the same sex appeal (albeit to a much more mature generation now) that had ladies fainting during the Reagan era. Ladies, pull out those tight jeans with the sparkles on the butt, throw on that wicker cowboy hat, and grab ya a cold beer to sip while Bret Michaels serenades you with the classics like “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Look What The Cat Dragged In,” and “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn.” Tickets are $25-$60. !

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