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Ryan’s FORECAST

by Ryan Snyder

Get down with James Brown

It’s been about three-and-a-half years since James Brown passed on to do his great gig in the sky, but his ground-breaking music will of course live on in perpetuity. Finally, the vacuum in funk music that was created in his absence is beginning to be filled with more and more bands picking up and playing not only his best work, but the Bsides along with it. You can check out one of those bands at Greene Street Club on Saturday as the Soul Brothers (www. myspace.com/thesoulbrothersband) take on the best that the Godfather of Soul had to offer. Led by vocalist Jeremy Johnson, this seven-piece funk outfit includes a dynamic rhythm section along with a searing brass compliment that throws out some honest-to-God renditions of hits like “Sex Machine,” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Feel Good.” Johnson channels Brown as well as anyone possibly could with his gritty articulation and commanding stage presence. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show should begin an hour later. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 the day of the show, though an advance ticket will also allow you to avoid waiting in line.

Killa Beez on the swarm at N Club

With more than 60 collective and solo albums to their credit, there’s hardly a more influential group of artists in all of rap music than the Wu Tang Clan (www.wutang-corp.com). That influence will be on display this Friday as the group brings their Shaolin styles to the stage at Greensboro’s N Club. From their dynamic introduction with Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) to their fourth release Iron Flag, Wu Tang was originally a nine-man unit with several frequent collaborators. Since the untimely death of the wildly erratic Ol’ Dirty Bastard from a drug overdose in 2004, the Wu has only released one album as a group — 8

Diagrams in 2007 —and tours with varying lineups of regular members and their affiliates.Seven of the remaining eight members have been confirmed to have madeappearances on the current tour, as Method Man is absent due to his ownperformance dates. However, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, RZA, GZA,U-God, Raekwon and Masta Killa are all expected to perform in additionto rapper Cappadonna, who frequents the Wu Tang’s performances. Theshow starts at 8 p.m. and general admission tickets are $40. Standingroom-only VIP tickets are also available at $50.

Put on your partici-pants and head to the Local 506

They’re also on a mission from God. Christian folk-comedy duo Jerimiah Smallwood and Gideon Lamb, otherwise known as God’s Pottery (www.myspace.com/godspottery), gained a nice chunk of national notoriety as they finished second on the most recent season of Last Comic Standing. Their endearing commitment to their religious message is second only to their hysterical na’vet’, which I guess just makes them so darn appealing. Whether their act is a total put-on—going far over the top in their mannerisms and message — or if they are actually a cunning pair of true believers using faux pretense to deliver a heartfelt Christian message is certainly up for debate. One thing is for certain: The two comedians never, ever break character, which has led many to believe that the latter may be the God’s honest truth. You’ll have the opportunity to form your own opinion on the matter, as they’ll be performing at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill on Thursday, January 15. Doors for the event open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

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