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by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

GET CRUNK AT LIL’ JOHN’S MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL

It’s tempting to turn a space talking about something called Lil’John’s Mountain Music Festival into a printed call-and-response ofWHATs and OKAYs, but the only grills at this one have pigs spinningon top and the only purple drank to be found is made in a bathtub.Starting Thursday in secluded Snow Camp, the annual MemorialDay weekend shin dig takes to the hills for another weekend of hardliquor and easy picking. The mini-MerleFest-without-the-overbearing-classism will be headlined by bluegrass greats old and not soold, JD Crowe & the New South, Dailey & Vincent and the Grascals,but the real fun happens ‘round midnight when the Lil’ John All-Stars take the stage. See the full lineup and schedule at littlejohnsmountainmusic.com. Tickets are $75 for the weekend, though individualday tickets are available as well.

OLD SCHOOL PARTY COURTESY OF THE FIVE FOOTA AND FRIENDS

This Memorial Day, take a moment to remember some otherfallen heroes who have help to shape our country in so many ways:Tupac, Biggie, X1, Left Eye, Big L, Eazy E and every other pioneerof the new school of hip hop and R&B who was taken too soon.Kyle Santillian and ToshaMakia from 102 JAMZ, along with hostSkibo and DJ SK, are taking over the Blind Tiger this Saturday for Red Cup Classics, an evening to call upon a Memorial Day traditionthat you won’t find in any official holiday standards and practices:the rocking out of classic hip hop and R&B. How rocking to a TribeCalled Quest, Nine, Paperboy, etc. became synonymous with thisspecific three-day weekend in May isn’t completely codified, butthinking about Memorial Day weekend as the gateway to summerand its evocation of all jams nostalgic is a good starting point.Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door, and the party startsat 10 p.m.

BEST BEFORE AUG. 25, 1998

There’s not a hint of irony in stocking an R&B ensemble tour withperformers who haven’t had hits since The Miseducation of LaurynHill put ’em on blast and calling it the Fresh Music Tour. No sir. Let’spretend it’s 1996 all over again and Busta Brown has Keith Sweat,Guy and K-Ci & JoJo on medium to heavy rotation. Also ignore thatSWV currently look like they might have had MoKenStef for dinner;these wafts from the past have been cobbled together for said festival,which sounds even less exciting upon remembering that KeithSweat didn’t sing “Pony.” That was Ginuwine, and he’s not even onthis tour. The Fresh Music Festival comes to the Greensboro Coliseumthis Sunday with host Doug E. Fresh on the mic, but not Jody Watleywho only joined the tour for a handful of dates. Tickets range from$29.50 to $75, and the music starts at 7 p.m.

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