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Quirky lo-fi pop is On the Speakers; the Roots, the Coup, and more show up for the We the Planet Festival

Ever wonder what happened to Creeper Lagoon? I mean the old Creeper Lagoon, the cool local band that got signed and then fawned over by mainstream tastemakers at Rolling Stone, MTV2, and Spin? That group was poised for greatness, but drama sabotaged its nascent success and it broke up. Axeman Sharky held onto the old name, while singer Ian Sefchick moved to LA, got drunk for a few years, and eventually started making waves on the hipster scene with his new band, On the Speakers. Hovering on the poppier banks of the Lagoon, OTS delivers some damn hook-y indie rock that'll get your Chuck Taylors a-tappin'. The band keeps it interesting live, too; at an SF show last Halloween, Sefchick stripped down to a diaper. Expect some antics -- or at least a boatload of lo-fi, catchy tunes -- when On the Speakers plays Friday at Café du Nord; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com.
-- Maya Kroth

Julia Butterfly Hill, who some might remember as the girl who garnered media attention by living in a redwood tree from 1997 to 1999 in order to save it from being chopped down, is hosting a benefit concert, the We the Planet 2004 Festival, for her Circle of Life Foundation. I love trees too, but I hope it isn't too politically incorrect to admit that I'm mainly excited about Ms. Hill's headliners, Philadelphia's beloved live hip hop group the Roots. Few artists can simultaneously court and subvert mainstream music so effectively as this group, a fact evidenced by the band's latest, "Don't Say Nuthin'," a single with an incoherently mumbled chorus. While the Roots' most recent album, The Tipping Point, hasn't made as big of a splash as its title indicated (it has yet to even go gold), the act's appearance at this show will nevertheless have you reaching for your dance pants. Local hip hop combo the Coup is also on the bill, as are Mickey Hart, Joan Baez & Friends, Michelle Shocked & The Waybacks, and Third Eye Blind. Trees get all the love on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland; call (510) 601-9790 or go to www.wetheplanet.org for more info.
-- Tamara Palmer

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