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"Bump" offers a reason to get down in downtown; the Blood & Fire Soundsystem makes its Bay Area debut.

In theory, I just love the idea of hanging downtown for a night out, being whisked from one club to the next until the wee hours of dawn. It seems so urban and alluring in all of its tall-building-ness, so much less dirty than, say, sitting next to a row of Porta Pottis while knocking back pitchers of beer at Zeitgeist. Yet the reality of carousing in our beloved Financial District during the late hours is quite bleak, and tends to involve brutal attacks by drunk swarms of vulgar, high-pitched bachelorette party attendees. Azul is a different story, though. The bar boasts some decent DJ talent, as you can hear free of charge at "Bump." There, gifted PixelBiscuit DJs Canyon (normally found spinning at Butter) and Nate Harrison (resident DJ at House of Shields and Wish) lay down "sleazy" electro house, with the occasional smattering of soul and Latin beats. "Bump" happens this and every second Friday of the month; call 362-9750 or visit www.PixelBiscuit.com for more information. -- Brock Keeling


Every second Saturday of the month, the Shadow Lounge hosts "Rhythm Method," a club night that stands as thespot in SOMA for choice dub and drum 'n' bass. Not only do the promoters dig into their treasure chest of talent to uncover a decent lineup of regular DJs, but the live acts they come up with are equally adept. For instance, in order to help them ring in their first year this week, they will bring in Future Prophecies, a drum 'n' bass duo from Norway. What's more, the night will break curfew as it goes after hours, well past nightlife's obnoxious 2 a.m. last call; phone 724-7274 or visit www.shadowloungesf.com for more. -- Brock Keeling


A bong diddley is not something that can be bought at Good Vibrations or a Haight Street head shop. It's Rankin' Joe's sonic trademark, the scat sound he's been firing off at breakneck speed since the mid-'70s. His landmark 1980 LP 'Round the World found the fast-chatting DJ toasting effortlessly over King Tubby and Scientist dubs. U.K. label Blood & Fire, best known for its audiophile virgin vinyl reissues of roots reggae and early dancehall, recently remastered the LP and released it as Zion High with additional tracks from reggae royalty Dennis Brown and Black Uhuru. Catch Joe performing as the Blood & Fire Soundsystem alongside DJ/selector General Lee and label co-founder Steve Barrow (co-author of The Rough Guide to Reggae, an exhaustive 400-page history of Jamaican music). They make their Bay Area debut with DJ Sep of "Dub Mission" and local soundmen Jah Yzer and I-Vier of Jah Warrior Shelter Hi-Fi. Get your bong diddley on at the Elbo Room this Sunday, March 13; call 552-7788 or visit www.dubmissionsf.com for more info.-- Ross Viator

 
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