Chow Nasty could blow the roof off an Animal House as easily as woo the sophisticates at, say, Mighty.

You can learn a lot about a band by seeing how its members react when you spray beer on them. Rock 'n' roll used to be all about such activities, the same way screwball comedies of yore used to be all about keg parties and randomly exposed female genitalia. But many of today's groups (and I can tell you this from firsthand experience) have nothing but glower power to share with those enthusiastic enough to express their love via a shaken and well-aimed bottle of Budweiser. Chow Nasty is no such band. At a recent show at Bottom of the Hill, the trio found itself the worthy recipient of a suds shower. Its reaction? Play louder, more furiously, and try to manage a gulp or two. This is the least you'd expect from three guys whose brand of dance-pants party rock -- we're talking "Wooly Bully" covered by Wesley Willis, then remixed by Fatboy Slim -- could blow the roof off an Animal House as easily as woo the sophisticates at, say, Mighty, which happens to be where Chow Nasty is celebrating the release of its first music video (for the song "Ungawa") this Friday, Jan. 6 (call 762-0151 or visit www.mighty119.com for more info). A testament to the group's wide appeal, this night finds it sharing a bill with hip hop DJ/impresario Peanut Butter Wolf, founder of Stones Throw Records and -- get this -- the just-announced producer of Chow Nasty's full-length debut, to be recorded in February. I'll drink to that. -- Garrett Kamps


Those with even a passing fancy for reggae and dancehall would recognize the golden-throated singer Barrington Levy , whether knowing his name or not. His patented warble -- which almost sounds like a Jamaican yodel -- is an iconic sound that has been swiped by countless artists. His impact on other genres is not to be overlooked either. He has collaborated with contemporary hip hop stars like Snoop Dogg, Shyne, and Handsome Boy Modeling School, and has been sampled like crazy on both hip hop and drum 'n' bass songs. The singer is preparing a new album, so this should be a great chance to hear 30 years of Levy's best alongside some brand-new fire. Check him out as he brings some island flavor to San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. -- Tamara Palmer


Aficionados of house music the world over acknowledge New York's Danny Tenaglia as one of the genre's master DJs; in these circles, the word "Danny" is practically an adjective. In addition to his smooth technique and propensity for marathon sets -- he's not afraid to spin the whole night through -- Tenaglia is known for his workingman ethic and sense of humor. While other DJs aspire to be superstars and groom themselves accordingly, Tenaglia prefers to stay behind the turntables doing the real work. Expect a tightly mixed set of classics and the newest-of-the-new, and a sense of fun throughout. Danny, after all, is the DJ who once brought us a mix CD called Gag Me With a Tune. Check him out on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Ruby Skye; call 593-0777 or go to www.rubyskye.com for more info.-- Tamara Palmer

 
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