Let's get Physical; hip-hop you can cuddle

Quannum Projects has always had a helluva ear for dope hip-hop — but with its genre expansion of the last few years, the organization has also shown a breadth of scope that few indie labels can match. Two of its newest signings are testaments to Quannum's uncommon versatility. Tommy Guerrero is, among other things, a native San Franciscan and a world-famous ex-pro skateboarder; for the last few years, he's also been a purveyor of bluesy, laid-back grooves incorporating lo-fi hip-hop beats and smoky Latin motifs. Sleepy, sunkissed, and soulful, Guerrero's 2003 EP Soul Food Taqueria (which dropped on MoÕWax) played out like a lazy, hazy summer afternoon, and drifts away just as stealthily. His upcoming record, Hecho en SF, oughta sound right at home amongst QuannumÕs forward-thinking artists. Working from a similarly diverse palette, Curumin's 2005 release Alchados e Perdidos pushed the boundaries of the labelÕs previously Bay-centric focus to include his own brand of São Paolo soul, seamlessly infusing vintage Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone funk with Brazilian folk rhythms. The two play together on Wednesday, March 29, at Cafe du Nord at 9 p.m. Admission is $10; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com for more info.Larry Mizell Jr.

German duos Booka Shade and M.A.N.D.Y. are set to make their premiere San Francisco appearances this week. TheyÕre cornerstone artists on the roster of BerlinÕs Get Physical, one of the most buzzed-about dance labels in Europe for its collection of bottom-heavy grooves that are light in melody and in spirit. (Booka Shade in particular moonlights as the companyÕs in-house producers and engineers.) These acts cross seamlessly between various electronic scenes (house, techno, breakbeat, broken beat), taking the choicest elements of those myriad genres as their own. Expect nothing less than a full aerobic workout from two gems off a label named for Olivia Newton-JohnÕs pulse-quickening masterpiece. Booka Shade and M.A.N.D.Y. perform Thursday, March 30, at Mighty. Call 762-0151 or visit www.mighty119.com for more info.— Tamara Palmer

Montreal's Kid Koala defies the stereotype of the faceless DJ with an infectious, animated personality. His definition of hip-hop is as the genre's godfathers intended: an uplifting hybrid of disparate sources. DonÕt come expecting to hear top 40 hits here; Koala spins humorous yarns by pasting together words from different songs with rock and rap samples as his audio punchlines. After the success of his 2003 book/CD Nufonia Must Fall, Koala is now working on a new graphic novel (and accompanying soundtrack) about a clarinet-playing mosquito. The cute factor potential sounds infinite on that one. SF native Mike Relm is noted for being a sharp-dressed man at DJ gigs (which he poked fun at by titling his live DVD Suit Yourself). He'll join Koala for a turntable jam on Saturday, April 1, at the Independent at 9 p.m. Admission is $17; call 771-1421 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info.— Tamara Palmer

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