From the Far East to the far out: Neung Phak keeps the global dance

When one envisions dub music hotbeds, Culver City, Calif. doesn't instantly spring to mind. Yet the Los Angeles suburb evidently has its share of stoners who prefer their jam bands on the irie side. The Culver City Dub Collective sounds like the love child of Sublime and Tommy Guerrero. Its new album, Dos, mixes up-tempo, ska-inflected dub excursions (and even a reggaeton-ish Afro-Cuban number) with jazzy, laid-back grooves. It's a nice change from the usual onslaught of avant-Euro digi dubmasters and King Tubby-influenced traditionalists. Dos is bolstered by guest appearances from Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, and reggae legend Winston Jarrett. Even without the guest contributions, the chance to hear CCDC's brand of original California dub live is reason enough to arrive early to the show on Wednesday, July 11, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $13; call 771-1422 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. Eric K. Arnold

It's gonna be a pan-cultural shindig at the Rickshaw Stop this Thursday, when Bay Area Asian music channelers Neung Phak showcase Thai, Cambodian, and Indonesian interpretations from the seven-piece group's upcoming album. Adding to this globe-trekking stew will be DJs Alan Bishop (of Sun City Girls) and Mark Gergis (aka Porest) from the Sublime Frequencies label, who will be throwing down an international dance party replete with Algerian psych-rai, Sumatran surf, Cambodian freak beat, and Saharan noise rock, accompanied by far-flung videos from the Sub Freq archives. The festivities kick off with Apocalypse Puppet Theater on Thursday, July 12, at the Rickshaw Stop at 9 p.m. Admission is $8-10; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com for more info. Mike Rowell

If not for the group's native Icelandic tongue, one might mistake Benni Hemm Hemm's music for the quirky tapestries of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks or the fractured hillbilly mythos of Will Oldham. The band's sophomore disc, Kajak, projects a rustic feeling lent savor by ramshackle horn arrangements, ringing glockenspiel, and Benedikt H. Hermannsson's pensive, back-porch singing. Kajak's folk-like reverie is shattered by "Ég Bt," which evokes the Velvet Underground facing off with a marching band. Eerie. The mini-orchestra that is Benni Hemm Hemm appears Monday, July 16, at Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $8; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. — Mark Keresman

Sweden's Shout Out Louds are akin to other early '00s bands attempting to revamp early '80s melancholy. The Louds go with a less synthy bent, however, one that focuses on feverish acoustic guitars and peppy drums. One listen to the title track off the group's new EP, Tonight I Have to Leave It, though, andone might think the band has gone too far into its influences. The song is an inverted rewrite of the Cure's "In Between Days," if a delightful one. The two dancey tweaks of "Tonight" that help fill out the track list are the kind of serviceable re-jiggers current indie bands feel obligated to dole out. Better the Shout Out Louds offer a spirited Pogues cover ("Streams of Whiskey") and a churning original ("Don't Get Yourself Involved"), hopeful preludes for the September long player. Shout Out Louds perform on Wednesday, July 18, at the Rickshaw Stop at 9 p.m. Admission is $15; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com for more info. Eric Davidson

 
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