Covering soul and pop hits has been a standard practice for reggae bands since the musical style first emerged from Jamaica in the late '60s, but NYC-based collective Easy Star All-Stars elevated the custom to a conceptual artform with 2003's Dub Side of the Moon. The radical reinterpretation of the Pink Floyd classic put the group on the map, and helped make them a hugely popular touring act. That reputation only grew with subsequent efforts Radiodread (their album-length tribute to Radiohead's OK Computer) and the Beatles-focused Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band. For their latest, the All-Stars tackle the most popular collection of songs ever: Michael Jackson's Thriller. Reggae fans will doubtless groove to the percolating Afrobeat funk of “Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'” and the simmering, sinister skank of the title track from Easy Star's Thrillah when the outfit comes to Slim's this Friday.
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