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Nightlife Highlights 2-04 

Dub is a Weapon
February 7. This band’s title refers, of course, to the power of music for social change. (Remember Bob Marley’s landmark ‘70s concert that brought together violent factions in Jamaica’s race for prime minister?) This progresssive, eight-piece dub coalition is spearheaded by lead guitarist and mixologist Dave Hahn and Jamaican percussion legend Larry McDonald (Gil Scott-Heron, Ernest Ranglin). After just a short time on the New York City music scene, the group has already been hailed as “a sprawling supergroup that combines the spacey atmospherics of dub with the brassy big-band soul of African pop.” (New York Magazine) 9pm.$12. Great Barrington, MA. (413) 528-3394.
www.clubhelsinkiweb.com

Leslie Helpert
February 7. A toast to the ladies! Specifically, the current cadre of singer/songwriters with soul and character. Internationally, they include Norah Jones, Joss Stone, and Beth Orton. Even better, many Valley venues present chanteuses like Emily Curtis, Stefanie Fix, Abby Gardner, and others. The righteous Living Seed space in New Paltz, not just a stage but gallery and Sivananda yoga studio, presents Leslie Helpert, another worldly wise artist with miles on her voice. For an entertaining look at Helper’s inspiration, check out her fun Web site, www.serpentfly.com, and click on “What is a…?” 8pm. $7. New Paltz. (845) 255-8212.
www.thelivingseed.com

First Thirst Winter Fest
February 14. Despite the chill, why not click off the Net and experience some w-interactivity. Those disco jesters Monica’s Kneepads present this indoor/outdoor festival at the rustic Cortina Mountain Resort (formerly Cortina Valley Ski Center). A smaller cousin to Hunter and Windham, Cortina’s size and accessibility make it ideal for alternative winter fun. In addition to music by mk and Wooden, the event also features a burlesque dinner show, dance performance, and full-day passes include snowtubing. Noon. $15. Haines Falls. (845) 532-3854.
www.monicaskneepads.com

ziggy marley/michael franti & Spearhead
February 25. Give thanks to Leah Boss from Upstate Reggae and experience the light of Bob Marley passed through his oldest and best known son, Ziggy, to Michael Franti and his Spearhead torchbearers at this Chance show. Ziggy’s latest CD, Dragonfly (BMG/Tuff Gong), departs from the roots reggae of his musical youth in favor of straight ahead rockers. Franti likes to open shows with the haunting ballad “War” from Marley senior, and Spearhead licks both Ital dub and dancehall styles. 9pm. Poughkeepsie. (845) 471-1966.
www.reggaewoodstock.com

Helen Avakian at Gadaleto’s
February 21. The lovely, charming, and talented Ms. Avakian docks her sloop at the Valley’s premier (only?) American fishhouse and bandstand. You’ll want to “catch” this evening, as the combination of Avakian’s heartfelt repertoire and Gadaleto’s expert kitchen is as sublime as their “Studio Stew.” Both the restaurant and the artist are consistent “Best Of” poll winners, so save us a cold Red Stripe and we’ll meet at the raw bar. 6pm. No cover. New Paltz. (845) 255-1717.
www.helenavakian.com

John Menegon’s Mingustration
February 28. In our cacophonous modern world, it seems we’ve finally caught up with the music of visionary Charles Mingus. Ulster bassist/composer Menegon sees the parallel and presents a forum at The Uptown for Mingus’s intricate compositions. Menegon, bassist for saxman Dewey Redman and others, outdoes himself again with a solid lineup to channel these charts. In addition to Menegon and vocalist Teri Roiger, the band includes Loren Stillman (alto sax), Vince Prudente (trombone), Larry Moses (trumpet), Peter Tomlinson (piano), and Bob Meyer (drums). On the bill are Mingus compositions The Clown (a piece rarely performed, narrated by Mikhail Horowitz), as well as Fables of Faubus, Haitian Fight Song, Duke Ellington’s Sound Of Love (sung by Roiger), plus new compositions by Menegon. 8:30pm. $12. Kingston. (845) 339-8440.
www.johnmenegon.com

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