The Aggrolites

Like a Dap-Kings for late-'60s reggae with some Meters-style funk thrown in, L.A.'s organ-pumping Aggrolites have been mastering a musical moment for many years longer than that moment actually lasted—namely, the raw and jumpy period of Black Power awakening between rock-steady's last sigh in '68 and the roots deceleration of '71. This is "skinhead reggae" to Trojan Records buyers, named for the Jamaican sound's most fervent U.K. audience at the time. But few if any paleface short-hairs have picked up instruments and made it their own before now, or at any rate reached the obsessive apogee of "The Sufferer," an uncanny tribute to that era's sonics complete with Lynn Taitt-style guitar, and the most persuasive track off the band's beautifully recorded The Aggrolites IV. Formed in 2001 to back ska legend Derrick Morgan in the studio, the former Rhythm Doctors and friends have since collaborated with Prince Buster, the late Phyllis Dillon, and Rancid's Tim Armstrong. If Toots Hibbert's touring band catches the flu, he knows whom to call. For now, here's a great live show for fans of any reggae vintage. 18+.
Sun., June 14, 7 p.m., 2009

 
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