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Hit List: Best Music, Art & Culture Mar 15-21

In Clubs, Culture, Music
CUT IT: O.T. Genasis brings his pusherman rap to Pure Lounge. Photo by Jory Lee Cordy.

CUT IT: O.T. Genasis brings his pusherman rap to Pure Lounge. Photo by Jory Lee Cordy.

Them bricks is way to hot, you need to cut it! One might presume that Trevor Paglen took the advice of a certain Long Beach trapper when he conceived of his “Trinity Cube”—a block fashioned out of irradiated glass collected from the post-meltdown Fukashima Exclusion Zone in Japan and Trinitite, the mineral created on July 16, 1945 when the United States exploded the world’s first atomic bomb near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The artist and geologist’s 2010 piece “Time Study” is now on display at The Cantor Arts Center exhibit The Eye in the Sky. Speaking of bricks, O.T. Genasis—the man behind “Coco” and “Cut It”—comes to Pure Lounge this Friday.

The Eye in the Sky
Wed, 11am, Free
Cantor Art Center, Stanford
Artist and geographer Trevor Paglen looks to the past in an effort to define what modern abstract art actually is. An illustrator, sculptor and photographer Paglen is not afraid to stir up the pot. He has photographed predator drones, a secret CIA prison and has created a sculpture made of irradiated glass from Fukushima and Trinitite, a mineral forged during the first U.S. atomic in New Mexico. Paglen’s haunting 2010 piece, Time Study, will be displayed alongside the work of other 19th and 20th century photography pioneers from the Cantor’s collection. (VS)

Rich Ajlouny
Thu, 7pm, $5
San Jose Museum of Art
San Jose-based singer and songwriter Rich Ajlouny knows a thing or two about psychedelia. The multi-instrumentalist and high school English teacher cut his teeth on The Beatles and The Beach Boys—and once taught a class titled “Bach & Roll,” which focused on the intersection of Johann, John, Paul, George and Ringo. Recording and performing solo and with his band, The Tractor Beams, Ajlouny crafts gauzy, baroque pop tunes, like “Everyone Sends Their Love,” reminiscent of late-’60s Kinks, with its lilting bounce, spaced-out vocal textures and hop-skip-jump drum fills. He joins the Afro-Brazilian percussion and dance group, Fogo Na Roupa, and folk strummer Courtney Langlie at SJMA’s ArtRage. (NV)

RBL Posse
Fri, 9pm, $20
BackBar SoFa, San Jose
Formed in 1991 in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood, RBL Posse has been grinding for more than 25 years. Contemporaries of The Luniz, Too $hort and other Bay Area hip-hop legends, RBL scored their biggest hit with the self-released anti-schwag anthem, “Don’t Give Me No Bammer Weed.” The song charted and helped draw attention from Atlantic Records subsidiary Big Beat. Unfortunately, tragedy followed this initial success, when Mr. Cee—one half of RBL—was gunned down in 1996. His partner, Black C, has carried the Posse’s torch ever since, collaborating with the likes of San Quinn and Andre Nickatina. (NV)

O.T. Genasis
Fri, 10pm, $10-$20
Pure Lounge, Sunnyvale
There’s something to be said for keeping things simple. Case in point: O.T. Genasis. The Atlanta-born, Long Beach-bred rapper rose to fame with “Coco,” his 2014 ode to slangin ’caine, which peaked at No. 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and took on a life of its own after the internet piled on with riff after comedic riff on the simple, yet infectious chorus. But O.T. isn’t a joke. He scored his second hit with another stripped-down tutorial on pushing work. “Cut It” climbed to No. 35 on the Hot 100 and is still on semi-regular rotation on KMEL. (VS)

Fragile Waters
Fri, 11am, $6+
San Jose Museum of Art
After almost six years of drought in California, followed by torrential downpours, there is no doubting the power of water. With 117 black and white photographs by three different artists, Fragile Waters celebrates the significance of our most precious resource. Featuring work by the legendary landscape photographer and environmentalist, Ansel Adams, the exhibition will also include Ernest H. Brooks II’s majestic and perplexing underwater photography and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly’s award-winning marsh photos. All three photographers have dedicated their lives to capturing the majesty of our natural world. SJMA hosts a gallery talk Mar. 23. The show runs through Aug. 6. (VS)

The Shitkickers
Sat, 8pm, $13+
The Ritz, San Jose
No one in San Jose knows more about drowning your sorrows in a can of cheap suds than The Shitkickers. Over the course of two decades, this band of beer-swilling rockabilly rabbel-rousers have become something of an institution on the local music scene—and the local dive bar scene, for that matter. For proof, look no further than their excellent 2006 album, Noon’s Moonlight. Born out of the whiskey-soaked imaginations of a metalhead and a punk rocker, The Shitkickers blend the sorrow of Hank Williams, the outlaw country of Hank Williams, Jr., and the fuck-off attitude of Hank Williams III into a potent musical moonshine. (NV)

Panhandlers Union
Sun, 9pm, Free
Caravan Lounge, San Jose
This devilish duo from San Jose is known for their fusion of punk and country tunes into a little something they like to tall “murder folk.” Their debut E.P., Covered In Blood, collects seven covers of punk and metal tunes—such as “American Tune” by Andrew Jackson Jihaad” and “Them” by King Diamond—all charcoal filtered through frontman River Black’s whiskey-and-cigarette croak, which rides uneasy atop the pair’s ramshackle acoustic and banjo arrangements. Appropriately, Panhandlers Union will be celebrating the release of their new collection at The Caravan, where the bourbon and beer flow freely. (VS)

Black Grace
Sun, 2:30pm, $15+
Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
At 19 years old, Neil Ieremia, a New Zealand bank clerk at the time, hit upon a winning multicultural combination when he merged modern dance with South Pacific traditions. Twenty years later this animated amalgamation of Polynesian and contemporary Western dance continues to draw crowds with its power and dynamism. The Black Grace dance company highlights the spiritual nature and ancestral traditions of the Maori, Samoan, and New Zealand cultures through movements both athletic and whimsical, as Ieremia incorporates the indigenous storytelling tradition of “slap dancing”—speaking, singing and clapping hands against bodies—into his choreography. (VS)

Tue, 7pm, $11+
Hammer Theatre, San Jose
Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Theresa Rebeck’s 2011 Broadway comedy, Seminar, has starred both Alan Rickman and Jeff Goldblum. Now the production comes to San Jose. Four aspiring novelists hire an experienced author to conduct a 10-week writing seminar. But the endeavor soon runs off the rails and romance bubbles and tensions flare. Crammed into a cramped New York City apartment, the writing workshop soon turns into an all-out war—with words being the weapon of choice. Ultimately, the young writers must confront their future prospects, both professionally and personally. Play runs through Mar 25. (VS)

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