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Renowned bassist Les Claypool plays Madonna Inn on

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Les Claypool is a force of nature, a master of alt-metal, funk metal, and prog-rock. When he formed Primus in 1984, their sound was a revelation. I also recently discovered he once tried out for Metallica after the death of their bassist Cliff Burton. He didn’t get the job because frontman James Hatfield thought he was “too good.”

After Primus, Claypool had a number of almost-bands like Sausage, Holy Mackerel with Charlie Hunter and Henry Rollins appearing on the record, and Oysterhead with Trey Anastasio of Phish and Stewart Copeland of the Police. In 2000, he formed The Frog Brigade that’s now known as Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, which is coming to Madonna Inn on their Summer of Green Tour 2023 next Thursday, July 13 ($49 general or $199 VIP at goodmedicinepresents.com), courtesy of Numbskull, Good Medicine, and (((folkYEAH!))).

click to enlarge BEYOND PRIMUS Numbskull, Good Medicine, and (((folkYEAH!))) have teamed up to bring you Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade to the Madonna Inn on July 13. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LES CLAYPOOL

  • Photo Courtesy Of Les Claypool
  • BEYOND PRIMUS Numbskull, Good Medicine, and (((folkYEAH!))) have teamed up to bring you Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade to the Madonna Inn on July 13.

Frog was originally Thunder Brigade, but Claypool softened the name in a nod to the jumping frog of Calaveras County popularized by Mark Twain.

“I said, ‘I’m gonna gather some of my favorite musicians together and hit the road,'” he explained in press materials. “I bought this little Airstream and packed these guys into this motorhome and started driving up and down the coast playing bars. That was the original Frog Brigade—Skerik, Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, Todd Huth from Sausage, and then Eenor, who I found on Craigslist. We just had a blast.”

Claypool is absolutely the most animated bassist I’ve ever witnessed, and this show promises to be inventive and weird.

“There is a pretty rich catalog of material there so there will definitely be stuff from my entire career,” Claypool added. “It won’t just be the Frog Brigade era, but the big element of the Frog Brigade is gonna be playing Animals. But this time we’re doing it with just one guitar and with five marimbas and saxophones so this will be a new interpretation, obviously—a different interpretation with Sean in there. There might be a Delirium song. There are a lot of popsicle sticks on the table to build some things with.”

Moon Duo opens.

Flannel 101 returns to The Siren on Friday, July 7 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $15 at tixr.com), with covers of all your favorite ’90s hits. Hear covers from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Sublime, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, No Doubt, 311, Oasis, Stone Temple Pilots, The Offspring, Rage Against the Machine, Blink 182, Alanis Morisette, Fiona Apple, The Breeders, Veruca Salt, and more!

click to enlarge AFTERNOON DELIGHT The Sherita Perez Band plays a free afternoon concert at The Siren on July 8. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SHERITA PEREZ

  • Photo Courtesy Of Sherita Perez
  • AFTERNOON DELIGHT The Sherita Perez Band plays a free afternoon concert at The Siren on July 8.

On Saturday, July 8, kick off your afternoon with a free concert by the Sherita Perez Band (2:30 p.m.; 21-and-older). According to her bio, “Sherita is an excessive compulsive songwriter that draws her songs from authentic experiences with a heart-felt sound that draws listeners into the moment.” I checked out a couple of online videos, and she’s got an amazing voice. Later that same day, Surfeza brings their beachy rock sounds (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; free).

Original rocker Easton Everett plays this Sunday, July 9 (2 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). He’s a really talented songwriter with an emotive voice exploring the rock, folk, jazz, and world beat genres. He’s currently collaborating on new records with award winning artists Phil Jones from Tom Petty who is drumming and producing and Elliott Easton from the Cars who is playing lead guitar.

I think of Phish as the group that took over the mantle for The Grateful Dead as the go-to jam band, the kind of band you could follow around and feel like every concert was different because they were so good at improvisation or feel like every concert was the same because, for some of us, the songs just bleed into each other.

click to enlarge PHISHY SLO Brew Rock presents The Great Divide: A Tribute to Phish on July 8. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GREAT DIVIDE

  • Photo Courtesy Of The Great Divide
  • PHISHY SLO Brew Rock presents The Great Divide: A Tribute to Phish on July 8.

There are a lot of Dead cover bands, but I didn’t realize there were also a lot of Phish cover bands: Chum, Kings of Prussia, The Lizards. This Saturday, July 8, SLO Brew Rock hosts The Great Divide: A Tribute to Phish (doors at 7 p.m.; 18-and-older; $12 at ticketweb.com).

Expect two sets of Phish covers.

The Fremont Theater has two pretty sweet shows lined up this week starting with award-winning Hawaiian reggae act The Green on Friday, July 7 (7 p.m.; all ages; $28 at seetickets.us).

click to enlarge DANK Good Vibez hosts Hawaiian band The Green at the Fremont Theater on July 7. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOD VIBEZ

  • Photo Courtesy Of Good Vibez
  • DANK Good Vibez hosts Hawaiian band The Green at the Fremont Theater on July 7.

“Since forming on O’ahu, Hawai’i, in 2009, The Green has become one of the most successful and beloved bands in the reggae genre,” according to their bio. “During their 10-year run, they’ve won a plethora of awards, locally and nationally. The band has been awarded a Best Reggae Album nod from iTunes, multiple Na Hoku Hanohano awards, and nominations in their native Hawai’i and three No. 1 Billboard Reggae chart debuts, along with charting on the Billboard Top 200.”

Cas Haley and Etana will open the show.

click to enlarge TWIST AND SHOUT See The English Beat at the Fremont Theater on July 11, courtesy if Good Vibez. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOD VIBEZ

  • Photo Courtesy Of Good Vibez
  • TWIST AND SHOUT See The English Beat at the Fremont Theater on July 11, courtesy if Good Vibez.

Also this week at the Fremont, see late-’70s and ’80s New Wave, two-tone ska act The English Beat on Tuesday, July 11 (9 p.m.; all ages; $26 at seetickets.us). Dave Wakeling still fronts the band and sounds as good as ever, and their catalog of hits runs deep!

When I checked at the beginning of the week, there were still about 30 or so tickets left for Neil Young, who plays Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Saturday, July 8 (8 p.m.; $94.50 to $304 at vinaroblesamphitheatre.com), with opener Chris Pierce.

The venue is expecting the show to sell out, but if you act fast, maybe you’ll manage to squeak in. I heard he wasn’t playing much of his old stuff, but I looked up a recent setlist, and it was a pretty good mix of past and present with some Buffalo Springfield covers, some stuff from the Crazy Horse era, and even the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song “Ohio.” He closed the set with “Heart of Gold” and then returned for a two-song encore.

It’s Neil Young, so you know whatever he does is going to be cool as hell.

This Friday, July 7, for Concerts in the Plaza, singer-songwriter and self-taught guitarist Jon Millsap opens with a 5 p.m. set, followed by R&B, funk, and soul headliner IMUA at 6 p.m. The event is free.

click to enlarge COWPOKE Cowboy singer-songwriter Dave Stamey plays the DANA Adobe and Cultural Center on July 8. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE STAMEY

  • Photo Courtesy Of Dave Stamey
  • COWPOKE Cowboy singer-songwriter Dave Stamey plays the DANA Adobe and Cultural Center on July 8.

The DANA Adobe Cultural Center presents cowboy singer-songwriter Dave Stamey this Saturday, July 8 (Gates at 4 p.m., concert at 5:30; all ages; $60 general admission includes dinner at danaadobe.org/dave-stamey-tickets/). Stamey is a prolific and award-winning singer-songwriter whose music is a blend of classic Western cowboy ballads, folk, and country.

Up in the Air plays a Mothers for Peace fundraiser called Moonlight Dance this Saturday, July 8 (6 to 9 p.m.; a minimum $25 donation is requested at mfpmoonlight.eventbrite.com), at Hidden Springs Tree Farm in Atascadero. BYOB.

Guitar aficionados, the SLO Guild Hall is the place to be this Saturday, July 8, when the first of a new monthly swap meet called Guitar Bazaar begins (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; $12.25 at my805tix.com). Próxima Parada guitarist Josh Collins will perform and discuss his guitars, equipment, and career with the audience. There’s a free raffle with admission to win a brand-new Michael Kelly Hybrid 60 Port Transparent Blue with gig bag (valued at $549.98).

“We are creating a new kind of marketplace to sell, buy, and trade used guitars, amps, pedals, and other gear,” organizer Johan Carlisle announced. “Buyers and sellers will enjoy the easy location, the fun and friendly atmosphere, and getting to know our local guitar community.”

The event is sponsored by Carlisle’s new online guitar store based in Cambria called Hybrid Guitar World. Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at [email protected].

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