Next chance to welcome yourself to Laurie's nightmare is August 30. Same dive joint, same dive time (music starts around 10 p.m.).

I don't write this type of recommendation often, so heed my call. There is a band coming to town you can't afford to miss: Weapon of Choice, a politicized funk explosion scheduled to go off at Gibson's Thursday night.

A core member of Trulio Disgracias, the musical collective formed in the late '80s by Fishbone's Norwood Fisher, Weapon of Choice comes loaded for bear with a bandoleer of heavy groove guitar, political rap, reggae, wild horns and funk, funk, funk. It's Sun Ra meets Public Enemy meets Bob Marley meets P-Funk, and the operative message is tune in, get down and wake up.

Weapon of Choice was organized in 1992 by Lonnie Marshall, a black musician from south central Los Angeles who isn't and never was a gangsta rapper. Signed a year later to Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard's label, Loose Groove Records, WOC's debut album is titled Nutmeg Sez Bozo the Town.

Nutmeg, in the octet's lexicon, is a broad term for all things righteous and funky, as well as the name of a fictional character who embodies those qualities. Last week I had a phone experience with Marshall that was half interview, half contrived (but impressive) freestyle rapping. My first question was the obvious one: Where the hell did this Nutmeg thing come from?

"It comes from standin' on nuttin' and startin' from scratch," Marshall rapped. "You could eat my cookies; I'll just make a new batch."
Okay. Could you be more specific?
"Nutmeg music is anything glows. It is whatever whoever wants it to be. In technical terms, it's bringing in all the styles and mixing it up for nuttin's sake. That's the nutmeg spice.

"These are the 19 nutties, and you got to have the spice so you can fit in on black radio, white radio, Chinese radio, everywhere. You got to reach all the people, 'cause this is a dog-greet-dog world at odds trying to get even with itself."
Woof-woof. I could tell I was barking up the wrong tree trying get a more lucid quote from this cat. No matter. Point is, WOC is a funkenstein monster of a band. I caught Marshall's act at an acid-laced New Year's Eve ritual in Anchorage (yes, there is music in Alaska). True to Nutmeg's slogan, it was "the potty to end all potties." This band is a must see. End Notes

Early warning: The deadline for demo-tape applications for a showcase spot at South by Southwest '96 is October 15. Application forms can be obtained by calling 1-512-467-7979, e-mailing or writing SXSW at P.O. Box 4999, Austin, TX 78765. Good luck, kids.

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