When you think about it, skanking is one of the most ridiculous things you can do with a human body. You pump your elbows back and forth like a pregnant gorilla running the mile and you hurl your legs out from under you like a drunken cabaret girl on her last fifth of liquor. How does it all look? Like one big dreadful abortion of the hokey-pokey. But skank you must. And skank you will. The Rx Bandits are playing the Marquee Theatre this Friday and they request, nay, require your presence for maximum ska-punk-reggae-funk pleasure fulfillment. These SoCal horn fiends have been tearing up the nation's mosh (skank?) pits since 1997, and take it from a bona fide eyewitness: Their live shows really take the cake. So put on your favorite wooden clogs, chug that fifth, and skank their brazen attacks into submission. -- Matthew Neff
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Canadian rapper k-os works the alternative hip-hop angle like a true believer on his latest and greatest effort, Atlantis: Hymns For Disco. Check the way he brings in Canadian indie icon Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene to add some ethereal vocals to the very Broken Social Scene-esque textures of "Valhalla." And that's BSS' Justin Peroff bashing away at the block-rocking beat. Justin Grainger of Death From Above 1979 also guests on drums, underscoring the soul of "Sunday Morning" with a beat that's all forward momentum. Elsewhere, k-os kicks it old school on "Electrik Heat The Seekwill," rocks the beat to "Jailhouse Rock" on "Equalizer," and recalls those classic early James Brown ballads on the gospel-flavored soul that is "The Rain." The lyrics finds him weighing in with righteous indignation and spiritual fervor on race relations, materialism, alienation and, in the soulfully Cee-Lo-esque "The Rain," the girl who says she loves him but then turns and walks away. Who knows? With any luck, he could be this year's Gnarls Barkley. -- Ed Masley