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Michael Kuelker

The Architects' new EP "Border Wars" opens with the energy and might of a boxer who’s suddenly on the verge of scoring a spectacular, first-round knockout in a championship fight. And it’s as close to perfect as rock 'n' roll gets for me in 2013.

Flagship 2Tone group the English Beat returns to the Blueberry Hill Duck Room on Wednesday, August 28, promoting a new various artists anthology of English Beat cover songs benefiting Teenage Cancer Trust.  Lead singer and guitarist Dave Wakeling spoke to me recently about the album and the charity, dropping a bit of eclectic English social history along the way.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.

If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.

Now and again in addition to co-hosting the reggae radio program Positive Vibrations on KDHX I do club spins. No chatter, just a lotta platter. Roots, dub, dancehall from '80s to present as long as the music's conscious, or at least thoughtfully sexy and wittily worded, with a couple of shakes of rock steady.

The reggae community suffered an incalculable loss on July 10, 2010, when Sugar Minott died of a heart condition in Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 54. The grief and the outpouring of love and tributes attest to the affection and respect that so many people in the reggae community have for the artist. May his example never be forgotten.

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The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven-man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. "Don't Hide" is full of high-energy jams and groovy improvisations that give the band's music a good-time vibe. Download their…