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Local Licks

This week we review Shareef Ali & The Radical Folksonomy, Jahlectrik, The Gold Diggers, and Trumpet Solo.

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Jahlectrik, Balance EP. "Balance" is the linchpin of the new EP by local reggae group Jahlectrik, an eight-piece combo that includes East Bay Express employees Kavon Kavoussi (bass) and Justin Harris (drums). Led by singer and guitarist Raja Ilya, the group subscribes to the hypnotic, lightly syncopated, slack-rhythmed, rock-steady or "roots" style that most of us associate with Bob Marley. References to Jah, truth, soldiering, freedom, tropical beaches, and "The Light" abound. (self)

At DNA Lounge (375 11th St., San Francisco) on Sept. 10. 5:30 p.m., $10-$12

Shareef Ali & The Radical Folksonomy, The Once & Future Boyfriend. Shareef Ali's vocals often hover over, or around his rhythm section, rather than matching their pulse exactly. That might be intentional. Or it might be a weird affectation. At any rate, it's a hallmark of his new EP, like the slightly off-tune harmonies with fellow vocalist Jay Thompson, or the cute, funny, frustrated lyrics. (self)

Trumpet Solo, Trumpet Solo. The fast, grinding guitar solos on Trumpet Solo reach a fortissimo in "Eternal Lies," the appropriately titled fourth track. It gives a sense of emotional coherence to an album that often seems inscrutable. Singer-songwriter Reid May addresses relevant issues (the working proletariat, swine flu, demagoguery) but couches his opinions in opaque lyrics. But his voice is terrific. (self)

The Gold Diggers, The Gold Diggers. Certain nostalgia-based trends will never die. No wonder The Gold Diggers have a ready-made fanbase. Frontman Ted O'Connell is flatter, folksier, and twangier than most of his antecedents, but his music is a surprisingly apt genuflection to the 1950s. He's a serviceable rock star, though self-pitying country ballads and drifter music appear to be his specialty. (self)

At La Barca (2036 Lombard St., San Francisco) on Sept. 25. 9 p.m.

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