Continuing the blitz from Northern-based expats is Boston's Drop, a strangely satisfying brew of electronica, hip-hop, funk and generous helpings of jazz. The music is light, bouncy and buzzy, moving from danceable MC lyricism to mild, almost elevator-music jazz. Each song goes off in its own direction, and you never know where that jazz foundation will spin off. Drop starts its Southern tour in Richmond, hometown of drummer Andrew Laubacher. The group covers a lot of ground this week, playing Café Diem Feb. 2 at 9 p.m., Cabo's Corner Bistro Feb. 4 and 9, at 9 p.m., a benefit concert at Douglas Freeman High School Feb. 5, and two shows at Bogart's Back Room, Feb. 7-8. Drop will be everywhere, so see them and try to figure out where the music will go next. For information, visit www.dropstuff.net.
Smokey Robinson at Virginia State University
Grammy-winning soul crooner Smokey Robinson kicks off Black History Month in Chesterfield County with a free concert Feb. 4. He was recently given the National Medal of Arts award by the president. Robinson has spent the last four decades filling American lives with romance in the form of "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "I Second That Emotion," "Ooo Baby Baby" and many others. His music has never had a problem finding its audience, and the show at 7 p.m. should be no different. Doors open at 5 p.m. 748-1161.
Strike Anywhere at Alley Katz
Reminding us that punk doesn't have to be unpleasant to be good, Strike Anywhere comes to Alley Katz Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. Their music has polish it has tunes, heavy ones. Strike Anywhere's sound hammers away at you, but a rolling guitar backbone and some good vocals keep it from being a blunt assault. It's serious, no doubt, but kind of like being gently mugged. Which can be a good time if you want it to be. Strike Anywhere plays with The Unseen, The Loved Ones and Pink Razors. Tickets are $7. www.alleykatzrva.com.
SlowEducation.com Show at Alley Katz
An art show, a music show and jazz by DJ Cousin Larry Appleton: The artzine Web site and music organizer SlowEducation.com is creating a First Friday ArtDance to complement the gallery stroll over on Broad Street. Thirty artists will display their goods, their jewelry, their paintings and what-all else Feb. 4. Onstage, the music will be provided by Harm Stryker, Man Speaking Chinese, The Amoeba Men, DJ Rags, a team-up of DJ Krames and Bobby LaBeat, plus good old Cousin Larry. And copies of "Slow Education Issue One" so you can catch up on what's going on before "Issue Two" comes out. The show starts at 9 p.m., the music at 10 p.m. $5 cover. www.alleykatzrva.com or www.sloweducation.com.
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