Irie Summer 

Reggae mountain high in Angels Camp

6/18-6/20

Long considered an also-ran to the older, more established Reggae on the River, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in Angels Camp is a stepchild no more. Now in its eleventh year, Sierra has assembled a super-irie lineup that rivals Reggae's -- and maybe even tops it. You'll want to get there on time for Friday evening's sessions with Femi Kuti and Lynval Thompson, then brave the sun for Saturday performances by Burning Spear, Israel Vibration, Midnite, Don Carlos, and local world beatniks O-Maya and Hamsa Lila. Sunday's finale is the icing on the cake: with sets by Michael Franti and Spearhead, Antibalas' Liberation Afrobeat Orchestra, Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest, and Rocker-T & Poetz 4 Peace. You'll be halfway to Zion, or thereabouts. Actually, you'll be smack dab up against the Calaveras County line, but a bill like that is well worth the drive. After all, there's no better way to officially kick off the summer than an outdoor music festival-- especially one featuring three days' worth of classic roots reggae and world beat rhythms. Tickets $45-$105; camping and RV hookups available; children under 12 admitted free. For more information, call 916-777-5550 or www.snwmf.com

-- Eric K. Arnold

SAT 6/19

Earn It

Or learn it

The blues is something you can't learn in a book or buy at the mall. Perhaps that's why Jeb Brady put together his History of the Blues shows -- because, short of losing your job, your house, and your lover, the only way to get the blues is by listening. Brady's band -- guitarist Gary Bauman, bassist Mike Hammerstrom, Tony Jimeney on percussion, Steve Shuster on horns, and pianist/vocalist Wendy Fitz -- will perform the second in their series June 30 at the Freight, showcasing classic blues, gospel, and Kansas City and electric Chicago blues; they preview the show at Down Home Music, 10341 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, at 2 p.m. this Saturday for free. 510-525-2129. -- Stefanie Kalem

-- Byline

FRI 6/18

Board with It All

dek

Perhaps you've noticed the billboards throughout the East Bay, the ones without the scantily clad hotties or the prominently placed beer container. The "art-boards" are a public protest by Health Through Art to battle the stereotypes presented by regular advertising and media. Some call it "outsider art," but HTA would probably argue that it's more like insider art. Whatever you want to call it, it's a project with a lot of heart, soul, and immediate relevancy. For Life! For Love! , a benefit performance for HTA with hip-hop artist Shadow Caste among other musicians and poets, is this Friday, 8 p.m., at the Oakland Box, Telegraph at 19th Street. For more info, visit HealthThroughArt.org. $10-$100 donation suggested. -- Justine Nicole

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