Local Licks 

This week, we review Damn Handsome and the Birthday Suits, Gemini Soul, Mark Hummel collection, and Victor Little.

Damn Handsome and the Birthday Suits, Decapitate the People for the Government. Despite the awkward name, puzzling album title, and amateur artwork, Damn Handsome's music is absolutely worthwhile. The San Francisco trio's four tunes draw deftly from pop-punk and glam rock, like Green Day circa 1995 crossed with Green Day circa 2005. (self-released)

At the Rockit Room (406 Clement St., San Francisco) on May 11. 8 p.m., free

Gemini Soul, Dark Skin Babies: The Movement. It's the band's boldest artistic statement yet, but Gemini Soul may have gone a bit overboard in crafting Dark Skin Babies: The Movement. Two discs of what the band deems "jazz for a new generation" — a smooth, funky hybrid highlighted by Ajamu Akinyele's poppin' bass and rendered with a futuristic, electronic feel — gives listeners too few new ideas in too much space. (Pearl Jazz Recording)

At EON Coffee (24970 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward) on May 10. 1 p.m., free

Various Artists, Still Here and Gone: Mark Hummel's Blues Harmonica Blowouts. If you love harmonica and you love the blues, this is your album. Two discs and two solid hours of various styles and artist personalities should provide more than enough fodder for the blues harmonica fetishist. Culled from fifteen years of Oakland resident Hummel's Blowout concert series, the collection provides a comprehensive overview of this small slice of the musical world. (Electro-Fi Records)

At Yoshi's Oakland (510 Embarcadero West, Oakland) May 8 through May 10. Times and ticket prices vary.

Victor Little, Inner Portrait. Perhaps the last place you'd expect to find the Mars Volta's furiously fast and technical new drummer is on a jazz-funk fusion album, but that's just where El Cerrito prodigy Thomas Pridgen has landed. He's in good company with veteran Bay Area session bassist Victor Little, who more than deserves to be out front with this excellent solo debut. (self-released)


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