MIKEY DREAD Mikey Dread’s career began in Jamaica in the 1970s, with the weekly radio program Dread at the Controls, a show that for the first time focused solely local island musicians rather than imported product. From there, Dread used his fame as a DJ to become an artist in his own right, collaborating with legendary producer Lee Perry, recording his own theme song and following with several singles that reverberated across the country. After quitting the airwaves in 1978, he was hired by the Clash to open the iconic English punk band’s ’79 tour. At that point, Dread became forever linked to the Clash in the minds of Western music aficionados, especially after he produced their massive dub-inflected single “Bankrobber” and sections of the Sandanista! album. Since then, Dread has continued to perform, both back home, in the UK and in the states. His appearance at the Drink on December 28 with openers Trails of Fire affords Ventura reggae fans a chance to catch a living legend in action.
BLONDIE Before Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Hanson, Debbie Harry was pop’s original platinum blonde bombshell. It’s no wonder why the band she fronted, the aptly named Blondie, were the first of the New York punks to score a record contract and break through the mainstream glass ceiling: Harry’s smoldering sexuality and pinup looks stood out in a scene that celebrated ugliness and imperfection. Blondie was also a superb pop group, blending spunky new wave, early hip-hop and — gasp! — disco into a hypnotizing, glittery swirl, made icy-cool by Harry’s coy, breathy voice. Now nearing 60, Harry, who prefers the more mature “Deborah” these days, isn’t exactly the flawless beauty queen of the late 1970s, but she still cuts a powerful figure onstage, and the band — featuring original guitarist Chris Stein, keyboardist Jimmy Destri and drummer Clem Burke — remains sharp as ever. Blondie performs at the Canyon on December 29.
HOLIDAY HAPPENING Oh, it will be a happening. On December 29, the Oxnard Performing Arts Center presents a night of classic doo-wop from the Fifties and Sixties. Headlining the event is Detroit trio the Capitols, best known for their jerk-inducing Top 10 hit “Cool Jerk.” Phil Spector-produced girl group the Crystals, whose string of hits include “He’s a Rebel” and “Da Doo Ron Ron,” will also be in attendance. Rounding out the lineup is the Monotones, a group of guys who originally formed in a Newark, New Jersey housing complex and scored one massive hit in 1958 with “The Book of Love.” Hosted by local radio icon Lee Marshall, this is sure to be a night of immortal oldies for the ages — a happening not to be missed.