Los Angeles powerhouse Fishbone have perfected a singular sound, one fraught with the deep, syncopated allure of funk, the communicative power of jazz, and the flat-git-it, riff-slinging craziness of straight-up hard rock—and with it, have been supercharging PA’s and packing out dance floors for over 20 years. What began as a George Clinton-inspired garage pipe-dream for a bunch of scruffy kids has grown to a SoCal institution, one that’s also spawned so many colorful alliances and wild offshoots that the kaleidoscopic range of styles is nothing short of dizzying. What holds it all together, though, is the sheer musical ferocity the band excels in, and over the course of several remarkable EPs and singles and some strikingly memorable albums (Give a Monkey a Brain . . . and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe; The Reality of My Surroundings; Fishbone 101—Nuttasaurusmeg Fossil Fuelin’ the Fonkay), the evolution of that sublime, nutt-tastic approach was as steady as their irresistible rhythm-wrangling. Along the way, they kicked down doors for like-minded beat-beasts the Red Hot Chili Peppers, helped defuse the increasing xenophobic strain that hardcore punk meatheads brought to far too many local clubs during the mid-‘80s, and consistently distinguished themselves as a creative force to be reckoned with—so much so that they’ve enjoyed collaborations with everyone from the Chili Peppers, George Clinton, Gwen Stefani, Branford Marsalis and Donny Osmond. Very few groups could attract that disparate stable of admirers, but get one earful, and you’ll definitely understand why. (Jonny Whiteside)
FISHBONE PLAY THE SHOWCASE THEATRE, 683 S. MAIN ST., CORONA, (951) 276-7770; WWW.SHOWCASETHEATRE.COM. FRI., TK. $TK.