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Black days and white rites

Reverb

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Granted, 50 shades of grey may now be the norm, but every once in a while, things will turn black and white. And that'll definitely be the case on Friday, Dec. 5, as the Black Sheep celebrates A Black Day's new EP release, while Zodiac holds its White Riot: A Winter White Party.

On the ABD side, "We're proud to be finishing up the new tracks," says Jayoin, who — along with fellow emcees Milogic, Hott and Kevin Mitchell — released a full-length album back in March. "We feed off each other's energy in the studio, and the live show has taken leaps forward. We are moving in a good direction, and the journey is a blast. I'd face the walking dead with my ABD brothers."

In addition to celebrating the new EP, The Dark Side of Paradise, the show will serve double-duty as a toy drive for the Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots, which is only appropriate since three of ABD's four emcees are ex-military.

"This is important to us, because the community has given so much to us, as a group and as individuals," says Mitchell. "On a personal note, about a year ago my family and I were victims of an apartment fire caused by an upstairs neighbor. We lost almost everything, and it was a heavy time for us. But this beautiful community of people never let us fall, and because of them, we were back on our feet very quickly. I love this community and it will always be in my heart."

In addition to a headlining set from A Black Day, the all-ages show will include performances by the Robby Wicks Band, Grim & Darling, Clydesdale Entertainment, Stoney Bertz, and Emily Strange. Hosting duties will be handled by 98.9 FM's Cliff Cage, aka Grey Sinatra.

The following evening, Dec. 6, Toys for Tots will be marching down to Sunshine Studios for another fundraiser. This one features Alien Ant Farm, who scored a No. 1 modern rock hit back in 2001 with their rendition of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." Their cover version was also included in American Pie 2 during the scene where Jason Biggs glues his hand to his nether regions. (You can watch the clip on YouTube, although I don't know why you'd want to.) L.A.'s Stars in Stereo open.

Whichever of the two shows you go to, don't forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy to get $5 off admission.

We also promised a white riot at Zodiac and, no, The Clash will not be there, but the very talented New Vintage Jazz combo will. Arguably the only band to cover both Thelonious Monk and Soft Cell, they'll be entertaining a club full of attractive people all decked out in entirely white attire. It will sound good, look good, and take place, as mentioned at the start of all this, on Friday, Dec. 5.

Fading back to black one last time, this week's Black Friday celebration will be more than just an annual exercise during which Walmart shoppers trample each other for toaster ovens. It'll also be an occasion for a post-Thanksgiving Record Store Day celebration in which vinyl collectors in cardigan sweaters and Neutral Milk Hotel T-shirts trample each other for exclusive 12-inch singles and picture discs from the likes of Conor Oberst, Johnny Thunders and — as always — The Flaming Lips.

My personal pick this time around would be Wu Tang Clan's C.R.E.A.M (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) 10-inch picture disc on ninja-star-shaped gold vinyl.

You can find all the releases, along with where to buy them, at recordstoreday.com.

Send news, photos and music to reverb@csindy.com; follow our updates at tinyurl.com/indyreverb.

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