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Ashanti

Whether it’s a celebration of her oldies or a display of her new work off of Braveheart, Ashanti’s show will feature that same honeyed voice we all know and love. The R&B princess’ new sound is reminiscent of her past hits while exploring the new trappy sound omnipresent in today’s R&B/rap/hip-hop hybrids. Her voice cascades in that very familiar and rich manner, a powerful blend of high control and loose flow that feels like a lullaby while grinding like a rap verse. One of pop’s sexiest singers and performers, Ashanti will put on a stunning show and likely cover all the bases we’d expect from the urban soul legend.

Fri., June 27, 11 p.m., 2014

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moe.

Guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey wield the articulate lead-guitar tonguework that has always driven moe.’s unflagging improv-rock invention. Arguably, however, it’s percussionist Jim Laughner’s electric MalletKat vibe/marimba spiel that tethers fans’ attention to this quirky backwater spaceship of a quintet a quarter-century into its game. A genre unto itself, moe. plays cosmic Americana at its finest, and their new No Guts, No Glory shows no sign of surrender.

Wed., May 28, 9:30 p.m., 2014

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Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett+The New Orleans Suspects

Tonight’s three-set Southern-fried fiesta opens with a duo performance by Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett. The New Orleans Suspects – a seriously funky crew drawn from the Radiators, the Neville Brothers, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band – will follow. And combustication should ultimately ensue when the two tribes merge for a finale set of Little Feat and Big Easy showstoppers.

Fri., May 16, 7 p.m., 2014

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Cam’ron

On his 1999 single “Let Me Know,” Cam’ron weirdly rapped over a sample of the Monday Night Football theme. It was the first case of baffling genius in a career that has since seen many bizarrely outstanding moments, ranging from the conceptual novelty of “Oh Boy,” the assonant assholery of Purple Haze, and the TMI-induced pathos of “I.B.S.” to the everyman relatability of “I Hate My Job” and the darkly oneiric artwork of last year’s Ghetto Heaven, Vol 1. Most recently, Killa Cam has taken to wearing a cape around New York, and he’s teamed up with designer Mark McNairy to turn this reprisal of boyhood fantasy into a viable fashion statement. With almost two decades in the game, it’s safe to say that Cam’s still moving the movement. See him leap through his classic material in a single bound at Stage 48. Don’t be late.

Thu., Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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STEP IN THE NAME OF LOVE

With his ’80s and ’90s statutory rape allegations and indictments returning to the news, R. Kelly seems to be ending 2013 in decline. That said, the Chicago crooner’s year took a turn for the worse in late summer back when Jaheim released his own “Age Ain’t a Factor,” the best r&b sex jam in years. The track finds the singer promising to pleasure his aging love, assuring her that, like a fine wine, she’s only getting better with time. The following album, Appreciation Day (I won’t tell you what he appreciates, but you’ll probably guess it on your second try), contains more of the same, as should today’s Stage 48 show.

Sat., Dec. 28, 4 p.m., 2013

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HOLY WATERS

About 15 minutes into Female Trouble, Divine, in all her voluptuous glory, is hurling her mother into a Christmas tree after not getting the cha-cha heels she asked for. Pink Flamingos, Polyester, and Hairspray sound like the makings of one truly demented holiday in South Florida. The logic is simple: John Waters has always had a knack for making a garish show of dysfunctional families, and nothing brings out the dysfunction like Christmas. Tonight, the Pope of Trash takes the stage in A John Waters Christmas, sharing his most twisted holiday traditions, perverted presents, and other twinkling horrors of the season. Sing along to his signature carols like “Here Comes Fatty Claus” and spend the cold winter’s night under a warm, cozy blanket of smut. This is truly the yuletide spectacular we’ve been praying to Satan for.

Fri., Dec. 13, 8 p.m., 2013

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Lloyd Banks

One of the guilty pleasures of the summer of 2004 was the Lloyd Banks crossover-rap ballad “Smile.” The fifth single from the then on-top-of-the-industry G-Unit’s Beg for Mercy album, the song didn’t last long on the charts, but it represented something of a high-water mark for the G-Unit lieutenant, who has never quite fulfilled his potential as a sort of thug-poet alternative to 50 Cent’s Signifyin’ Monkey persona or Tony Yayo’s clownish ex-convict shtick. “Smile,” to this day, remains the perfect Banks track — its smoothed-out beat soft enough to not overpower the quiet gruffness of his voice — a sort of verbal chiaroscuro that was perfect for modern loverman raps. Of course, 50’s incredibly simple hook ends up being the most memorable part of the song, but Banks always seemed content to play second fiddle, so the hidden efficacy of his “Smile” raps is pretty emblematic of his entire career. At least he can rest easily knowing that his two solid Hunger for More albums, in addition to his mixtapes and other semi-official “hood” releases, have kept his name in the mouths of East Coast rap purists who would take good series of punchlines over great songwriting or star power every day of the week.

Sun., Dec. 15, 7 p.m., 2013

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Moistboyz

With Ween done, Mickey Melchiondo has revived longtime outfit Moistboyz, the lewd ‘n’ crude punk bar band he shares with a dude even more brain-fried than Gene Ween. Dickie Moist first teamed with Mickey to hatch the grosstastic Moistboyz in the early 90’s. Bulging with Dickie’s Iggy-cum-Gibby Haynes histrionics, he may be rock’s best and most volatile punk frontman you’ve never heard of. On the new hook-dripping 5, Dickie gets all un-PC on your ass, hurling tasteless cracks, cuss filled tirades, and women-hating exploits while Mickey lets loose on the boogie ‘n’ chug shreddage. Forget Ween: Moistboyz prove one fuckin’ offensive, beer-guzzling, sex-stained good ol’ time.

Sat., Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., 2013

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Mobb Deep

Pinning down Mobb Deep has never been an easy task, since their oeuvre ranges from sex brags like “Hit It From the Back” to odes to romantic concession like “Hey Luv (Anything),” which ended up being their biggest mainstream hit thanks to some soppy harmonies by r&b crooners 112. But of course, the Queensbridge dunnies’ bread and butter has always been thuggish admonishments like “Shook Ones, Pt. II” and “Quiet Storm”—not to overlook the best track to come out of the group, Prodigy’s solo cut “Keep It Thoro.” Tonight, they celebrate 20 years of what they hope is infamy. With Joe “Pump It Up” Budden.

Wed., July 17, 8 p.m., 2013

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LOVIN’ IT

Soundtracking everything from Snooki & JWoww’s Jersey escapades to the scene in Girls where Hannah puts on fishnet and flails around a city club, Icona Pop’s “I Love It” came out of nowhere—or more precisely, Sweden—to become one of the biggest dance songs of 2012, bursting with aggressive energy and IDGAF attitude. The duo behind the music, meanwhile, has parlayed its success into an opening slot on Passion Pit’s recent stadium tour, performances on Dancing With the Stars and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and tonight’s show at Stage 48, where radio station WKTU builds anticipation for its annual summer bash. Just don’t wear any fishnets. With Krewella, the Disco Fries, and Nikki Williams.

Thu., May 16, 7 p.m., 2013