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Two giants of the DJing world grace the Cat's Cradle stage with their presence Thursday night. Sometimes referred to as the fourth Beastie Boy after his contributions to the Hello Nasty record and tour, 29-year-old Mixmaster Mike has what them there hip-hop fellas like to call "skills." Mike came to prominence in the early '90s with Q-Bert and the West Coast DJ collective Invisibl Skratch Piklz and won an unprecedented three world scratching championships before politely being asked to retire. Seems the competition was getting a little discouraged. No wonder--as you listen to his new EP Eye of the Cyklops (Asphodel), you get a whiplash of quick-witted, collage-style scratching that sometimes sounds like a mini-history of turntabling in every track.

Also appearing at the Cradle will be Rahzel (pictured below). The most recent record from the self-proclaimed "Godfather of Noyze," Make the Music 2000 (MCA), cements Rahzel's place as one of hip-hop's great innovators. It not only expands his reputation as an astonishing "human turntable," it showcases his considerable skills as a lyricist and rapper as well. Mixmaster Mike, Rahzel and Choclair appear Thursday, April 13, at Cat's Cradle. Call 967-9053 for ticket info. --Gavin O'Hara

DiamondDiamondDiamondSo, you're not going to see KISS when they swing through North Carolina on their farewell tour. Maybe you couldn't get (or couldn't afford) tickets. Maybe you feel that the time is long past for Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter to put up their make-up and flash pots and ride off gracefully into the sunset. But even as you think that, another sensation--the same sort of warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you think of riding in your older cousin's Camaro or playing Spin the Bottle in your best friend's rec room during your first boy-girl party--begins to well up inside you. It's KISS for God's sake; as an American rock 'n' roll icon, they're second only to Elvis. So what if they're all closing in on retirement age? Can you really afford to miss their last shows? Well, actually, yes--especially if you go see KISS Army, playing this Thursday, April 13 at The Cellar. You get make-up; you get blood; you get fire; you get everyone around you waving their hands in the air and shouting it out loud. And, since the KISS tribute bands were still doing the real show even when Gene and Paul were licking it up, you'll probably get a band that knows the songs a helluva lot better than KISS themselves. You'll certainly get all of this at a fraction of the cost of gold circle seats at Walnut Creek. Call 836-9966 for show time and ticket information. --Karen A. Mann

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