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Watching Fishbone live used to be like eavesdropping on some strange and cosmic religious ritual--the performers would chuck their instruments to each other across the stage, climb up high on the scaffolding and preach to the crowd with inexorable ska rhythms to which no one could stand still. At the heart of Fishbone's church was Angelo Moore, the charismatic frontman, who has had a spoken-word alter ego, Dr. Madd Vibe, since 1995. The man who once screamed out "U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi--you're just ugly" will perform his poems about racism, social corrosion and family matters at Local 506 on Tuesday, Sept. 26. For more information, call 942-5506.

DiamondDiamondDiamondAt the beginning of Dreamland, Sarah Dessen's fourth young-adult novel, Caitlin O'Koren's older sister Cass runs away on her 16th birthday and refuses to come home. In the family turmoil that ensues, young Caitlin falls in love with just the kind of bad boy parents hate and young girls die for, the mysterious, handsome and dangerous Rogerson Briscoe. Dessen has won three ALA Best Book Awards for Young Adults for her previous books, and Dreamland is sure to gather accolades for its honest, arresting voice and strong characters. The Chapel Hill author will read at Quail Ridge Books (828-1588) on Sept. 24 at 4 p.m., the Bull's Head Bookshop (962-5060) on Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. and at the Regulator Bookshop (286-2700) on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.

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