OUR PICKS

Kick'd Out Festival, Benson to Rock Your Week

SCOTS, The Expendables, 'Casablanca' at Sun-Ray, Whetherman and Ben Vereen also on tap

Stacey Bennett hosts Kick'd Out Fun(d) event.
Whetherman
The Expendables
Doug Benson
Ben Vereen
Southern Culture on the Skids
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SURE PICK

EQUALITY CONCERT
KICK’D OUT FUN(D)

“When kids of any background are forcibly removed [from their homes], they usually become a negative statistic. When you meet kids and give them the support they need, they’re going to make positive choices.” Musician Stacey Bennett puts her talent behind those words. History teacher by day and Pretty Police State singer by night, Bennett (pictured) has organized an eclectic night of music and art to support JASMYN’s Kicked Out Fund. Known for powerful, thought-provoking folk with a rock tinge, Pretty Police State joins Civil Brute, Meredith Rae Woodard and American Idol contestant Connor Zwetsch, as well as visual artists Jim Smith, Tony Wood and Craig Monroe (whose pieces are raffled), for an event to help LGBT kids who’ve been kicked out of their homes. 6-10 p.m. Feb. 15, Underbelly, Downtown, $10.

COMEDY
DOUG BENSON’S MOVIE INTERRUPTION

Making Sad Keanu funny is the least of Doug Benson’s troubles. As he prepares to interrupt 1991's “classic” "Point Break" on President’s Day (get it?), Benson’s real challenge will be living up to the hype after last year’s Benson Movie Interruption at Sun-Ray Cinema, when he delivered off-the-cuff hilarity during "Robocop" and "Dirty Dancing." Benson makes good (and not-so-good) movies better with his one-liners and pot jokes. Known for pot documentary Super High Me and appearances on Friends and Curb Your Enthusiasm Benson's here just as a "Robocop" remake hits theaters and a Point Break remake is rumored. Knowing that, we can only beg him to use his powers for good, not evil. 4:20 p.m. Feb. 17, Sun-Ray Cinema, 5 Points, $20 (students $15). Benson also appears 8 p.m. Feb. 12 at The Comedy Zone in Mandarin, $20.

ROCKABILLY
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS

Imagine all the accumulated weirdness of ’90s surf and rockabilly mashed up and deep-fried with an all-too-accurate parody on white-trash trailer-park living, and you’ve got Southern Culture on the Skids. "Dig This," the October 2013 rerelease of the band’s breakthrough ’94 album "Ditch Diggin’," highlights guitarist/vocalist Rick Miller’s ability to genre-hop from country to surf to psychedelic with a simple flick of his pick or a stomp on an effects pedal. SCOTS is known for trippy live shows with fried chicken, banana pudding and general oddity. 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at Jack Rabbits, San Marco, $15 in advance.

COASTAL VIBES
THE EXPENDABLES

Reggae and punk will fuse. Guitars will duel. And, no doubt, The Expendables will do some "Ganja Smugglin’" a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. Beyond political statements, the Santa Cruz quartet knows how to get concertgoers waving their hands to the rhythms. The ska veterans have learned from the best, touring the world with influential acts Slightly Stoopid, NoFX, Less Than Jake, Pennywise and Pepper. Doors swing open for a night of reggae, 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at Freebird Live, Jax Beach, $20 in advance.

ROMANCE
CASABLANCA

Here’s looking at you, blokes. Our culture requests (nay, demands!) that the guys plan the perfect Valentine’s date. (Men, feel free to fight this stereotype, but make sure your mate is as forward-thinking as you.) Sun-Ray Cinema's astute owners know many of youse guys just learned Valentine’s Day was upon us while reading this. And so the theater is offering 1942's Oscar-winning, tear-jerking film of love and honor, along with a three-course meal. Tim Massett says it includes the “hummus looking at you” platter (see what he did there?) with Texas caviar and mixed olives. Then, it’s a choice of two signature pizzas, followed by baklava for dessert, along with iced tea, soda or champagne cocktails. 7 p.m. Feb. 14, Sun-Ray Cinema, 5 Points, $30 per person.

FOLK DREAMS
WHETHERMAN

To the cynic, crowdfunding can sound an awful lot like begging. But in some cases, you’re subsidizing a dream. Indie folk project Whetherman, founded by Nicholas Williams, seeks to raise $13,500 to send the trio on its first European tour. Dreaming or begging, you listen and be the judge. Staying aligned with folk’s commitment to social awareness, Whetherman claims fearlessness “through effervescent melodies and earnest vocals.” Funds raised go toward travel and living expenses for the band, plus new merch. The Kickstarter campaign, which began Feb. 10, puts Whetherman on a show circuit in May and June from Germany to Denmark. The shows are booked — the band just needs to get across the pond. Whetherman performs Feb. 15 at Mudville Music Room, St. Nicholas.

JAZZ
BEN VEREEN

After 66 years and at least two knee surgeries, Ben Vereen’s still got moves. (We’re not sure how.) The Tony-winner is best known for performances in Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin and, unfortunately, a thing at Ronald Reagan’s inaugural celebration where he wore blackface. In a Huffington Post interview, Vereen says his intro was cut, and “the country only saw the buffoonery and I suffered.” But the man with the wicked voice and magical moves has more than enough comebacks, most recently in a guest role on (wait for it) "How I Met Your Mother." Vereen joins several local jazz favorites as co-host and headliner of "Jazz on the Bridge," a concert benefiting one of the city’s best children’s services nonprofits. 7-10 p.m. Feb. 15 at FSCJ's Kent Campus, $50 in advance, $75 at the door.

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