Music » Critics' Picks

Matisyahu

Thursday, March 16, at 8 p.m. The Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard)

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The given name of famed Bible commentator Rashi is Shlomo ben Yitzhak. Famous reggae singer Don Carlos was born Euvin Spencer. Rarely will someone know both of these things. Rarer still is the person who takes cues from both of these men. Yet Matisyahu — born Matthew Miller and often called "a Hasidic human beat-box" — has in two short years converted from novelty act to hot ticket with his spiritually charged blend of hip-hop, dancehall and reggae. Don't be deterred by the now-trademark beard and black hat — while the intermittent religiosity of his lyrics and the devotion of his fans would make any good agnostic wonder, Matisyahu isn't out to proselytize anything other than good music. And he doesn't do bar mitzvahs.

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