Hasn't the world seemed a tad safer since the capture of Tommy Chong? With the dangerous criminal mastermind securely behind bars, we're free from the wave of terror he created with his brutal spree of, um, er, water-pipe sales over the Internet. The fact that Chong, whose name is scribbled in permanent ink on the bathroom wall of public consciousness, is being sent to prison seems like some kind of joke -- except no one's laughing. And just in case Cheech has no immediate plans to rescue his sidekick, a Free Tommy Chong benefit will raise funds toward Chong's legal defense. Possibly offering more fun than one of the notorious twosome's movies, the lineup features the delicious disc work of DJ Mea, whose 2003 mix CD No Shame is a crime to miss. Other freedom fighters on the bill include Christopher Bodenlos, DJs Uplifter and Ivy, and the omnipresent -- and seemingly omni-talented -- Orange Peel Moses. Belly dancing, live music, fashion and, of course, blown-glass pipes will also be part of the scene. Dave's still not here, man, but you might catch him at the benefit this Saturday, January 31, upstairs at the Mercury Cafe.
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