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Critic's Choice

Bad Brains -- rechristened in the late '90s as Soul Brains to reflect a more positive vibe -- has long been one of the most innovative bands to rock the planet. Influencing everyone from the Beastie Boys to Mos Def, the band burst out of the D.C. punk scene in the late '70s, mesmerizing audiences with a potent mix of lightning-fast hardcore and reggae-driven tributes to Jah. This heady brew of spiritual anarchy proved too much for some clubowners, who banned the band from their premises: The situation was immortalized on the classic "Banned in D.C." Undeterred, the group moved to New York, grew dreads and made history. Now in their third decade, and eleven full-length records deep (excluding EPs and compilations), the Brains will preview new material from a long-anticipated disc of original material during a one-off show at the Boulder Theater on Thursday, January 30. Over the years, the Brains gospel of Rasta punk has unified everyone from skinheads to Rastafarians. I and I has truly survived.