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The Slits

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The Slits perform 8 p.m. Monday, March 10, at Numbers, 300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551. Shellshag, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb, Future Virgins and Sad Pygmy are also on the bill.

Malcolm McLaren, following his success with Sex Pistols — interestingly enough, John Lydon was once married to the mother of Slits frontwoman Ari Up — weaseled his way into the Slits' camp and tried to use the group as a means to hop aboard the disco money machine. Thankfully, the band distanced themselves from McLaren and signed to Island Records, which released their seminal 1979 debut Cut. The album was a sort of refined dub cacophony, steeped in much of the same territory as PiL's Metal Box and propelled by Ari Up's confrontational vocals. Fans of the band's early punk sound were alienated, and remaining fans were challenged by the Slits' second album, Return of the Giant Slits, which furthered the band's explorations of Afrobeat and the outlying dub territories. The Slits formed before they really had any grasp of rudimentary musical techniques, and managed to rise above the din due to dueling impulses toward both musical order and sonic anarchy. They succeeded in becoming a quintessential example of the stabbing greatness that came once punk had met its maker.

 
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