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Nickell's picksConcerts and Clubs

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Reggae music is all about celebrating life, peace and unity. This Friday's "Brooklyn to Kingston II" DJ dance party is all about that. But it's also about commemorating a life cut brutally short.

The event, which features reggae, dancehall, roots and hip-hop dance mixing by three of Missoula's best-known DJs, will serve as a tribute to DJ Millhouse, a one-time local DJ who spent the past five years tearing up the club scene in San Francisco. DJ Millhouse, whose real name was Greg Miller, was found dead in his apartment in San Francisco last month, the apparent victim of a botched robbery turned homicide. He was 32.

"Greg Miller made everyone that knew him a better person," says Brent Palin, aka DJ Lien, one of the DJs who will perform at this weekend's event. "He loved the life he lived and lived the life he loved. His positivity, intelligence and good nature rubbed off on those around him, and for that reason people loved being around him. … This party is exactly how he would want us to celebrate his life."

The last time DJ Millhouse was in Missoula, he performed as part of the first Brooklyn to Kingston party last May. That event was one of the biggest DJ dance parties of the spring.

This Friday's gig promises more of the same, with sets by DJs Timi Irie, Lien and Tobin. Between them, the three have more than a decade of experience DJing in the local scene. Timi Irie in particular has become something of a reggae turntable specialist, and has opened up shows for reggae giants Clinton Fearon and Burning Spear. Tobin was one of Missoula's earliest leaders in the modern DJ craze, spinning records in town from 1994 until 2002, when he moved to Japan. He's back in town briefly, so this show is a now-rare chance to hear him perform. Lien likewise has been a fixture of the local scene since the late 90s, performing at events such as the Barnburner, the first "Brooklyn to Kingston" party, and other one-off throw-downs.

The party gets going at 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, at the Red Room (downstairs at the Wilma Building).

SWEET PATH TO NOLA: The NOLA Project is a band named for New Orleans, La.; and despite the fact that the group is based in Missoula, its roots are legit. That's because two of its members - drummer Damon Metzner, and guitarist Nate Weidenhaft - hail from the Crescent City, where they cut their teeth playing the funk and jazz music for which that city is justly famous.

These days, the two musicians are best-known in the local scene as members (or, in Weidenhaft's case, former member) of Signal Path, a nationally recognized experimental jam band based in Missoula. But fans of that band shouldn't expect to hear anything like the music of Signal Path when the NOLA Project takes the stage this Friday.

"This is New Orleans funk music, plain and simple," says Metzner. "We're basically a cover band, playing the music of the city."

The band also features keyboardist Zach Aldrich and bassist Tal Slaughter. Slaughter is similarly well-known in Missoula for his other band - local funk/soul act Sweet Low Down and the Zoo City Players.

Needless to say, the funk flows freely whenever these guys get together, as they will this Friday, Dec. 16, for an event dubbed the Snow Ball. The party, which takes place at the Other Side, will feature a performance by Fulcrum Theory (a side project of local band Miller Creek), alcohol-laden snowcones, costume contests, and a "Santa's Sexiest Helper" contest. Admission is $7 ($9 for anyone 18-20), with $1 off with donation of a non-perishable food item at the door.

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