THE POWERS THAT BE: Years ago I was faced with a choice: James Brown and Warren Zevon were playing the same night. I chose James Brown because he was getting on up in years, and I figured Zevon would outlive him. I was wrong. Still, I’ve never regretted seeing the Godfather, and you ought to consider my example and see The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald & Ernie Isley at the LVH on March 2 ($74-$96). There are soul legends, and then there are the geniuses who made “Fight the Power” and “It’s Your Thing.” You’re not paying for a concert; you’re paying for a seat facing living history, and you probably won’t be sitting that much anyway. I don’t want to sound ghoulish, but these men are in their 70s. Go see them before they retire. Yes, that’s how we’ll put it.
TOASTED SUNSET: On a night when the Isleys weren’t playing, attending a show by Pato Banton would be pretty much compulsory. And it might still be, at that. Banton, who performs with his band Now Generation at Sunset Station’s Club Madrid on March 2, is to Jamaican ska and reggae as the Isleys are to American funk and soul; he’s a traditionalist who has expanded the boundaries of his genre not by playing fast and loose with them, but by proving dependable within them. He’s performed on albums by the English Beat, UB40 and others and has never been anything more or less than a gifted toaster. It really is a pleasure to watch a specialist such as Banton doing his one thing really, really well. Tickets are $29.
NOW ON SALE: Talk about good luck. Madonna is coming to the MGM Grand on Oct. 13. ($57-$407), and thanks to M.I.A.’s middle finger, I don’t have to explain to young readers who Madonna is. I only need say, “She’s the blond woman who was singing next to the rapper lady who flipped off your mom.”