When: Sun., Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m. 2012
The Wu-Tang Clan hasn't operated exclusively as a rap group since way back in 1995, when they launched their Wu Wear clothing line. After a decade and a half of acting gigs, books, and deodorant endorsements, the Clan has become an amorphous pop-cultural entity that you're more likely to encounter as an Urban Outfitters T-shirt design or stoner-movie cameo—that is, as a way for consumers to signify an appreciation for hip-hop culture that goes beyond current radio rap—than as a group of musicians. Usually this sort of situation involves a noticeable decline in quality when the pop-cultural entity in question gets around to making music, but most of Wu-Tang's first-string members are still putting out records on par with the ones they released in their 20s—for example, the RZA is in prime beat-making form on "New Day" from Watch the Throne. Their current touring roster is supposed to include the RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface, U-God, Inspectah Deck, and Masta Killa, but the standard Wu-Tang disclaimer applies—don't get your hopes up, because who knows which of them will actually show. —Miles Raymer $25-$100.