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Transcending borders

Tom Morello, revered Rage Against the Machine guitarist, solo artist and activist, doesn't mess around. If the outspoken modern protest music icon speaks up about a particular band, his words carry some weight. And Morello has done just that, repeatedly, concerning New York City's Outernational -- perhaps not surprisingly, a band that bears the mark of Rage Against the Machine's influence proudly.

Seeking to infuse a multicultural musical stew with an urgency, passion and educated philosophical stance largely missing from modern rock, Outernational has just released a new "pay what you think it's worth" mix-tape dubbed "Todos Somos Ilegales," a collection that takes a scathing view of U.S. immigration policies along the Mexican/American border. It's a brash, beautiful and unflinching batch of songs, both musically -- think Rage crossed with the Clash and early, primal Red Hot Chili Peppers -- and lyrically.

This not-to-be-missed band arrives for a gig at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Buffalo's own Wolf Tickets and B-Side Basterds will open. Check Outernational.net to see/hear what all the buzz is about.

-- Jeff Miers