Lyrics Born plays Yoshi’s in San Francisco 

Tsutomu “Tom” Shimura might be known for his unique musical voice, both as Lyrics Born (the moniker under which he plays Yoshi’s in San Francisco this Saturday, presenting a show called Continuum, celebrating James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and other soul greats) and Latyrx, his duo with Lateef The Truthspeaker, which hits Outside Lands this year.

But he’s becoming equally noted for his speaking voice — in 2008, he was hired by the super-hip Cartoon Network as the voiceover announcer for its Friday Night lineup.

Now he’s settled into a role doing bumper spots for “Batman,” “The Secret Saturdays” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” We, of course, highly recommend the Monday night lineup of the neo-psychedelic “Adventure Time” and the insanely brilliant “Regular Show.”

The Berkeley-based Lyrics Born (son of author Takao Shimura) is also the veritable king of collaborations, having teamed up with Kasabian, Morcheeba, Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Jurassic 5 and a host of others.

Ostensibly, this tour is also backing his new 11th album, “As U Were,” but — given his Japanese heritage — it’s also serving a more humanitarian purpose. He’ll be donating 20 percent of all merchandise sales to the American Red Cross’s Tsunami Relief effort, so be sure to snag a T-shirt on the way out.

For Yoshi’s tickets, go to For more on the man himself,

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