Valentine’s Day. What a miraculous consumerist debacle of a holiday, eh? Beyond the swooning Barry White-fest that Friday will likely bring about, this weekend marks an important statement of peace being made by concerned local citizens. As a post-rally treat, politically charged hip hop duo the Coup are coming to Bar Absinthe, located at 500 Anacapa St., this Saturday night.

1. Ever hear about that group, whose album came out before Sept. 11 with the album cover depicting the World Trade Center towers being detonated? While not their immediate claim to fame, the Coup’s “Party Music” stirred debate… and maybe even got some crazy right-wing conspiracy theories started.

2. The mastermind of the duo, Boots Riley, labels himself a radical communist/socialist. His father was a lawyer for the Black Panther Party. Boots is a prominent political activist in Northern California and beyond, having ties to countless leftist organizations and movements. And one of his main influences is Prince. ‘Nuff said.

3. Pam the Funkstress is one of the most empowered women in hip hop – period. She was literally plucked from the grips of other hip hoppers back in the early’90s before becoming the Coup’s permanent DJ.

4. The group’s four main releases, while slow to gain commercial success, have become political hip hop fixtures. The members’ latest endeavor, a re-release of their classic Steal This Album, features a second disc full of raucous live material. I guarantee you this upcoming show will kick its ass. But steal – I mean – buy the album anyway.

5. At a time when dissent is a crucial aspect of democracy, the Coup brings you alternative views to mull over, all while sipping from that frosty mug. The performance is meant to coincide with Santa Barbara’s peace demonstration being held downtown Saturday. After marching, chanting and generally making as many Bush jokes as possible, they remind you that entertainment can be enlightening as well.

6. The Coup will be joined by Santa Barbara locals the Limbz, who apparently have “the freshest turntablist” in the county. Who knows? Maybe he and Pam will battle. Also included on the bill is an interactive showcase featuring video-audio mixing by Brian O’Reilly and DJ Chef Santo, DJs Bizzy Dee and Slymer, and graffiti-art by Alias Chozn and Adam Mars.