Wednesday, April 29, 2009

May 2-5: Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Alcohol-free, family-friendly Cinco de Mayo celebrations take over this weekend! In San Rafael, the Canal Alliance sponsors Unity in our Community with juggling, soccer, a poetry slam and Aztec dancers; performing are hip hop artists Bay S.L.A.M., Stay True Crew, Bajo Zero, Jtrio Juvenil, PHAME, Bang’M Out, Bib Papa Callejero and more on Saturday, May 3, at 91 Larkspur St., San Rafael (1-7pm; free; 415.454.2640). In Calistoga, the Napa Valley Cinco de Mayo kicks off with a noon parade through downtown Calistoga which ends at the fairgrounds with mariachis, live bands and dancers at 1435 N. Oak St., Calistoga (12pm; parade free, festival $5; 707.942.6333). In Santa Rosa, the massive Roseland Cinco de Mayo festival boasts lowrider cars, taco trucks galore, salsa contests, tons of food booths and two stages of live music from latin rock groups, mariachis, young hip-hop artists and the annual breakdance battle on Tuesday, May 5, at 650 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa (4pm-10pm; free; 707.529.8651).Gabe Meline
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May 3: CANCELLED - Pete Rock, Talib Kweli, Paris and more at the Mystic Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:40 AM

THIS SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED

This Sunday, no true hip-hop head should be caught anywhere but at the Hard Truth Soldiers Tour, featuring Paris, Talib Kweli, Pete Rock, Planet Asia, Conscious Daughters, T-K.A.S.H. and more. Bringing together heavyweights and newcomers alike from the independent hip-hop scene, the lineup is headed for a month-and-a-half trek around the country together to spread the testimony of social justice and street poetry. Talib Kweli’s been around these parts before, as has Paris, but those in the know must allow some excitement over Pete Rock. With his back-in-the-day pal CL Smooth, Rock not only produced two albums of early ’90s boom-bap perfection but helmed one of rap music’s all-time greatest tracks, “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” driven by an addictive Tom Scott saxophone sample. He’s made beats for B.I.G., Nas, Ghostface, Public Enemy and Mary J. Blige, with a handful of masterful crate-digging solo records released in recent years. Join him and the rest of the Hard Truth Soldiers on Sunday, May 3, at the Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 8:30pm. $30-$35. 707.765.2121.Gabe Meline

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May 1: Adam Theis and the Realistic Orchestra at the Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:34 AM

With one completely sold-out two-hour performance of his hip-hop symphony Brass, Bows and Beats earlier this month in San Francisco, Adam Theis went immediately from a local nightclub treasure to a major jazz talent overnight. While critics and fans stumbled over themselves searching for comparisons (Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ Live at Carnegie Hall? Charles Mingus’ Epitaph?), Theis returned home to his Mission District apartment, pulled out some chart paper, and started poring over some Stevie Wonder arrangements. Once a year, Theis leads his Realistic Orchestra in a birthday tribute to Wonder, and he returns home to Sonoma County this weekend to blast through hip-hop infused versions of “Sir Duke” and “Superstition” at the Hopmonk Tavern. How he’ll fit the 20-member ensemble on the stage is anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure: the band is in top form, and Joe Bagale—who brought the house down in San Francisco with his desperate “Love Cry”—will whip the dancefloor into a frenzy with songs in the key of life on Friday, May 1, at the Hopmonk Tavern, 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9:30pm. $10-$15. 707.829.7300.Gabe Meline
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April 30: Mariza at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:31 AM

“This is the music they make love to in Portugal,” I said. “It’s called fado.” My friends stared at me. Had I really just proclaimed something so corny, they thought? Yet I had put on an Amalia Rodriguez record, and as soon as the first heart-wringing, pining ode finished oozing out of the speakers, they completely understood. Fado is the Portuguese version of James Brown collapsing to his knees, pleading “Please, Please, Please”; It’s Lucinda Williams tracing an ex-lovers scent in “Fruits of my Labor”; It’s Maria Callas despairing through Ebben? Ne andró lontana. No living fado singer can ever fill the shoes of Amalia Rodriguez, who died in 1999, but the feet of the Mozambique-born Mariza are growing into an acceptable fit. Mariza has toured worldwide with an affecting poignancy in her singing that’s helped sell hundreds of thousands of albums and, more importantly, kept fado alive and well across the world. Awe is the common response to her live appearances; she pours her heart out on Thursday, April 30, at the Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $45. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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April 30: David Copperfield at the Marin Center

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:28 AM

A lipstick stain, a malignant tumor, a collection of memos authorizing torture—there’s plenty of things in this world that for practical purposes, certain people would love to see disappear. Master illusionist David Copperfield focuses almost entirely on the impractical—making the Statue of Liberty disappear, for example, or a large jet plane—although he did put his famed prestidigitation to good use during a 2006 mugging in West Palm Beach (Copperfield made it appear that he had handed over money to his attacker while secretly concealing his possessions). Perhaps the incident inspired a bit of the opportunist in the famed magician, for during his current interactive show, Copperfield teaches the audience how to predict lottery numbers. No doubt feeling pressure from David Blaine, Copperfield has shied away from his large-scale rock star television specials and refocused on basic illusion; young budding magicians will no doubt squeal in their seats when he appears for two shows on Thursday, April 30, at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 5:30pm and 8:30pm. $40-$60. 415.499.6800.Gabe Meline
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Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27: Lark Theater Youth Film Festival

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Lest we allow YouTube to have us believe that every teenager who picks up a video camera only wants to film themselves dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance,” the Lark Theater Youth Film Festival showcases 20 short films by Marin teenagers that capture the depth, thought, insight and spirit of youth. This year’s third annual festival adds a “green” category to the documentary, music and narrative lineup; each entry is under 12 minutes long, but if prior years are any indication, the talent and entertainment at the festival is high. Spread across two age categories, 10-13 and 14-18, the competition rewards the best entries in front of a perennially sold-out crowd. Advance tickets are recommended when the festival returns on Monday, April 27, at the Lark Theater, 549 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur. 12:30pm. $10. 415.924.5111.

Gabe Meline

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April 25 and 26: Recessionary Re-Swapping

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Spring cleaning means finding a lotta stuff you don’t need, but as these recessionary times have reminded us, throwing perfectly useful items away is absurd. Three swaps this weekend offer the opportunity to pass along unwanted items. The Great Shoe-In collects gently worn athletic shoes (tied together, please) to be distributed to local shelters, Third World countries and, in the case of irreparable shoes, ground up into bouncy playground surfaces. Drop shoes off on April 25 and 26 at Santa Rosa High School, Coddingtown Mall or the Shomrei Torah at 2600 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. The Plus-Size Clothing Swap offers women with larger waistlines the ability to shed old duds and don new gently-worn new-to-you clothes (with all donations helping to provide services to the local womens’ shelter the Living Room) on Saturday, April 25, at Making it Big, 525 Portal St., Cotati, from 11am-5pm. And in Petaluma, the anything-goes Free Sale is a community garage sale without the little neon circular price tags sponsored by activist youth group Impact! Bring just about anything and leave with just about anything, with free food and music, on Sunday, April 26, at 1251 Marian Way, Petaluma. 11am-5pm.

Gabe Meline

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April 25: 1960s Day at Redwood Empire Ice Arena

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 4:50 PM

For anyone who’s grown up in Sonoma County, the Redwood Empire Ice Arena has been a huge part of fond childhood memories. In the next four months, the ice arena now known as Snoopy’s Home Ice celebrates 40 years of ice skating with specialty-themed skate nights by decade. This weekend, it’s the 1960s, where admission and rental prices will be rolled back to $1.25 and $0.25; the Warm Puppy café will serve uncovered dishes for rolled-back rates; music from the ’60s will play on the rink and contests for best costume and hairstyle will reward the diehards. Apart from the absence of Charles Schulz, little has changed at the ice arena since it opened in 1969—the Scandinavian décor is timeless, and even hometown hero Skippy Baxter still skates rings around the Zamboni (his famous backflip is now on YouTube). In subsequent months, the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s will be feted, but for now, spray up that beehive hairdo and come for the party on Saturday, April 25, at Snoopy’s Home Ice, 1667 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. 12:30pm-4:30pm. $1.50. 707.546.7147.

Gabe Meline

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April 25: Bob Pittman at Legends

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 4:49 PM

It is refreshingly easy to become completely beguiled by the homespun charm of Bob Pittman’s recent CD, 10 Totally Catchy Songs By Some Guy You’ve Never Heard Of, released on Your Record Company Here, 123 Happy Ln., Anytown, USA. Whether through the Lou Reed talking-singing of “Waiting for my Ship to Come In,” the Erasure-esque synth-pop of “Pit Stop” or the Being There-era Wilco twang of “The Hard Line,” Pittman has made an utterly unpretentious record—despite the back cover’s tongue-in-cheek declaration that it’s “the only album you’ll ever need!” Lighthearted humor and subtle social commentary surround poignant stories, such as “The Palm of Her Hand,” and even though it bears no resemblance to the accepted genre, it is truly an indie-rock record. Pittman, a postal carrier, appears with Cotati’s wacky blackface-controversy councilman George Barich at a golf course karaoke party to celebrate the release of 10 Totally Catchy Songs on Saturday, April 25, at Legends, Bennett Valley Golf Course, 3328 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa. 8:30pm. Free. 707.523.4111.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 19: 'The Audition' at the Lark Theater and Rialto Cinemas

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 2:13 PM

The anxiety. The years of preparation, only for this one moment. The harrowing fear of stepping from the wings, onto a stage in front of the footlights, and motioning for the pianist to begin. The brain starts talking to itself: Poise! Poise! Cripes, look longingly! This is a longing aria! Okay, breathe. First line. Il tenero momento, premio di tanto amore . . . Such is the life of the aspirant opera star at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, chronicled with gripping tension in the excellent documentary The Audition. As part of the coast-to-coast live simulcast opera phenomenon, the film is being presented with a live introduction by Renée Fleming—no stranger herself to debutante stress, having burst on the scene in the National Council Auditions in 1988—and a live panel discussion afterward with former winners. It screens Sunday, April 19, at the Lark Theater, 549 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur (415.924.9111); and at Rialto Cinemas, 551 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa (707.525.4840). 12pm. $15.
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