Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 28-June 1: Circo Osorio at Sonoma County Fairgrounds

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2009 at 6:12 PM

You’ve picked up the special coupons at area drugstores and taquerias, you’ve fielded phone calls from other parents and now it’s finally time for Circo Osorio! The big top goes up for just five short days, during which children of all ages can thrill to the wacky antics of Coconut the Clown, the daring maneuvers of tightrope walkers and trapeze artists, and the gravity-defying stunts performed by gymnasts and unicycling jugglers. Unrenewed immigration exemptions for temporary work visas are threatening smaller traveling circuses such as Circo Ososrio, a wing of the American Crown Circus, so the time is now to finally load up the kids and show them a disappearing vestige of pure entertainment. They’ll be talking about the amazing motorcycle “Globe of Death” for days after the fantastic tent show, which runs Thursday–Monday, May 28–June 1, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 6pm and 8pm. $15 adults; kids under 12, free. 707.592.7812.Gabe Meline
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May 31: Larkspur Food and Flower Festival

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2009 at 6:08 PM

It’s a food and flower lover’s delight when the Larkspur Food and Flower Festival takes over Magnolia Avenue to celebrate its 20th year. Nothing spells springtime quite like the largest gathering of nosegays, bouquets and vase arrangements on one street in Marin, where flowers of all manner are displayed, celebrated and for sale. Gourmet offerings for the palate will be offered from the Ward Street Cafe, the Yankee Pier, the Left Bank, the Lark Creek Inn, Back Yard BBQ and the Melting Pot. A kids’ area with the usual face painting and jumpy house will placate the young-uns while the Marin Community Chorus, the James Moseley Band, Rubber Souldiers and Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums provide danceable musical entertainment. It’s all going down on Sunday, May 31, on Magnolia Avenue between Ward and King streets, downtown Larkspur. 11am–6pm. Free. 415.924.3808.Gabe Meline
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May 29: Lynn Harrell at the Napa Valley Symphony

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2009 at 5:53 PM

It happens to the best of us. You’re in a rush after the performance, you stash your $4 million cello in the back of a taxi. and, well, gosh-a-roonie, you forget the dang thing! Yo-Yo Ma and Philippe Quint have famously left their irreplaceable instruments in taxicabs, and cellist Lynn Harrell joined this club the hard way—is there any easy way?—by accidentally leaving behind his 1673 Stradivarius once owned by Jacqueline du Pré while the squat yellow automobile drove away down the New York City streets. Cellist and cello were soon reunited, and Harrell, recipient of the first Avery Fisher Prize in 1975, continued to tour the world, playing for the finest conductors and orchestras. He plays Dvorák’s Cello Concerto in a whimsical program including Stravinsky’s Jeu de Cartes and the overture to Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Napa Valley Symphony on Friday, May 29, at the Lincoln Theater. 100 California Drive, Yountville. 8pm. $30–$65. 707.226.8742.Gabe Meline
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May 27: Eilen Jewell at the Last Day Saloon

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2009 at 5:51 PM

There’s the hair, the dress, the boots and then there’s the sound. Eilen Jewell’s voice, a glissando droplet that adheres easily to the ear, was discovered at age seven when the Idaho-born balladeer joined a rock band; like every other seven-year-old’s rock band, they used fake instruments made of cardboard. Sea of Tears, her latest and very rock- and R&B-influenced album, is a throwback to those early days in the living room, a culmination of childhood dreams mimicking the Animals, the Kinks and Buddy Holly. Expecting a backlash from her fan base, Jewell has instead seen even more adoration for the departure from her usual folk-swing-country-rockabilly style. Constantly on tour from her native Boston, Jewell’s also got a terrific band behind her, driving with a propulsive keel her own originals alongside choice covers by Sleepy John Estes, Loretta Lynn and Them. She’ll be shakin’ all over on Wednesday, May 27, at the Last Day Saloon. 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. 8pm. $10–$13. 707.545.2343.Gabe Meline
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 24: Blues Broads at Rancho Nicasio

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Summertime swelter meets sassy belters when an all-star lineup of blues women take the outdoor lawn stage for a backyard barbecue this weekend. From her early years in Mother Earth up to her recent solo work, Tracy Nelson is a force to be reckoned with, and no one is likely to forget the deep roots that run in Carlene Carter’s blood as the descendant of America’s most famous country-music family. Dorothy Morrison’s star turn in the Edwin Hawkins Singers’ “Oh Happy Day” may have been the Texas singer’s best-known moment, although 1971’s seductive funk killer “Rain” is probably the hottest thing she’s ever recorded, and Annie Sampson and Angela Strehli round out the supergroup. Dave Gonzalez’s Stone River Boys open while the horseshoe pits clang away on Sunday, May 24, at Rancho Nicasio. Town Square, Nicasio. 4pm. $20. 415.662.2219.Gabe Meline
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May 24: Firefighter Barbecues

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 5:47 PM

While firefighters spend their time on the clock putting out flames, this weekend brings two separate events involving firefighters making things hot, hot, hot—and keeping them glowing for hours on end with community barbecues. In Jenner, the local volunteer firefighters go head to head in an all-out chili cook-off and salsa contest, complete with barbecued oysters, local brews, a dunk tank and more on Sunday, May 24, at the Jenner Community Center (10398 Hwy. 1, Jenner. Noon. Free–$10. 707.865.2771). In Marin, the Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department hosts its annual beach barbecue with dancing, music, a raffle, merchandise and tons of juicy, hot, grilled meat. They’ll be checking coolers, so don’t try to sneak in booze; alcohol will be for sale at the event on Sunday, May 24, at Muir Beach (Near Coastal Trail, Marin. 12pm. $20 per car. 415.384.0683).Gabe Meline
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May 22: Body or Brain at the Phoenix Theater

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Not content to stay within their viticultural environs after last week’s cover story, the Napa trio Body or Brain bring their high-kicking, energetic indie pop over the hill for Sonoma County to see what all the Napa fuss is about. They bring along with them Serf and James, a falsetto-driven group strong on acoustic jangle and funky backbeat, which proves that Napa isn’t all distortion and noise. Of note also is Jonny Andrew, a 19-year-old songwriter who performs his romantic reassurances under the name hellotherelittleone. “Woot! Liz and Me are Space Pirates” is the name of one of his songs, and he already has one of the best EP cover shots of the year. With Decent Criminal and Go Time, check out a slew of new bands on Friday, May 22, at the Phoenix Theater. 201 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 8pm. $8. 707.762.3565.Gabe Meline
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May 21 and 24: Charlie Hunter at 142 Throckmorton and Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 5:41 PM

It seems like just yesterday when record store sections for Charlie Hunter only had a few Blue Note albums, including Hunter’s jazz version of Bob Marley’s Natty Dread. The Berkeley guitar phenomenon has over two dozen albums out now, becoming more prolific as the years roll by. His latest, Baboon Strength, is the first that Hunter has self-released, and it has a freedom of melodic spirit separate from jazz’s esoterica—there’s even a song dedicated to Karen Carpenter—recorded in Brooklyn with vintage analog keyboardist Erik Deutsch and snap-sharp New York drummer Tony Mason. Hunter hits the North Bay twice in the upcoming week: on Thursday, May 21, at 142 Throckmorton Theatre (142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $18–$20. 415.383.9600), and on Sunday, May 24, at the Hopmonk Tavern (230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 8:30pm. $15–$20. 707.829.7300).Gabe Meline
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 17: New Century Chamber Orchestra at Osher Marin JCC

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 3:07 PM

There is no greater director-composer partnership in the history of cinema, with the possible exception of Fellini and Rota, than that of Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann. Before their falling out over the score to Torn Curtain in 1966, and Hitchcock’s ruthless dismissal of his co-conspirator in suspense, Herrmann had written 10 years of iconic film music. Among his best-known theme is Psycho, to be performed in a program, titled “Shadows and Light,” this weekend by the New Century Chamber Orchestra. In a program exploring the fears and fevers of the night, including Borodin’s Nocturne, Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” director and violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg premieres Clarice Assad’s new commissioned work Dreamscape. Get lost in the stars on Sunday, May 17, at Osher Marin Jewish Community Center. 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 5pm. $32–$54. 707.357.1111.Gabe Meline
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May 15: Tom Rush at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 3:04 PM

New York City’s Prestige Records, while releasing early albums by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and other jazz pioneers, walked through the damp concrete of Washington Square Park one day and picked up a few straggling folksingers along the way. Among the best and most notorious was raconteur Dave Van Ronk, but Prestige found an unknown gem in Tom Rush. Lasting on Prestige about as long as Ronk, Rush jumped to folk haven Elektra Records in time to release his best record, The Circle Game, featuring songs by Joni Mitchell and James Taylor that came to new life through Rush’s soothing tenor. From that point, Rush became an interpreter of modern songwriters rather than a revivalist looking back, and always makes sure to throw in a few originals for authenticity. He performs songs from his first album in 30 years, What I Know, on Friday, May 15, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $35. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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