Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 13 and 27: West Coast Live at Silo's

Posted by on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 1:59 PM

The microphones are placed in clubs, on trains, on theater stages, on boats—wherever seems most interesting. The remote broadcasting equipment is plugged into the nearest power outlet. The guests include authors, magicians, museum directors, artists, actors, chefs, acrobats, directors, and almost always, the piano stylings of Mike Greensill. Hence, Sedge Thomson’s fantastic long-running radio series West Coast Live settles in for three weeks of broadcasts from Silo’s Jazz Club in downtown Napa—Greensill’s current stomping ground. Those who’ve never seen a live radio broadcast shouldn’t miss the exciting pacing and suspense, but it’s Thomson himself who probes interviewees with interesting, human questions and steers the conversation away from canned answers and press-release style interviews. Guests include blues artist John Nemeth, vegetarian author Deborah Madison, novelist Shawna Yang Ryan, author Annie Barrows, locals the Juliane Band, singer Kellie Fuller and folk act the Rhythm Angels plus many more on Saturday, June 13 and 27, at Silo’s. 530 Main St., Napa. 10am. $15-$18. 707.251.5833.Gabe Meline
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June 13: Bike Swap at the Veterans' Memorial Building

Posted by on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 1:49 PM

It’s bike season again, thank heavens—the time of year when everyone pulls out their road, mountain, fixed gear and tandem bikes and realizes one of two things: that there’s parts and gear that they need, or that there’s parts and gear that they don’t need. The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition Bike Swap brings these two together for a big day of cranks, brakes, tires, clothes and even some bike-related arts and crafts. Need a 10mm cotter pin for a 1973 Motobecane? A Huret derailer for a mixte-frame Peugeot? A replacement fork for a 21-speed Trek? The Swap’s the place. With vendors and tables and a kid’s bicycle safety skills rodeo, it’s the best way to get your bike and riding skills in tip-top shape. If you’ve got an extra bike to sell, bring it along and put it up for sale for just $5. Stop on by and find some treasures on Saturday, June 13, at the Veterans’ Memorial Building. 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa. 9am to 2pm. Free. 707.545.0153.Gabe Meline
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June 11: DJ Vadim at the Hopmonk Tavern

Posted by on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 1:36 PM

The music of America and England often exists in entirely separate circles, but concentricity was achieved for a brief time in the late ’90s electronica scene, with labels like Quannum, Asphodel and Mush in the U.S. and Ninja Tune, Warp and MoWax in the UK erasing borders both geographical and musical. No artist personifies this cross-pollination like DJ Vadim, who was born in the former Soviet Union, raised in London and now splits his time between New York and Port-au-Prince. Vadim’s series of USSR albums for Ninja Tune between 1996 and 2002 straddled the head-nod beatmaking of Japan’s DJ Krush and the scattered sounds of D.C.’s DJ Spooky, and placed Vadim squarely at the forefront of an exciting time in music. His more recent albums Sound Catcher and U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun have been noticeably tinged with reggae, R&B, old soul and ’70s jazz, ensuring a lively dance floor when DJ Vadim comes to the Juke Joint on Thursday, June 11, at the Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $10. 707.829.7300.Gabe Meline
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June 10: Henry Kaiser at the Sleeping Lady

Posted by on Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 1:27 PM

There are guitarists like Angus Young, who play the same recycled riffs over and over with the same guys for the rest of their lives. Then there’s guitarists like Henry Kaiser. Truly a renaissance musician, Kaiser’s played with John Zorn and Derek Bailey, recorded with indigenous Malagasy musicians with David Lindley, collaborated with Richard Thompson, played with the drummer for Journey, gone head-to-head with Wilco sideman Nels Cline and freaked out with free-jazz saxophonist John Tchicai. Kaiser—the grandson of industrialist Henry J. Kaiser—cleverly titled a 1991 album Hope You Like Our New Direction, an in-joke on the constantly-changing scope of his career. Kaiser appears with guitarist and Acoustic Guitar magazine senior editor Teja Gerken and East Bay fret-wrangler Ava Mendoza in a challenging and provocative showcase of edgy guitar artistry on Wednesday, June 10, at the Sleeping Lady. 23 Broadway, Fairfax. 9pm. Free. 415.485.1182.Gabe Meline
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 9: Brandi Carlile at the Lincoln Theater

Posted by on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 2:39 PM

You’d be hard-pressed to find many lines on Brandi Carlile’s face, and yet the lines on the fresh-skinned young singer provide the jump-off for her biggest hit, “The Story.” “All of these lines across my face,” she sings, eruptively and with an otherworldly crack in her voice, “tell you the story of who I am.” That incredible split-second vocal crack, and not the imagined wrinkles around her eyes, tells the true story of Carlile, a talented songwriter with an unswerving knack for emotional wallop who had the good fortune of blowing away Dave Matthews at the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington and hooking up with producer T-Bone Burnett. Even those unfamiliar with Carlile’s name have probably heard her music. Grey’s Anatomy has featured her repeatedly, and television commercials have used “The Story” to sell cars and beer to fast-driving, gut-bulging guys. Carlile, a lesbian, is having a good laugh, enjoying sold-out shows and planning her follow-up album after winning over crowds on the Indigo Girls’ latest tour. She appears on Tuesday, June 9, at the Lincoln Theater. 100 California Drive, Yountville. 7pm. $26–$36. 707.944.1300.Gabe Meline
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June 6: Fur Dixon and Steve Werner at Studio E

Posted by on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 2:29 PM

The Hollywood Hillbillies might not have received much press for their music, but the Southern California country-punk outfit brought live chickens out onstage with them, and that was enough to earn attention for Fur Dixon and her fellow band mates. As a bassist for the Cramps during a short but influential spell in 1986, Dixon toured the world in a fuzz- and reverb-drenched haze behind the unpredictable onstage presence of Lux Interior, but shortly afterwards got back to her hat-and-boots roots alongside Rosie Flores in the Screamin’ Sirens. With her wilder days mostly behind her, she conjures Bakersfield-like imagery with Steve Werner, with whom she has an infectious musical rapport. Dustbowls, tumbleweeds and rambling are central to their well-blended two-part harmonies. Sit a spell next to the old wood stove and hear their songs and stories on Saturday, June 6, at Studio E. Address provided with ticket, Sebastopol. 8pm. $23. 707.542.7143.Gabe Meline
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June 6: Beerfest at the Wells Fargo Center

Posted by on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 2:12 PM

After 18 years, the microbrewery mecca Beerfest still hasn’t succumbed to the brand of hoity-toity, touristy gimmickry that so pervasively seduces our long-running institutions. After all, what more does anyone need besides killer music, great food and cold beer? The grooves this year come in the form of the Thugz, who pepper their starry tributes to Monte Rio with a barrelful of Grateful Dead covers and who’ve honed the art of the long set list at their weekly nights at the Pink Elephant bar. The food comes courtesy of over 35 booths, from Johnny Garlic’s to Larry Vito’s barbecue, and the beer comes from every good place in the North Bay and beyond. Furthermore, it’s beer! It’s summertime! Bottoms up! Ticket price includes all the food you can eat and all the beer you can drink, but moderation is encouraged. All proceeds benefit Face to Face, and last year’s event sold out, so get your tickets now for Saturday, June 6, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 1–5pm. $35–$40. 707.544.1581.Gabe Meline
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June 4-7: DjangoFest at 142 Throckmorton

Posted by on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Of all the guitarists with limited use of their fingers, Django Reinhardt far and beyond stretched the guitar to its furthest capability. With only two properly working fretting fingers, Reinhardt nonetheless laid down some of the finest solos in the history of the instrument, and remains a looming influence on every jazz guitarist today (guitarist Jim Hall’s dog is named Django, for example). It is impossible to separate Reinhardt’s music from the extraordinary circumstances in his personal life—including a Gypsy caravan lifestyle and signing some of the shrewdest contracts in the history of recorded music—but one need only to listen to his timeless statement of beauty, “Nuages,” to hear pure genius. Reinhardt is celebrated this week at the fourth-annual DjangoFest Mill Valley, a series of concerts and workshops celebrating Reinhardt’s cosmopolitan style with performers Panique, Hot Club of Marin, Pearl Django, Mimi Fox, Gonzalo Bergara, Hot Club of San Francisco, Stochelo Rosenberg and far too many more to list. There are now DjangoFests all over the West Coast. Find out why Thursday–Sunday, June 4–7, at 142 Throckmorton Theater. 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. $20–$60. 415.383.9600.Gabe Meline
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