Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Aug. 30: Middle Ranch Series at C. Donatiello Winery

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 4:41 PM

If you like hanging out in beautiful vineyards, mingling with beautiful people and grooving out to that beautiful brand of indie-pop that makes you bob your head merrily and feel pretty darn good about life, you’ll want to attend C. Donatiello Winery’s Live from Middle Ranch Series. This weekend hosts the likes of Sara Bareilles, Ian Ball, Buddy, Holly Conlan and others. Headliner Bareilles is the Eureka native who scored massive popularity with the sassy piano-driven melody of “Love Song.” She falls into that pleasant musical subgenre of fresh-faced female singers who play their own instruments and write their own songs. No rehab histrionics, no auto tuner, no overproduction—just catchy tunes perfect for intimate mix tapes and romantic comedy soundtracks. Hear Bareilles with Ball, the frontman of the Britpop band Gomez, Buddy, an L.A.-based indie pop project, and Conlan, a piano-playing singer-songwriter, on Sunday, Aug. 30, at C. Donatiello Winery. 4035 Westside Road, Healdsburg. 1pm-4pm. Free; buy some wine already. 707.497.3376.Daniel Hirsh 
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Aug. 29: Hot August Rockabilly Roadhouse at Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Whip out the fedora, grease back the hair, strap on the leather pumps and tune up the hot-rod, when the KRSH presents the Hot August Rockabilly Roadhouse. For all fans of that singular breed of retro rock and old-timey tunes, the Blasters along with standup bassist Lee Rocker are here to provide some jams worthy of rug-cutting. The Blasters draw influence from such rock ’n’ roll grand masters as Carl Perkins, Big Joe Turner, Howlin’ Wolf and James Brown. Lee Rocker, an original member of the Stray Cats, plays a mean slap bass that can swing from classic Americana to fist-pumping rock. Big Dave, host of KRSH’s weekly Rockabilly Roadhouse broadcast, provides his big persona to host the live performance. Dig it on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave. Sebastopol. 9pm. $25. 707.829.7300.Daniel Hirsh
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Aug. 29: Blues, Brews & BBQ in Napa

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 4:22 PM

A letter to the editor recently chastened the Bohemian for running a cover story on a local barbecue chef (“Lonestar State of Mind,” Aug. 5). The bereaved reader demanded why we would celebrate the carnivorous tendencies of modern man, asking, “Why do you glorify our ignorance?” It’s a valid question. After all we know about the ethically questionable practices of the American meat industry and the giant carbon footprint caused by consuming animal flesh, it seems like we would all have evolved to vegetarianism by now, if not downright veganism. Yet there is something in the musky aroma of smoke rising from a grill with well-marinated ribs freshly laid down that makes our mammalian hearts melt to a more primal state. It may be wrong, but gosh darn it, those ribs will be delicious at Blues, Brews & BBQ, which features live music, microbrew tasting, the county’s finest winemakers competing in a rib-eating contest and lots of barbecue. Dig in on Saturday, Aug. 29, in downtown Napa. 1–6pm. Free. 707.257. 0322.Daniel Hirsh
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Aug. 28-30: Napa Fresh Aire Festival at the Westin Verasa Hotel

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Imagine yourself running through a field of daisies, ambient smooth jazz is playing from somewhere and the sun is shining. Your pores—and chakras, too—are freshly exfoliated, and open from a sunrise yoga session. You are one with the universe, Vitamin Water in one hand, a bundle of bio-dynamic snacks in the other. No, this is not a dream. It could be you if you head to the Napa Fresh Aire Festival, a weekend-long event featuring an exposition of spiritual health and eco-conscious products, in-depth yoga seminars, mood music, nature appreciating, chi-aligning and a whole range of enlightened speakers, including everyone from acclaimed New Age health guru Dr. Andrew Weil to the “sexpert” authors of How to Have Magnificent Sex and Your Long Erotic Weekend. Breathe deep, baby. Things are going to get groovy Aug. 28–30 at the Westin Verasa Hotel. 1314 McKinstry St., Napa. $99–$175 with registration. 888.825.5484. www.napafreshairefest.com.Daniel Hirsh 
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Aug. 27: Solo Cissokho at Throckmorton Theater

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 4:02 PM

The kora, a 21-string harp-lute used in traditional West African music, has a strangely international appeal, such as when jazz innovator Herbie Hancock used it in his 1984 album Village Life. From the tiny Senegalese ethnic minority the Mandika people, kora musician Solo Cissokho knows full well the transnational power of his instrument—at least, people in Norway seem to really like it. Based out of Oslo, Cissokho frequently collaborates with Swedish-born fiddle player Ellika Frisell. The unlikely fusion of West African harp with Scandinavian folk has proven both fruitful and sonically rich. Their collaboration on Tretakt Takissaba won a BBC World Music Award in the Boundary Crossing category. Boundary crossing, indeed. Following a performance of an entire kora orchestra, Solo Cissokho performs solo on Thursday, Aug. 27, at 142 Throckmorton Theater. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $15–$18. 415.383.9600.Daniel Hirsch
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aug. 21: We Three Wives in Glen Ellen

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 2:28 PM

What do a left-leaning country rocker, a poet turned chiropractor, the “Japanese Joni Mitchell” and the founder of one the country’s first rock music magazines have to do with each other? Well, they make up a unique kind of family. Paul Williams was just 17 in 1966 when he put out the first issue of Crawdaddy!, a pioneer publication committed to rock journalism. Besides being one of the first rock critics in America, a poet and an early Philip K. Dick enthusiast, Williams has also had a full love life—he married three times. First, there was singer-song writer Sachiko Kanenobu, a leading figure in Japan’s ’60s folk boom, whose 1972 album Misora became a Japanese sleeper hit in the ’90s. Then came Donna Grace Noyes, a one-time poet and actor who now practices a unique brand of chiropractics in Sonoma. Cindy Lee Berryhill Williams is a country music songstress with politically liberal ditties like “When did Jesus Become a Republican?” and is Williams’ current wife. Due to Williams’ early onset of Alzheimer’s, these three distinguished and distinct women will perform a benefit concert for the husband they evidently all still love. We Three Wives perform on Friday, Aug. 21, at a private residence. 5430 O’Donnell Lane, Glen Ellen. 7:30pm. $25. Reservation required; grace.noyes@gmail.com.Daniel Hirsch
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Aug. 22-23: Cotati Accordion Festival at La Plaza Park

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Accordions ain’t just for your eccentric Romanian uncle—it seems like everybody from the Decembrists to Styx have picked up the squeezebox and are letting loose. As it has for so many years, the Cotati Accordion Festival proves the wide appeal of the bellow-driven folk instrument with joyful enthusiasm and a diverse lineup. The all-female Polkanomics mix up traditional polkas with pop rock hits of the ’50s and ’60s. Ramon Trujillo leads a six-part mariachi band with traditional tunes from Mexico. Gator Beat perform uptempo bayou beats with their zydeco jams. San Francisco–based Gaucho, known to fill hip San Francisco bars, rock a unique blend of klezmer, swing and so-called Gypsy jazz. Tango, Italian folk classics and a mysterious fellow named the Great Morgoni all squeeze and push them keys Saturday–Sunday, Aug. 22–23, at La Plaza Park. Old Redwood Highway, Cotati. 9:30am–8pm. $15–$25. 707.664.0444.Dan Hirsch
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Aug. 22: John Lee Hooker Celebration at Throckmorton Theater

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 2:03 PM

If he were alive today, iconic bluesman John Lee Hooker would be 102. If he were still playing his Delta blues guitar and singing classics like “I’m in the Mood” and “Crawlin’ King Snake” and “Boom,” he might still be able to rock you into the sweet, soulful submission he had been for the better part of a century. While Hooker passed on to blues heaven in 2001, his music still resounds like his deep gravelly voice always used to. To continue on with his legacy and promote arts education for youth, Hooker family members started the John Lee Hooker Foundation, giving out grants to nonprofits in need. The Foundation hosts a night of classic blues in celebration of Hooker’s 102 birthday. Hooker’s Coast to Coast Blues Band, featuring Jimmy Dillon, Ollan Christopher and Gail Muldrow as well as Hooker’s own children Zakiya and Archie Hooker will smoke the stage on Saturday, Aug. 22, at the 142 Throckmorton Theater. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 6:45pm VIP reception, show starts at 8pm. $45–$100. 415.383.9600.Daniel Hirsch
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Aug. 22: Taste of Railroad Square in Santa Rosa

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square is one of those rare marvels of urban redevelopment in which an abandoned site of a past age (i.e., a former depot for the Northwest Pacific Railroad) can reemerge as a unique and vibrant cultural space. Rather than gather rust when the trains stopped coming, the square has sprouted numerous restaurants, coffee shops, galleries and performance spaces. To celebrate, we’ve got the Taste of Railroad Square, a weekend festival of gourmet food and winetasting offered by area restaurants and businesses with performances by eclectic accordionist Amber Lee and the Anomalies, professional magician Frank Balzerak and the Dixie-ragtime ensemble TRAD JASS. All proceeds go to maintaining the cultural bastion of the square, the Sixth Street Playhouse. Lick the brick on Saturday, Aug. 22, between Fourth and Wilson streets, Santa Rosa. Noon–4pm. $40.Daniel Hirsch
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Aug. 20: Richard Shaw at di Rosa Preserve

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 1:50 PM

For many people, works of visual art fall into two categories: those that look like stuff and those that don’t. Ceramicist Richard Shaw’s work falls solidly in the former. Shaw makes sculptures that very much look like stuff, so to speak. In fact, they belong to the tradition of trompe l’oeil, which literally means “fool the eye” in French. Though they appear to be assemblages of everyday material and found objects, his work is actually meticulously crafted entirely out of porcelain. They look exactly like household objects, albeit strangely arranged and grouped. He has sculpted a wedding cake bisected by an ocean liner, an artist’s sketchbook beside a skull and a series of humanoids that appear to be constructed from pencils and junk-drawer refuse. Shaw will be discussing his work as part of KQED’s “Spark! Arts Lecture Series” on Thursday, Aug. 20, with a wine and cheese reception at di Rosa Preserve. 5200 Carneros Hwy., Napa. 6:30pm. Free with reservation.Daniel Hirsch
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