Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nov. 7: E-40 at Odd Fellow's Hall

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 4:11 PM

With over a hundred advance tickets sold, it was a supreme letdown when the E-40 show at the Santa Rosa Armory back in August was shut down by police before even getting underway. Just like the Vallejo rapper got his second wind with his smash album My Ghetto Report Card after a long career languishing in obscurity, so the ill-fated show gets its second wind by moving to . . . the Odd Fellows Hall? You read it right. Underneath framed medals and portraits of past encampment officers—not to mention a hallway covered in garish photos of Rose Parade floats from the 1960s to today—the “Ambassador of the Bay” makes a return to the area slangin’ his trademark rapid delivery of crazy-intellectual lingo. The Ambassador’s subordinate lodge includes “noble grand” Turf Talk, “chaplain” Laroo Nump, “wardens” the DB’z, “color bearer” Cousin Fik, “vice grand” Ant D.O.G. and a host of guardians and supporters on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Odd Fellows’ Hall. 545 Pacific Ave., Santa Rosa. 8pm. $30. 707.843.6624.Gabe Meline 
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Nov. 6: Laughing Gravy at Last Day Saloon

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Certain voices never fail to provide an immediate sense of calm, and Gram Parsons, who died in 1973, may have possessed just about the most paradoxical. With a tumultuous life that ended in tragedy out in Joshua Tree, Parsons left behind a near-perfect catalogue of songs, each one a hazy window into carefree ease. Over the years, the legend of Parsons ebbs and flows in varying degrees (reaching an apex in 2003 with Grand Theft Parsons, a film based on the hilarious journey of Parsons’ corpse after his death), but it’s never a bad time to resurrect his brilliant, emotional catalogue. No band in the area does Parsons’ music better than Laughing Gravy, a supergroup featuring members of Solid Air, Under the Radar, the Ruminators, the Last Record Store’s Doug Jayne and more. Knowing better than to mimic Parsons, Laughing Gravy instead captures the essence of songs like “Hickory Wind” and “Hot Burrito #2” and runs it through their Northern California filter. It’ll be hearts on fire when Laughing Gravy play Friday, Nov. 6, at the Last Day Saloon. 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. 8:30pm. $8–$10. 707.545.2343.Gabe Meline 
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Nov. 5: Alicia Silverstone at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Turn to your friend and say, “Hey, name an Alicia Silverstone movie,” and chances are that friend will turn back to you and reply, “Clueless.” Which is fine, but man, when I think of Silverstone I think of Blast from the Past, and that kiss—that kiss!—that she plants on Brendan Fraser. Sure, there’s some absurd plot about nuclear bombs and a fallout shelter, but I swear, that kiss kept me awake at night for a week. Meaning I’m not alone. Silverstone has endured as an unattainable figure of loveliness for so long that we’ve forgotten she’s all but gotten out of Hollywood and into vegetarian and environmental concerns. With her latest book, The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight and Saving the Planet, Silverstone gives diet and fitness advice while pushing for holistic living and organic food. Does she reveal how to deliver amazing on-screen kisses? As if! But she reads from, discusses and signs the book in person on Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center. 7pm. $10. 415.444.8000.Gabe Meline 
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Nov. 4: Philippe Petit at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Let us praise the crazies, the dreamers, the artists who ask “Why not?” instead of “Why?” In other words, let us praise Philippe Petit, the man who admired the newly built World Trade Center towers in 1974 so much that he decided to honor them one morning by stringing up a tightrope and walking, without a net, from one tower to the other while a surprised downtown Manhattan populace gasped from below. As recounted in the excellent documentary Man on Wire, Petit was immediately arrested for his feat, but he has since gone down in history for one of the most high-profile and daring acts of guerrilla acrobatics. If you’ve ever rooted for ideas that seemed too absurd to be feasible, or if you’ve ever dreamed of the impossible, the gut reaction after viewing is to find Petit, shake his hand, and say thank you. (As for himself, he went directly to bed with a stranger.) The film screens and Petit himself appears in conversation on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 7pm. $35. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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Nov. 4: Ozomatli at the Mystic Theater

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 3:38 PM

We are human, and therefore we cannot be alone. A book, a movie, a cat—these are nice things to keep us company, but only up to a point. What we really need is other bodies, and preferably moving ones. Dancing, letting go in a room of people and just dancing is the best cure for the chill of solitude. The best bet for such escape this week is in the form of the Los Angeles Latin-hip-hop-rock ensemble Ozomatli, who for 10 years have gotten crowds on their feet with horns, turntables, harmonies, MCs and guitars. Begun as a fundraiser for a community center in L.A., Ozomatli has since toured the world with one of the most energetic live shows imaginable, and have brought people together under the banner of peace, freedom and music. On certain nights, the band has been known to hop off the stage, walk through the crowd while playing, and lead everybody out into the street for a parade of music and dancing. Some call it radical, but really it’s just human nature at its best when Ozomatli play on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Mystic Theatre. 23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 9pm. $30–$32. 707.765.2121.Gabe Meline
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Nov. 2: ‘The Lady from Shanghai’ at the Rafael Film Center

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 4:47 PM

In addition to Laughing Sal and It’s-Its ice cream sandwiches, the fondly remembered Playland at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach also inspired one of the most tension-filled film endings in old Hollywood. The hall of mirrors scene from ‘The Lady from Shanghai’ thrillingly climaxes one of Orson Welles’ most plagued movies—he owed it to Columbia Pictures to repay a loan, mindlessly pitched a nonexistent plot, cast his estranged wife Rita Hayworth in the lead role and admitted, afterward, that it made little sense. But the film noir captures a wonderful vision of San Francisco and, in some scenes, the Sausalito waterfront. For a special screening in San Rafael, Welles’ own daughter Chris Welles Feder will be on hand to discuss the film, her father’s genius and her new book, In My Father’s Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles. See film history come alive on Monday, Nov. 2, at the Rafael Film Center. 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael. 7pm. $10. 415.454.1222.Gabe Meline
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Nov. 1: John Gaines benefit at Tradewinds

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 4:39 PM

There are bartenders and then there are bartenders. First settling behind the bar at the Tradewinds in Cotati in the 1970s, John Gaines falls into the latter, emphasized category. Gaines listened to tales of woe and poured stiff ones for three decades at the Tradewinds before running John’s Cafe at the Black Cat in Penngrove; he is, as they say, an institution. But even institutions can have health issues. Kidney and liver failure have left Gaines with sizable medical bills, and an all-day benefit featuring Volker Strifler, the Pulsators, Levi Lloyd, A Case of the Willys, Detroit Disciples, Hillside Fire, Joel Rudinow and more aims to raise money for the ailing comrade. “He was just a constant,” says the Tradewinds’ current bartender. “It wasn’t a Sunday morning with football without John.” Leave an extra tip on the bar on Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Tradewinds. 8210 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati. Noon. $10. 707.795.7878.Gabe Meline
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Nov. 1: Scaring the Children at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 4:23 PM

You can’t accuse the members of Grateful Dead of not trying to engage world leaders. As a member of the Bohemian Club, Bob Weir has the opportunity to kibbutz with the top dogs of insider politics and corporate profiteering; as a member of Scaring the Children, a side project with bassist Rob Wasserman and drummer Jay Lane, he has the opportunity to engage the Global Security Institute, which was founded by Alan Cranston and includes Mikhail Gorbachev on its board of directors. Scaring the Children plays this weekend in an acoustic concert presented by the GSI to resurrect the terrifying truth that nuclear weapons are destructive and immoral, preceded by a forum including Kim Campbell, the former Prime Minister of Canada, disarmament expert Thomas Graham Jr., and GSI president Jonathan Granoff on Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. Forum at 4pm is free; concert at 7:30pm is $75. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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Oct. 31: Festival of Remembrance at the Jackson Theater

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Spanning three special concerts, the Santa Rosa Symphony Chamber Players’ Festival of Remembrance is designed for its audience to reflect on and more deeply understand a trio of historically significant events: Dia de los Muertos, the internment of Japanese residents in concentration camps during World War II and the Nazi holocaust. Local musicians, a rabbi, a journalist, an oral historian and local leaders all contribute to the performances, replete with audio-visual sets and art. The series kicks off with pieces by acclaimed Mexican composers Carlos Chávez (String Quartet no. 3) and Silvestre Revueltas (String Quartet no. 4, Musica de Feria), augmented by locals Trio Nuevo Amanecer. Linda Lemus speaks on the holiday and recorded interviews with Latino residents screen in the lobby during the festive concert on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Jackson Theater. Sonoma Country Day School, 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $25–$32. 707.546.8742.Gabe Meline 
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Oct. 31: Team Guerrilla at the Lincoln Theater

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Since Napa has no real gay bar, a group of friends called Team Guerrilla bounce around the valley hosting what they call the Napa Guerrilla Gay Bar. The idea is simple: to descend on a local pub or bar and make it “gay for a day” with fabulous fashion sense and even more fabulous dancing. So far, the group has turned the disco out at watering holes as varied as Henry’s Cocktail Lounge, Jonesy’s at the Napa airport, Compadres Rio Grille, Bardessono, the Centre Cafe and Pancha’s in Yountville. It’s not just in good fun, either—the idea raises awareness of a gay community in Napa along with thousands of dollars for the Napa Valley AIDS Walk. Hosted by Kellie Green from the Vine 93.3-FM, the walk features sponsored teams in Halloween costumes, raffles, balloons, horse rides and DJ Rotten Robbie. Better yet, it supports HIV services at the Queen of the Valley hospital in Napa, and it all happens on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Lincoln Theater. 100 California Drive, Yountville. 10am. Free. 707.738.4040.Gabe Meline
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