Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Feb. 28: Moscow Circus at Lincoln Theater

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Spring has edged its spritely nose around the corner, teasing all of us with its weekend weather and outdoor ambiance. I say we take it for all it’s worth. This Sunday, perhaps. How about driving the kids into Yountville? I know—you’re thinking, “It’s too fancy there.” But park at Ranch Market and pick up some cheap sandwiches. Ditch the car and walk down Washington, past the off ramp and onto California Drive. Stroll along the tree-lined promenade and ogle the golfers at the Vintners Golf Club course hooking their drives after not playing all winter. Find a bench, take in the fresh air and eat the sandwiches, and then keep walking up to the Veterans Home’s wonderful Lincoln Theater to get a great deal on the kids for the Moscow Circus, performing in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, Feb. 28. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. 3pm. $29–$39; children 12 and under just $12. 707.944.1300.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 27: Jello Biafra at the Phoenix Theater

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Soon after Barack Obama was elected, ex-Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra composed a 7,592-word missive instructing the president-elect, point by point, on how to properly run the country. Never mind that Biafra didn’t vote for Obama; the rabble-rousing punk icon has never possessed any qualms about speaking his mind. An ugly legal battle 10 years ago all but eliminated the possibility of a proper Dead Kennedys reunion (the other three have been trotting out the classics with what Biafra calls a “scab singer”), but Biafra returned surprisingly last year with his new band the Guantanamo School of Medicine, featuring members of Faith No More and Victims Family. Their album The Audacity of Hype harkens to the days when Biafra was running for mayor, getting lambasted by Tipper Gore and singing “Kill the Poor”—in other words, it’s funny, intellectual, scathing, passionate, sarcastic and political. He appears with the band on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Phoenix Theater. 201 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 8pm. $15. 707.762.3565.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 26: Kelly Joe Phelps at Schoenberg Guitars

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM

“Jazz was the first music,” Kelly Joe Phelps once told an interviewer, “that I was aware of that was improvised. That alone was enough to make me do literally nothing else for nearly 10 years.” Certainly, Phelps’ recorded output hasn’t reached the soaring heights of exploration that his early idols Miles Davis and John Coltrane once so constantly strove for and oftentimes reached, because after his jazz immersion he hit a bump in the road: delta blues. Based in Portland, Ore., the finger-picking guitarist now journeys along a unique hybrid trail of folk music, where free improvisation points the way as much as strict technique. And others have noticed. Phelps has guested on albums by Townes Van Zandt, Greg Brown, Jay Farrar and Tim O’Brien, among others, and just released his eighth album, Western Bell, last year. He plays an in-store concert with country/folk singer Corrine West on Friday, Feb. 26, at Schoenberg Guitars. 106 Main St., Tiburon. 8pm. $20–$25. 415.789.0846.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 25: StarSkate at Los Caballos

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:00 AM

In its former life as Shakey’s Pizza, the unassuming building near a freeway overpass fed pepperoni and cheese to parents and arcade-game-playing kids alike. For the last several years, it’s been known as Los Caballos, a Latin nightclub hosting mariachi, salsa and reggaeton bands, but this Thursday the kids are back. Discovering new and uncommon places to play is a longtime tradition for the local underground community, and in a rare and needed move, the club is all-ages with a separate bar for those over 21 during the CD/cassette release show for Santa Rosa’s StarSkate. Named for another lost local kids’ wonderland, StarSkate play a furiously creative brand of instrumental rock, fronted by the labyrinthine mind of Guy Henry and fueled by a closely entwined rhythm section formerly known as the duo Batman vs. Predator. Fresh off a nationwide tour, they should be well oiled and smooth, like Swiss bearings. There’s even a bicycle caravan leaving the 440 Club beforehand to get to the show, which also features the Iditarod, Summer Blondes, A Pack of Wolves and Stalin’s Moustache on Thursday, Feb. 25, at Los Caballos. 3125 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa. 8pm. $5. 707.525.0161.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 25: MC Yogi at Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Things are getting kinda awesome for the Giacomini family. Decades-long owners of Toby’s Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station, the younger Giacomini generation isn’t exactly following in the pellet-and-hay business of their ancestry. Adam Giacomini, aka DJ Amen, spins at clubs and shows through the week and heats up the airwaves on 106.1-FM KMEL on weekends. And Nick Giacomini, aka MC Yogi, has pursued the strangest career path of all, mostly because it never existed until he created it: a rapping yoga instructor. From his Yoga Toes studio in Pt. Reyes to the world-famous Jivamukti Yoga School in New York, MC rhymes about Shiva and Hanuman over banghra-heavy beats, often to portions of the audience who’ve brought their mats and bust a downward dog during songs. That won’t be the case when Yogi guests at this week’s Juke Joint in Sebastopol, though—every Thursday night, there’s no parking on the dance floor allowed. Shake your asana when MC Yogi performs Thursday, Feb. 25, at Hopmonk Tavern, 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $10–$15. 707.829.7300.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 24-Mar. 3: Across The Bridge

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 9:43 AM


Cult Sacramento band that disbanded in the ’90s reunites after Jonah Matranga apparently realized the public disinterest in his solo career. Feb 25 at 8. $14. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St, San Francisco. 415.621.4455.Joshua Redman

Popular saxophonist and onetime artistic director of SFJAZZ plays a solo show inside the cavernous, echo-laden cathedral. Feb 26 at 8. $25-$50. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St, San Francisco. 866.920.5299.Four Tet

Kieran Hebden stands by the laptops to present music from his mellow but clustered new album, “There Is Love In You.” Feb 26 at 8. $15. The Independent, 628 Divisadero St, San Francisco. 415.771.1422.!!!

Brooklyn dance-punk collective on tour to pay respects to former drummer Jerry Fuchs, who accidentally fell down an elevator shaft last year. Feb 27 at 8. $20. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St, San Francisco. 415.625.8880.Mark Kozelek

Pensive singer-songwriter known for covering AC/DC and Modest Mouse songs stops in for Noise Pop show. Feb 27 at 8. $26-$30. Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St, San Francisco. 888.233.0449.Stephin Merritt

Magnetic Fields frontman spins a DJ set and signs copies of new album “Realism” at Amoeba between Noise Pop shows. Feb 28 at 2. Free. Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St, San Francisco. 415.831.1200.

More San Francisco events at

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feb. 24: Pascal Toussaint at 142 Throckmorton Theater

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Every famous artist, singer or writer, it seems, eventually discovers an underexposed talent along their career trail. Mos Def opened his show in San Francisco last week lip-synching along to Georgia Anne Muldrow, and several years ago, Leonard Cohen made a stab at promoting Anjani, a young singer to whose album he produced and lent his name. So it’s no major surprise that Amy Tan, author of 1989’s breakout Joy Luck Club, should bring her recent discovery to Mill Valley this weekend: Pascal Toussaint, a young cabaret singer from Paris with one of those absolutely incredible voices that never broke at puberty. Comparisons to Jimmy Scott aren’t quite proper, as Toussaint’s phrasing is dramatically clipped, but no less moving. Tan appears in conversation with Jane Granahl, founder of S.F.’s Litquake, to talk about luck, talent and the great breakthrough, while Toussaint makes his American stage debut on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 142 Throckmorton Theatre (where Dana Carvey showed up out of the blue last week!). 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. 7:30pm. $16–$20. 415.383.9600.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 20: Cause and Counsequence at the Jackson Theater

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 11:13 AM

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the relocation of Japanese Americans from their homes and into internment camps. The episode remains a black spot on American history, and especially so in Sonoma County, where anti-Chinese sentiment from the previous century had not yet abated (a banner over the intersection of Fourth and Mendocino in 1886 notoriously proclaimed “THE CHINESE MUST GO. WE MEAN STRICTLY BUSINESS”). The Santa Rosa Symphony this weekend commemorates the disinterred of Sonoma County with ‘Cause and Consequence: Music in Remembrance of the Japanese American Internment,’ a program of chamber pieces by Japanese composers, drumming by Sonoma County Taiko and a discussion between Press Democrat reporter emeritus and local treasure Gaye LeBaron and Marie Sugiyama, a survivor of the Amache Camp in Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Jackson Theater. 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $25–$32. 707.546.8742.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 20: A.L.O at the Hopmonk

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 11:03 AM

How often do we get the chance to see a world-class band that plays some of the nation’s biggest stages in a small club, on our lunch break, for free? That’s exactly what happens this Thursday when the funky groove-jam band A.L.O. stop in for a free noontime concert sponsored by the KRSH 95.9-FM at Sebastopol’s Hopmonk Tavern. Recent bookings for A.L.O. include the majestic Fox Theater in Oakland, the Roseland Theatre in Portland, the Showbox in Seattle, the Troubadour in Hollywood and the Fillmore in San Francisco. What the heck are they doing playing Hopmonk? Chalk it up to the folks at the Krush, who deserve a big hand for bringing to town, over the years, everyone from Donovan Frankenreiter to James Hunter in their free noontime concert series. How about the Arcade Fire, guys? Or My Morning Jacket? Ah, well, a guy can dream. In the meantime, A.L.O. play for free on Thursday, Feb. 18, at Hopmonk Tavern, 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. Noon. Free. 707.829.7300.Gabe Meline
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Feb. 18: The Subtones with the Gees and Apples Atlas at Bilco's

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM

You gotta hand it to Ray Manzarek. The organist and singer best known for his 1960s role in the Doors has since kept a sharp eye on the underground, first by producing the great L.A. punk band X and now, taking up residency in the Napa Valley, by appearing in a recent video shoot for Napa’s indie sensations Body or Brain. That’s pretty much the coolest thing in the world, but his involvement doesn’t stop there. As a judge at last year’s Battle of the Bands at the Napa Valley Opera House, Manzarek showered praise on Napa’s best-dressed dudes the Subtones, calling them “a great dual-guitar rock band with a rock-idol frontman and catchy songs.” And he’s right. The Subtones recall the heyday of the Jam or, strangely enough, the Undertones, with the upbeat, Strokes-by-way-of-Joe-Jackson “The Last Time,” and even channel some of Jim Morrison’s psychedelic drone on “No Other Feeling.” They’ve helped build the new Napa scene, and they play with the Gees and Apples Atlas on Thursday, Feb. 18, at Bilco’s. 1234 Third St., Napa. 7pm. Free. 707.226.7506.Gabe Meline
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