Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mar. 14: John Heilemann and Mark Halperin at Book Passage

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Books on the political atmosphere are often smart, or at least smartly written. So when a weirdly penned but sensational “tell-all” comes down the publishing pipe and hits the bestseller list, it’s cause for amusement. In 200 years, no doubt, people will still be reading Dreams from My Father. Could we say the same for ‘Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime’? Basically a tabloid-like retelling of the 2008 election unworthy of the journalistic experience behind authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, the book boasts such turns of phrase as Hilary Clinton corralling “plenty of surrogates ready to sink their canines into Obama’s keister,” she having “never exactly been a buoyant Hubert Humphrey on the stump. . . .” Huh? If you’re lost as to what a “semiotician’s fantasia” is and you want an explanation “vomited verbally” (actual phrase from the book!), be there when Heilemann and Halperin appear on Sunday, March 14, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 2pm. 415.927.0960.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 13: The Capitol Steps at Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 10:10 AM

As long as there is politics, there will be plenty of material to mock for the NPR-listener-beloved singing satirists the Capitol Steps—and with 62 collective years of Senate and House experience in their ranks, the members certainly know of which they thumb-nose. Their latest collection Obama Mia! could serve, to historians years down the line, as a completely beguiling document of the 2008 election, told almost entirely in spoofs of popular song. “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” becomes “The Chap Who Threw His Two Shoes,” about Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s almost-perfect aim; “Little Drummer Boy” becomes “Little Plumber Boy,” about Joe the Plumber; and the innocuous FreeCreditReport.com jingle becomes “George W. Credit Report.com,” about the financial crisis. By the time the Steps go out on tour, they always have a slew of new jabs at the ridiculousness that is Washington, D.C.; see what’s up their snappy sleeves on Saturday, Mar. 13, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. Shows at 5pm and 8pm. $40. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 12: Junior Reid at 19 Broadway

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Oh jeez, Junior Reid. We’ve seen your name on festival lineups and knew you were cagey in interviews about your stance on fellow dancehall artists’ homophobia, but now this? Your song called “Funny Man,” with the chorus “In Sunday school they teach us ’bout Adam and Eve, they never teach us ’bout Adam and Steve”? Are you for real, Junior Reid? Because it’s dumb enough to be a homophobe, but it’s just downright embarrassing when you fall back on the lamest redneck cliché in the world. Incidentally, who cares about what’s taught in Sunday school out of a grossly mistranslated book anyway? Oh, wait, that’s right, you do, because Rastafarianism is Christianity with dreads. We got this guy here in America, Pat Robertson, I think you two’d get along. And don’t be surprised if you see people outside your show this weekend holding signs that say “Junior Reid Is No ‘Artist’—Recycles Tired Slogans to Make Not-Very-Interesting Points” when you play on Friday, March 12, at 19 Broadway Niteclub. 19 Broadway, Fairfax. 9pm. $25. 415.459.1091.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 12: Del McCoury Band at the Mystic Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 10:07 AM

The endlessly entertaining Del McCoury Band is among the finest bluegrass ensembles working today. They’re also one of the most authentic. Gathered around just one microphone in the old-fashioned tradition of the Grand Ole Opry, the group’s members shuffle around in dance patterns that would make Arthur Murray’s head spin, jockeying for position according to bellowed backup vocal, fiddle solo or vivacious group strum. With sons Robbie and Ronnie as longtime members, and with a recent spiritual album, The Promised Land, the McCoury unit would seem bound to tradition—until you hear their versions of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Nashville Cats,” Frank Sinatra’s “Learnin’ the Blues” or their incomparable show-stopper, Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning.” After 50 years of performing, McCoury is a veteran at the top of his game. See him Friday, March 12, at the Mystic Theatre. 23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 9pm. $25–$28. 707.765.2121.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 10-17: Across the Bridge

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Quasi

Why life is still worthwhile: for the price of two burritos you can witness one of the world’s most awesome drummers, Janet Weiss. Mar 10 at 8. $12-$14. The Independent, 628 Divisadero St, San Francisco. 415.771.1422.Smokey Robinson

Motown legend and national treasure still in fine voice never fails to bring artistry and elegance to timeless songs. Mar 13 at 9. $62-$85. The Warfield, 982 Market St, San Francisco. 415.775.7722.New Found Glory & Saves the Day

The ultimate tour for pop-punkers of the late ’90s promises a not inconsequential wallop of power-chord nostalgia. Mar 13 at 8. $30-$125. Regency Ballroom, 1290 Sutter St, San Francisco. 415.673.5716.Rudresh Mahanthappa

Jazz altoist known for association with Vijay Iyer plays in unique trio with Dan Weiss on tabla and guitarist Rez Abassi. Mar 13 at 8. $18. Swedish American Music Hall, 2170 Market St, San Francisco. 415.861.5016.Adolescents

Original SoCal members Tony Cadena, Steve Soto and Frank Agnew bring back the fury of their seminal punk debut. With Youth Brigade. Mar 13 at 9. $18. Slim’s, 333 11th St, San Francisco. 415.255.0333.Gil Scott-Heron

Revolutionary poet and musician plagued with drug use throughout the 80s makes triumphant return with new album, “I’m New Here.” Mar 16-17 at 8 and 10. $16-$26. Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St, San Francisco. 415.655.5600.

More San Francisco events at www.sfstation.com.Gabe Meline

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mar. 8: Sister Carol at Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Jonathan Demme may have brought Jamaican reggae artist Sister Carol to the masses with supporting roles in Something Wild and Rachel Getting Married, but there’s no question—she’d reach American consciousness eventually. On the strength of her 1984 hit “Black Cinderella,” she started her own record label so sisters could do it for themselves. This Monday, she appears with the Yellow Wall Dub Squad, an all-star backing band, to celebrate International Women’s Day in strong, robust, reggae style. “In an industry that’s so based on ego, it’s really difficult for a woman artist to not sell the sex,” says DJ Jacques, producer of the event. “She seemed the most appropriate to headline an event that celebrates the real strength of women and not just the sexiness of women.” Sister Carol performs with the Yellow Wall Dub Squad on Monday, March 8, at Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $15. 707.829.7300.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 6-7: Mustard, Mud & Music Festival in downtown Calistoga

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 10:16 AM

The antique hanging sign on Highway 29 at Lincoln Avenue that reads “Calistoga” with a big red arrow might as well be changed to say “Jazz” this weekend for the Mustard, Mud & Music Festival. Showcasing over a dozen jazz combos in a variety of venues and restaurants downtown, the festival further cements Calistoga as a cultural hub of the Napa Valley. With wooden sidewalks! Filling the streets with jazz across two days is the blues saxophone of the Nancy Wright Trio, the Latin rhythms of Rolando Morales, the rising sounds of the Steve Dudgeon Quartet, the breezy vocals of Michelle Michaels and many, many more. Each ticket includes 10 wine tastings per day—whoohoo!—and all the jazz you can handle until sundown. It’s a perfect date idea on Saturday-Sunday, March 6-7, at various venues in downtown Calistoga. 1pm to 7pm. $25; $40 two-day pass. 707.942.6333.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 5: Kaleidoscope at 630 Third Street

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Gabriel Francisco knows all too well that the economy’s rough. With that in mind, Francisco and his friend Jimmy Hits talked the owners of the old Swensen’s building on Santa Rosa’s Third Street—you may also remember the “doomed location” as Viva Mexico, or a series of Chinese restaurants, and most recently, GG’s Earth & Surf—into letting them host Kaleidoscope, a monthly art and dance series. At its inception in February, the normally empty storefront jumped shoulder-to-shoulder with live painting, dancing, chatter, music, and actual community-building. It’s far better for a city to have something like this going on than another “For Lease” sign collecting dust, and it’s a cheap and awesome mashup of art, DJs and dance. Kaleidoscope goes down on Friday, March 5, at 630 Third St., Santa Rosa. 9pm to 2am. $5; free before 11pm. provokethinking@gmail.com.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 5: Moss Henry at the French Garden Restaurant

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 10:00 AM

While plenty of bands finely hone a brilliant, rapier meta-sarcasm, people like Moss Henry are recording direct, sympathetic albums like Roll the Bones. Unable to be isolated by world events, Henry on his third full-length folk album chimes in on subjects ranging from the 2006 mine disaster at the Sago Mine in West Virginia (“Sago Mine Disaster”) to domestic static (“What Have We Got?”) to the inexcusable torture policies of the Bush administration (“It’s War”). “It is my fervent hope,” he writes, “that Bush and his associates will be held accountable for their war crimes.” Recorded with a  local all-star cast—Blair Hardman, Randy Quan, Dave Zirbel, Doug Adamz, Kevin Russell, Tim Haggerty and more—the album sounds great, but what rises to the surface is Henry’s sincerity, even when making jokes about the size of one’s car in relation to. . .well, you know. Henry plays a record release for Roll the Bones on Friday, March 5, at the French Garden Restaurant. 8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. 7pm. Free. 707.824.2030.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 5: Lutan Fyah at 19 Broadway

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Lutan Fyah grew up only 15 minutes away from Kingston, the center of all reggae music. But those meager miles have translated into the reggae singer’s most notable asset, in that he is no slave to tradition. (Grace Jones was also born in Spanish Town.) Not only has Fyah reworked songs by the Fugees and Dr. Dre, but in 2009 he teamed up with UK dubstep sensation Rusko for his upbeat Babylon, Vol. 2 compilation. Better yet, before he leaves for France later this month to play large theaters, he’s dropping in on Fairfax for a tiny nightclub appearance at 19 Broadway. With a vicious attack on the mic and a can’t-stop-won’t-stop style, he’ll be poised to set the roof on fire. Witness Jamaican artistry in action on Friday, March 5, at 19 Broadway Niteclub. 19 Broadway, Fairfax. 9pm. $15-$20. 415.459.1091.Gabe Meline
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