Friday, April 16, 2010

April 17-18: Canja Rave at the Toad in the Hole and the Last Record Store

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Canja Rave are often referred to as the White Stripes of Brazil, and not without reason. Singer-guitarist Chris Kochenborger and his musical and romantic interest, drummer Paula Nozzari, whip up an unapologetically loud, bombastic sound that’s more Detroit beat than tropical heat. But if Kochenborger’s guitar solos on songs like “Xerife de Xangri-lá” sound eerily similar to Jack White songs like “I Smell a Rat,” one need look no further than White Stripes’ producer Jim Diamond, who helmed Canja Rave’s latest album, Badango. On a tour of America partially funded by the Brazilian government’s Ministerio de Cultura, Canja Rave has finally been getting some overdue stateside attention after a head-turning set a SXSW earlier this year. They return to Santa Rosa for two separate shows with locals HugeLarge this weekend on Saturday, April 17, at the Toad in the Hole (116 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. 9:30pm; $5; 707.544.8623) and Sunday, April 18, at the Last Record Store (1899 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 2pm; Free; 707.525.1963).Gabe Meline
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April 17: Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 4:03 PM

The great tenor saxophone player Bill Barron, who recorded throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, always had one major stipulation in his recording deal: that his little brother Kenny would always be his piano player. The elder Barron died in 1989, but Kenny Barron has since made quite a name for himself as one of modern jazz’s most lyrical pianists. Barron comes to Napa this weekend with the angular violinist Regina Carter, the Sinatra-esque vocalist Kurt Elling and Diana Krall’s right-hand guitar man Russell Malone in the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour. All four players are adaptable to nearly any setting, and an evening in Napa should bring light, enjoyable fare for even the most casual jazz fan. Don’t expect wild out-there jazz excursions—the group’s promo video features the Romberg-Hammerstein standard “When I Grow Too Old to Dream”—when the Monterey Jazz Festival touring group plays Saturday, April 17, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $40–$45. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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April 17: Jackie Greene at the Mystic Theatre

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 4:01 PM

No longer the young blues wunderkind from Sacramento, Jackie Greene is now all grown up with the weighty title “the Prince of Americana” conferred upon his black-haired head by none other than the New York Times. That’s nowhere more evident than on his latest album Giving Up the Ghost, which finds Greene easing his old-before-its-time voice into casual songs buoyed by members from Los Lobos and Elvis Costello’s band. With a star turn in Phil Lesh’s band and a night playing Rolling Stones songs with Gov’t Mule, Greene positions himself as a valuable young torchbearer of the baby-boomer flame—unique enough to sound his own voice, familiar enough to cause a few jolts of pride in the enduring appeal of Americana music. He plays on Saturday, April 17, at the Mystic Theatre. 21 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 9pm. $22–$25. 707.765.2121.Gabe Meline
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April 16: Prezident Brown at 19 Broadway

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 4:00 PM

“Conscious party people, if you’re going to party, say yeah!” So chants Prezident Brown, the Jamaican DJ and singer who returns to the states this weekend for another in a string of excellent reggae bookings at 19 Broadway. (Who does their booking now? Chris Blackwell?) Brown caught our attention at last year’s Reggae Rising festival with his more relaxed take on dancehall, and his latest album continues in that same varied bag. With songs like “Easy Does It” and “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled,” Brown offers solace, while tracks like “Ghetto Youth” and “Own Rebel” tilt at social awareness. A genuine feel for the music is Brown’s ace in the hole, a feel that came from studying under famous reggae producer Jack Ruby and performing on those huge, unwieldy mobile sound systems built in the 1970s that now live mostly on college students’ T-shirts instead of in the streets. Come hang with the real deal when Prezident Brown lights it up in a joint appearance with the legendary Wailing Souls on Friday, April 16, at 19 Broadway Niteclub. 19 Broadway, Fairfax. 9pm. $20–$25. 415.459.1091.Gabe Meline
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 11: John Prine at the Wells Fargo Center

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 2:21 PM

The last time John Prine played in Santa Rosa, it was Sept. 8, 2001. The twin towers still stood, as did the feeling of optimism and confidence in the economy. He played for over two hours that night, song after brilliant song, ending with an encore of “Paradise” joined onstage by Todd Snider. “Lake Marie” brought the house down, and he made beautiful chestnuts like “Souvenirs,” “Sam Stone” and “You Got Gold” sound shiny and new after all these years. I talked to him afterward. He was in a great mood, and said that the crowd was as great and responsive as any he’d played for. We had the luxury of being able to laugh at his songs then; something tells me those same songs might cause a tinge of sadness now. Amazingly, some seats are still available when the genuine national treasure returns on Sunday, April 11, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $40–$50. 707.546.3600.Gabe Meline
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April 11: Nature Photography Workshop on Pine Flat Road

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Trucks. Motorcycles. Trees. Old shacks. Potholes. Cattle gates. Charred bushes. Shotgun shells. Corona bottles. Fire roads. Turnouts. Power lines. Geysers Recharge Project stations. Metal conduits. Bud cans. These are all things found on Pine Flat Road. And yet as any avid outdoor enthusiast can attest, it’s also one of the most beautiful roads in Sonoma County (and where pro cyclists Levi Leipheimer, Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador routinely train). Stretching 12 miles up into the mountains, the narrow, winding road provides breathtaking views of the valley below, along with the up-close beauty of its Mayacamas Mountain Sanctuary. This weekend, photographer Bryant Hichwa leads a digital nature photography workshop, taking advantage of wildflower season in the colorful preserve to instruct photographers of all skill levels. It’s the perfect springtime field trip on Sunday, April 11. Meet on Pine Flat Road between Red Winery Road and the Sausal Creek Bridge, a quarter mile past the Jimtown Store. 9am. Free. 707.546.7492.Gabe Meline
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April 10: Rupa and the April Fishes at Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Each day, Rupa Marya clocks in as a doctor of internal medicine at UCSF. And each night, she clocks out as one of the most buzzed-about Bay Area songwriters in the last year thanks to the multicultural appeal of her band Rupa and the April Fishes. Marya, born in the Bay Area to Indian parents who moved her back to India, then to France, settled again in California as a grownup. Somewhere along the way, she also assimilated the styles of Latin music, Indian ragas, Gypsy jazz, German cabaret and big-band swing that make up the unique April Fishes sound. A favorite of NPR and the BBC, Rupa has graced the stage of many a big-name festival, from European soirees to South by Southwest to Outside Lands in her home base; the cosmopolitan excellence of her latest album, Este Mundo, should guarantee further travels for the globetrotting band. Whatever you do, don’t miss their rare North Bay show on Saturday, April 10, at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 8pm. $26. 415.444.8000.Gabe Meline
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April 8: Elvis Costello at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Everything is less than zero, except the price of tickets to the Backstreet Boys’ special performance at the Napa Valley Opera House this Sunday. They’re $200 each! You’ve gotta be a huge, huge, I’d-put-it-in-all-caps-but-the-copy-editor-would-be-upset huge Backstreet fan to shell out that much, especially since the Boys are only promising to play a whopping eight songs. Eight songs! Sure, you get a 20-minute Q&A session and a group photo, but really? $200? Heck, for only $130, it’s a virtual steal to see Elvis Costello play there solo, and I guarantee he’ll play for at least an hour and a half. Costello has something like 978 songs to choose from—the Backstreet Boys, maybe a few dozen at the most? Seeing Costello in the 450-seat theater is like seeing him in your own living room. That’s why tickets are a little more pricey when Costello plays Thursday, April 8, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $120–$135. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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April 7-14: Across the Bridge

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 2:10 PM

RJD2

Ohio, home of tires, Devo and the Browns—and now, the only hip-hop DJ to bounce back commercially from making an acoustic love album. Apr 7 at 8. $20. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St, San Francisco. 415.621.4455.Bill Frisell

Jazz guitarist plays residency with different configurations alongside Marc Ribot, Jason Moran, Jenny Scheinman and others. Apr 8-10 at 8 and 10; Apr 11 at 7 and 9. $32. Yoshi’s. 510 Embarcadero W, Oakland. 510.238.9200.7 Walkers

Curiously-titled new project from the Grateful Dead’s Bill Kreutzmann, featuring Papa Mali and the Meters’ George Porter Jr. Apr 9 at 9. $25. Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St, San Francisco. 888.233.0449.Alicia Keys

For a good month there, it was hard to turn on the radio without hearing either “Empire State of Mind” or “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart.” Apr 10 at 8. Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland. 800.745.3000.Mix Master Mike

Beastie Boys DJ and founding member of Invisibl Skratch Piklz continues to take turntablism on outward bound space travels. Apr 10 at 10:30. $20. Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St, San Francisco. 415.655.5600.MGMT

Two guys from Brooklyn who’ve taken the world by storm with psychedelic indie excursions worthy of a long night on strange pills. Apr 12-13 at 7. $30. The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd, San Francisco. 415.346.6000.More San Francisco events at www.sfstation.com.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 3: Petracovich at CornerStone Sonoma

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:45 AM

With three generations of distance, one of the few things that Jessica Peters knows about her great-grandfather Abraham Petracovich is that while he listened to his beloved opera on the radio in his living room, he had such respect for the music that he did so in his best suit. Such musical attachment is in the bloodlines, and in homage, Peters has called her musical project Petracovich in homage to her great-grandfather’s old-world, pre-Ellis Island Russian surname. With two albums under her belt, Peters draws comparisons to Elliott Smith, Neil Young, Aimee Mann and Tangerine Dream—in other words, almost anything goes—and performs keyboards, loops, banjo and percussion with drummer Max Diez and cellist Heather Houseman. All this makes a rather edgy and cosmopolitan  fit for a tasting room in Sonoma, and especially when joined by the sympathetic ruminations of the Joe Rathbone Trio on Saturday, Apr. 3, in the Grange Sonoma room at CornerStone Sonoma. 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. 7pm. $10. 707.933.3010.Gabe Meline
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