Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nov.16: Angelique Kidjo at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM

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Before Sade hit the scene, there was another chanteuse in town by the name of Angélique Kidjo. The West African singer is in a class of her own, with a voice and presence that could move mountains. Logozo, Kidjo’s first album, was released in 1992 to huge success and reached No. 1 on the Billboard World Music chart. The Benin-born superstar has since split her time between music and activism for organizations like UNICEF, Oxfam and Africa for Women’s Rights. Her song lyrics span four languages, Fon, French, Yoruba (the native language of Nigeria) and English, all sung with an intoxicatingly smooth, honey-toned wonder. Angélique Kidjo plays on Friday, Nov. 16, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 8pm. $35—$45. 707.226.7372.

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Nov. 15: Sere Prince Halverson at the Writers Forum

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM

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Writers dream about the day that their novel is finally published, gracing the shelves of bookstores and miraculously ending up as an Oprah’s book club pick. But what about all the work that goes on before that joyous day? In a talk titled “My Long, Slippery, Uphill-Both-Ways Path to Publication,” acclaimed Sebastopol author Seré Prince Halverson will share the 25-year, two-marriage, four-kid, two-agent, three-novel-long journey that lead to the publication of The Underside of Joy by Dutton. Part of the monthly writers forum series hosted by Marlene Cullen, the talk offers a chance to get real about writing fiction. Seré Prince Halverson talks about her writing journey on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Petaluma Community Center. 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. 7pm. $15. 707.762.6279.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nov. 8 and 11: Johnny Legend's 'TV in Acidland' at the Rafael Film Center

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 5:03 PM

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Johnny Legend is a man of many roles—he's a self-proclaimed rockabilly bastard, being a musician since the hippie days, a wrestling promoter, and an archiver of the weirdest and the rarest bits of film debris. Legend is an expert in psychotronia recognized by QT and Eli Roth alike. TV in Acidland is Legend's hand-made montage of the most shudderingly strange and awesomely revealing moments early television could offer—a stream-of-consciousness look back at chimera like Pinky Lee, Spike Jones and other unfortunately less remembered performers. Legend's musical career pays off here: the stuff he assembled really gets under the skin of your ears. See Groucho Marx transcends the lens flares of the cruel cathode tube, while well-known movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart mortgage their integrity in embarrassing skits. The damnedest thing you ever saw. TV in Acidland screens Thursday, Nov. 8 (7pm) and Sunday, Nov. 11 (2pm) at the Rafael Film Center. 1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael. $10.50. 415.454.1222.

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Nov. 14: Warren Miller's 'Flow State' Pre-Party at Lagunitas

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM

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I’d like to give thanks to Warren Miller for continuing to make films about daredevil skiers and snowboarders, whizzing down horrendously steep and icy mountain tops to almost certain death, all of which I get to watch from the comfort of a warm theatre seat while stuffing my mouth with popcorn. You too can live vicariously through Miller’s latest flick, Flow State, premiering Nov. 17 at the Marin Center, with a pre-party co-sponsored by the Bohemian and Lagunitas Brewing Company. Drop by to enter the raffle for tickets to the premiere, a Spyder jacket, Heavenly passes, winter snow gear and Warren Miller apparel. If that’s not enough, there’ll be pint specials flowing all night. The Flow State pre-party happens on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Lagunitas Tap Room. 1280 N. McDowell Ave., Petaluma. 6pm—8pm. Free. 707.527.1200.

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Nov. 12: Ian Frazier at Book Passage

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

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A New Yorker contributor since 1974, Ian Frazier has finally knocked out his first novel. Really an expansion of his regular humor columns, The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days is like AbFab on acid, its star being an alcoholic mommy with a “clueless idiot” for a husband, a “horrible, wretched” oldest son and a propensity for blaming the Bush administration for every mishap that befalls her. This book is is quite a departure from Frazier’s earlier work, such asTravels in Siberia, wherein the author recounts the history of Siberia along with some its famous exiles. The novel’s been racking up fans, who love Frazier’s keen sense of humor. Ian Frazier appears on Monday, Nov. 12, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7pm. 415.927.0960.

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Nov. 10: Dana Carvey at the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 12:08 PM

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This year’s Halloween bash at the Santa Rosa Skatepark offered the chance to see a number of ridiculously rad costumes. There was the heavily tattooed ballerina bee on a motorcycle. There was the creepy hobo clown catching air over graffitied ledges. But the best of all was the girl dressed like Garth—played by Dana Carvey—from SNL skit-turned-movie Wayne’s World (her boyfriend was dressed like Wayne, naturally). The sighting brought back fond memories of one of the funniest movies to come out of the ’90s, one that produced a million catchphrases: Party Time! Excellent! Schwing! We’re not worthy! Not! As if! The list goes on . . . Dana Carvey performs on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third Street, Napa. 7pm. $55-$70. 707.259.0123.

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Nov. 8: Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival at the Rialto

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM

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Films showing through November at the Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival include Nicky’s Family, Reuniting the Rubins and A.K.A. Doc Pomus, a documentary about the legendary rock-and-roll songwriter that got rave reviews from Greil Marcus in the latest issue of The Believer. Nicky’s Family tells the true story of Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who organized the rescue and transport of 669 children fleeing Hitler’s Army in 1938. Nicknamed the “British Schindler,” Winton didn’t gain recognition for his actions for more than 50 years, when his wife discovered the story while searching through the attic. The Jewish Film Festival runs through Tuesday, Dec. 4, with Nicky’s Family screening Thursday, Nov. 8, at Rialto Cinemas. 6868 McKinley St., Sebastopol. 1pm and 7:30pm. $10. 707.528.4222.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nov. 7: Sea and Cake at the Mystic Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

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I loved the Sea and Cake from the start upon first hearing Sam Prekop’s sweet phrasing on “Jacking the Ball” from the band’s 1994 debut album. They were part of a wave of lilting, intricately trippy bands that came out of Chicago in what was called the “post-rock” era, a term that originated with the all-instrumental band Tortoise. The two bands actually share a couple of members, most notably drummer John McEntire. Since, the Sea and Cake have released several gorgeous little albums, including 2012’s Runner, which continues in the same vein of tight pop songs, with a tinge of electronica. The Sea and Cake, with opener Matthew Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces, play on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Mystic Theatre. 21 N. Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma. 8pm. $16. 707.765.2121.

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Nov. 3: David Benoit at the Charles Schulz Museum

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM

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If you want to see me get all teary-eyed around holiday time, either send me to Costco on Christmas Eve or, for a different sort of choking up, put the needle on the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Your heart would seriously have to be made of icy blue steel to not be affected by the songs on that album: “Christmastime Is Here,” “Linus and Lucy”—don’t get me started. Pianist David Benoit agrees, and that’s why he pays tribute to Guaraldi’s life and work with Derrick Bang, author of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano, in a performance coinciding with an exhibit of rare animation cels from the original Peanuts TV specials. Do the Snoopy dance to Benoit’s smooth playing when he appears on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. 4pm. $10. 707.579.4452.

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Nov. 2: A.J. Croce at the Sweetwater Music Hall

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 11:56 AM

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A. J. Croce may resemble his dad Jim Croce in voice and looks, but over the past 20 years he’s set himself apart musically from his famous folky father (who died in a plane crash when A. J. was only two years old). Rather than saving time in a bottle, Croce has established himself as a bedrock underground musician, mastering the ragtime piano in addition to acoustic guitar. In an interview on Italian television, the San Diego native described his career as “rocky” but rewarding, and described his sound as an eclectic mix between Ray Charles and Ray Davies, and Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello. See for yourself when the singer-songwriter plays the North Bay on Friday, Nov. 2, at the Sweetwater Music Hall. 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 9pm. $22. 415.388.3850.

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