Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dec. 29: Fishbone at 19 Broadway

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 2:57 PM

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Gather ’round, kids. I’m going to tell you about a time when funk/ska/rock music ruled the world. In this corner, there were the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in that corner was Infectious Grooves, to your right Mr. Bungle, to your left the Mighty Mighty Bosstones—and lording over all of them was Fishbone. Hailing from Los Angeles and fronted by the outrageous Angelo Moore, Fishbone’s live shows always brought it hard and conjured up the urge to skank and mosh like there was no tomorrow. Just try to count how many times “Party at Ground Zero” got played at parties and skate parks after its 1985 release, but I guarantee you’ll probably die counting. Fishbone bring the noise on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 19 Broadway. 17 Broadway Blvd., Fairfax. 9pm. $20. 415.459.1091.

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Dec. 29: Chuck Prophet at Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM

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What do Chuck Prophet and Richard Nixon have in common? Not politics, I’ll tell you. What they do share is a birthplace—good old Whittier, Calif., a Quaker-founded town in the foothills of Los Angeles that also hosted famed food writer M. F. K Fisher’s formative years (and, I admit, my own). Prophet’s 2012 album Temple Beautiful doesn’t pay tribute to Whittier, instead taking as inspiration the wily and beautiful ways of San Francisco, his adopted hometown. On Prophet’s most recent visit to Healdsburg’s glitzy main square, a long way from gritty Whittier Boulevard, he shouted out “Beverly Healdsburg!” Let’s see what Sebastopol gets nicknamed when Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express play on Saturday, Dec. 29, at Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 8:30pm. $15—$18. 707.829.7300.

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Dec. 28: Zion I at the Phoenix Theater

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 2:51 PM

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Anyone who’s heard the song “Silly Putty” by Zion I knows the power of the Berkeley-based producer/MC combo. MC Zumbi and DJ AmpLive—the latter has produced tracks for Goapele, Too Short and Del the Funky Homosapien—have been laying down beats and rhymes since 1997, when they released the cassette-only Enter the Woods. You could call them conscious hip-hop, with a brief dip into the hyphy movement that took over the Bay back in 2005, but what remains true is that they continue to be one of the enduring hip-hop groups to come out of the Bay Area. Zion I beat the atomic clock with Mistah F.A.B. on Friday, Dec. 28, at the Phoenix Theater. 201 Washington Ave., Petaluma. 8pm. $20. 707. 762. 3565.

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Dec. 28 and Dec. 31: The Tubes at the River Theater and George's Nightclub

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM

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The closest I ever came to having a famous friend when I was four years old and living as a wild child on Kauai. There, I found a kindred spirit in a little girl around my age by the name of Sparrow. We’d gallivant around, without any parental supervision, doing whatever it is that pre-school age kids did on the islands in 1977. Years later, I found out Sparrow’s dad was David Killingsworth, who replaced Fee Waybill as the lead singer for the Tubes for a short while in the ‘70s. Best known for their early ‘80s hit “She’s a Beauty,” as well as elaborate and controversial stage shows, the band is still around (sans Killingsworth) and hits up Guerneville this week. They play with Virgil Shaw and Pollo Enfermo on Friday, Dec. 28, at the River Theater (16135 Main St., Guerneville; 8pm; $25; 707.869. 8022) and Monday, Dec. 31, at George’s (842 Fourth St., San Rafael; 9:30pm; $55—$65; 415.226.0262).

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dec. 22: David Gans at the Redwood Cafe

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

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He’s a journalist, radio DJ, producer, photographer, musician and author. But on this night, David Gans uses the guitar and voice to tell his tales. The Grateful Dead historian (his 1985 book on the band is highly regarded) played with Dead bassist Phil Lesh when he came out of retirement in the ’90s, and has played with several other folk and bluegrass icons. He now makes music with the Sycamore Slough String Band, which performs acoustic versions of Grateful Dead songs. After writing for almost every major music magazine in the Bay Area, including Rolling Stone, Gans now hosts Dead to the World on KPFA radio. David Gans plays with KRSH-FM DJ Andre de Channes on Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Redwood Cafe. 8240 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati. 9pm. $5. 707.795.7868.

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Dec. 21 and Dec.22: Christmas Jug Band at Sweetwater Music Hall

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

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Read this carefully, as a misinterpretation could lead to an embarrassing misunderstanding. There are no concerts this week featuring the Christmas Juggalo Band. There isn’t a group of Insane Clown Posse fanatics with black-and-white clown makeup in Santa hats spitting rhymes about senseless violence during the holiday season. There may be sleigh rides, but definitely no “slay rides,” and certainly—well, probably—no songs about killing people. The word “bitch” will only be used to describe a female dog, if at all. There are, however, concerts featuring the Christmas Jug Band, a skiffle group of good-time fun-seekers who enjoy drinking whiskey and playing the empty bottles as musical instruments. They play on Friday, Dec. 21 (family night), and Saturday, Dec. 22, at Sweetwater Music Hall. 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm Friday and 9pm Saturday. $17—$24. 415.388.1100.

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Dec. 21: Beach Party Freak Out at 142 Throckmorton

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

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An amazing drummer who’s played with prog-jazz fusion groups Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report, among others, Narada Michael Walden has scored 51 No. 1 songs as a producer. Fifty-one! And even though he lost a dear friend when Whitney Houston died this year (Walden even had a nickname for her, “Nippy”), it’s not keeping him down. This year marks the 16th annual Beach Party Freak Out fundraiser for his foundation supporting music education in the Bay Area. Luau attire is optional but encouraged; the Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar, leads a list of musical guests longer than Santa’s. At this show, at least, they’re all being nice. The Beach Party Freak Out is Friday, Dec. 21, at 142 Throckmorton. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $75—$175. 415.383.9600.

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Dec. 20: Windham Hill Winter Solstice Concert at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

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It’s not all hippie-dippie beams of light and cosmic messages, but much of the music Windham Hill Records has produced in its 36 years does lean toward the sensitive side of the universe. This week, three-time Grammy-nominee Barbara Higbie leads a trio of women songwriters with her world-influenced jazz featuring the Celtic harp. Jazz pianist Liz Story found Windham Hill Records after owner Will Ackerman heard a tape of her improvisations from a piano gig at a restaurant; he signed her right away. Finally, multi-instrumentalist Lisa Lynne is mostly known for her recordings on Celtic harp, but also composes original songs using traditional folk instruments. All three women are supported in this show by guitarist Sean Harkness and flutist George Tortorelli. The Windham Hill Winter Solstice concert is on Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $15—$20. 707.226.7372.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dec. 15: Todd Snider at the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM

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It’s a shame that Todd Snider’s sharp-edged songs aren’t known to more people; songs like “Statistician’s Blues,” or “America’s Favorite Pastime,” which tells the story of Dock Ellis pitching a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while tripping on acid. “New York Banker,” from the grim and entrancing Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables is classic Snider—“Good things happen to bad people,” he sings, while relaying the story of fat-cat bankers run amok with the pensions of the working-class. Comedian and podcast host extraordinaire Marc Maron is a big fan, and probably Jimmy Buffett too, since Snider covers his “West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown” on the new album. Snider plays with Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, plus opener Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 8pm. $25. 707.259.0123.

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Dec. 15: Rappin' 4-Tay at 19 Broadway

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM

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Rappin’ 4-Tay hit it big in back in the day with “Playaz Club,” a loping, groove-dipped tune about a special place only accessible to in-the-know people in classy suits. (The basic message: leave the gat at home, but bring some dominoes, then take off your shoes and get a body rub.) After falling off the radar for a decade or so, the San Francisco-born rapper has been on the slow road to a comeback. The East Bay Express included the Bay Area rapper, who saw his greatest success in the early ’90s, on a list of the top-played artists at UC Berkeley frat parties (right behind Dave Matthews Band and Bob Marley’s Legend). If you missed the RBL Posse revival straight outta Rohnert Park last month, they’ll be opening. Rappin’ 4-Tay plays Saturday, Dec. 15, at 19 Broadway. 19 Broadway Blvd., Fairfax. 9pm. $15. 415.459.1091.

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