Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sept. 28: Herbie Hancock at the Green Music Center

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 10:35 PM

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It’s the mark of a fine musician to be able to span decades and remain relevant. While an entire generation of turntable DJs grew up on Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit,” with its industrial beats and extended scratch outro, their parents were vibing out to the visionary pianist’s classic Blue Note albums like Empyrean Isles and Maiden Voyage. (Not to forget the big siblings in the club, dancing to acid-jazz samples of “Chameleon.”) These days, Hancock’s live set is adventurous as ever, evidenced by a version of “Watermelon Man” in 17/8 time. Alternating between piano, synthesizer, vocoder and keytar, the jazz master plays “Plugged In: A Night of Solo Explorations” on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 6pm. $25—$85. 866.955.6040.

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Sept. 28-29: 'Wretch Like Me' at Occidental Center of the Arts

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 10:30 PM

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From Michael Stipe and Woody Allen to Bill Maher and David Bazan, there exists a long line of art borne from men wrestling with their religious upbringing. Three years ago, ‘Wretch Like Me,’ the one-man show written and performed by Bohemian theater critic David Templeton, did this very thing with an added bonus: laughter. Now, in an updated revision, Templeton’s story about coming of age as a fundamentalist puppeteer with an overly devoted (to the Lord) girlfriend returns. Brush up on your New Testament verses and hark back to the weird world of the 1970s in two shows, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29, at the Occidental Center of the Arts. 3850 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental. 4pm. $10. 707.874.9392.

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Sept. 26: Michael Hurley at Sweetwater Music Hall

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 10:28 PM

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If you’ve got one of those friends still clinging to his manual typewriter and Polaroid Land Camera in the other, who extols the virtues of rotary phones and rub-on lettering, who distrusts anything made past 1978 and loudly proclaims so, have we got the gift for him: Michael Hurley’s 1984 album Blue Navigator, reissued in 2010 on 8-Track! We’re not kidding! Nor are we kidding when we report that the initial pressing of 50 sold out, and one later sold on eBay for $46! It’s official, folks: the old-timey trend has reached “drooling weirdo” levels. Hurley, an avid 8-Track fan and underground cult-folk hero, plays Thursday, Sept. 26, at Sweetwater Music Hall. 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $22—$35. 415.388.3850.

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Sept. 26: The Last Waltz at Summerfield Cinemas

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 10:18 PM

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It starts with an electrical failure. The lighting buzzes, there’s a couple flashes, and then the camera finally opens on the Winterland stage. It’s The Last Waltz, the star-studded, Scorsese-directed documentary of the Band’s “last show” that would go on to cause short-circuits among band members while appearing on lists of the Greatest Rock Concert Films of All Time. Backstage, arguments ensued and cocaine was plentiful (a bit of the white stuff on Neil Young’s nostril was famously edited out), but the music remains incredible. In a partnership with KRCB and the Last Record Store, Summerfield Cinemas screens the film on Thursday, Sept. 26, at Summerfield Cinemas. 551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $7—$10. 707.522.0719.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sept. 25: Bill McKibben at Dominican University

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:37 AM

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Accomplished environmentalist author, journalist and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben found himself behind bars in the summer of 2011 after leading a large civil disobedience at the White House in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline. Now he’s ready to talk about what led him there in his new book Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, which intertwines his work with a Vermont beekeeper with his story of leading a growing social movement. The book also ties together the two necessary faces of the global climate fight: the fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole and the development of small-scale local answers. With empathy and passion, McKibben draws on why these two aspects are mutually reinforcing and must come hand-in-hand for the success of a movement that could lead to saving the planet. McKibben speaks about Oil and Honey on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Dominican University. 50 Acacia Ave, San Rafael. 7pm. Free. 415.927.0960.

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Sept. 21: Dr. John at the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM

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If you take everything “cool” and infuse it into a single human being, you get one man: Dr. John. The legendary “Night Tripper” has played with Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger—just to name a few. Quite fittingly, Dr. John’s unique musical style doesn’t fit under any one category, but is a type of hybrid voodoo-psychedelic-meets-traditional-New-Orleans-R&B-and-funk. Widely considered a living embodiment of the rich musical heritage of New Orleans, Dr. John proved his life-long love affair with his hometown by stepping up to the plate after Hurricane Katrina with generous relief fundraising concerts, recordings, angry words of protest and a Grammy-winning album, City That Care Forgot. Dr. John plays on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 8pm. $40—$55. 707.259.0123.

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Sept. 21: Itzhak Perlman at the Green Music Center

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM

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Turned away from the Ron Shulamit Conservatory because he was too small to handle a violin, the three-year-old Itzhak Perlman taught himself on a toy fiddle. Now, of course, he’s one of the greatest musical prodigies of our time. Onstage, Perlman communicates an irresistible joy of making music, while offstage, he is beloved for his charm and humanity, and a recent New Yorker piece uncovered Perlman as a closet comedian in the Borscht Belt tradition. Having appeared with every major orchestra, and in recitals and festivals around the world, the reigning virtuoso of the violin isn’t one to miss on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Green Music Center. 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 6pm. $55—$125. 866.955.6040.

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Sept. 21-22: The Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival at Johnson's Beach

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM

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It’s Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival trivia time! 1. Who backed big acts like Joe Cocker, Tina Turner and Richard Marx before embarking on a solo career? 2. Who appears unaccredited in the movie Animal House as the bassist in the band Otis Day and the Knights? 3. Whose name means “to bring forth” in Yoruba, the language spoken in Niger and Togo? 4. Who grows grapes and produces wine with his wife in Napa, but also met and played with Steve Miller when he was just 15? (1. Euge Groove. 2. Robert Cray. 3. Ledisi. 4. Boz Scaggs.) These acts along with Times 4, Gregory Porter, Jeffrey Osborne, the California Honeydrops, Robert Thomas, Shane Dwight and others serenade the riverside on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21—22, at Johnson’s Beach. 16241 First St., Guerneville. 10am. $50—$80. 949.362.3366.—

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sept. 15: Renee Fleming at the Green Music Center

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 2:17 PM

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A true musical genius, Renée Fleming brings sophistication and sheer talent to the mainstream. As one of the most celebrated and beloved sopranos of our time, Fleming can’t help but overshadow fellow male artists, including her ex-husband Rick Ross—and no, I do not mean the sleazy rapper. Her voice has captivated Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Olympic champions, President Obama and even Queen Elizabeth II. Fleming’s upcoming program ranges from her breathtaking rendition of Richard Strauss to Joseph Canteloube, Johann Strauss II, J. Todd Frazier and many others. Come see the 2013 National Medal of Arts winner as she opens a new season with a special recital on Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Green Music Center. 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 3pm. $55—$125. 866.955.6040.

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Sept. 14: Drew Carey at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 2:11 PM

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For those of you who think you know Drew Carey from watching him host Whose Line Is It Anyway?, The Price Is Right or even his personal sitcom The Drew Carey Show, think again. In his autobiography Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined, Carey reveals his frustration dealing with censors that force him to tone down his off-color humor on the screen. To fight back, Drew Carey will be off-screen and in the flesh this week, going back to his standup comedy roots where an audience can enjoy his unrefined stories and racy jokes—without losing any of the saucy humor to mass media censors. Don’t miss Carey’s comedy show on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 7 and 9pm. $40. 707.226.7372

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