Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dec. 20: Melvin Seals and the JGB at Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM

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You know, I heard the bells on Christmas Day and all their old familiar carol play, walking down Main Street in Sebastopol. And I was all, “What the hell is up with this peace-loving place anyway? Do these people really believe there can be peace in the world? As if.” ’Cause, you know, hate really does seem to prevail. But then pealed the bells more loud and deep—the sound of righteousness and goodwill and legal marijuana, and I was like, “Damn, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, and Melvin Seals and the JGB shall play on Friday, Dec. 20, at Hopmonk Tavern.” 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9:30pm. $25. 707.829.7300.

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Dec. 19: Hot Club of San Francisco at Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

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So there we were, on the city sidewalks—busy sidewalks dressed in holiday air. And all up in the air was this feeling of Christmas, right, with children laughing and people passing, with hella people offering, like, smile after smile. Strings of street lights blink that bright red and green, and shoppers rush home with their treasures, and it’s like, man, remember when we were all worried about Rick Perry? Such a distant memory now. Snow crunches, kids bunch, it’s Santa’s big scene. And above all this bustle you’ll hear the Hot Club of San Francisco playing on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $20—$25. 707.226.7372.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dec. 14: The Blind Boys of Alabama at the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 9:24 PM

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year—for those of a Christian faith. What of the nonbelievers, the agnostics, the atheists? How to square an absolute disbelief in God with all the festive merriment over the birth of Jesus in songs like “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night”? Do we have to content ourselves with, like, Jeff Foxworthy’s Christmas album? Enter the Blind Boys of Alabama, who manage to sing gospel classics and Christmas standbys with such fervor that even the most ardent atheist usually capitulates and feels the spirit. The Blind Boys bring their Christmas show to town on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 7pm. $40. 707.259.0123.

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Dec. 14: Holiday Jam Dance Party at 142 Throckmorton

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 9:21 PM

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After making huge hit records for the likes of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, Narada Michael Walden can get together the best available talent for his annual Holiday Jam Dance Party. This year, the lineup includes Tom Johnston, Lester Chambers, Hope Briggs, Andre Thierry and others, with Walden himself on drums. As a benefit for Walden’s foundation, which supports music in schools and community organizations, the funky good time is for a good cause, too. Don your “1960s—1980s Dance Era Festive Funky” attire on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 142 Throckmorton Theater. 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. 8pm. $100—$175.

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Dec. 13: Willie Nelson at the Wells Fargo Center

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 9:14 PM

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The last time Willie Nelson was in the Bay Area, he pulled his white van through a huge crowd at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, hopped onstage with his beat-up guitar and sang a perfect set of hits to a crowd as diverse as San Francisco used to be. Rednecks, hipsters, tech bros, fluff girls, stoners, parents, babies—everyone loves Willie. Even John Stamos, from TV’s Full House, spontaneously joined the band on bongos, and Bob Weir showed up to sing “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.” In short: there’s no telling what will happen when Willie rolls through on Friday, Dec. 13, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $46—$86. 707.546.3600.

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Dec 13: The Christmas Jug Band at Twin Oaks Tavern

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 9:13 PM

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Like Jay Leno’s nasal laugh on the TV, the A’s losing in the postseason or your menstrual cycle, the Christmas Jug Band is ever reliable—a local institution that always comes around when it’s time. Playing shows around the North Bay in December, the band, which sometimes features swing-jazz eccentric Dan Hicks, waddles this week into the Twin Oaks Tavern. Now led by former Uptown Theatre manager Sheila Groves and featuring a solid lineup of live music, the Twin Oaks is a classic bar and roadhouse that hasn’t changed since the 1920s—and a perfect place for some down-home Santa songs. Tip back a holiday ale on Friday, Dec. 13, at the Twin Oaks Tavern. 5745 Old Redwood Hwy., Penngrove. 8pm. $12. 707.795.5118.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dec. 7: Merle Haggard at the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

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The “poet of the common man,” Merle Haggard grew up in a boxcar in Bakersfield, Calif., and has spent his life singing the working man’s blues. And yet the living legend would rather be referred to by the title “Professor,” having spent his career studying, analyzing and observing the details of life around him, and writing simple lyrics to portray the heart-wrenching truths of any life story—from that of a prisoner on death row to a heartbroken man downing shots at the local bar. With over 50 years in the industry, Haggard performs on Saturday, December 7 at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 7pm. $80—$90.

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Dec. 11: Hollywood Home Movies at the Rafael Film Center

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 10:11 PM

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The home-movie craze of the 1920s and 1930s spread across America, extending to Hollywood stars and directors, who captured private moments in their homes with friends and families and even behind the scenes on set. ‘Hollywood Home Movies’ taps from the private collections of Lucille Ball, Shirley Temple, Humphrey Bogart, Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock, compiled to create an entertaining evening of rarely screened footage. The collection of silent home movies is accompanied by pianist Michael Mortilla’s improvised score on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Rafael Film Center. 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael. 7pm. $12. 415.454.1222.

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Dec. 4: Casa Rasta at Christy's on the Square

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 10:11 PM

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After Society:Culture House unceremoniously shut its doors last month, Casa Rasta had to find a new venue for Santa Rosa’s best (and only) reggae genre night. Well-known for surprise guest appearances, including J Boog and Los Rakas (pictured), resident deejays Sizzlak and Dinga have now linked with San Francisco sound system, Jah Warrior Shelter to hold down the dancehall each Wednesday beginning Dec. 4 at Christy’s. 99 Old Court House Square, Santa Rosa. 10pm. $5. Ladies free through December.

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Dec. 6: Two Gallants at Sweetwater Music Hall

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 10:08 PM

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After a few years on hiatus, the Two Gallants have broken their silence with a new album, The Bloom and the Blight. Recovering from a serious van accident, band member Adam Stephens picked up the pen and began to write emotionally poignant lyrics and harmonies; in many ways, the album reflects the duo’s separate journeys during their passage to adulthood in the years apart. The Two Gallants’ guitar and drums fuse together to create roaring and sweeping sounds on Friday, Dec. 6, at Sweetwater Music Hall. 19 Corte Madera Ave., Corte Madera. 9pm. $20—$22. 415.388.1100.

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