Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jan. 17: 'Harvey' at the Spreckels Center

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 1:37 PM

“I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.” With those lines, Elwood P. Dowd secures a place in the hearts of moviegoers with the great 1950 film ‘Harvey.’ Played by Jimmy Stewart, Dowd is a masterpiece of simple-mindedness cloaking a fresh intelligence, and those who see beyond his harmless delusion that a six-foot-tall rabbit follows him at all times discover life lessons based on utterly obvious observation. The Spreckels Center in Rohnert Park continues its welcome classic film series with a screening of Harvey in its 500-seat theater this Sunday, replacing, in a way, the loss told in these pages of the Pacific Alliance Stage Company’s ongoing plays. City budget cuts are film lovers’ gain, however, as the rest of the Sunday series in January finds the theater’s 25-foot screen taken up by the likes of The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. See Harvey this Sunday, Jan. 17, at the Spreckels Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 3pm. $6. 707.588.3434.Gabe Meline
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Jan 14 and 16: Thugz and Linda Ferro at Rio Nido Roadhouse

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 1:30 PM

The Rio Nido Roadhouse just ain’t what it used to be—and that’s a good thing. Its reputation nearly ruined in the late ’80s and ’90s due to hotheaded bikers and rampant methamphetamine, the place has since been fixed up to its proper glory as a no-frills joint offering good times and live music for the whole family. Covered with a large plastic tent in the wintertime, the music patio and grassy area has earned the endearing term “the ICU” from members of the Thugz, who continue their Thursday-night residency at the Roadhouse after last month’s sudden closure by county building inspectors of the band’s former haunt, the Pink Elephant in Monte Rio. Music nights at the Roadhouse are all-ages, there are outdoor heaters, the music stops at 10pm, and the kitchen churns out a full menu of pub grub and pizza. The Thugz return on Thursday, Jan 14; the Linda Ferro Band play Saturday, Jan. 16. It’s all at the Rio Nido Roadhouse, 14540 Canyon Two, Rio Nido. 6pm. Free. 707.869.0821.Gabe Meline
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Jan. 15: Perla Batalla at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 1:28 PM

As a backup singer for Leonard Cohen, Perla Batalla learned early on the business of touring and performing, and indeed, she can be seen in the great Leonard Cohen tribute film I’m Your Man, singing a blood-tingling version of “Bird on the Wire.” Yet when Cohen encouraged her to go solo, she turned ever further into her past for inspiration: her parents’ L.A. record store, which sold Spanish and Latin music, and where Batalla absorbed the songs that help make up her great album Discoteca Batalla, named after the store. Having secured a place at the Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House with her bicultural output, Batalla returned again to the songs of Cohen; for the release party of her Cohen tribute Bird on the Wire, no less than Michael McDonald, Jackson Browne and Bill Frisell showed up to join her onstage. Witness pure emotion when Batalla sings on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $21. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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Jan. 14: Noah Alper at Osher Marin JCC

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Noah Alper knows a thing or two about business. After all, he sold the small little Berkeley bagel company that he founded, Noah’s Bagels, for $100 million. His story, of once failing at business by trying to sell Israeli products to born-again Christians to his current success, is told in Alper’s Business Mensch: Timeless Wisdom for Today’s Entrepreneur. Detailing in frank honesty his humble beginnings, his mental breakdown in college, his determination to come back stronger and, in the words of God to Abraham, to “go forth,” Alpert writes a series of chapters each with different guiding rules for business. Locals who miss the “old” Noah’s Bagels will find out why the offerings at Noah’s changed after Alper sold the business (i.e., no longer Kosher), and those looking to start their own business will find plenty of real-life advice. Alper appears to discuss the book on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 7pm. $12–$16. 415.444.8000.Gabe Meline
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jan. 9: Brian Regan at the Wells Fargo Center

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Brian Regan is the anti-George Carlin. He won’t say any of the seven words you can’t say on television, he won’t speak in antagonized tones, and he doesn’t criticize the government, religion or the status quo. In fact, the status quo is Regan’s feeding ground; his most famous skits revolve around doctors, food labels, Little League, telephones and, of course, flying. Having now starred in two of his own Comedy Central specials, Regan brings his everyman form of clean humor to the lily-white crowds of wine country this weekend in a show that won’t cause nervous wincing while sitting next to the kids. If your family outings usually mean driving the Suburban to Costco for a $1.50 pizza and soda dinner combo and renting Ishtar from Blockbuster, then Regan’s your comedian. Laugh it up on Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $39.50–$43.50. 707.546.3600.Gabe Meline
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Jan. 9: 'The Sound of Music' Sing-Along at Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 5:52 PM

As the glut of New Age flyers still populating county bulletin boards affirm, achieving spiritual unity with the entire human existence can cost thousands of dollars to various “life coaches” and “cosmic advisers.” Even so, the task raises a few questions. How can one comfortably sustain oneness with all persons? Doesn’t it, like, start to fade, and require more “consultation” fees? Is that wrinkly bald person wrapped in a sarong at the bottom of the flyer with a PO box really the avatar of Brahman? Or should I just go to the Sing-Along Sound of Music instead? Why, yes! “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”—these are the stones on the path to true brotherly and sisterly peace. Coming together in celebration of harmony! Applying our own individual voices to collectively give lift to universal truths! For only $12! These are a few of my favorite things! Lift up every voice and sing the Julie Andrews classic with your fellow man on Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 7pm. $12. 707.226.7372.

Gabe Meline

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Jan. 8: The Easy Leaves at Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 5:50 PM

So there I was, watching the rebroadcast of the community access channel’s coverage from the Handcar Regatta. The cameras cut to the porch stage, where two guys strummed and sang in perfect harmony, and one after another, the songs were damn good. How could I have missed them? Well, the Easy Leaves, until now, have been easy to miss. They play on street corners or at small cafes, mostly in western Sonoma County. Their self-titled album should change all that; it’s one of the best local releases in a long while. Bassist Kevin Carducci and guitarist Sage Fifield have a natural rapport, eased by the recording sessions in the Sierra Nevada foothills, where fueled by bacon, eggs, coffee and whiskey, the Leaves laid to tape a down-home collection of excellently written songs that fit somewhere between Jim Kweskin and the Devil Makes Three. Throw on your overalls and help them celebrate its release on Friday, Jan. 8, at the Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 8pm. $8. 707.829.7300.Gabe Meline
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Jan. 8: Jules Broussard at 19 Broadway

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Every creative garden has its unheralded tender. You know the type—the all-knowing, humble mentor who is happy to watch the seeds grow, spread and blossom. Jules Broussard is that silent professor for the Bay Area’s jazz scene, a man who’s walked countless future saxophonists through the ropes and opened up worlds of improvisation based on his experience with Alice Coltrane, Carlos Santana and Ray Charles. On his most recent album, With Strings Attached, Broussard revisits the songs that inspired him as a young player, composed by a jazz ancestry that includes Arnett Cobb, Duke Ellington, Sidney Bechet and Benny Carter. Broussard has been holding down the “Second Sundays” jazz series at 19 Broadway lately, and it’s a welcome residency. Hear the Bay Area legend on Sunday, Jan. 8, at the 19 Broadway Niteclub. 19 Broadway, Fairfax. 5pm to 8pm. Free. 415.459.1091.Gabe Meline
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Jan. 6-13: Across the Bridge

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Rahsaan Patterson

Harlem-raised singer named after Rahsaan Roland Kirk has soulful R&B voice; celebrates new album in one-night-only set of shows. Jan 7 at 8 and 10. $24. Yoshi’s. 510 Embarcadero W, Oakland. 510.238.9200.Andrew Jackson Jihad

A man, a guitar and about five million pounds of passion, giving songwriters a kick in the pants and DIY anti-folk new lustre. Jan 7 at 8:30. $10. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St, San Francisco. 415.621.4455.Dengue Fever

Cambodian pop gets turned on its ear with this oddly engaging group, known for making the weird sound sublime. Jan 8 at 9. $18. The Independent, 628 Divisadero St, San Francisco. 415.771.1422.D.R.I.

Thrash veterans who’ve recently crossed back over from metal to hardcore again are as vicious and relevant as ever. With Attitude Adjustment. Jan 9 at 8. $17. Slim’s, 333 11th St, San Francisco. 415.255.0333.Sonic Youth

Long-running New York institution continue to push the envelope with latest album, “The Eternal.” Jan 10 at 8. $30. The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd, San Francisco. 415.346.6000.David J

Former frontman for Love and Rockets and Bauhaus plays small, intimate venue in special solo set. With openers Luv’n Rockets and Ashley Allred. Jan 10 at 8. $15. Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market St, San Francisco. 415.861.5016.

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