Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mar. 27: 'The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter' at the Napa Valley Museum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

There was, in fact, an actual WW II–era riveter named Rosie—Rose Will Monroe, who helped build B-29s in Michigan—but with the passage of time, she’s been lost to big-band jazz and poster iconography. Such as it was in 1942 when Kay Kyser’s swing-era hit “Rosie the Riveter” entered the phrase into wartime parlance, and J. Howard Miller’s famous “We Can Do It!” poster secured the image. Forty years after women worked in factories getting paid less than men for the war effort, filmmaker Connie Field conducted interviews with five real-life Rosies and interspersed them with historical footage; the resulting film ‘The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter’ is a 65-minute gem. Following a screening of the film, a panel of women veterans who served in the armed forces will share their experiences. Watch an underrepresented history come alive on Saturday, March 27, at the Napa Valley Museum. 55 Presidents Circle, Yountville. 2pm. $5. 707.944.0500.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 27: Turtle Island Quartet at Dance Palace

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM

While the Kronos Quartet paved the way for chamber-jazz by recording tributes to the work of both Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans, the Turtle Island Quartet (née the Turtle Island String Quartet) have consistently explored jazz in the lingering shadow of their Bay Area competitors. Two years ago, it paid off when Turtle Island scored a Best Classical Crossover Album Grammy Award for A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane, an album short on actual Coltrane compositions but nonetheless acclaimed for its technique and process of transcribing Coltrane’s actual solos for violin, cello and viola. Excitement should be high for their concert this week, as they’ve just gotten out of the studio recording a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, entitled Have You Ever Been?, featuring “Gypsy Eyes,” “Little Wing” and others. The album is due out in the fall, but you can get experienced this weekend when the Turtle Island Quartet turns to mermen on Saturday, March 27, at the Dance Palace. 503 B St., Point Reyes Station. 8pm. $28–$30. 415.663.1075.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 26: Michelle Shocked at the Hopmonk Tavern

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Being community-minded might involve eschewing the glitz of the stage lights for the crackle of a warm campfire. It might involve sharing songs instead of putting your own on a pedestal. Michelle Shocked has done both. Claiming her stake in the music industry with The Texas Campfire Tapes, a Walkman recording of the young songwriter singing around a campfire at a folk festival, Shocked recently mounted an democratic campaign. “Michelle Shocked is looking for a few good songs to add to the repertoire in her touring adventure across the U.S. this year,” her website announces. “If you’ve written a song, or know a song that articulates the Zeitgeist; 1-in-10 unemployed, 1-in-6 uninsured, long term partners denied marriage equality, home foreclosures  or mortgages underwater, political gridlock, bankruptcy or bailout . . . well, kid, this talent search is for you!” Hear Shocked sing the common people’s plight on Friday, March 26, at the Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Santa Rosa. 8:30pm. $20–$23. 707.829.7300.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 26-27: Canned Heat at the Highland Dell

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Seeing as they made their name at Woodstock, it’s only natural that over 40 years later Canned Heat would still be seeking out-of-the-way countryside. So it is with the blues-boogie band’s show this weekend at the Highland Dell, a historic lodge on the Russian River that’s hosted the likes of Leon Russell, Cold Blood and Barry “the Fish” Melton. (David Lindley plays the joint next month.) Hearing “Goin’ Up the Country” and “On the Road Again” way out on the unincorporated roads of the actual country can only be made better by special guest Harvey Mandel, who drops in on his old band mates from time to time to sit in. We’d love to tell you if mean-dog bassist and longtime Tom Waits sideman Larry Taylor will be in the band, but . . . the band didn’t get back to us! Oh well! At any rate, see Mandel, a blues legend in his own right, if only for the excellent Get Off in Chicago album, play with Canned Heat on Friday–Saturday, March 26–27, at the Highland Dell. 21050 River Blvd., Monte Rio. 7pm. $60–$65. 707.865.2300.Gabe Meline
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March 24-31: Across the Bridge

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Acid Mothers Temple

Kawabata Makoto’s psychedelic noise project boggles minds and pierces ears on tour with OGOD. Mar 24 at 9:30. $12. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St, San Francisco. 415.621.4455.Air

French duo behind “Moon Safari” and loved by “High Fidelity” author Nick Hornby blisses out the masses in rare US appearance. Mar 26 at 8. $38. Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave, Oakland. 510.302.2277.Christette Michele

Sultry R&B singer with excellent hair has guested on songs by the Roots and shot to number one with “Epiphany.” Mar 27 at 9. $31-$35. Regency Ballroom, Sutter and Van Ness, San Francisco. 800.745.3000.Kid Koala

It was crazy at last week’s Audio Alchemy series—Mike Patton and Kevin Spacey both showed up. Turntablism lives on, folks. Mar 27 at 10:30. $20. Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco. 415.655.5600.Flying Lotus

Alice Coltrane’s nephew smokes a lot of weed, makes a lot of blippy electronic noises, and goes on tour with Thom Yorke. Mar 27 at 9. $18. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St, San Francisco. 415.625.8880.Nellie McKay

Diminutive ingenue who’s written ridiculously creative songs of her own steps out with a classy tribute to her idol, Doris Day. Mar 29 at 8. $21. Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St, San Francisco. 888.233.0449.More San Francisco events at

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mar. 23: The Devil Makes Three at the Phoenix Theater

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Pete Bernhard has a good, entrenched history in Sonoma County. While living at a famed Santa Rosa punkhouse, he played at weddings in Occidental and worked for neurotic junk hoarders in Forestville. Bernhard’s time in the area coincided with his band, the Devil Makes Three, just getting off the ground, and we welcome him home whenever he digs his boot heels back into our sand. Of course, it’s more than simple sentimentalism driving DM3’s ever-increasing fan base to rabidity. For every forsaken loner who’s found strength in a folk song, for every crusty punk who’s taken up sewing and dreamed of moving to North Carolina, for every tattooed, whiskey-drinkin’, jalopy-drivin’ iconoclast, there’s a Devil Makes Three song to serve as life’s theme. Be there when Pete, Cooper and Lucia do their thing on Tuesday, March 23, at the Phoenix Theater. 201 E. Washington St., Petaluma. 8pm. $15; all ages. 707.762.3565.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 20: Kiri Te Kanawa at Marin Center

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Adopted as an infant in New Zealand to a modest household, the young Kiri Te Kanawa enjoyed a slow, steady rise to opera prominence. First winning her country’s prestigious Mobil Song Quest at age 21, she studied in London and made her stage debut as the Countess in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. She was a smash. She married. She toured. She grew experienced at accepting bouquets and depositing paychecks. In 1981, she sang at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and the next year, the soprano was named Dame Commander by Queen Elizabeth. However, just when it looked as if her fairy-tale story would carry her through life, her husband was found cheating and her financial manager discovered making off with hundreds of thousands of dollars. Such betrayals have only strengthened her diva resolve in recital, if recent reviews are any indicator. See Kiri Te Kanawa, the legend, in person on Saturday, March 20, at the Marin Center. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 8pm. $25–$95. 415.499.6800.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 19: God's Oddities at Chrome Lotus

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 8:49 AM

While it’s sadly not uncommon to see hip-hop artists onstage without a DJ, it’s downright maddening when they haven’t even bothered to record an instrumental track. Rapping over your own rapping? That’s lazy, unprofessional and cause for dismissal. Thankfully, there’s a knee-jerk in the other direction with live hip-hop bands flourishing, from the Roots in Philly to Heiruspecs in St. Paul to the Crown City Rockers in San Francisco. Quickly emerging as the North Bay’s most promising live hip-hop group, God’s Oddities boast a full band, on-point MCs influenced by the Rhymesayers oeuvre, and something all too rare in hip-hop: a girl. God’s Oddities songs can be introspective (“It’s Alright”), topical (“MySpace Girls”) or just plain party fodder (“RapSure”), but what they all have in common are loping beats and infectious hooks. Catch their style at the new club in town—which just last month announced it wouldn’t book hip-hop—on Friday, March 19, at Chrome Lotus. 501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 9:30pm. $1. Meline
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Mar. 19: Jake Shimabukuro at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 8:47 AM

And so it began . . . A 30-year-old Hawaiian native with a ukulele filmed himself sitting on a rock playing a virtuosic, flashy version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” posted it on YouTube, and the world watched in awe. “I never knew a ukulele could sound like that,” remarked just about everybody, and a career was born. With pioneering technique and dazzling arrangement skills, Jake Shimabukuro is the Art Tatum of the uke, keeping listener’s ears shifting gears to wild cheers while his four-stringed peers languish in arrears. He is the No. 1 reason why ukulele sales have experienced a ridiculously steep rise since 2006—the year of his viral-video phenomenon—with companies in both Brooklyn and California alike reporting 70 and 80 percent sales increases annually. Hear his interpretations of “Thriller,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and, without a doubt, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” when Shimabukuro wows ’em on Friday, March 19, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $30–$35. 707.226.7372.Gabe Meline
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Mar. 17-24: Across the Bridge

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Keith Jarrett

Introspective jazz piano legend plays in the quiet solo setting he’s most famous for, via “The Köln Concert.” Mar 19 at 8. $30-$95. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco. 866.920.5299.Joe Bagale

The Bay Area’s own Mayer Hawthorne steps out from his Jazz Mafia haven for another sure-to-be-electryifying solo show. Mar 19 at 9. $12-$14. The Independent, 628 Divisadero St, San Francisco. 415.771.1422.Xiu Xiu

Quaint musicmaker Jamie Stewart tours solo in support of his unapologetically morose album, “Dear God, I Hate Myself.” Mar 20 at 10. $12. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St, San Francisco. 415.621.4455.Janelle Monáe

Kansas City belter with outstanding hair who’s opened for No Doubt and starred alongside Outkast plays intimate pair of shows. Mar 21-22 at 8. $12. Café du Nord, 2170 Market St, San Francisco. 415.861.5016.Joe Lovano & Esperanza Spalding

Dependable tenor saxophonist and Blue Note recording artist leads a quintet featuring the much talked-about crossover bassist. Mar 23-24 at 8 and 10. $18. Yoshi’s. 510 Embarcadero W, Oakland. 510.238.9200.Jay-Z

The self-styled “new Sinatra” of hip-hop and world’s richest rapper shows why he’s the entrepreneurial king of New York. Mar 24 at 7. $46-$130. HP Pavlion, 525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose. 800.745.3000.

More San Francisco events at

Gabe Meline

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