Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jan. 1: Paul Di'Anno at the Last Day Saloon

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Just about every time Bruce Dickinson quits Iron Maiden, diehard fans salivate at the desire to see original vocalist Paul Di’Anno return to the band. But chances are such a reunion won’t happen, and not just because the growly-voiced atheist was kicked out in 1980, after two records, for essentially being too drunk. Since, Di’Anno has lived in Brazil and become immersed in that country’s underground music scene; opened an internet cafe in Great Britain and recorded the occasional solo project. But it’s his gruff voice that would bar him from singing the frilly high notes of current Iron Maiden material; it’s also his best asset. See him on Saturday, Jan. 1, at the Last Day Saloon. 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. 9pm. $18–$20. 707.545.2343.
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Dec. 31: Amato and Vinson's Blues Brothers Tribute at Silo's Jazz Club

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Few movies about music have had such a drop-weighted cultural impact (exceptions made for Spinal Tap and The Commitments), and certainly few movies spun off from a Saturday Night Live sketch have been as successful as The Blues Brothers. Live it again, folks: the blazing Aretha scene, the good-time Cab Calloway scene, James Brown as the reverend and more when Amato and Vinson, billed as the “best Blues Brothers tribute today,” ring out the old year. There’ll be appetizers, Champagne and a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on when the fedoras are donned on Friday, Dec. 31, at Silo’s. 530 Main St., Napa. 6pm show $30; 10pm show $75. 707.251.5833.
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Dec. 31: Lydia Pense and Cold Blood at George's Nightclub

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 1:07 PM

If it can be typified by anything, the “San Francisco sound” has always boasted a cross-pollination of rock, jazz, blues and soul. Put a great female singer at the forefront of it all, and you’ve got a recipe for history. Or so it seemed when Cold Blood released their debut album in 1969—a screaming, venomous collection of heartwrenching barnburners that seemed set to enshrine the band for good. Turns out Janis made the history books—untimely deaths will do that—while Lydia Pense still sings magnificently at little clubs around the Bay Area. This weekend, the band shuts the door on 2010 in a New Year’s Eve show on Friday, Dec. 31, at George’s Nightclub. 842 Fourth St., San Rafael. 9:30pm. $65. 415.226.0262.
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Dec. 30: Elvin Bishop at Rancho Nicasio

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 1:05 PM

There’s nothing like making the drive through the winding roads and over the rolling California hills to the little roadhouse of Rancho Nicasio. So when you’re headed out to boogie the year away by fooling around and falling in love to Elvin Bishop, remember to take a look around at the last slice of the coast you’ll see in the year 2010. Likewise, there’s nothing like driving back home from the cozy little club, so make sure you don’t veer off the road and into the lake at the cheese factory. Drink sparingly and chug that coffee after partying ’til the cows come home on Thursday, Dec. 30, at Rancho Nicasio. Town Square, Nicasio. 8:30pm. $20–$25. 415.662.2219.
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Dec. 29-Jan. 5: Across the Bridge

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The Slip

Boston indie-avant-jazz trio plays with Marco Benevento.

Dec 30 at Cafe du Nord.Primus

One night is Sailing the Seas of Cheese; next night is New Year’s Eve.

Dec 30-31 at the Fox Theater.Nerf Herder

New Year’s Eve with the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” theme song band.

Dec 31 at the Bottom of the Hill.Rebirth Brass Band

Getting all Tremé up in your ear for the new year.

Dec 31 at the Independent.Dresden Dolls

Weimar republic meets Bauhaus for end-of-year gothic cabaret.

Dec 31 at the Warfield.Diane Reeves

Timeless jazz standards from adventurous vocalist.

Dec 30-Jan 1 at Yoshi’s SF.

More San Francisco events at

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 27: 'Vikings Raid Broadway' at the Jackson Theater

Posted By on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Santa Rosa’s own Paul Staroba has come a long way from playing piano as a teenager for local productions of La Cage Au Folles in the pit band with off-time drummers and drunk bassists. The incredibly talented musician is now in the Big Apple, on Broadway, conducting the orchestra for none other than Bernadette Peters in A Little Night Music and tinkling the ivories for Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular. Staroba’s coming back home to help out his alma mater, Montgomery High School, in a fundraiser to send drama students to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Called Vikings Raid Broadway, it features Staroba along with other alumni, performing Broadway hits and passing the flaming torch to the next generation on Monday, Dec. 27, at the Jackson Theater. 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa. 6pm. $20–$60. 707.528.5395.
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December 26: Kwanzaa Celebration at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

Posted By on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 3:17 PM

It’s the day after Christmas, you think that it’s all over, but no—the kids are still out of school. Spending money’s out of the question, but you want to take them somewhere exciting so they’ll get out of your hair. Of course! In celebration of the first day of Kwanzaa, the Bay Area Discovery Museum offers free admission all day on the day after Christmas! All throughout the museum will be art projects inspired by Africa, as well as a traditional Kwanzaa altar in the main lobby. But most importantly, in two separate shows, drummer E. W. Wainwright will lead a jazz combo in the African Roots of Jazz, tracing the lineage of jazz, blues, spirituals and hip-hop with songs, theater, and audience participation. Feel the umoja on Sunday, Dec. 26, at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. Open 9am–4pm; performances at 11am and 1pm. Free. 415.339.3900.
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December 22: Paul Anka at the Wells Fargo Center

Posted By on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 3:15 PM

“I hate this song,” Frank Sinatra would often remark from the stage, introducing “My Way,” “I’ve had it up to here with this goddamned song.” He had a point. Though Sinatra lived large, the egomania of “My Way” never sat well, and one can only imagine how his constant denigration of the song affected its writer, Paul Anka. Of course, Sinatra also loudly hated the type of early moon-faced teen-idol pop Anka trafficked in, such as “Puppy Love,” “Put Your Head on my Shoulder” and “Lonely Boy,” so maybe the public bashing wasn’t such a surprise. Last year, Anka made headlines after Michael Jackson’s death when he threatened to sue the Jackson family over the writing credits of a leftover song the two had co-written, and this year, he brings his warm holiday cheer in a show called “Christmas, My Way” to town on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $45–$99. 707.546.3600.
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December 22: Polly Lappetito at the Culinary Institute of America

Posted By on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM

After the rush of decorating, shopping, organizing, shuffling relatives, fielding RSVPs and wrapping presents, who the hell wants to cook? One could take a cursory flip-though of the Larousse Gastronomique as inspiration—or opt for a cooking demonstration at the Culinary Institute of America with none other than in-house Greystone Restaurant chef Polly Lappetito. Anyone with “appetito” as part of their name has to be good with food, right? And especially if you’re talking family recipes. Lappetito will be preparing her family’s Christmas manicotti recipe and demonstrating the fine art of making manicotti shells. By the day’s end, you’ll want to call off that turkey and order up eggplant, basil and chicken for Christmas dinner. Lappetito inspires on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at the Culinary Institute of America. 2555 Main St., St. Helena. 5–7pm. Free. 707.967.2320.
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Across the Bridge: Dec. 22-28

Posted By on Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Pharaoh Sanders

On good nights, the jazz legend is indomitable.

Dec 22-24 at Yoshi’s Oakland.Vienna Teng

S.F. native dazzles a hometown crowd.

Dec 23 at the Great American Music Hall.We Is Shore Dedicated

Maritime-themed band plays Tenderloin backroom.

Dec 23 at the Hemlock Tavern.Bell Biv Devoe

New Jack Swing is back with the hitmakers behind “Poison.”

Dec 23 at Yoshi’s SF.Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven

They will never ever stop playing shows.

Dec 27 at the Independent.X

Wash away Christmas with songs like “We’re Desperate.”

Dec 28-29 at Slim’s.

More San Francisco events at

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