Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan. 16: Eric Johnson at the Marin Center

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:31 AM

“I hate music,” Paul Westerberg famously declared, “it’s got too many notes.” Surely, he was thinking of wanky guitarists when he sang those lines, and especially those of the masturbatory-showoff-speed-soloist variety. Though Eric Johnson often appears beside such soulless shredders both in public perception—and onstage—remember that this is the guy who may have had the last instrumental semi-hit on the radio with “Cliffs of Dover,” an altogether catchy melody that’s hard for even the staunchest note haters to resist. Count the famous Marin guitarists in the crowd when Johnson plays with Andy McKee and Pepino D’Agostino on Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Marin Center (Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael; 3pm; $20–$35; 415.499.6800). The tour also hits the Napa Valley Opera House on Friday, Jan. 21 (1030 Main St., Napa; 8pm; $30-$35; 707.226.7372).
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Jan. 15: Grafting Workshop at the Guerneville Library

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:22 AM

When was the last time anyone was actually encouraged to bring a knife into a public building? (State of Montana not included.) And yet, here it is, the Sonoma County Master Gardeners’ Grafting Workshop at the Guerneville Library, whose event announcement asks to “please bring a small, sharp knife.” Crazy! Grafting, of course, is the process of fusing one limb or branch of a plant to another, used widely by horticulturists, home gardeners and even artists. You can’t really do it without a knife, truth be told, so don’t worry about Homeland Security pinning you to the ground and reading you your rights when you walk through the library doors on Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Guerneville Library. 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. 10:30am. Free. 707.565.2608.
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Jan. 14: Steve Tyrell at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM

The world was introduced to pop singer Steve Tyrell in the 1991 film Father of the Bride, singing that oft-played wedding chestnut “The Way You Look Tonight” in his best Sinatra croon. Since, he’s capitalized on the connection with numerous albums of standards affiliated with Ol’ Blue Eyes, but the Texas-born vocalist doesn’t seem to have much problem channeling Randy Newman (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me”) or B. J. Thomas (“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”). See him on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $35–$45. 707.226.7372.
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Jan. 14: Shelly Berman at 142 Throckmorton Theater

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Like Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory, the button-up mind of Shelly Berman turned the world diagonal in the 1960s though “comedy” albums that were more cerebral exercises than cheap guffaw-inducements. A common party trick when records like Inside Shelly Berman were released was to play Berman’s routines on the stereo and single out the squares from the with-it guests based on who “got it” or not. Since 2002, he’s appeared as Larry David’s dad on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and onstage, Berman usually does a few of his classic routines mixed with new material. For this event, he’s extended his show to include even more older material, and he’ll be introduced by none other than Mort Sahl on Friday, Jan. 14, at 142 Throckmorton Theater. 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. 8pm. $25–$35. 415.383.9600.
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Jan. 12: Minnesota at Jasper O'Farrell's Brainstorm

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:09 AM

With a new sound system and retooled stage, Jasper O’Farrell’s in Sebastopol has become an even stronger addition to the slew of valuable venues in a congested downtown Sebastopol area. Better yet, the Wednesday-night Brainstorm series is bringing in heavy hitters from the world of glitch, grime and dubstep, which, for those who don’t follow electronic music microgenres, is the latest craze out of England defined by bulbous syncopated bass growls and traipsing rhythms. This week, Brainstorm welcomes Christian Bauhofer, aka Minnesota, whose melodic take on the genre transforms classics like “California Dreamin’” into cranium-bending delights. Be there on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at Jasper O’Farrell’s. 6957 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $5. 707.829.2062.
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Jan. 12-19: Across the Bridge

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM


Bay Area hardcore pioneers are back to playing all the old stuff.

Jan 14 at Slim’s.Public Enemy

Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, plus a live band? At a jazz club? Damn.

Jan 14-15 at Yoshi’s SF.Dashboard Confessional

Relive the emo glory of 10 years ago with Swiss Army Romance tour.

Jan 15 at the Regency Ballroom.Neurosis

Sludge-metal pioneers guaranteed to play nothing from Pain of Mind.

Jan 15-16 at the Great American Music Hall.Budos Band

Baritone sax-led funk ensemble is heavier than gravity times 12.

Jan 15-16 at the Independent.Snoop Dogg

Good thing the venue’s staff doesn’t confiscate joints at the door.

Jan 18 at the Fillmore.

More San Francisco events at

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jan. 10: John McCutcheon at the Sebastiani Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 5:17 PM

The Wisconsin folksinger John McCutcheon may have just missed Bob Dylan’s time in the upper Midwest air of Minnesota, but he certainly sought out Dylan’s sources. Namely, in the 1970s, McCutcheon traveled to the Appalachians to study with Roscoe Holcomb, one of Dylan’s muses, and became so entrenched in folk music that he mastered the hammered dulcimer, the guitar, the banjo, the fiddle and more. Without a doubt, McCutcheon’s most entertaining contribution to our time is his clever song “Hail to the Chief,” based entirely on the misunderestimated “grammar” in the speeches of George W. Bush. Catch him at the marvelous town-square landmark on Monday, Jan. 10, at the Sebastiani Theatre. 476 First St. E., Sonoma. 7:30pm. $22. 707.996.9756.
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Jan. 8: 'Tamara Drewe' at the Jarvis Conservatory

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Adapting Thomas Hardy for the movies can be tough. For every success, like 1996’s Jude the Obscure (whatever happened to Christopher Eccleston?), there are other versions like 1979’s Tess (at least Roman Polanski knew his subject matter). The British cartoonist Posey Simmonds knew better than to try for the screen, and opted instead to take Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd from one printed page to another, basing her comic strip Tamara Drewe in The Guardian on the famous 1874 novel. The result was a success of her own, soon adapted into a graphic novel which now, in an ironic turn of events, has been adapted into a film. The fantastic stone walls of the Jarvis Conservatory in Napa host a one-time screening of ‘Tamara Drewe’ as part of its art-film series on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Jarvis Conservatory. 1711 Main St., Napa. 7pm. $10. 707.255.5445.
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Jan. 8: Adrian Legg at 142 Throckmorton Theater

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 5:11 PM

The British guitarist Adrian Legg is famous, sure—after all, he’s shared the stage with Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Steve Vai on their huge G3 tour. But versatility may be his biggest asset, both in music and in travel. This week, he plays the showroom at the Crystal Bay Casino in Lake Tahoe just before heading up to Shingle Springs, Calif. (where?) and then dropping in on Marin. It’s a good guess that he’s in town to check out the Bay Area World Guitar Show at the Marin Center (Saturday–Sunday, Jan. 8–9; 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael; 10am; $15), a huge convention of dealers, players, luthiers and collectors. He’ll pick up a tour date while he’s at it, dazzling a crowd with his incredible fingerstyle playing on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 142 Throckmorton Theater. 142 Throckmorton, Mill Valley. 8pm. $18–$21. 415.383.9600.
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Jan. 8: Beats of the Bay at Marin Center

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 5:02 PM

If you were headed to a recital by a local dance school, you might expect numbers set to music by Madonna, Lady Gaga or Daft Punk. But for the Love2Dance studio, which since 2002 has been teaching kids the art of body movin’ in Novato, this year it’s all about the Bay. This weekend sees their annual dance recital presenting choreography strictly backed by the music of the Bay Area, be it Santana, Journey or the big baller himself, E-40. Have you ever wondered what a synchronized routine to Metallica might look like? Wonder no more when the Love2Dance studio presents ‘Beats of the Bay’ on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Marin Center. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 6pm. $18–$24. 415.499.6800.
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