Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sept. 28: 'Where Soldiers Come From' at Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM

“Supporting the troops” takes on many forms more complex than waving a plastic made-in-China flag, and one such way is to tell a soldier’s story. Heather Courtney returned to her snowy Michigan hometown to make the documentary ‘Where Soldiers Come From,’ which follows a group of friends who are lured into the Army by signing bonuses and college-tuition support. After a mission in Afghanistan sweeping for roadside bombs, the young men return disillusioned in their commitments and plagued by PTSD. That’s when their true challenges begin—as returning veterans, at just 23 years old. See Where Soldiers Come From as part of the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival's "Best of the Fest" on Friday, Sept. 28, at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol. 4:30pm and 7pm. $10. 707.829.4797.

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Sept. 30: Festa Italiana at the Santa Rosa Vets Building

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM

It was always there, every year, hanging on the small brown building just a block away from the Bohemian offices. ‘FESTA ITALIANA,’ read the large banner. Italian festival? Hmm. Finally, last year, I went. Good heavens! A room full of food, another room with a Sinatra impersonator and yet another room detailing the rich history of turn-of-the-century immigrants in Santa Rosa’s Little Italy neighborhood, now rebranded as the West End. Booths everywhere. People everywhere. A hell of a time, this Festa Italiana. Among this year’s entertainment are the Don Giovannis, Zighi Baci with Michael Van Why, Damiani Duo, the Roman Gladiators and Coro Allegro, and it all gets cooking on Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Veterans Memorial Building. 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa. 11am—6pm. $6—$10. 707.591.9696.

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Oct. 1 and 3: The Outlaws at Sweetwater Music Hall, Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Tampa may now be known as the site of Clint Eastwood’s bizarre “Empty Obama Chair” speech, but in the late ’60s, it was the fertile breeding ground for a different kind of conservatism—namely, the Outlaws. Getting signed to a recording deal after opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Southern rock band went on to a string of successes in the 1970s, most notably the song “Green Grass and High Tides,” which in a live setting stretched from a 10-minute album track to a 20- or 30-minute guitar-heavy wankfest. With original members Henry Paul and Monte Yoho, wish for “There Goes Another Love Song” when the Outlaws play Monday, Oct. 1, at the Sweetwater Music Hall (19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley; 8pm; $42; 415.388.3850) and Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Uptown Theatre (1350 Third St., Napa; 8pm; $35; 707.259.0123).

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Sept. 27: TEDx Marin at the Kanbar Center

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM

The future is here, and it involves speakers standing onstage with a headset microphone and a PowerPoint remote. TED conferences, in which interesting people talk about interesting things for a $6,000 price tag, are embraced by CEOs, venture capitalists and YouTube view counters. TEDx talks, on the other hand, are not sanctioned by TED and can be sponsored by just about anybody. (A TEDx talk in Corpus Christi last month, since gone viral for the wrong reasons, advocated the attainment of “swag.”) TEDx Marin features an impressive lineup, including neurobiologist Mohammed El Majdoubi, astronaut Ed Lu, author Lynne Twist, futurist Andrew Hessel and others. Be there on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center. 200 N. San Pedro Drive, San Rafael. 5:30pm. $75. 415.444.8000.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sept. 25: Jill Stein at SSU

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Though the Vegas odds are decidedly not in her favor, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is in it to win it. Hell, after the total breakdown of Mitt Romney’s campaign, who knows what could happen in November? Stein, a medical doctor who once ran against Romney for governor of Massachusetts, is touting a platform of a “Green New Deal,” which would create jobs while simultaneously solving environmental problems. If that sounds markedly close to Obama’s stated goals, consider this: Stein also vows to end all drone strikes. With strong convictions—which recently resulted in an arrest at a Fannie Mae protest in Philadelphia—Stein makes her case on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Evert B. Person Theater at Sonoma State University. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 1pm. Free. 415.425.3733.

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Sept. 25: 'Grand Hotel' at Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Greta Garbo. Joan Crawford. Not one, but two Barrymores. Aspiring stars, jewelry theft, brutish fighting, drunken foibles, and the famous line, “I want to be alone.” All these things and more make up ‘Grand Hotel,’ presented this week in the Napa Valley Opera House’s classic film series. Named Best Picture in 1932, the film holds up tremendously well, not only for its pioneering plot of interweaving characters and unusual cinematography, but for sheer old-Hollywood star power. There’s a thrilling climax involving a rotary phone, too, that can’t be beat—and that couldn’t possibly be effective with a lousy four-inch, 3.95-ounce iPhone 5. See Grand Hotel on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. 7pm. $7. 707.226.7372.

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Sept. 23: Benjamin Britten, Bela Bartók at Osher Marin JCC

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:23 PM

“[Insert Name of Famous Dead Person Here] Would Have Been 100 Years Old Today” is a common PR trick, like adding the word “festival” to the end of any event, and we usually don’t fall for it. You know what’s noteworthy? When someone actually lives to be 100. In the classical world, Elliot Carter is age 103 and still actively composing! Hence, the upcoming 2013 centennial for Benjamin Britten, who would have been 100, can’t possibly compete. (He died in 1976.) The New Century Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, gets a head start on next year’s Britten banner-waving with his Simple Symphony, Les Illuminations, and some Bartók thrown in too, on Sunday, Sept. 23, at Osher Marin JCC. 200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael. 5pm. $29—$59. 415.392.4400.

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Sept. 22: California Beer Festival at Stafford Lake Park

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:19 PM

If picking up this week’s paper and reading its contents succeeded in planting a thirst for beer, look no further than the California Beer Festival. You know the deal: 60 craft brews on tap, the soft waft of smoking barbecue, live blues by Chris Cain and a get-down time with Michael Jackson tribute band Foreverland—and a whole lot of like-minded beer fans aligned under the banner of good brew. A sister event to other beer fests in Ventura, Santa Cruz and San Dimas, the Novato edition also picks up on the latest requisite leisure sport for those holding a fragile glass in their hand and adds some bocce ball courts to the festivities. Get a glass and refill, refill, refill on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Stafford Lake Park. 3549 Novato Blvd., Novato. 12:30pm—5pm. $45—$50.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sept. 15: Old Grove Festival at Armstrong Woods

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Get your blood moving before the cold comes with a short hike to the Old Grove Festival. You’re sure to be hungry after that, so join in for a great feast that’ll fill your belly. Save some room—Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks are in charge of the entertainment, alongside Solid Air, the Mighty Chiplings, and Gordan and D’Orazi. The natural starlit atmosphere adds to the magic, and sound just resonates beautifully in the crisp forest air. Gather round the amphitheater—you might want to bring something soft to sit on the wooden benches—on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Armstrong Woods. 17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. 4pm. $25—$40. 707.869.2015.

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Sept. 14: Lila Downs at the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

In case you were wondering about the identity of that stunning woman on the cover of our Fall Arts issue, look no further. Lila Downs is the flamboyant Oaxaca native that sang her way into our corazons with her ancient and earthy melodies in the film Frida. She’s recently released her album Pecados y Milagros (“Sins and Miracles”), which embraces indigenous influences from her homeland to address the human condition in every culture. She’s currently working on a musical theater presentation of award-winning novel Like Water for Chocolate, so catch a glimpse of her on Friday, Sept. 14, at Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 8pm. $35. 707.259.0123.

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