Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Feb. 2: Brothers Comatose at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Cloverdale? Isn’t that the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town on the way to River Rock Casino? Maybe, but it’s also home to a fine performing arts center hosting the Brothers Comatose. This folk string quintet has no ego when it comes to where it plays. Whether it’s festivals like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Strawberry, High Sierra, Outside Lands, Kate Wolf, SXSW or hometown hootenannies at tiny clubs for dedicated fans, it’s refreshing for a group’s personality to match its sound so well. They wrote a song called “Pie for Breakfast,” and that says a lot, right there. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a pie… The Brothers Comatose play Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center. 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. 7pm. $20-$25. 707.894.2214.

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Feb. 1: Cheryl Greene at Book Passage

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

When one is a practicing sex educator and clinical sexologist with several degrees to her credit, it’s only a matter of time before a book deal or movie option comes around. Now a major motion picture nominated for an Oscar, The Sessions is a story of one of Cheryl Greene’s patients who was confined to an iron lung after contracting polio at age six. The devoutly religious man wanted to know what it’s like to “be” with a woman, in the Biblical sense; Greene served as his sex surrogate and, lo and behold, it changed his life and inspired a Hollywood script. Greene speaks about her new book, An Intimate Life: Sex, Love and My Journey as a Sex Surrogate Partner, on Friday, Feb. 1, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7pm. Free. 415.927.0960.

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Feb. 1: Tahoe Adventure Film Festival at the Mystic Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM

If you can't get up to Tahoe, you can always live vicariously through the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival. Now with POV footage from GoPro-style cameras, skiing and snowboarding videos are more amazing to watch than ever. But it’s not just winter sports highlighted here. Kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, skating and mountain biking films are included, as well as BASE jumping—you know, when people put on a wingsuit and fly at high speeds like a squirrel through the air. Or, if you don’t know, be sure to see the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Mystic Theatre. 23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 7:30pm. $15. 707.765.2121.

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Jan. 31: Vusi Mahlasela at the Napa Valley Opera House

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Mix some Bob Dylan, a little Marvin Gaye and a touch of Paul Simon, ship it to South Africa and back, and you’ll have a sense of Vusi Mahlasela’s music. The title track from his debut album When You Come Back became an anthem 20 years ago in the fight to end apartheid. “Sing loud sing to the people,” he sings. “Let them give something to the world and not just take from it.” He’s huge in his home country, and is such a tremendous guitarist and songwriter that it’s baffling why he isn’t more popular in the United States. Vusi Mahlasela plays Thursday, Jan. 31 at Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 8pm. $15-$20. 707.226.7372.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jan. 27: The Calder Quartet at the Glaser Center

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

The Calder Quartet started young. In college, the four connected well enough to take risks beyond the standard chamber music repertoire, and like well-known contemporaries the Kronos Quartet, they work with new composers, rock groups and even Andrew W.K.—without sounding forced. They’re comfortable playing music from a hundred years ago written by candlelight as music written in a Portland basement last week, possibly also by candlelight. For their Santa Rosa appearance in conjunction with the Redwood Arts Council, the program includes Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, Bartok’s String Quartet no. 5 and the young composer Andrew Norman’s “. . . toward sunrise and the prime of light . . . ,” which premiered in October 2010. The Calder Quartet play Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Glaser Center. 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 4pm. $25. 707.874.1124.

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Jan. 25 and 26: Tim Flannery at Sweetwater Music Hall and the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

When he’s not windmilling wildly signaling Buster Posey to go for home, San Francisco Giants third base coach Tim Flannery is windmilling his guitar like Pete Townsend. OK, maybe he doesn’t get crazy and smash guitars onstage, but he is a good songwriter with a voice of wisdom. He’s even sung harmony with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir before games at the Giants ballpark. The real question is, after two World Series titles in three years, where the hell does he get the time to do all this? Tim Flannery plays Friday, Jan 25 at Sweetwater Music Hall. 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $22. 415.388.3850. He also plays with friends Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Uptown Theater in a benefit concert for Bryan Stow.1350 Third St., Napa. 8pm. $49—$100. 707.259.0123.

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Jan. 25: The Melodians at the Redwood Cafe

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

The Redwood Cafe sure is becoming a legit music venue. This week, the Cotati cafe hosts the Melodians, a top-notch reggae band from Jamaica that’s been around since 1965. They’ve been top billing at huge festivals like the Sierra Nevada World Music Fest, and “Rivers of Babylon”—you know it from The Harder They Come—has become one of the Rastafarian movement’s anthems. Singing in harmony with plenty of soul, sounding like a Motown version of the feel-good, bass-driven, upbeat style reggae fans are used to, the Melodians are backed by the erstwhile Yellow Wall Dub Squad on tours. Dan Martin and the Noma Rocksteady Band open, and the best part is, if you get the munchies, the cafe is open. The Melodians play Friday, Jan. 25, at the Redwood Cafe. 8240 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati. 9pm. $10—$15. 707.795.7868.

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Jan. 27: Hoodoo Rhythm Devils at the Sweetwater Music Hall

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils were one of those bands from the ’70s that really should have made it big. They were tight, sounded great, put on an awesome live show and could play all day long. They played funky country blues that instantly turned a lazy Sunday backyard barbecue into a prime time event. They’re a no-bullshit band, and maybe that’s why they didn’t make it to that next level in the music biz—it’s tough to make it without makeup and stage effects. They made five albums for Capitol, Blue Thumb and Fantasy records throughout the ’70s, and reunited last year when they released The Lost Album, apparently recorded in their prime but never released. Hoodoo Rhythm Devils play Sunday, Jan. 27, at Sweetwater Music Hall. 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley. 8pm. $20. 415.388.3850.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jan. 22: Tracy Kidder at Book Passage

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Biographies are a dime a dozen, but Pulitzer Prize—winning nonfiction writer Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains—the story of renegade physician and Partners in Health cofounder Paul Farmer—stands out. Kidder is the type of writer that can teach the rest of us writers something real and, luckily, he’s written a new book, along with magazine and book editor Richard Todd, that does just that. Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction distills the stories and advice that developed from years of practice. Tracy Kidder talks about good prose on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 7pm. 415.927.0960.

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Jan. 19: Merle Haggard the the Uptown Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:53 PM

My grandma was a big Merle Haggard fan. We spent many a summer night, sitting on the back porch of her house in Arizona, Grandma drinking Budweiser, me drinking 7-Up, Merle or Willie on the cassette player; I liked singing the chorus of “Okie from Muskogee” at the top of my lungs, whenever possible. Now in his mid-70s, Haggard’s been at this country music business for a mighty long stretch, but age ain’t nothing but a number for the poet of the common man’s voice, energy or sense of humor. After all, this is the guy who wrote, “Half of My Garden Is for Willie,” a song about growing tobacco, mushrooms and cannabis for his bandana-and-braided compadre. He plays Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Uptown Theatre. 1350 Third St., Napa. 8pm. $80—$90. 707.259.0123.

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