Broke-ass late fall jams, bilingual dance parties, and sharp-dressed men. 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.

HIP-HOP HOORAY

Awww ... there are so many things to love about Naughty by Nature: Those looped Jackson 5 hooks. The graffiti baseball bat logo. The ecstatic arm-waving dance moves that predated "thizzin'," "going dumb," and "popping yo' colla." Those cryptic rhymes about "other people's property" that taught you how to hustle sex before you were even old enough to watch PG-13 movies. Saturday, emcees Vinnie and Treach (whom you might also recognize from the sleeper hits Juice and Who's the Man?) join DJ Kay Gee to hit up the weekly Femme Fatale party at Oakland's @Seventeenth Club. $25, 9 p.m. At17th.com (Rachel Swan)

JAMGRASS

Drew Emmitt, mandolin maestro and former lead singer of Leftover Salmon, brings his progressive newgrass ensemble to town for an evening of extended jamming and fancy pickin' Tuesday night at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage. The lineup includes ex-Salmon-eer Greg Garrison on bass, Chris Pandolfi on banjo, and String Cheese Incident guitar ace Billy Nershi. $17.50-$18.50, 8 p.m. 510-548-1761 or TheFreight.org (j. poet)

BROKE-ASS LATE-FALL JAMS

Famous for their cheekily named "Broke Ass Summer Jams" and $1.87 underground shows (often featuring a complimentary Top Ramen and Kool-Aid buffet), the Living Legends have a knack for merchandizing themselves. Aside from spearheading the East Bay backpacker movement (yep, these were the enterprising rappers who toured in a Greyhound bus, organized international tours right when they were about to get evicted, and spent enough hours peddling CDs on Telegraph to call their hustle a full-time job), these guys developed a cult of personality unparalleled in underground hip-hop. And ladies, if you're trolling for hip-hop hunks, look no further. Catch them with Aceyalone and Peanut Butter Wolf tonight at the Fillmore in SF. $25, 8 p.m. TheFillmore.com (R.S.)

JAZZ TRIBUTES

Jazzman Dexter Gordon defined the tenor sax for the bebop generation. The Los Angeles native first came to SF as a young man to Jimbo's Bop City, and, in his later years, to the Keystone Korner, where pianist Larry Vuckovich backed him and learned multitudes from his deep lyricism and straight-ahead sound. Monday night at Yoshi's in Oakland, the Larry Vuckovich Hard Bop Quintet pays tribute to Gordon, highlighting Noel Jewkes on tenor sax for two bop-till-you-drop shows. $12, 8 and 10 p.m. 510-238-9200 or Yoshis.com (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

BILINGUAL DANCE PARTIES

Although now based in New York City, the highly visual Los Amigos Invisibles originally hail from Venezuela, where they grew up listening to Motown, Curtis Mayfield, and other American funkateers. Their bright, friendly, bilingual dancefloor groove and high-energy presence will bring a touch of summer sunshine to these waning days of autumn. Catch it Saturday at Bimbo's 365 Club in SF. $18-$20, 9 p.m. 415-474-0365 or Bimbos365Club.com (j.p.)

SYMPHONIC RELATIVE-SILENCERS

If you're anticipating another Family Thanksgiving from Hell, you may be praying for a Messiah about now. Perhaps the San Francisco Symphony had you in mind when it scheduled its Messiah starting tonight (Wednesday), with further performances Saturday and Sunday in Davies Symphony Hall. Early-music conductor Harry Christophers and some fine soloists do their best to sound authentic singing a Hallelujah that could drown out your mother-in-law. $30-$107, 8 p.m. each night (Sunday at 2 p.m.). 415-864-6000. (Jason Victor Serinus)

SHARP-DRESSED MEN

The ladies just can't get enough of Inspector Double Negative. Dude, have you seen this guy's MySpace.com page? Few local celebrities inspire such effusive comments, or so many cartoon hearts and kissy faces. It's gotta be the emcee's sartorial tastes: snoopy investigator shades, porkpie hats, wifebeater tanks, suspenders, and (hiss!) two-toned shoes. Or maybe it's the cachet that hip-hop-funk fusion acts have in the college crowd. At any rate, you can always count on Double Negative -- né DJ Kool Kyle, of Ivy Room fame -- and his band, the Equal Positives, to put on an exciting live show. They'll headline this Friday's dance party at Shattuck Down Low, which also features emcee Lae, plus DJs TreatUNice and Selecta Kurious. The fun starts at 9 p.m. and costs $7. ShattuckDownlow.com (R.S.)

GOTHIC COUNTRY

The Castanets have been described as "Edgar Allen Poe meets Hank Williams" (Hank Sr., that is). Ringleader Ray Raposa balances folk, country, and indie pop in crafting songs crammed with hallucinogenic mystery and arresting simplicity, with a minimal sing-speak style that sounds like the secrets a drunk whispers in your ear just before closing time. The bill also includes Phosphorescent, Sam Flax Keener, and luc. Friday at Hotel Utah in SF. $8, 9 p.m. 415-546-6300 or TheHotelUtahSaloon.com (j.p.)

WEIRD UNCLES

It's tempting to just bomb you with a five-hundred-word John Cale bio (the Velvet Underground, Horses, the Stooges, etc.) and use that alone to justify your checking the dude out this weekend at Cafe du Nord, whether he's performing or just reading the paper and eating corn on the cob. But his new solo disc blackAcetate is an equally compelling reason, an unnerving mixture of alt.alt.country, gruffly off-kilter folk, and, per John's newfound fascination, funk (!!). Behold the inspired weirdness Friday and Saturday, with Kelley Stoltz opening. $20-$23, 9 p.m. each night. CafeduNord.com (Rob Harvilla)

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