Critic's Choice for the week of August 30-September 5, 2006 

Silver sun, blue grass, and the multi-hued Centro-matic.

King Dread

Thirty years and nineteen albums after Mikey Dread first landed on the reggae scene, the "Jumping Master" shows no signs of letting up. Perhaps best known for his work with the Clash on its Sandinista! album, Dread was a popular DJ in the '70s in Jamaica and collaborated with some of the top players on the scene, including Lee Perry and dub master King Tubby. Beyond World War III, released in 1981, is one of his classic albums, full of lo-fi dub beats pelted with rubber-band-snapping bass lines. Catch the legend when he plays Rooster's Roadhouse in Alameda on Thursday, August 31. 9 p.m., $20. MikeyDread.com (Kathleen Richards)

Tool Convention

Say what you will about its latest album 10,000 Days lasting too long: Tool destroys its live shows. And a sealed environment like the Oakland Arena has the added potential of magnifying the Los Angeles-based progressive-metal band's ferocity. It's the difference between a firecracker exploding inside your fist, versus atop your palm. Expect fifteen-year-olds from Walnut Creek with long, stringy hair going apeshit to Maynard James Keenan's screaming, growling delivery. Tool's CDs haven't gone single, double, and triple platinum for nothing. Sunday, September 3. 8 p.m., $31-$57. Ticketmaster.com (David Downs)

Jonesing for more

Denton, Texas' Centro-matic sounds like Rod Stewart in his cooler days, jonesing for heroin but having to settle for alcohol. Fort Recovery, the band's latest release, combines heavy-handed distortion and twisted anguish, awarding Centro-matic the title of best bar band for the lovelorn indie generation. The foursome plays the West Coast for the first time in nearly two years, including SF's Bottom of the Hill, on Wednesday, September 6. Support comes from Express cover star David Dondero and the Decoration. 10 p.m., $10. BottomoftheHill.com (K.R.)

Rural Bluegrass Fiddling

Nobody in bluegrass fiddles or sings with more feeling than Berkeley's own Laurie Lewis. A founder of the all-women old-timey band Good Ol' Persons a good three decades ago, she's now the sole woman in her amazing quintet the Right Hands. They celebrate the release of their first CD, The Golden West (on Oakland's rock-solid HighTone label), this week at the Freight & Salvage. Their repertoire mixes Lewis' rural California take on life and love with other songs by Billy Joe Shaver and John Hartford. On the CD, Lewis' occasional stage partner Linda Ronstadt duets on a couple of songs. Thursday, August 31. 8 p.m., $18.50/$19.50 door. TheFreight.org (Larry Kelp)

Warrior Salsa

Los Angeles bandleader and Bay Area favorite Johnny Polanco drops in at Maxwell's Lounge in Oakland this week with his renowned salsa band Conjunto Amistad to celebrate the release of his brand-new CD. Polanco is a bandstand warrior who plays Cuban tres guitar, vibes, and trombone in a band that includes Los Angeles luminaries like flutist Art Webb. His music is rooted in New York City salsa with a West Coast hot sauce that blends into a sound all his own. Thursday, August 31. 9 p.m., $20. MaxwellsLounge.com (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

Bohemian Rhapsody

One of the finest orchestras in North America, the San Francisco Symphony, kicks off its season this week with a black-tie gala at Davies Symphony Hall and environs that features Michael Tilson Thomas conducting violinist Christian Tetzlaff in Stravinsky's Violin Concerto. Rounding out the celebratory evening: Glinka's Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila, Dvoràk's beautiful Eighth Symphony, and pre- and post-performance parties. Wednesday, September 6. 8:30 p.m., $130-$250. SFSymphony.org (Jason Victor Serinus)

Dig This

The 2004 documentary Dig! showed Anton Newcombe to the world as a whacked out, drugged, and volatile frontman, but it also gave notice of his fierce, undeniable talent. Newcombe and his ever-rotating cast of bandmates have made the Brian Jonestown Massacre a quiet and underappreciated force of psychedelic rock since 1990. When they return to their former hometown for two nights at the Independent in SF supporting last year's EP We Are the Radio, expect the usual unruly fans and onstage fights. Monday, September 4, and Tuesday, September 5. 9 p.m., $16. IndependentSF.com (K.R.)

Slurpee Supernova

Los Angeles-based Silver Lake quartet Silversun Pickups know how to stay cool during a hot, hot summer. Sneaking into hotel pools, befriending people with pools, seeing lot of movies indoors, and staying up all night doing blow with hookers. Okay, so lead singer Brian Aubert says he's making up the last part, but these guys still define chill. Their last EP sold 10,000 copies with the help of noncorporate radio buzz and obsessive Internerd support. Their new full-length Carnavas hit record stores everywhere last month — all fuzzy guitars and rocking good times — and they appear in Oakland to support its release. Chill with them before they go supernova at the Sixth Annual Art and Soul Festival in Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. Saturday, September 2. Time TBA. $5. ArtandSoulOakland.com (D2)

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