Critic's Choice for the week of February 14-20, 2007 

Metal memorials, Fat Tuesday parties, and one funky "Fresh" Friday.

Fat Tuesday Brass

In the New Orleans spirit, on Fat Tuesday there's a big party of indulgence before the next day's beginning of Lent. Two bands, Blue Roots and Joyfull Noise Brass Band, take care of the music at all-ages dancehall Ashkenaz. The groups boast young players who at times sound old beyond their years. The Blue Roots are closer to an old-time or string band with guitars, rub board, trumpet, and songs that come out of the same school attended by Taj Mahal, Dr. John, Cannon's Jug Stompers, and the Lovin' Spoonful. The new Joyfull Noise digs out the marching band and jazz repertoire. The affair begins an hour early with a Second Line dance lesson by Cheryl McBride. Tuesday, February 20. 9 p.m., $12. (Larry Kelp)

Goblin Crow

To many, Rob Crow is an indie-rock superstar; his musical credits include Pinback, Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, and Goblin Cock. Crow returns to the stage this week at SF's Mezzanine in support of his fourth solo album, Living Well, which shows off his witty, punchy songwriting skills. He'll be backed by members of Pinback and Heavy Vegetable when he plays with the Jade Shader and Black Fiction on Friday, February 16. 9 p.m., $12. (Kathleen Richards)

Folk Icons

Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur brought plenty of psychedelic sparkle to the folk revival of the 1960s with their eclectic musical appetites and high good humor. In both the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and their diverse solo projects, they pushed the folk-music envelope with their lighthearted reinvention of roots styles. Both have idiosyncratic vocal styles, a penchant for obscure gems from the American songbook, and fine picking skills. This rare duo performance is guaranteed to lift your spirits and send you home a-grinnin' from the Freight and Salvage. Friday, February 16. 8 p.m., $20.50. (j. poet)

Metal Tribute to Wes

Late last year, the Bay Area lost two of its legendary punk promoters: Dirk Dirksen and Wes Robinson. The latter, a promoter at Berkeley's Ruthie's Inn, provided a much-needed space in the '80s for thrash, metal, and punk bands like Bad Brains and Metallica. Just months before his death, eighty-year-old Robinson was working on a documentary about Ruthie's, having organized a reunion show. Verbal Abuse, Stone Vengeance, Deathtoll, Mad at Sam, Zero Bullshit, Memphis Murder Men, and more will gather again, this time to pay tribute to the man who helped so many of their careers. At the Oakland Metro on Friday, February 16. 8 p.m., $10. (K.R.)

Not-So-Obscure Pop

After years of comparisons to fellow indie-pop Glasgow natives Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura seemed to finally sever the cord with its third album, last year's Let's Get Out of This Country. This wasn't so much because its sound changed (even with the departure of vocalist John Henderson), but rather because of its strength in consistency. From the laid-back, country-tinged title track to the sunny, early-'60s, frolic-inspiring "If Looks Could Kill," Let's Get Out of This Country is a sweet ride from beginning to end. See Camera Obscura with Portastatic at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco on Friday, February 16. 9 p.m., $17. (K.R.)

Early and Sublime

Some of the Bay Area's finest early-music players favor the natural acoustic of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Albany. So much so, that they're happy to perform for free (at least as far as the public is concerned). This week brings the augmented Voices of Music, featuring founders Hanneke van Proosdij and David Tayler with Carla Moore, Joanna Blendulf, and Rodney Gehrke, performing Preludes, Fantasias, and Sonatas by Bach and Telemann on baroque violin, viola da gamba, baroque cello, recorder, harpsichord, organ, and theorbo. Friday, February 16. 8 p.m., free. 510-236-9808. (Jason Victor Serinus)

Funky Fresh Fridays

True Skool, the Bay's diehard supporters of underground hip-hop culture, present a new series featuring emerging and veteran artists every third Friday at SF's Poleng Lounge. Entitled — what else? — "Fresh," the debut show features live performances from the Conscious Daughters and Prozack Turner, plus DJ sets by Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist, Fuze, and Shortkut. Friday, February. 16. 10 p.m., $5-$10. (Eric K. Arnold)


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