Critic's Choice for the week of July 25-31, 2007 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.


Probably the best gun for hire in contemporary hip-hop — next to fellow southerners Malice and Lil' Wayne — Rap-a-lot Records emcee Devin the Dude keeps flickering on the national radar, though he's never quite gotten his due. His much-slept-on March release, Waiting to Inhale, included the languid radio hit "What a Job," in which Devin traded slurry rap verses with Snoop Dogg and Andre 3000 about their creative process — which evidently begins with someone rolling up a swisher in the studio, and ends when each man slogs reluctantly home to face the wrath of an unnamed baby mama. Obviously, we're not talking flowery Biggie Smalls verses here, but there's something to be said for a really well-done "common man" rap song, especially one that can hold its own in the canon of hip-hop odes to marijuana. After all, the romance of the all-nighter and the generative powers of drugs are both linchpins in hip-hop — a genre for which the phrase "I see green" is no figure of speech — and Devin the Dude seems to have mastered both. Thursday, July 26 at the Mezzanine with East Bay group Zion-I. 9 p.m., $10. (Rachel Swan)


Brooklyn's Bishop Allen revolves around the songwriting and singing duo of Harvard grads Justin Rice and Christian Rudder, with various musical accomplices along for the ride. The current buzz on the band has to do with the fact that they put out 12 EPs in 2006, with a total of 58 songs, ranging stylistically from the jumpy Ray Davies—inspired songs of their eponymous debut to vaudevillian ukulele ditties and rhythm-heavy pop/R&B hybrids, all marked by sparkling musicianship, intelligent lyrics, and a devil-may-care attitude. Wednesday, August 1 at the Independent in SF. 8 p.m., $12.00 advance, $14.00 door. (j.poet)


Performing as San Francisco indie-rock duo the Lonelyhearts is something of a summer job for keyboardist Andre Perry and guitarist John Lindenbaum. Perry lives in Iowa City nine months out of the year to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa, leaving scant time for Bay Area shows. A June 14 gig in San Francisco heralded Perry's return, and Monday's appearance at Mama Buzz Cafe will be the band's last of the summer. Fine Berkeley group the Golden Birds headlines, with fellow locals Caves of Wonder opening with an acoustic set. 6 p.m., $5. (Nate Seltenrich)


It's hard to believe that this historic pairing of members from the country music class of '87 were storming the conformist gates of Nashville's tastemakers alongside mavericks like Steve Earle and (believe it or not) Randy Travis. And while they may not have effected any kind of wholesale changes in Music Row's model, for better or worse (you can thank Garth Brooks for the latter), Lyle Lovett, k.d. lang, and their ilk laid some of the groundwork for the insurgent country movement. Nowadays, Lovett has become an elder statesman, hitting the road with His Large Band and touring more than recording, with 2003's My Baby Don't Tolerate (the first album of new and original material since 1996's The Road to Ensenada) being his last studio effort. Lang has wandered quite far from her country roots, drifting in more of a sophisticated, chamber-pop direction. That said, the Canadian-born chanteuse possesses the kind of Patsy Cline—like pipes that earned her a shot working with the late legend and Cline producer Owen Bradley. Sunday, July 29 at the Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord. 7:30 p.m., $25, $29.50, $43.50, $69.50, $95. (Dave Gil de Rubio)


The most renowned younger-generation jazz bassist, Christian McBride, has accompanied all the greats. As a leader, he brings his new band, A Christian McBride Situation, to Yoshi's Thursday through Sunday, and it's a band with a difference. If there's one constant in jazz, it's that you have to have a drummer. Not this time. With McBride on bass, the group features multi-keyboardist Patrice Rushen, our own tenor saxophonist Dave Ellis, and DJ Jahi Sundance on turntables. For someone who knows every jazz standard in the book from Ellington to Coltrane, this is a departure promising plenty of surprises. Thursday-Saturday, July 26-28, 8 and 10 p.m.; and Sunday, July 29, 7 and 9 p.m. $12-$24. (Larry Kelp)


Is the Midsummer Mozart Festival already in its last week? The closing concert in Berkeley's First Congregational Church is filled with goodies: the March in D major; Serenade for Orchestra in D major "Haffner," featuring Robin Hansen on violin; the concert aria "Chi sá, chi sá, qual sia;" with the ever-welcome Elspeth Franks doing a rare turn as a soprano; and the irresistibly tuneful Coronation Mass in C Major with Sanford Dole's Cantabile Chorale. Sunday, July 29, 7 p.m. $30-$60. Tickets: 415-627-9141. (Jason Victor Serinus)


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in Music

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Taste, Fall 2016

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

The Queer & Trans Issue 2016

Queer and trans coverage contributed by individuals who identify as queer or trans.

© 2016 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation