Critic's Choice for the week of June 30-July 6, 2004 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.

COMPUTER LOVE

For those who like their Friday night musical entertainment chin-stroking, disorienting, and largely computer-generated, Oakland outpost Liminal Gallery's cavalcade of IDM/electro/hip-hop odds and ends -- including Run_Return, the Roots of Orchis, Rathmatix, and Effrum -- will alternately delight and confuse you. Come see how the cool people live (and sound). Doors at 9 p.m. $5. E-mail info@oaklandartist.com (Rob Harvilla)

BLUES

While there are plenty of other styles (from Cajun to swing to reggae) to dance to at Ashkenaz, the blues is all too rare. And so are concerts by Johnny Talbot, the East Bay guitarist who put the funk into the blues and R&B in the late '60s and early '70s. Friday night at 9:30 p.m., Johnny Talbot and de Thangs cut loose with a night of blues-rock-soul-funk-and-a-tad-of-jazz, blended to his specifications. He'll include his hits and some of the classics of the era at the all-ages dancehall. $13. 510-525-5054. (Larry Kelp)

CABARET

Kiki & Herb don't really fit into any convenient pigeonhole. Kiki (Justin Bond) is an aging, alcohol-marinated, washed-up has-been/never-was lounge singer with great pipes and a bad attitude; pianist Herb (Kenny Mellman) tickles the ivories alternating between Holiday Inn kitsch and crashing jazz/rock aggression, while providing a comic foil for his partner's rants on subjects ranging from her dysfunctional relationships with her children and lovers to the current state of the world. The duo is hysterically funny, bitingly satiric, and politically incorrect to the extreme. Tonight at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. $16-$18. 415-855-0750, MusicHallSF.com (j. poet)

WORLD

At 59, Brazilian singer-songwriter João Bosco is one of his country's most beloved musical artists. His collaborations in the 1970s with lyricist Vinícius de Moraes initiated him as a composer; recognition for his music was furthered when popular singer Elis Regina recorded his songs. From there he decided to shower the world with song by pursuing a solo career -- tonight he makes a rare US appearance at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, accompanied by Nelson Faria (guitar), Ney Conceição (bass), and Kiko Freitas (drums). 8 p.m. $25-$55. 415-392-4400. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

FLAMENCO

For those dreading the Red, White, and Boom, stay indoors on the 4th, but tango out to Berkeley's Crowden Music Center Sunday for music by flamenco-Latin ensemble Potingue, which performs original, sometimes jazz-tinged music rooted in traditional flamenco and Cuban styles. Directed by Chus Alonso, the twelve-member group includes strings, guitar, flute, bass, piano, percussion and, in the evening's second half, a dancing audience. $6, children free. 8 p.m. 510-559-2941 or TheCrowdenSchool.org (Jason Victor Serinus)

FOLK ROCK

Richard Thompson's musical approach can be summed up in the title of his sporadic one-man show: 1,000 Years of Popular Music. His amazing fretboard technique combines elements of Elizabethan broadsides, American and British roots music, jazz, blues, and various African and Arab guitar styles, but his songwriting prowess and wry humor makes every tune sound like a Thompson song. Henry Kaiser, whose catholic taste in music is on a par with Thompson's, opens. Saturday at the Fillmore in San Francisco. $25. 415-346-6000, TheFillmore.com (j.p.)

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