Critic's Choice for the week of March 10-16, 2004 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.


This one is such a no-brainer that we only have one question: Why didn't they do it before? Seven mostly Bay Area female singers will share the stage Sunday at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage for Joni Mitchell Song Night. Each musician will perform one Mitchell song and one original, since they've all been so influenced by Joni's innovative approach to composition and singing. Performing are Christie McCarthy (with cellist Patty Epeseth), Megan McLaughlin, Lynn Smith, Caren Armstrong, Elaine Dempsey, Rachel Bissex, and Beth Robinson. $15.50-$16.50, 8 p.m. 510-548-1761. (Larry Kelp)


Listeners desiring mind-opening musicianship will flock to Berkeley Symphony Orchestra's 21st-Century Cellos concert on Tuesday night. The extraordinary risk-taking evangelist of the cello, Matt Haimovitz, joins Kent Nagano in Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall for Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, while the equally adventurous Joan Jeanrenaud plays the world premiere of a work composed for her, Karen Tanaka's Urban Prayer. Judiyaba then solos in Elliott Carter's Cello Concerto. Most exciting, the pre-concert talk features eminent cellists Laszlo Varga and Janos Starker. $21-$45, 8 p.m. 510-841-2800 or (Jason Victor Bellecci-Serinus)


Okay, so you couldn't scrape up the plane fare and hotel dough to get to Miami for last week's Winter Music Conference. Don't fret, because not only has our winter begun to change into spring (resulting in plenty of authentic California sunshine), you can still have the authentic WMC after-party experience at Miami Heat at Mezzanine on Friday. Super DJs Mark Farina, Miguel Migs, and Fluid will be manning the decks, their crates bulging with loads of new vinyl goodies recently acquired in the land of Tony Montana. If you so desire, you can even wear sexy, skimpy little outfits, to re-create the full-on Miami experience in SF. $15-$20, 10 p.m. Info: (E.K.A.)


Local vocal legend Kitty Margolis, who combines a high-power scat technique that has been favorably compared to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan with the sultry emotional power of a first-rate saloon singer, hosts a record release party for her latest disc Heart and Soul: Live in San Francisco. She'll be supported by pianist Geoff Keezer, bassist Jon Evans, and drummer Allison Miller. Tuesday at Yoshi's. $16, 8 and 10 p.m. Info: 510-238-9200 or (j. poet)


Beware of any roots-rock dudes who describe themselves "outlaw" -- generally speaking, cool don't advertise. But though Dave Gleason, benevolent benefactor of Dave Gleason's Wasted Days, probably won't shoot up the place and run off with the till Friday night at Albany's Ivy Room, he will flaunt several toe-tappin' twang-rock tunes from the Days' latest disc, Midnight California. Keep your beer covered, lest tears fall in it. 510-524-9220. (Rob Harvilla)


The flyer for Universal Sound, the off-the-Richter shindig happening Saturday at Fremont's new hotspot Club V, describes ex-Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee as a "legendary rock icon," although he is probably better known as the ex-husband of Pamela Anderson. Whatever. Still, seeing the tattooed Lee bash on the skins alongside Beastie Boy/Invisibl Skratch Pickl Mixmaster Mike should be something to remember, even if you still have a bad taste in your mouth from the Methods of Mayhem album. Adding to the rave-y scene-ness of it all are live electrofunk outfit Planet B, plus DJs Dimitris Mykonos and Joey Mazzola. And if that wasn't enough, there's always the alluring presence of hostess Tiffany Holliday, who's apparently an Audrey Hepburn fan, in addition to being a real live Playboy Cybergirl. Joining Holliday will be more scandalous vixens from Vivid Video, who will host a fashion show when the doors open at 8 p.m. Here's your chance to start out the evening on a sexy note, then keep it going all night. Info: (E.K.A.)


If thou be so inclined as to monitor the next big SF thing on the indie rock scene, perhaps it's time to acquaint thyself with On the Speakers, quirky indie rockers led by the pleasantly wacky-voiced former Creeper Lagoon frontman Ian Sefchick. Flaunting tunes from its recent self-titled EP, OtS hits SF's Café du Nord Thursday and Friday with the Sleepy Jackson. $10-$12, 9 p.m. both nights. (R.H.)


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