Critic's Choice for the week of March 31-April 6, 2004 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.

TOP-RANKING REGGAE

East Bay reggae fans are in for a special treat Monday when Mikey Dread brings his "Rasta in Control" tour to Blake's on Telegraph. Dread, of course, is the legendary singer, DJ, radio personality, and engineer best known for his collaborations with the Clash and Lee Perry, and for songs like "Break Down the Walls" and "Warrior Stylee." His style can be described as roots-oriented dancehall, and his energy is still timeless, even after three decades of work. He also seems to have taken a liking to the EB's flavor; astute fans may recall he played at Ashkenaz not long ago, so if you missed that gig, here's your chance to see the Dread one in an even more intimate setting. $12, bar time. 510-848-0886. (Eric K. Arnold)

BLUES

Rory Block's prowess on the acoustic guitar -- along with her soulful vocals and sizzling slide work -- have won her four Handy Awards so far. Her dedication to the deep Mississippi roots of the blues makes her one of the most compelling artists on the Americana scene. Saturday at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. $18.50-$19.50, 8 p.m. 510-548-1761. (j. poet)

MEXI-CUBAN

La Familia performed at a Cesar Chavez celebration last year; as the group sang the upbeat "El Cuarto de Tula," the small but energetic crowd blissfully got its groove on. Co-led by percussionists Sylvia Sherman and Roberto Medina, the Oaktown musical family features lead vocalists Kristal Gray and Violeta Contreras. Always fun, the Familia performs Friday at La Estrellita Restaurant, 446 E. 12th St., near Lake Merritt in Oakland. No cover, 8:30 p.m. 510-465-7188. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

CLASSICAL

Berkeley's MusicSources wins the prize this week with its tempting indoor and outdoor Sunday afternoon Lieder Marathon. Thirty-minute presentations of songs by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert (sung by mezzo Sylvie Braitman, baritone Hugh Davies, and tenor Gregory Hickman Williams) are punctuated by refreshments served in the house's lovely History Garden. $15-$18, 5 p.m. 510-528-1685. (Jason Victor Bellecci-Serinus)

ACID FUNK

Saturday night presents a Greyboy conundrum for fans of funk fusion. DJ Greyboy, master of funky hip-hop beats, will be spinning grooves at the Elbo Room in San Francisco's Mission district ($10, 10 p.m., 415-552-7788). But on the same evening, the Greyboy Allstars, featuring acid jazz superheroes Karl Denson and Robert Walter, will be funking it up at the Fillmore ($25, 8 p.m., 415-346-6000). Pick one. You can't lose. (Michael Gowan)

MOOG NERDS

As the digital age continues to churn out new -- but not necessarily improved -- technology, it's no wonder analog sounds from back in the day are evoking nostalgia and even making a comeback. One of the most fascinating pieces of equipment in the predigital period was the Moog synthesizer, a futuristically funky keyboard with a far-out, spacey sound seemingly straight outta Kubrick's and George Lucas' noggins. The Moog's otherworldly brilliance will be celebrated Thursday in SF at Bimbo's Moog Fest, headlined by a showcase with Money Mark and Mix Master Mike (both Beastie Boys alums), which promises to be something kinda special. If you've ever fantasized about seeing a Moog go head-to-head with a Technics 1200, well, your analog wet dream has arrived. The show also features Tino Corp, the Album Leaf, and 33, plus a preview of the upcoming documentary Moog. $16, 8 p.m. Info: Bimbos365Club.com (E.K.A.)

DETROIT JAZZ

The most acclaimed young violinist in jazz, Detroit-reared Regina Carter, brings her close-knit band to Yoshi's Thursday through Sunday, in sets that mix some of the things she loves to play -- from bebop to funky Detroit rhythms to semiclassical (she is the only nonclassical musician ever invited to play the Paganini violin, and record with it). But style is less important than the rapport she has with her multinational bandmates: percussionist Mayra Casales, drummer Alvester Garnett, pianist Werner Gierig, and bassist Daryl Hall. $10-$22, shows 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday. 510-238-9200. (Larry Kelp)

MORE JAZZ

Right now jazz is bubbling in San Francisco with cool clubs and concerts. A high point this Tuesday is the Jazz at Intersection Spring Series, featuring the Marcus Shelby Septet. Paying "Tribute to Art Blakey," the combo includes Matt Clark (piano), Howard Wiley (sax), and young Darrell Green (drums). Bassist Shelby is a world-class talent worth appreciating. Tuesday at Intersection for the Arts (446 Valencia St., SF); $12-$15, 8 p.m. 415-626-3311. (J.C.V.)

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