Critic's Choice for the week of November 30-December 6, 2005 

Hardcore rampages, blues divas, and unnerving noise.


It seems that no rapper is plagiarized more than the late Biggie Smalls, but the South London-born emcee Slick Rick the Ruler is a close runner-up. Admit it: You just want to scream every time you hear a less-competent wanna-be bite the line Great Scott, are you a thief?/Seems that you have a mouth full of gold teeth -- one of the most memorable witticisms in MC Ricky D's oeuvre. Slick Rick presides over this Saturday's Femme Fatale party at Oakland's @Seventeenth Club; if we're lucky, he'll perform that "Mona Lisa" song, hopefully while wearing the trademark eye patch. $25, doors 9 p.m. (Rachel Swan)


Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys are members of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, but their free-ranging sound also includes Western swing, blues, doo-wop, and many other kinds of bedrock roots music. Sandy's exuberant stage presence and his backing band's groovy licks are a sure tonic for swingin' cats and cool chicks. Catch a Sunday matinee at Albany's Ivy Room. $10, 4 p.m. 510-524-9220 or (j. poet)


The Gold Coast Chamber Players, featuring moonlighting members of the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera, present a Sunday afternoon program of Mozart works for three basset horns in Lafayette's Town Hall Theater, with an assist from three soloists in the SF Opera Chorus. The remainder of the program features harp music by Glinka and Salzedo. $10-$30, 3 p.m. 925-283-1557. (Jason Victor Serinus)


Move over, MoMA: There's a new museum in town. The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) may not make art any less pretentious, but it does make it inherently multicultural, with exhibits of contemporary works from Cuba, Brazil, Kenya, Mali, Jamaica, the UK, and the US. To celebrate its grand opening, MoAD presents Global Groove, an event featuring museum tours, international hors d'oeuvres, fine wine, the "Global Groove Lounge," a live performance by Latin fusion band Santero, a worldbeat set by DJ Consuelo, and host Deborah Santana (yup, wife of Carlos). Since this is kind of a chi-chi shindig, tickets are $75, but that's a small price to pay for the chance to hobnob with art-scenesters, swells, and socialites. Get your global groove on Friday night at 8 p.m. at the St. Regis Hotel Ballroom (125 3rd St., SF); or 415-358-7200 for more info. (Eric K. Arnold) BEATBOXING PYROTECHNICS

Kid Beyond has the perfect genetic makeup for being a beatboxer: His voice was meant to be immortalized on some dangerously seductive Timbaland beat. After all, this nondescript, bald, thirties-ish dude is capable of vocal pyrotechnics that surpass the craziest samples on Reasons or Frooty Loops. In addition to straight-ahead boombap beats, KB's repertoire includes a variety of ornate percussion sounds, ranging from techno loops to a full-fledged Portishead cover. Come see him perform along with DJ Handler Thursday night at Oakland's new classy joint, the Uptown. $7, 8 p.m. (R.S.)


Sugar Pie DeSanto, one of James Brown's favorite singers, has been knockin' 'em dead since Johnny Otis discovered her in 1955. In her long and varied career, she's sung the blues, belted out R&B and soul hits, and even put her stamp on an album of country classics. At seventy years old, Sugar Pie is still a commanding performer with a great big voice and riveting stage presence. Saturday at Albany's Ivy Room. $10, 10 p.m. 510-524-9220 or (j.p.)

HARDCOre rampages

If you thought the Pogues did a good cover of Ewan MacColl's Scottish folk song "Dirty Old Town," wait till you hear the sped-up ska rendition by the bilingual hardcore band La Plebe. Opening with a lazy, melodic horn riff and lyrics that evoke a land that's just beginning to industrialize (I met my love by the gasworks wall/Dreamed a dream by the old canal/I kissed my girl by the factory wall/Dirty old town, dirty old town), La Plebe's reinterpretation suddenly explodes in feedback-laced guitar and breakneck drums. Indeed, this is no good-times caper -- it's more of a rampage. Check out La Plebe Sunday at the Golden Bull, where they'll perform alongside Fabulous Disaster, OC Toons, and Three Weeks Clean. $5, 7 p.m. (R.S.)


The longtime director of Berkeley's Community Chorus, Chilean singer Lichi Fuentes performs solo at La Peña Saturday night in a rare display of both new songs and nueva canciÓn favorites (Latin-American political folk songs). A founding member of Latin folk bands from Grupo Raiz to the all-women Altazor, Fuentes has always used her inviting vocal style and multi-instrumental artistry to power songs about social change and love in its myriad forms. And as always, her "solo" show features a bunch of musician friends filling out her songs, including Donna Viscuso, Katja Cooper, and Hugo Wainzinger. $12-$14, 8 p.m. 510-849-2568 or (Larry Kelp)


If you're into atonal music that takes you to a dark, dark place -- like, way darker than the sordid and tumultuous universe of John Cage -- you'll want to hit up 21 Grand Saturday night for an experimental noise showcase featuring Due Process (which combines the talents of noise artists Emil Beaulieau and Thomas Dimuzio), Jessica Rylan as Can't, Brian Miller and Kevin Shields, Rubber O'Cement, Xome Vs. Tralphaz, Vulcanus 68, Fuckwolf, Midmight, and Tullison Velt. You'll feel your brain cell quotient increase as soon as you step in the building. $6, 8 p.m. (R.S.)


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