Critic's Choice for the week of August 13-19, 2003 

A one-man band of absurdity, old-time music before it was cool, acoustic guitar topped with sardonic wit, and a street musician in an SF nightclub, among other acts.

ONE-MAN BANDS

The above photo is really the only way to really express the sheer absurdity of the Lonesome Organist, a psychotic one-man band project currently supporting Forms and Follies, which features pristine four-part doo-wop harmonies and insane xylophone acid-jazz freakout pop numbers. These will be performed entirely by this gentleman on that contraption. Maybe you'd better see this for yourself. At Bottom of the Hill Saturday with Mark Growden and Loop Station. 415-621-4455. (Rob Harvilla)

FOLK BEFORE FOLK WAS TRENDY

A Bay Area quintet of old-time music lovers long before O Brother! came along, the Crooked Jades are also local musicians' favorites: They're that rare band that doesn't play faster, just deeper. In their unhurried approach to Appalachian and Southern folk-country fare, they take their time bringing out heartfelt nuances at every turn of phrase with achingly pure vocal harmonies. They celebrate the release of their fourth CD, The Unfortunate Rake Vol. 2, Friday at Freight & Salvage. 510-548-1761. (Larry Kelp)

ROOTS REGGAE

Jamaican-born Jepther McClymond, better known as Luciano, has little in common with his Italian namesake Mr. Pavarotti, except that he was seemingly born to sing. Since first exploding onto the international reggae scene with the excellent Where There Is Life album in the mid-'90s, Luciano has been a prime factor in the ongoing roots-reggae revival movement. His pristine voice often evokes a connection with nature, in accordance with his Rastafarian beliefs, and his phrasing -- just a little behind the beat -- is equally sublime. Appearing with him Sunday night at Slim's will be toaster Mikey General and veteran saxman Dean Fraser, the musical director of the Jah Messenger Band. The Bay Area's own Hebro opens up, and Local 1200 spins the dubplates. 415-522-0333. (Eric K. Arnold)

WIMPY WHITE GUYS WITH GUITARS

That's the title of Larry Gallagher's finest tune, a self-effacing look at coffeehouse-folk open mic crooners that'll crack you up and then make you wanna kill yourself if you've ever busted out an Elliott Smith cover for a crowd of six people at some java dive. The rest of the Bay Area troubadour's latest CD, An Endless Chain of Accidents, is similarly sweet and often truly hilarious, mixing acoustic guitar rock with sardonic wit and odd brass band touches. Plus, he's playing a yoga studio. This is a low-radar can't-miss, at the Open Door Yoga Studio at Castro and 25th in SF Saturday night. 415-824-5657. (R.H.)

BRAZILIAN JAZZ

Pianist-composer Jovino Santos Neto is a prodigy of Brazilian jazz icon Hermeto Pascoal. Since arriving in the US in 1993, he has gigged with Flora & Airto and others, but found his calling in education. The author of several instructional books on Brazilian jazz, he stays busy teaching at Cornish College for the Arts in Seattle when he isn't performing. He arrives this Friday at Berkeley's Jazzschool to play music from his latest album, Canto do Rio. 510-845-5373. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

BLUES

Carlos Guitarlos is one of the Bay Area's most famous street musicians, a soulful bluesman with dominant guitar skills. His old band Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs made him an icon -- Willie Nelson and Los Lobos have covered him, Van Halen wrote a song about him -- but now Carlos has a new solo blues-soul record, Straight from the Heart, and a continuing series of Bay Area gigs: catch him at the Ivy Room in Albany Friday (510-224-9920), and the Rite Spot in SF Sunday (415-552-6066). (R.H.)

CLASSIC FUNK

Zigaboo Modeliste is as funky a drummer as James Brown sidemen Jab'O Starks or Clyde Stubblefield. The former stickman for the Meters has had his snares and kicks sampled countless times by everyone from Public Enemy to P. Diddy; he can lay claim to being both a soul/funk legend and a breakbeat creator. Currently residing in the Bay Area, Modeliste often plays out these days, but rarely in the East Bay. Here's your chance to catch him Friday night at the Shattuck Downlow Lounge, whose low ceilings should amplify the drummer's licks with blissful amounts of ear-pleasing reverberation. Modeliste will be behind the kit with his band, the New Aahkesstra, for a show that also features Bobby Vega and Reorchestra. 510-548-1159. (E.K.A.)

CHEESY GLAM ROCK

Yes, S.T.U.N. is the ultra-hyped rock band of the season, an absurdly coifed buncha dudes fusing Motley Crüe arena rock absurdity with Rage Against the Machine-like calls for "revolution." Their debut record, Evolution of Energy, is way, way spotty -- but the S.T.U.N. live show, honed this summer on the Warped Tour, is unhinged and over-the-top and weirdly great. They're opening for Taproot at Slim's Friday night, poor bastards. 415-255-0333. (R.H.)

CLASSICAL

Friday night, Sarah Cahill (disclosure: an Express freelancer) joins a mixed ensemble for a San Francisco Old First Concerts piano recital that explores the surprising variety of sounds and textures that the piano can produce. The program includes works by Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Manlok (who will address the audience), and Annea Lockwood, plus premieres of new works written for Cahill by Carl Stone and Harold Meltzer. 415-474-1608. (Jason Victor Serinus)

LOLLAPALOOZA

Does the Alternative Nation still exist? Can Jane's Addiction still rock the house with more wrinkles and slower metabolisms? Is the big shed multi-band rock tour an absurd, unworkable proposition in this day and age? Find out Tuesday when freakin' Lollapalooza descends on Shoreline Amphitheater. For no fucking goddamn reason at all Queens of the Stone Age will not be present, but A Perfect Circle, Audioslave, Incubus, the Donnas, the Jurassic 5, and Rooney will join the usual slate of up-and-coming second-stagers. Come be part of a revolution!!!!!! 650-967-3000. (R.H.)

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