Critic's Choice for the week of February 1-7, 2006 

Skivvies, secular bluegrass deities, and wanton badassery.


Face it: Commercial radio divisions strike you as facile, and you're bummed that you can't ever find Daddy Yankee in the same mix with your favorite roots-reggae artist or West Coast slumper jam. You've spent the past year scouring your FM dial for a perfect dream DJ -- someone who will combine the sounds of salsa, samba, reggaetón, and hip-hop into one dazzling blend as precise and seamless as the rose pattern on your wallpaper. You might be in luck. The new event Noches de Vudu --- held every Monday night at Luka's Taproom in Oakland --- features a rotating cast of the Bay Area's most urbane Latin, reggae, and hip-hop DJs, including Papi Chocolate, Marcella, Mr. E, Riddm, and RasCue (whose new "concept" mix, Classic Links, is all about trouncing the frivolous subgenre and petty jealousies in hip-hop), plus regular host Eric Santero. This week: a special Bob Marley B-Day Celebration with DJ Riddm. Free, 9 p.m. (Rachel Swan)


Doyle Lawson's pure, high tenor and mandolin virtuosity brought plenty of mountain soul to J.D. Crowe's Kentucky Mountain Boys and the Country Gentlemen. Since founding Quicksilver in 1979, he's managed the rare feat of blending gospel singing with secular bluegrass for a sizzling hybrid that thrills music lovers and churchgoers without alienating either. His current Quicksilver band includes guitarist Jamie Dailey, fiddler Mike Hartgrove, bassman Darren Beachley, and banjo picker Terry Baucom. Thursday at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage. $22.50 advance, $23.50 door. 8 p.m. 510-548-1761 or (j. poet)


Mark Farina, 250 people, a clogged toilet, and a flooded dancefloor comprised the fledgling Om Records' inaugural Winter Music Conference party in Miami back in 1997. In the Bay Area label's tenth year, Om's 2005 WMC hoedown rocked more than four thousand heads, a huge milestone for the independent electronic imprint that grew up in a small flat in the Lower Haight. Friday night's decade anniversary bash at Mezzanine in SF might be an even bigger celebration, a sweet remembrance of two-hundred-plus releases, countless parties, a summer residency in Ibiza, and an ever-growing roster of talented artists and creative DJs, most of whom will be in the house en masse, tearing the roof off the muthafucka. Farina, Colossus, and J Boogie's Dubtronic Science top the star-studded bill. $15 presale, 10 p.m. till the sun rises. (Berwin Song)


Sacto native beatkeeper Jason Mackenroth's career move to SoCal brought about associations with, among others, former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer and famed producer Daniel Lanois, as well as a seven-year stint with Mother Superior, the Los Angeles band that backed Henry Rollins through seven albums and four world tours. Two years ago Mackenroth created Mack, that most endangered of musical species: the drummer-fronted trio. "Welcome Wasted Again," the leadoff track on Mack's eponymous debut disc, is a harsh yet hooky appetizer powered by a lifetime's worth of rock 'n' roll road stories. Thursday night at Rooster's Roadhouse in Alameda. Bar time/minimal cover. 510-337-9190. (Rob Trucks)


With the warbling, twangy voice and sweet-Clementine looks of a miner's daughter (save for her tattoos and slinky evening gowns), Tippy Canoe is more than a little kitschy, and intentionally so. Check her out at the Ivy Room in this Sunday's Uke-Centric Showcase, (5 p.m., $5) a special rural boogie and bluegrass show that also features Tiki King & the Idol Pleasures, the Paper Dolls, Cracker Jack Salteen, and Uni & Her Ukulele --- though, as the event's name implies, the ukulele is the main star. Then, if you're not completely obliterated from four hours of mountain bop and cheap beer, stick around for Drifting on a Memory at 10 p.m., a free event that features DJs Garrett and Ivar spinning low-rider classics. (R.S.)


East Bay world music guru Shaykh Yassir Chadley has collaborated on the three-string guembri and oud with jazz artists like Randy Weston, Pharoah Sanders, Omar Sosa, and Khalil Shaheed's Mo'Rockin' Project. The renowned musician's debut solo album features songs in the Magreb, Egyptian, and gnawa styles, the latter celebrating the Sufi musicians of sub-Saharan Africa. He performs traditional Moroccan music and jazz fusion Sunday afternoon at Berkeley's Jazzschool. $12, 4:30 p.m. 510-845-5373. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


The Rock. You do not have it. You desperately need it. Bay Area guitar-shredding superbad rock 'n' roll deities Drunk Horse and Parchman Farm will provide it, in spades, kicking your ass, shifting your paradigm, and impregnating any fertile ladies on the premises simultaneously. It will be glorious. Saturday night at Slim's in SF, a benefit for Bordertown Skatepark. $10, 9 p.m. (Rob Harvilla)


Nobody --- not even those compulsive fitness junkies at Gold's Gym --- can work a pair of tighty-whities quite like the centerfolds in the East Bay. Problem is, they've had few opportunities to prove it. A perennial dearth of catwalks in the local club scene has left many would-be underwear models forced to spend Saturday nights at home, blasting tepid house music and voguing for their bathroom mirrors. But now things are looking up: Fortune has graced us with a new Underwear Model Contest this Friday (and every month's first Friday) at Hayward's Club Rumor, one of the glitziest GLBT venues in the East Bay. Contestants compete for $100 and a slot in the 2007 calendar; open to everyone. Free, 10 p.m. (R.S.)


Opera comes in all forms. Berkeley Opera (mounting excellent productions of late) goes the traditional route with Verdi's Falstaff, whose success will rest with its lead, Jo Vincent Parks. Three performances remain in the Julia Morgan Center: $10-$40, tonight and Friday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., 925-798-1300. On a different note, tonight Rova:Arts kicks off its series of "Informances" at Oakland's 21 Grand, with Gino Robair discussing the open-ended structures and improv he uses to craft an opera that's always compelling but never the same. $10-$15, 7:30 p.m. 415-487-1701 or (Jason Victor Serinus)


Anyone who complains there are no good live local hip-hop bands probably doesn't know what the freakin' heck they be talkin' about. Case in point: the Bay Blasters series, a new live music showcase debuting Friday night at Berkeley's Shattuck DownLow. The first installment in what will be a regular function spotlighting DJs, MCs, breakers, raptivists, and beatboxers features Ryan Greene, the Greens Crew (no relation), and a showdown between Felonious and Shotgun Wedding Quintet. DJs Aspect and Centipede man the wheels of steel, and a breakdancing competition with cash prizes should get the b-boys and b-girls uprockin'. As Afrika Bambaataa once said, it's all about peace, love, unity, and havin' fun, y'all! $5-$7, 9 p.m. (Eric K. Arnold)


Poll-topper and big-band leader Maria Schneider's Grammy-winning CD, Concert in the Garden, is only available online, but it's worth tracking down, and the SF debut of her New York-based big band, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, is worth considering Saturday night at Herbst Theatre. Her expansive, impressionistic compositions have as much to do with classical as jazz; the former understudy to Gil Evans and Bob Brookmeyer has created her own, beautiful musical language. $25-$39, 8 p.m. (Larry Kelp)


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