Critic's Choice for the week of January 14-20, 2004 

Our writers tell you what's musically hot this week.


Local "One Love Hip-Hop" band Felonious has toured Europe several times, making lots of friends and connections along the way. In honor of our Austrian-born governor (or maybe in spite of Ze Terminator), these B-boyin', vocal percussionizin' cultural ambassadors have invited one of Hamburg's leading hip-hop crews, Traininslager Bouncesystem, to share the stage with them Friday night at Blake's in Berkeley. The Trainingslager crew consists of several German MCs, DJs, beatboxers, and B-boys, who will perform their own material and collaborate with Felonious. Expect to hear lots of freaky-flowin' freestyles. DJs Stoecker Stereo and Illin Ills will be there too. Info: or 510-848-0666. (Eric K. Arnold)


Your prayers for a Jimmy Eat World/Rush hybrid have finally been answered -- as the teenager in Animal House exclaimed when a sorority girl crashed into his bedroom and landed on his bed, "Thank you, God!" Coheed and Cambria combine pointy-headed lyrical concepts with pop-punk choruses, giddy handclaps, and disquieting choral doo-doo-doo chants on the Emo Nation-approved In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. Nice album title, you Frodo-worshipping pantywaists. See one of mall punk's more intriguing exports Tuesday and Wednesday (January 20 and 21) at SF's Bottom of the Hill. 415-621-4455. (Rob Harvilla)


John Eliot Gardiner (Sir to the English), long regarded as one of our finest authentic-instrument conductors, brings his lauded Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and Monteverdi Choir to Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall tonight for a rare evening of choral and instrumental works. The program, which includes Mozart's gorgeous Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Haydn's "Heiligmesse," is sure to qualify as one of the highlights of the season. 510-642-9988. (Jason Victor Serinus)


A former star player on Berkeley High's championship basketball team, Rachel Garlin has since worked with struggling mothers, taught in Berkeley schools, and driven a biodiesel van cross-country. But her main calling in the past few years has been as a superb singer-songwriter turning her life experiences and observations into fascinating songs. With two CDs already out, Garlin is recording her two-night Thursday-Friday stand at the Freight & Salvage for a live album, Big Blue Sky. This time she has a full band with her, too. 510-548-1761. (Larry Kelp)


Bill Haley may have been dead for more than twenty years, but his backing band the Comets -- probably the only credible '50s group to include an accordion in their lineup -- carries on. Honky-tonk angel Wanda Jackson (still a ball of fire at 66) and San Diego's roots-rock maniacs the Paladins open. Friday at Bimbo's in San Francisco. 415-474-0365. (j. poet)


The In the Name of Love concert this Sunday at Oakland's Calvin Simmons Theatre celebrates what would have been the 75th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lifting every voice will be Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and the Oakland Jazz Choir. This third annual presentation is produced by the OJC and Rhythmic Concepts, with an opening address by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Keep the dream alive! 510-287-8880. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


Yes, Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy's voice sounds a lot like that of Neutral Milk Hotel mastermind Jeff Mangum. But he doesn't use it the same way: his harmonies and key changes are more straightforward, as are the song structures in general. But Meloy's lyrics are as imaginative as those of Neutral Milk, although in an entirely different way: Instead of psychedelic surrealism, the Portland band spins seafaring yarns, ghost stories, and whimsical love songs full to busting with frisky rhythms, accordion swell, horse whinnies, and randy behavior. Thursday at Bottom of the Hill with Oranger and Corrina Repp. 415-621-4455. (Stefanie Kalem)


Zairean/Congolese composer, guitarist, and singer Samba Ngo has released nineteen albums, making him one of the most prolific world musicians of the modern era. His latest release, Ndoto, is a brilliantly executed blend of traditional African folk music and melodic jazz, seasoned with dashes of funk and rock, and sung in French, English, and tribal African tongues. Its uplifting, highly percussive rhythms often carry a message of healing and peace, as well as being utterly danceable. Make your feet and your ears happy this Saturday at Ashkenaz, when Ngo goes for it live in concert. 510-525-5054. (E.K.A.)


Gram Parsons inspired a small army's worth of troubadours and hard drinkers; for the past five years, he also has inspired the Sleepless Nights Parsons tribute/benefit, with proceeds from this year's fete -- featuring Northern Lights CA, Chuck Prophet and Stephanie Finch, the Shore, Sin City All Stars, Fojimoto, Dave Gleason's Wasted Days, Bart Davenport, and Eric Shea (an occasional Express contributor, along with Fojimoto's Jon Fojtik) -- benefiting the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics. Saturday at SF's Great American Music Hall. 415-885-0750. (R.H.)


Dori Caymmi is one of Brazil's best-loved (and most important) modern guitarists, singers, arrangers, and composers, right up there with Caetano Veloso and João Gilberto in his ability to fuse Afro-Brazilian rhythms with the freedom of jazz and the sensibilities of international pop. Bay Area Brazilian ex-pats Claudia Villela and Ricardo Peixoto open the evening with a sound many critics are hailing as "new millennium Brazilian music." Tonight (Wednesday) at Yoshi's. 510-239-9100. (j.p.)


Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson is in a class all of his own. With a trajectory that includes working with contemporaries such as saxophonists Curtis Amy and Eric Dolphy, he was part of a vibrant Los Angeles scene before trekking to New York City, where his tenure with Blue Note as a leader and sideman made him a star. Living in Montara since the '70s, Bobby is now an appreciated Bay Area treasure who plays Yoshi's in Oakland this Thursday through Sunday with his All-Stars: Eddie Henderson, James Spaulding, George Cables, Dwayne Burno, and Carl Allen. or 510-238-9200. (J.C.V.)


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in Music

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay


© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation