Critic's Choice for the week of January 15-21, 2003 

A rock 'n' roll Standard, the former Dre Dog, Rhythm & Rhyme, and a blues harp blowout.


Smelting the hot metal bombast of latter-day Sunny Day Real Estate to a herky-jerky new wave sensibility, Portland quintet the Standard succeeds at making music that is at once funky (à la Dismemberment Plan) and smart. The band's second record, August (Touch and Go), features plenty of ghostly breakdowns, melancholy ruminations about love lost, and Tim Putnam's perfectly imperfect vocals. The band opens for Creeper Lagoon on Friday night at the Bottom of the Hill, with the Henry Miller Sextet playing first. 415-621-4455. (Stefanie Kalem)


He may have changed his stage name from Dre Dog to the more sophisticated Andre Nickatina, but this Bay Area musician still seems to give nods to hardcore locals, most notably borrowing some of the verbal inflections of Vallejo's E-40 and the skewed eccentricity championed by Kool Keith. Nickatina performs at Storyville on Friday, backed up for part of the show by the 808 Band. Also appearing are DJ Myskel, DJ Fuse, and Sake 1. 415-441-1751. (Katy St. Clair)


An East Bay treasure, trombone ace Wayne Wallace's Rhythm & Rhyme celebrates the band's tenth anniversary in a Sunday afternoon concert at Jazzschool, where half of the dozen all-star players are on the faculty. The band mixes hot new compositions with jazz standards done the R&R way, spicing them up with soaring solos and fresh rhythms from Afro-Cuban to funk, soca, and gospel. 510-845-5373. (Larry Kelp)


Yoshi's is the East Bay's beloved host to world-class musicians, and this Friday and Saturday night are, you guessed it, no different. Mark Hummel brings us his 12th Annual Blues Harmonica Blowout, featuring James Cotton, James Harman, Paul DeLay, Dave Barrett, and more, all backed by Hummel's Blues Survivors with special guest guitarist Junior Watson. 510-238-9200. (K.S.)


Three world premieres will greet Berkeley Symphony Orchestra attendees Thursday and Saturday, when Kent Nagano conducts in the Roda Theater. Grounded by Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, the program features Japanese composer Ichiro Nodaira's arrangement of six movements from Bach's Kunst der Fuge, Korean-born composer Unsuk Chin's Allegro ma non troppo for percussion and prerecorded sound, and Sir John Manduell's Flutes Concerto. 510-841-2800. (Jason Serinus)


Founded in 1975 by Juan Pedro Gaffney, the Coro Hispano de San Francisco is a community choir that sings everything from the Baroque music of Spain and Mexico to the New Song of Latin America. The choir, along with Conjunto Nuevo Mundo, performs this Saturday at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Berkeley in the sixteenth annual "Dia De Los Reyes" (Day of the Kings) concert, tracing in song the journeys of Joseph and Mary seeking shelter and the Magi following a star in search of an infant king. 415-431-4234. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


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