Critic's Choice for the week of January 17-23, 2007 

TV on the Radio's new opener, some emo-Panda, and Swedish riotmakers Dark Funeral.


Get it while it's hot. Last year's music champions TV on the Radio just picked up Oakland experimental hip-hop five-piece Subtle for some spring touring. Come out to SF this weekend and enjoy its latest album For Hero: For Fool plus some old cuts as part of a two-week West Coast tour with SoCal rapper Pigeon John. Nothing subtle about the arrangements this tour, says Adam "Doseone" Drucker, who handles vocals while Jel takes on the beats via MPC; plus cellist and bassist Alexander Kort, percusso-synth-guitarist polymath Jordan Dalrymple, and Marty Kalani Dowers on woodwinds. Keyboardist Dax Pierson will not appear, due to ongoing paralysis from last year's tour van crash. Lastly, Doseone returns to the Bay this February after an ill-fated residency in Vancouver. TVOTR tours in March. Saturday and Sunday January 20 and 21 at Bottom of the Hill. 9 p.m., $12. All ages. (D2)


Though still teenagers, the members of Panda create a surprisingly mature sound on their 2006 EP on PopSmear Records. The unpretentious Piedmonters balance sweetly earnest Beatles-influenced pop with emo-leaning rock, which helped them reach the finals of Live 105's Not So Silent Night local band contest in December. They open for the Catholic Comb, the Morning Benders, Audrye Sessions, and Poor Bailey on Friday, January 19 at Blake's. 8 p.m., $10. (Kathleen Richards)


Start practicing your devil horns. Swedish black-metal band Dark Funeral is coming to town in support of its 2005 release Attera Totus Sanctus, which, despite ferocious, grinding numbers like "King Antichrist," made Sweden's Top 40 album chart. Having just returned from causing a riot in Peru, Dark Funeral plays with Enslaved and Abigail Williams on Saturday, January 20 at the Oakland Metro. 9 p.m., $25, $28. (K.R.)


In a time when there seem to be more indie-folk bands than anything else, Destroy Nate Allen's acoustic musings stand out as authentic without being saccharine. The prolific songwriter (he released five records last year) captures listeners with his effectual lyrics, perfect for the cafe setting when he plays with Cliff Greenwood and the Red Balloons on Tuesday, January 23 at Mama Buzz. 7 p.m., $3. (K.R.)


Until now, most African pop groups who have toured the United States have been from West Africa. Yet East African music is just as compelling, as proved in Hip-Hop Colony, Michael Wanguhu's award-winning documentary on Kenyan rap. This week, the African Vuta Pumz USA Tour, which began in October, comes to Oakland's Karibbean City for a spectacular show featuring Kenyan duo Longombas, who won a 2005 Kora Award for Best East African Group, along with Hip-Hop Colony star Bamboo and Ida Onyango. The tour is also an awareness campaign for a toy donation drive for underprivileged kids. Saturday, January 20. 9 p.m., $20/$25 door. (Eric K. Arnold)


Some members of Mexican folk troupe Los Cenzontles were young students when they made their recording debut on Papa's Dream, Los Lobos' 1995 CD. Now grown up with a stack of albums of their own, Los Cenzontles have joined their teachers along with a new generation of students at the group's Mexican cultural arts center in San Pablo. On Saturday they return to the Freight & Salvage with an evening of colorful music and dance drawn from Mexico's various regions, from Michoacan's pirecuas to Vera Cruz's son jarocho styles. Far from the commercialized version of Mexico, Los Cenzontles dig back to the real soul roots of the music for some of the most heartfelt and lively songs extant. Saturday, January 20. 8 p.m., $19.50. (Larry Kelp)


For those who can't get the sound of bombs bursting in air out of their heads, American Bach Soloists and the American Bach Choir have a solution for you. This week in Berkeley's venerable First Congregational Church, Jeffrey Thomas will conduct a program of premieres featuring festive cantatas by J.S. Bach written for the extended New Year's celebrations of 18th-century Leipzig. Alongside tenor Steven Tharp and baritone William Sharp, four young soloists from the Pacific Boychoir will contribute to the mellifluous evening. Saturday, January 20. 8 p.m., $16-$42. (Jason Victor Serinus)


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