Critic's Choice for the week of June 18-25, 2003 

Stud-man Beck, tango with Tengo, hip-hop in the movies, smoove jazz, and more.


Fear not, Beck fans. Yes, it's true our shapeshifting hero is recovering from a nasty quasi-beating, suffered at NYC's recent (and disastrous) Field Day festival, when our hero was "accidentally slammed in the ribs by a stagehand." Not at all suspicious. But no matter -- Sunday's show at U.C. Berkeley's Greek Theater will go on, with Beck crooning lovely mournful ballads from his latest, Sea Change, whilst the Black Keys (two-man blues juggernaut, highly recommended) and Dashboard Confessional (weepy emo demigod, highly sensitive) open up. Pricey, but you won't wish you hadn't come. $39.50. 3 p.m. 510-642-4283. (Rob Harvilla)


The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival isn't just a concert -- it's closer to a three-day seminar on the history of reggae music, held outdoors, in a natural environment. It's a bit of a trek to get out to Angel's Camp from the Bay Area -- did somebody say "road trip?" -- but it's well worth rounding up the troops for the mission. This year happens to be the SNWMF's tenth anniversary, and to commemorate this momentous occasion, they've assembled an awesome list of legendary reggae singers, musicians, and toasters. Some of the classic artists scheduled to perform include the Wailers, U-Roy, Barrington Levy, Johnny Clarke, Mikey Dread, Prince Buster, Eek-a-Mouse, Pato Banton, Stur-Gav Hi-Hi with Brigadier Jerry, Cocoa Tea, Capleton, and Yami Bolo. In-between easy skankin' interludes, refresh yourself with international foods from various vendors, or browse the arts and crafts stands for that dashiki or woodcarving you always wanted. For more information, directions, and a complete schedule, try or 916-777-5550. (Eric K. Arnold)


The all-volunteer group Jazz in Flight presents some of the Bay Area's most creative concerts, and its sixth annual Eric Dolphy Tribute Concert at Yoshi's on Monday is no exception. Saluting the late, groundbreaking saxophonist-flutist-clarinetist's music is genre-warping keyboardist Graham Connah 's sextet with Ben Goldberg and Eric Crystal at 8 p.m., followed at 10 by pianist Eric Reed 's "Eric Dolphy Project," consisting of solo piano variations on Dolphy compositions. At Yoshi's Monday night. 510-238-9200. (Larry Kelp)


Yo La Tengo , the indie-rock trio that put Hoboken, NJ, on the underground map, has the ability to occupy any space between subtle, skewed pop and gently noisy skronk, and have been doing so with aplomb for just about two decades now. Mythological New Zealand trio the Clean have been doggedly going at it for even longer, with brothers Hamish and David Kilgour pretty much inventing the Kiwi indie-rock scene. The band's lo-fi pop started out like a flea circus on a beach, with their single "Tally-Ho!" being the first-ever for Flying Nun Records. But the Clean evolved into a more pensively bouncy entity, flying its own version of the VU's black-and-white-and-gray, never quite dropping the four-track fuzz, and spawning the Bats and Bailter Space along the way. Be a part of smart-rock history Wednesday through Friday nights when the latter opens for the former at the Fillmore. 415-346-6000. (Stefanie Kalem)


1983's Style Wars was the first feature-length hip-hop documentary ever, and its reissue earlier this year on DVD proved it's still quite relevant. In honor of the film's twentieth anniversary, SF's cutting-edge turntablist/visual arts collective Future Primitive Sound is hosting three separate events this weekend. On Friday, FPS opens its new gallery, Headquarters, with a showing of (Style Wars' codirector) Henry Chalfant's b-boy and graffiti art photography, including some rare snapshots of spray-painted subway cars. Saturday evening the movie screens at Soluna Lounge, followed by a filmmaker Q&A with Chalfant and Tony Silver. For dessert, there's an after-party with FPS DJs spinning funky breaks. The fun continues with Sunday's block party at Steiner and Haight. The FPS crew of DJs and guest MCs will be in full effect (boyee!), and true school hip-hop legend Doze Green (Rock Steady Crew/TC5) will be painting live before your eyes. For more information, (E.A.)


Even if you're not too familiar with Wire , it's likely that you love a few bands that love Wire more than you love your mother. Plenty of alterna-rockin' superstar outfits (Elastica, say) have based entire careers on aping Wire's brief, staccato bursts of honest-to-god punk aggression. One of the few prominent '70s acts (in punk or any genre, really) to mount a convincing comeback, the band is wandering around flaunting its latest disc, Send. At Great American Music Hall Monday. 8 p.m., $21. 415-478-2277. (R.H.)


Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry leads Columna B , the cutting edge Latin jazz combo that performs tonight at Yoshi's in Oakland. With his brother Yunior (bass) and Luis Perdomo (piano), Dafnis Prieto (traps), and the Bay Area's Jesus Diaz (congas), the Havana homeboys play an intricate and groove-based Cubano jazz. Their 2001 debut CD Twisted Noon (Bombo Music) is a sample of their hard-bop leanings and awesome improvisational skill. 510-238-9200. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


Singer/songwriter/pianist Vienna Teng has been making big waves in the Bay Area since the release of her debut Waking Hour on Virt, a label founded to put out her music. Her years of classical training are evident in her shimmering melodies, while her understated vocal style gives her heartfelt lyrics the intimacy of an overheard midnight conversation. Saturday at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. 510-548-1761. (j. poet)


The keyed-up gentlemen of Texas' ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have a penchant for wanton mid-show equipment destruction. They break shit, in other words. You might find this exhilarating, pretentious, or just kinda funny. But the Dead's muscular, volatile art-rock can be breathtaking in its beauty and violence, one of the few bands saddled with the "emo" tag that really takes both its sensitivity and its cathartic fury to satisfying extremes. They kick ass, in other words. Sunday at the Fillmore with Kinski . $18.50, 9 p.m. 415-346-6000. (R.H.)


There's nothing else like New Music Bay Area's annual Garden of Memory summer solstice extravaganza. Three floors of extraordinary musicians -- from Paul Dresher and Dean Santomieri to pianist Sarah Cahill to glass instrument musician Miguel Frasconi to cellist and agave plant-player Elaine Kreston -- will perform simultaneously in a multilevel maze of Julia Morgan-designed gardens and chambers Saturday at Oakland's Chapel of the Chimes, at the end of Piedmont Ave. The acoustics are to die for. 415-563-6355 ext. 3. (Jason Victor Serinus)


At age forty, English guitarist Ronny Jordan may not be the young lion he was when he burst onto the contemporary music scene more than a decade ago, making a splash with Guru's Jazzmatazz and becoming a seminal figure in the UK acid jazz thing. But not only is he still making music, his chops -- which have earned him comparisons to Wes Montgomery -- have only become more polished with time. And now that acid jazz has returned with new names (neo-soul, urban jazz, street bop, etc.), Jordan may finally get his due. He appears at Yoshi's for a four-night run beginning Thursday, in support of his new CD, At Last, which includes a silky-smoove cover of Al B. Sure's "Night and Day." 510-238-9200. (E.A.)


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