Critic's Choice for the week of June 21-27, 2006 

Dragon lords, honest roosters, and radio heads.

21st-Century Gypsy Music

All the way from Eastern Europe via Paris, Les Yeux Noirs (the Dark Eyes) combine two of the world's most frenetic folkloric forms, klezmer and Gypsy music, plus a dash of manouche (French Gypsy jazz) for a frenzied presentation that honors the omnivorous history of their family tradition. Led by fiddlers Eric and Olivier Slabiak, the eight-member group is at the forefront of 21st-century Gypsy music, adding electric guitars and electronic textures to its ancient boogie. $25 advance, $44.95 dinner and ticket. 8 p.m. Thursday, June 22 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. (j. poet)

Grammy-Owning Folk Hotshots

Berkeley music lovers benefit from this weekend's Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival in Laytonville, as some of its musicians play local clubs beforehand. Tim O'Brien plays the Freight & Salvage Friday, June 23, accompanied by fiddler Casey Driessen, banjo player Danny Barnes, and bassist Dennis Crouch. The fine tenor vocalist, mandolinist-guitarist-fiddler, and founder of such acts as Hot Rize and Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers, O'Brien also produced many acclaimed recordings including bluegrass star Laurie Lewis' first solo album, and won a Grammy last year for his CD, Fiddler's Green. He also did a folk-bluegrass album of Bob Dylan songs called Red on Blonde. Young string band the Biscuit Burners open. 8 p.m. $24.50 advance, $25.50 door. (Larry Kelp)

Some English Band

Rock idols Radiohead have the ability to induce seizures and strange glossolalia among fans during live shows. Maybe it's their frenetic, sometimes atonal and arrhythmic guitar playing combined with the electronics. Maybe it's just the crowd identifying with the paranoid android-looking lead singer Thom Yorke. Either way, you can bet your ass every seat in Berkeley's Greek Theater Friday and Saturday June 23 and 24 will be spoken for and promptly abandoned during this two-hour tour through the band's biblical back catalogue, including the number #1 album of the last fifteen years — OK Computer, plus some new songs due out next year. Local art rockers Deerhoof open. $43 ($150+ scalped). 7:30 p.m. (David Downs)

Dragon Slayers

Years of playing thrash in a band that drew comparisons to Metallica but never got past Headbangers' Ball must have been torture for Testament guitarist Eric Peterson. Several years ago, he let his true darkness shine by donning sinister makeup, leather, chains, and a spike collar as the leader of the symphonic black-metal band DragonLord. Its second album, Black Wings of Destiny, covers the usual topics — ravens, corpses, and netherworlds — but it isn't as dark as it sounds. Even with Peterson's spawn-of-Satan yowl, the songs' theatrical string-keyboard melodies give them mysterious pop appeal. See them Friday, June 23 at Bourbon Street in Concord. $15, 9 p.m. (Kathleen Richards)

Pop Vision

Credit is due to a band that has remained steadfastly dedicated to perfectly pop songcraft despite maintaining relative obscurity throughout its ten-year career. San Francisco psychedelic pop band the Chantigs may be nearing that perfection with their upcoming fourth album, which exhibits the band's sharp focus on noodling, swirling guitar, sunny harmonies, and cheeky lyrics — the perfect sound to launch your summer. They play with Boat Club and the Aerosols on Friday, June 23 at the Ivy Room in Albany. 10 p.m., $7. (K.R.)

Virtuous Poultry

Boston-based Zemog el Gallo Bueno reconstructs salsa and Latin jazz as you've never heard it before. Led by saxophonist Abraham "Aib" Gomez-Delgado, the band (Gomez spelled backwards plus the Good Rooster) draws from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Ornette Coleman for creative inspiration. As latest album Cama de la Conga shows, the band's songs can switch from abrasive industrial metal to sweet guaguanco with shimmering sheets of improvisational sounds. Zemog makes its Bay Area debut at Yoshi's Tuesday and Wednesday June 27 and 28. $14 & $10. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

Metal Haze

East Bay metal fans just can't enough of whatever High on Fire's Matt Pike touches. But instead of his axe, this time it's a microphone for Oakland's Kalas (formerly called Scum Angel), a supergroup of sorts featuring members who've played in Econochrist, Grimple, Samiam, Eldopa, Medication Time, and Cruevo. Just don't expect any High on Fire comparisons — this is half-tempo metal coated with a thick bong haze, but not thick enough to hide the brutalization that Pike's voice has suffered over the years. But that's the appeal of the train wreck — you've got to watch. Thursday, June 22 at Annie's Social Club in SF. 9 p.m. $6. (K.R.)


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