Critic's Choice for the week of June 4-10, 2003 

Electroclashing Lovemakers, crass rappers, an ethereal lady singer, a zoot-suited jalapeño band, and more.

NON-CLASHING ELECTRO

With the resurgence of electro and the wackiness of electroclash, it's official: Skewed, minimalist beats are the new post-post-post punk. But something melodic had to give, and that something is the Bay Area's Lovemakers, who do indeed ride that electroclash Roland organ, but with a richness and harmony based in good old-fashioned indie rock (from ex-Applesaucer Scott Blonde). Keyboardist and vintage-synth collector Jason Proctor's appreciation of New Order is evident in every cut. Throw in the old school chops of Lisa Light and you have an ambitious trio named for a Japanese porn movie, bent on dressing like Prince and grinding like Peaches. Sunday at SF's Bottom of the Hill. 415-621-4455. (Katy St. Clair)

CRASS RAPPERS

Hip-hop snobs nationwide have been known to complain, "Man, I could make better beats and rap better than Gold Chains." Well, chump, you should've. Then maybe you would be a clownin' indie rap icon finally dropping a long-awaited full-length disc this week. Join Mr. Chains, perhaps best known for his playfully menacing hit "I Come from San Francisco," as he celebrates the release of Young Miss America, a new record short on awe-inspiring mic skills but high on enthusiasm and what-the-hell-let's-rock-the-party groovin'. You will enjoy yourself in spite of yourself. Tonight at Bottom of the Hill with Vahco and the Pleased. 415-621-4455. (Rob Harvilla)

FREAKY LADIES

If you think Tori Amos is creepy, spacey, and hyper-ethereal, Lisa Germano will really scare the crap out of you. With a voice that's 25 percent melody and 75 percent pure breath, the cult singer-songwriter spins slow-burning indie rock ditties for the music boxes of hell; check out her latest addiction-themed disc, Lullaby for Liquid Pig, if you don't believe us. Most depressing song entitled "It's Party Time" ever, dude. Tuesday at Cafe du Nord in SF. 415-861-5016. (R.H.)

JAZZ

Most jazz fiddlers get lost in Grappelli's swing or Jean-Luc Ponty's free-flowing (con)fusion experiments, but Regina Carter has avoided both pitfalls to create an inventive style combining jazz and Brazilian sensibilities with a bit of funk and soul. Her group includes Daryl Hall on bass, Werner Gierig on piano, Alvester Garnett on drums, and Myra Casales on percussion. Tonight at Yoshi's in Jack London Square. 510-238-9200. (j. poet)

CROSS-CULTURAL GROOVES

Pass the Peace, a music and dance series in the name of nonviolence, promises to be an entertaining extravaganza of live music, DJs, and Latin dance troupes. Performing will be Aphrodesia, a ten-piece Afro-beat band, Brazilian samba dancers Be Rio, Afro-Peruvian dance ensemble Jaranon y Bochinche, and hip-hop breakers Fresh Heir. DJ Ren the Vinyl Archeologist (True Skool), DJ Reuben, and DJ Metasense will also be on hand, spinning funk, breaks,world beat, and soca. EQ! hooks up a live audio-visual collage. Free food and giveaways. It all goes down Friday at Club Galia in SF's Mission. www.anthemsalgado.com/peace.htm (Eric K. Arnold)

SUAVE MEXICANS

Pachucos -- Mexican-American zoot-suit enthusiasts -- birthed a bilingual and bicultural reality that refuses to die. In the Bay Area, Dr. Loco and His Rockin' Jalapeño Band are leading purveyors of the era's Chicano boogie swing. Featuring the brilliant pachuco poet Jose Montoya, the group hosts a "Ponte Las Pilas" (Charge Up Your Batteries) party Saturday night at La Peña in Berkeley, with zoot suit contests for "El Chuco Mas Suave" and "Linda Cholita." 510-849-2568. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

CLASSICAL

Chanticleer's superb singing fills Berkeley's First Congregational Church Saturday night with Sound in Spirit performances of healing music. The enticing program, coinciding with California Institute for Integral Studies workshops on sound healing, features Gregorian chant, as well as works by Hildegard von Bingen, William Byrd, and King Alfonso X of Castille. Finally, look for contemporary works by Jan Gilbert, Jackson Hill, Sarah Hopkins, and Patricia Van Ness. 415-392-4400. (Jason Victor Serinus)

QUEENS OF BOOGIE-WOOGIE

For those not familiar with New Orleans guitarist and belter Carol Fran, Sunday's Queens of Boogie-Woogie fest at Freight & Salvage will be an ear-opening surprise. A hot item in the '60s when she sang with Guitar Slim, Joe Tex, and Lee Dorsey, Fran shares the stage with fellow boogie-woogie women Carmen Getit (the astounding guitarist from popular swing band Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums), and piano mavens Wendy DeWitt and Sue Palmer. 510-548-1761. (Larry Kelp)

TOP-SHELF INDIE ROCK

Ladies and germs, behold the college radio one-two punch of the season: The Brainiac splinter group Enon leads off with razor-sharp pop taffy pulled through busted drum machines and acidic keyboards -- the "evil new wave" thing, but fun, for once. And then, the Dismemberment Plan, beloved brainy emo dudes on their farewell tour before they break up and trigger tearful diary entries on college campuses worldwide. The band's last record, Change, is lyrically and sonically gorgeous, by the way. Miss this one at your own considerable peril. At Slim's Saturday night. 415-255-0333. (R.H.)

NEO-SOUL

Every generation has its soul singers, and Philadelphia-based neo-soul artist Musiq (formerly Musiq Soulchild) is well on his way to becoming the Marvin Gaye of the new millennium. Musiq may have shortened his moniker, but he's kept his highly emotional brand of contemporary R&B flowing on his two albums, Aijuswanaseing and Juslisen, which have helped to usher in a new movement of grooves equally influenced by Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, and hip-hop. He'll be throwing down Friday night at the Fillmore (415-346-6000), along with Aries and Vivian Green . (E.A.)

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