Critic's Choice for the week of June 7-13, 2006 

Foreign Prog, Domestic Punk, and Celtic Americana

Metal + Flamenco = Flametal

Berkeley flamenco guitarist Benjamin Woods decided that Metallica's Master of Puppets-era solos are the perfect extension of his rhythmic Spanish guitar pounding. His instincts seem to be right. Flametal is equally at home playing to twirling fifty-year-old activist aunties at La Peña or beer-soaked metal-heads at the Pound. With two guitarists, two bassists, and two hand-clapping flamenco dancers, this is one genre-traipsing band assured of an attentive audience. With Red Fang, Portals, & the River Runs Black Wednesday, June 7 at the Golden Bull. $6. 9 p.m. 510-893-0803. (Kathleen Richards)

Strange Foreign Prog

Despite Green Milk from the Planet Orange's repeated proclamation that it represents the "new wave of progressive rock," the band's sonic freak-out jams hardly suggest these Tokyo boys grew up fawning over Rush. But whatever the band wants to call itself, Green Milk ... exudes irresistibly feverish enthusiasm — even when playing smoky, psychedelic grooves. The trio's bravado caught the ear of Paul Mahajan, who has worked with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, and TV on the Radio, and who produced the band's latest album, last year's City Calls Revolution. Catch them at the Stork Club with local metal band Totimoshi, plus Sixes and No Doctors Tuesday, June 13. $5. (K.R.)

Molested Punk Rock

Oakland's Fleshies unleash their latest "molestation" of punk rock, Scrape the Walls, on — you guessed it — 6/6/06. The band scrapped its usual weeklong recording process, holing up for a year-and-a-half in their drummer's warehouse studio to destroy equipment and feed off junk food. The result doesn't stray too far from the band's drunken sing-along party and salute to good-time rock 'n' roll. Count on an amped-up celebration with Toys That Kill, Kreamy 'Lectric Santa, David Copperfuck and Hey Girl! at 924 Gilman St. Friday, June 9. $5. 8 p.m. (K.R.)

Vocal Delights

For those not yet sated by a week of continual Berkeley Festival & Exhibition/Fringe Festival concerts, Magen Solomon's first-rate San Francisco Choral Artists offer new music by Bay Area composer Henry Mollicone. The composer, whose vocal commissions have included Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera, reportedly writes in an instantly likable, tonal idiom that reflects the influence of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and other American greats. The afternoon celebration of nature and the natural landscape at Oakland's St. Paul's Episcopal Church, entitled "Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Song," also includes music by SFCA's New Voices concert winners. Sunday, June 11 at 4 p.m.; $25/$18; (Jason Victor Serinus)

Cuban Raps

At a time when most of American hip-hop is caught up in the "Hustle & Flow" of commercial interest, it's outside the US where the genre's organic essence as a youthful expression flourishes. Look at Cuba, for example. While the group Orishas are the most widely known, the film Inventos: Hip-Hop Cubano, by activist Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, presents more underground vibrancy from this movement. This Friday, June 9, Fantauzzi and DJ Waltdigz bring the sights and sounds of Cubano rap as part of the SF International Arts Festival 2006 at Gallery One, Sacramento & Battery, SF. 8 p.m. Free. 415-647-2822. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

Cali Celtic 'cana

Robin Flower and Libby McLaren call their style "California Celtic Americana," but their longtime fans don't care about labels; they love the instrumental and vocal interplay between the two. The Oakland duo presents samples of American mountain folk and country music, pop songs, and hot Irish fiddle tunes. Flower can switch from violin to mandolin and guitar, while McLaren handles keyboards and accordion. Guests Danny Carnahan (of Wake the Dead) and singer Mary McLaughlin from Ireland's County Tyrone help mix the instrumentals with four-part harmony singing at Freight and Salvage Saturday, June 10. $18.50 advance, $19.50 at door. (Larry Kelp)


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