Critic's Choice for the week of March 29-April 4, 2006 

Kaleidoscopic splendidness, bossa funk fests, and jumping-on-the-bed soul


Oakland has always loved D'Wayne Wiggins, from back when he specialized in producing soft, warm R&B ballads to more recent exploits like his Jahva House Café, an activist-themed downtown coffee klatch where women in cowry shell jewelry enjoy "harpists from the hood" along with their soy lattes. Indeed, the only singer who could rival Wiggins for our affections is his (usually) former bandmate Raphael Saadiq — née "Ray Ray" — who will probably still be winning the hearts of twelve-year-old girls when he's walking with a cane. The two will reunite with their cousin Timothy Christian as the popular early-'90s R&B outfit Toni, Tony, Toné for Sunday night's Body & Soul Tour. Held at Oakland's Paramount Theatre, the soiree also features Guy, Blackstreet, and After 7. $35.75-$85.75, 7 p.m. (Rachel Swan)


With his 2005 album Listen Here!, pianist-bandleader Eddie Palmieri proves he's a Latin jazz untouchable. Now packing a whopping eight Grammys, the Spanish Harlem-born master continues exploring music based on the mathematically inclined Schillenger method with refreshing results. A maverick on the NYC salsa/Latin jazz scene since the '60s, Eddie rolls through UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall Saturday night as part of Cal Performances with his septet. $22-$42, 8 p.m. 510-642-9988 or (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


For every instant smash like Arctic Monkeys, there are ten Flaming Lips and Pink Floyds who didn't find that sound until well into their careers. Oakland's Yoni Wolf spent six years recording solo whims as Why? before teaming up with three other musicians and churning out the 2005 art-rock sensation Elephant Eyelash. Still backed by local underground rap label Anticon, Why? now proffers kaleidoscopic pop with a sense of purpose but no debt to society. Fans of another pachyderm-obsessed psych-pop collective will find familiar company here, but to be fair, genre is a four-letter word to Wolf. Catch Why? at the top of its game headlining a Noise Pop showcase Thursday night at the Rickshaw Stop in SF. Openers include Asobi Seksu, Dirty Projectors, and Black Fiction. $10, 8 p.m. (Nate Seltenrich)


When the Venezuelan Music Project hits Berkeley's La Pe–a Cultural Center stage Saturday night, the last thing you want to do is sit down and merely listen to the amazing rhythms and virtuosic interplay of these vibrant musicians. It's dance time! This all-ages event is that rare coming together of some of the Bay Area's finest Latin American musicians, usually busy in their own bands: Led by multi-instrumentalist Jackeline Rago, they play calypsos, parrandas, tambores, and songs associated with Venezuela and the Caribbean, but it's not so much what they play as how. $12 advance, $14 at door; 8:30 p.m. 510-849-2568 or (Larry Kelp)


It's hard to describe exactly what it is Keith Terry and his Slammin' ensemble does. Start with four a cappella vocalists — Bryan Dyer, Zoe Ellis, Kenny Washington, and Destani Wolf — doing free improvisations in a wide range of styles. Add beatbox master Steve Hogan, and of course, Terry himself, the percussionist, rhythm dancer, and ringmaster. What you get is a group that can jump from funk to reggae to Indonesian folk music via its own unclassifiable blend of percussive vocal jazz. The band hits the stage like a whirlwind and never stops pulling psychedelic rabbits out of an invisible hat; check it out Friday night. $13 advance, $15 door. 9 p.m. 510-525-5054. (j.poet)


Combining distorted, lickety-split surfer guitar lines with '60s doo-wop hooks and nyah-nyah vocals, the Dirtbombs rival Kurtis Blow for making the best jumping-on-the-bed music around — just ask any Aderol-slamming overgrown teenager in the UC coops or the Oakland warehouse crowd. And this isn't just your standard-issue indie-rockers-do-vintage-soul outfit — the Detroit-raised Bombs have two drummers and two bassists, and their lyrics are super-smart to boot (in a really pared-down, self-consciously ironic, glam-rocker-influenced-by-too-much-Foucault kinda way). Check the group out tonight at the Independent in SF, alongside Black Lips, the Lamps, and Sensations. $15, 8 p.m. (R.S.)


If you're intrigued by how a quartet that includes a mandolin will sound playing Bartok's Romanian Dances, you won't want to miss Tuesday's concert by the Luna Nova Quartet. Sponsored by Berkeley Chamber Performances, the unusual quartet (violin, mandolin, viola, and cello) presents a juicy recital at the Berkeley City Club that also tackles tangos by Piazzola, one of Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras, and gems by Satie and 20th-century Brazilian mandolin master Jacob de Bandolim. $20, 8 p.m.; 510-848-7800. (Jason Victor Serinus)


Before the movie Rock School showed us how cute (or disturbing?) little boys with Mohawks imitating Ozzy Osbourne could be, the East Bay's BandWorks has been teaching kids big and small how to rock. Eight weeks of diligent study on topics like chords, soloing, and dynamics now culminate in two shows (all-ages, naturally) at Ashkenaz in Berkeley. Sunday's nine-hour marathon kicks off at 11 a.m. with seventeen bands, featuring everything from (teenage) girl groups to seven-year-old guitarists. Tuesday night's show starts at 7:30 and features five adult and teen bands. We just hope their teacher wasn't obsessed with Frank Zappa. $5 at the door, kids under 12 free. (Kathleen Richards)


One of the best moments on Curumin's album Achados e Perdidos comes on his cover of Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'." The n-Brazilian soul singer is able to integrate everything that made the original a classic and pay it due homage, while adding his own tropical, funky twist to it — diasporizing it, if you will. The rest of Achados e Perdidos is just as good; picture Caetano Veloso if he was a skateboarder. Speaking of rail-grinders, onetime Bones Brigader-turned-Mission District funkster Tommy Guerrero plays along with Curumin (appearing with his full band from Sao Paulo), SF's ice cream soulster Bing Ji Ling, and Bay Area trio Honeycut tonight at SF's Café Du Nord as part of a Noise Pop Quannum showcase. This fiesta not only offers a radical departure from Noise Pop's predictable monotony of indie rock, but forecasts the next wave of the pioneering indie label — live, funky, and hotter than a polar bear in the Amazon. $10, 9 p.m. (Eric K. Arnold)


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