Critic's Choice for the week of November 1-7, 2006 

Steven Tyler appetizers, tossed Joan Jett salad, and some Whole Foods 21st-century baroque.


Listen, boys and girls: The Aerosmith and Mötley Crüe show will rock your balls off. If you aren't ready for complete mayhem, don't bother coming. Aging baby boomers will be staggering around drunk and blocking the aisles, children will be lost and abandoned, and early reports state security will be largely ineffectual due to the sheer magnetism of the demigods onstage. This is rock royalty doing the best of their best with little new material to dampen the jams. Expect literally tons of lights, props, costumes, confetti, and a moving stage to give everyone a piece of the action. Make sure to request "Craze-Amazin-Cryin'," the SNL mashup of Aero's biggest hits. Thursday, November 2 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. 7:30 p.m., $199.50 (I s^!t you not ). (D2)


Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers are rockers with sensitive, wide-open souls and an eclectic style that blends country, Americana, and heartland rock. Kellogg writes great hooks and lyrics that delve into the dilemmas of modern romance with a winning blend of sincerity and dark humor. The Sixers are one of the best small combos extant, with dynamic chops and firepower to spare. In keeping with their fierce DIY aesthetic, their next album, available in February, will be offered on their Web site with a ProTools interface to allow fans to create their own mixes. With Ronnie Day and Kyle Riabko at Cafe du Nord in SF Wednesday, November 8. 8 p.m., $10/$12 door. (j. poet)


In another week of glorious classical performances, the world premiere of San Francisco composer Jake Heggie's one-act opera for baroque instruments, To Hell and Back, in Berkeley's irreplaceable First Congregational Church, wins hands down. Not only is it Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's first ever commission, but it boasts Broadway's Patti LuPone and Canada's Isabel Bayrakdarian as soloists. Saturday, November 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. $29-$67. (Jason Victor Serinus)


While its newest album, Threes, sniffs of Radiohead and early U2 pandering, El Paso's Sparta managed to produce at least two albums that reek of ridiculously catchy emo-rock hooks. Riding that fine line between commercial friendly and earnest indie rock, the band was able to advance both simultaneously. And that's more than a lot of bands can say. With Sound Team and As Tall as Lions at Slim's in SF on Wednesday, November 8. 8 p.m., $16. (Kathleen Richards)


Since moving from New York three years ago to become UC Berkeley's assistant professor of jazz, innovative pianist and composer Myra Melford has occasionally worked with the likes of clarinetist Ben Goldberg and guitarist Nels Cline, always moving their music beyond what we've heard before. With a new CD out on the forward-thinking Cryptogramophone label, her quintet makes its local debut this week as part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival in the Palace of the Legion of Honor's intimate and lovely Florence Gould Theater. Melford's jazz features group improvisation, but it is also based on her unique approach to music that ranges from tranquility to energized urgency. With Melford on piano and harmonium, the group features Goldberg, trumpeter Cuong Vu, bassist Stomu Takeishi, and drummer Alex Cline. Saturday, November 4. 2 p.m., $25. (Larry Kelp)


Not unlike Wu-Tang Clan, Los-Angeles-via-Seattle rapper X-Kid mines his diverse cinematic and musical influences for the experimental sounds on his latest release, The Tombz. Musicians like the Beatles, the Clash, the Police, and Elvis Costello and movies like Miller's Crossing, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Bullitt, are the musings that yield vivid, atmospheric results, like the laid-back Caribbean breeziness of "Blow Treez," and the smoky ''20s-gangster haze and classical vibe of "Monumental." X-Kid performs with Sleep, Delinquent Monastery, Big Homie, 1st Platoon, Left Coast Ink, and DJ Inform at 2232 MLK on Friday, November 3. 8 p.m., $10. (K.R.)


Break out the spandex and leather. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts return to their raunchy punk roots with Sinner, their first US release since 1999's Fetish. Fifteen years after her cover of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" launched her into the Top Ten, Jett still emotes the cigarette-and-whiskey toughness that sparked a generation of girls to emulate. Proving her continued relevancy, Jett tours with bare-bones rockers Eagles of Death Metal. Good times. At the Fillmore Saturday, November 4, 9 p.m., $30. (K.R.)


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