Critic's Choice for the week of November 13-19, 2002 

Math rockers from the South, a Lost Goat in Alameda, an octogenarian pianist at Yoshi's, and Latin performers at the Oakland Museum.


Math-rock to give you vertigo. Pounding rhythms to give you a heart attack. If this combination sounds like your bag, pop some ginger pills and head to the Bear's Lair on Thursday night for Chapel Hill's Fin Fang Foom. The trio takes its name from a Marvel Comics dragon, and plays a kind of mostly instrumental, baroque hardcore, punctuated by rich male vocals. From Monument to Masses also plays. 510-843-5247. (Stefanie Kalem)

After new owners purchased Alameda's homey dive known as the Minnow and renamed it Rooster's Roadhouse, most of us thought for sure that cover bands and Silver Bullet night couldn't be far away. But lo and behold, SF's best rawk band, Lost Goat, performs there on Thursday night, along with Greenhouse Effect, Weedeater, Witch Mountain and Eterna. Could Rooster's be the new Lucifer's Hammer? Hmm. ... 510-337-9190. (Katy St. Clair)

Don't forget the four-day Beyond the Pale Neurot Festival: Low, Savage Republic, Neurosis, Steel Pole Bathtub, Pleasure Forever, Phantom Limbs, Robert Rich and more. Go to for schedule and venues. (K.S.)


Ever-adventurous keyboardist-composer Wayne Horvitz (recently at Yoshi's with drummer Bobby Previte's New York band) returns to the East Bay on Sunday to pour on some electric funk at Blake's with Zony Mash (an acoustic edition of which also appeared at Yoshi's not long ago). Horvitz' Seattle-based quartet travels previously uncharted territory located somewhere between the syncopated Crescent City grooves of the Meters and the Saturn-bound jazz of Sun Ra. Join the ride at your own risk! 510-848-0886. (Lee Hildebrand)

It sounds like a cliché, but as an octogenarian, jazz pianist Marian McPartland really is playing better than ever, taking chances with standards with which she used to play safe, always surprising her longtime rhythm section (bass maestro Bill Douglass and drummer Scott Morris) with unexpected shifts in direction -- the heart of jazz. Thursday-Sunday at Yoshi's. 510-238-9200. (Larry Kelp)


Hot on the heels of her Carnegie Hall solo debut, Fresno native Audra McDonald returns to the Bay Area for what has become an annual stint. But this time the three-time Tony Award winner is forgoing her usual appearances at SF's Davies Symphony Hall to fill the rafters at Berkeley's Zellerbach with her lush, sexy soprano pipes. The concert on Friday promises songs from her new CD as well as new material from the young composers that she so staunchly champions. 510-642-9988. (Vicki Cameron)


In collaboration with La Peña's Hecho en Califas Festival, the Oakland Museum presents "One America New America" as part of the exhibit "Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum." The Saturday afternoon event features spoken word with Marisela Norte and Piri Thomas along with musical performers Grito Serpentino, Dr. Loco, and Afro-Cuban singer Bobi Cespedes. Cespedes, a Santeria priestess who performs with Mickey Hart, is certainly a highlight with an album due out early next year on Six Degrees Records. 510-238-2200. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela).


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