Critic's Choice for the week of October 10 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.


Cal Performances has a monopoly on star power this week. While violin enthusiasts will flock to Hilary Hahn's Zellerbach Hall recital on Tuesday, October 16 #151 Hahn produced such irresistibly meaty tones with the San Francisco Symphony last season that nearly everyone in the orchestra dropped their instruments and applauded — keyboardists will rejoice at the rarer visit of pianist Angela Hewitt. In a three-day Bach Fest that features the entire Well-Tempered Clavier, plus an evening with cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, there'll be ample opportunity to discover why Gramophone's critics have a long-term love affair with Hewitt. Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 17-19, at the First Congregational Church, Berkeley. 8 p.m., $42-$10. Calperfs.berkeley.eduJason Victor Serinus


Since 2001, the Living Word Festival, developed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, has continually flipped the script on the bay's already cutting-edge cultural-arts scene, presenting intellectual hip-hop, spoken-word, theater, urban dance, art, and music together in a unique context. This Friday, Oct. 19, at SF's Yerba Buena Gardens, the festival's organizers present Traditions in Transition, a celebration of three decades of hip-hop culture that serves as a teaser for the full LWF (which runs through November at various local venues). The lineup is as amazing as its scope is ambitious; confirmed participants include hip-hop legends Grandmaster Caz, Grand Mixer DXT, Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, all-universe turntablist DJ Qbert, authors Jeff Chang and Adisa Banjoko, Oakland MC-poet Ise Lyfe, KPFA's Weyland Southon, and others. In addition to a three-on-three breaking contest and graffiti-art exhibition, there will also be a panel discussion. That's a lot of folkloric culture to cram into a one-hour time slot. Best of all, the event won't cost you a dime. 12:30 p.m. YBGF.orgEric K. Arnold


Philadelphia stoner-rock group CKY (Camp Kill Yourself) has yet to surpass the cult esteem it achieved through a series of skate-prank films in the late '90s and early '00s. The videos, which were also given the name CKY (or variations thereof — 2000's CKY2K is a must-see for adolescent boys everywhere), earned a popular underground following and eventually blossomed into the highly successful Jackass franchise. CKY was there through it all — a laudable position stemming from the fact that drummer Jess Margera is Jackass star Bam Margera's brother — but earned the attention through melodies and lead guitar work consistently strong enough to catch any music fan's ear. The band makes a tour stop at the Warfield on Saturday, Oct. 20, joined by Vains of Jenna, GWAR, and headliner Cradle of Filth. 7 p.m., $28.50. LiveNation.comNate Seltenrich


Next in a spate of dangerously cute lineups at the Stork Club (thought they'd have trouble topping the Murder Junkies?) comes Sunday's Brick Day showcase, an afternoon show and barbecue featuring such fringe acts as Bunny Numpkins & the Kill Blow-Up Reaction (which features a scruffy dog puppet), Dubious Ranger (which rehashes every 1970s pop style, in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge kinda way), and the Bleu Canadians (a quasi-nationalistic garage-rock four-piece). Characterized as a day to play hooky and get sloshed (the connection to bricks seems dubious), Brick Day apparently started fifteen years ago. These bands represent its most ardent practitioners. Brick Day kicks off Sunday, Oct. 21, at Oakland's Stork Club. 4 p.m., $7. StorkClubOakland.comRachel Swan


Heroes are hard to find, and when it comes to the blues world, it seems more and more of the genre's old guard have been leaving this mortal coil in recent years. Despite it all, B.B. King has kept up a pace that's found him playing well over two hundred dates annually. Sadly, his 2005 effort 80 (meant to coincide with the icon's eightieth birthday) was a marketing-driven event that paired him with well-known names such as John Mayer and Gloria Estefan, but contained few awe-inspiring moments. But live performance is King's strength. While his ticket price is on the steep side, the King of the Blues still possesses thatsingular spark that's convinced so many to pay homage, even if most of his magic will be cast from the comfort of a chair onstage. Monday, Oct. 22, at the Fillmore in San Francisco. 8 p.m., $75. TheFillmore.comDave Gil de Rubio


Billing it as a "woman-fronted soul night," Ashkenaz showcases two very different all-women groups: the long-heralded Seattle sax quartet (plus drummer) the Tiptons, and San Francisco's London Street. Saxophonists Jessica Lurie and Amy Denio are busy with solo careers and other groups, but regularly reunite in the Tiptons (formerly the Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet). They explore their ever-evolving, always-original sax repertoire, including avant-garde and funky mainstream jazz, and nowadays includes vocals as well. The current quintet also features saxophonists Tina Richerson and Sue Orfield, plus drummer Faith Stankevich. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 9 p.m., $10. — Larry Kelp


Sax-man Pharaoh Sanders, whom Ornette Coleman calls "probably the best tenor player in the world," is capable of producing scorching cascades of unfettered passion, as well as serene, gently-flowing improvisations that whisper like prayers to the unseen and unknowable. Sanders will play unaccompanied, letting the full, rich soulful tones of his instrument fill the cathedral with a deep, spiritual ambience. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. 7:30 p.m., $25. SFJAZZ.orgj. poet 


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