Critic's Choice for the week of October 12-18, 2005 

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.

CLASSIC ROCK

Folks who used to hit up the Oakland Box on Friday nights to enjoy breezy, licentious rap performances by various local turf stars can now revisit this famed Telegraph Avenue venue -- resurrected this year and rechristened "The Uptown" -- and boogie down to a new rhythm. Kind of the opposite rhythm, actually. Now a hot spot for classic rock guys with long hair (you know, Hall-of-Famer types so classic they had to jockey with Bing Crosby and Donald Duck for Top 40 radio play), the Uptown kicks off a bitchin' season Friday with performances by Eddie Money (yes, that Eddie Money), the Passion Pirates, and the Hoo. Starting at 9 p.m., this official Grand Opening celebration costs a mere $15, and is sure to be worth the price of admission. UptownNightclub.com (Rachel Swan)

MISNAMED FOLK

Thanks to some hapless jackass columnist who will remain nameless, the excellent folk-punk duo Readyville was inadvertently named "Readymade" recently in these pages. Such confusion is unfortunate, as these dudes deserve all the clear-eyed praise they can get for their raw, wry, sardonic guitar/lap-steel odes to El Caminos and slain postmen. See them live in the cozy confines of Oakland hotspot Mama Buzz Friday night. $3-$5, 7 p.m. MamaBuzzCafe.com (Rob Harvilla)

A CAPPELLA MUSICALS

Local vocal maven Ken Malucelli has done the unthinkable, not only in creating a biographical musical celebrating march king John Philip Sousa -- appropriately titled Oh, Mr. Sousa! -- but also by staging it without a brass band. Behold the madness Sunday at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage: The nine-member Sousa cast of singing actors (joined by two keyboardists) are full of humor as they depict the highlights of Sousa's life, plus excerpts from his comic opera El Capitan, as well as his best-known marches ("Stars and Stripes Forever," "Semper Fidelis") and lesser-known songs. $18.50-$19.50, 8 p.m. 510-548-1761 or TheFreight.org (Larry Kelp)

SWARTHY DJS

Awww, those Local 1200 DJs. You see them everywhere, invading your MySpace.com bulletin board with their glitzy digital photos and dizzying marquees, advertising the kinds of parties where you might expect cameos by Goapele and Tila Tequila -- or at least a bunch of stanky leftist celebrities doing the humpty-hump. Come see the famed Sake 1 -- who apparently also answers to Jewy Gomez, Larry Is the White Guy, or any other name, for that matter -- at this Saturday's Medley at Berkeley's Shattuck Down Low, where he'll juggle beats alongside Triple Threat's Vin Roc and True Skool founder Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist. Also an unofficial birthday party for Boogie Shack emcee Monte Cristo (who may also answer to other names), the event kicks off at 9 p.m. and costs $10. ShattuckDownLow.com (R.S.)

CLASSICAL

Winner of the Lieder Prize at the 1997 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, booming baritone Christopher Maltman has rapidly risen to the top of the classical vocalist heap. In his long-awaited Cal Performances debut in Hertz Hall, Maltman interprets the romantic repertoire of Schumann, Mahler, Duparc, Hahn, Paladilhe, Debussy, and Poulenc. With the superb chameleon pianist Malcolm Martineau easily adapting to Maltman's style, this is a recital not to miss. $42, 3 p.m. 510-642-9988. (Jason Victor Serinus)

SINGER-SONGWRITER

David Mallett may not have high name recognition with the average listener, but he's one of today's most covered tunesmiths, with artists like Emmylou Harris, Hal Ketchum, Pete Seeger, and the Muppets enjoying success with his tunes. His weary tenor, understated poetry, and bare-bones strumming make his tales of hard times, hard work, and life's simple pleasures sound like letters home from a friend you never knew you had. Thursday at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage. $17.50 advance, $18.50 at the door. 8 p.m. 510-548-1761 or TheFreight.org (j.p.)

COMEDY

Jazz pianist. Film studies major. Substitute high school teacher. Such are the past lives of comedian Brent Weinbach, who now devotes most of his time to developing new forms of "intellectual toilet humor" and fixating on his intestinal processes (but only in the most intelligent and socially relevant way possible). Known for taking the banalities of everyday life and rendering them totally bizarre, Weinbach is currently a hot ticket in the Bay Area stand-up comedy circuit. Come see him headline a two-day showcase of local talent at SF's Punch Line Comedy Club, including Kevin Avery, Rob F. Martinez, Moshe Kasher, Alex Koll, and extra-special surprise guest the King. Tuesday and Wednesday (October 18 and 19); $10, 8 p.m. each night. PunchlineComedyClub.com (R.S.)

UK TASTEMAKERS

Gilles Peterson has some of the best ears in the music industry. The English DJ and A&R man's prescient discoveries fifteen years ago (back in his wee teen years) were largely responsible for the London-birthed acid jazz craze; since then, he's gone on to even greater fame as a DJ on BBC Radio One. His new radio show, Worldwide, is broadcast in more than fifteen countries, and while you may not hear the most technical mixdowns, you will hear some great records you might not hear anywhere else when Peterson floods your aural canal with vinyl vibes. Oh, and he has a new album out -- Gilles Peterson Digs America -- on Ubiquity, too. This Saturday at Mezzanine, he holds forth along with live performances from Detroit neo-soul crooner Dwele and the Rebirth, plus warmup sets by Hakobo, Kanto, Marky, Shuhei, and Eug. Visit Fresco-Style.com for more info. (Eric K. Arnold)

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