Critic's Choice for the week of October 25-November 1, 2005 

Crushworthy emcees, world fusionistas, and noise pop.


Love bhangra but can't afford a ticket to Bombay? Snake-charm your way into Club 6 Saturday instead. For only ten bones, you'll be treated (not tricked) by the Dhamaal Halloween Massive, an Asian fusion experience unrivaled by anything this side of the Ganges. Downstairs, in the "Surya Vault," Janaka Selekta and Maneesh the Twister serve up sultry world beats, while Colonel MC adds vocal ad libs and Shabi & Ferhan play live tablas. Upstairs, in the "Azad Lounge," Zakir Hussein protégée Aditya plays traditional South Asian classical and folk music, with accompaniment by Arshad Syed, Shabi Farooq, and Fernan Quereshi. An art exhibit by NyoMI tops the event, which goes until 3:30 in the morning, off. Guaranteed to be hot like curry. (Eric K. Arnold)


Dave Alvin -- Blaster, Knitter, singer-songwriter, solo artist, killer guitarist, Grammy winner -- started exploring American roots music long before it was trendy. Like Alvin, Robbie Fulks has flirted with major label success with music that defies categories: an amalgam of hard country, rock, folk, and pop. Both men are literate songwriters who make music that matters; together, they encompass the past, present, and future of roots rock. Saturday at Slim's in SF. $16, 9 p.m. 415-255-0333 or (j. poet)


Now in his seventieth year, the great Terry Riley -- godfather of minimalism, and Mills College composer-in-residence -- continues to write wonderful music. Friday night's concert in the colorful Mills Concert Hall includes his 1960 String Quartet with the Del Sol String Quartet, performances by soprano saxophonist John Ingle and the Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble, the premiere of a piano piece for the four hands of the estimable Sarah Cahill and Joseph Kubera, and a solo performance from Riley himself. $6-$12, 8 p.m. 510-430-2296. (Jason Victor Serinus)


Even the surliest music journalists need their feet surgically removed from their mouths when trying to describe the boy-band-ish Bay Area hip-hop outfit Colt 75. After all, the band's central personalities -- emcees Rick Bond and Marc Stretch -- are cannier than most of the assholes who write about them. Alas. Featuring some of the best-kept secrets in Bay Area funk (including hooky vocalist Will Hammond Jr., DJ Malachi Padron, and a host of guest stars), Colt 75 is a crushworthy barbershop quartet for Mission bohos and fawning sorority girls. Come see the group perform Monday (aka Halloween) night at the Elbo Room's Holla Ween along with DJs Wisdom, Sake 1, and the Vinyl Brothers. $5, 9 p.m. (Rachel Swan)


Brooklyn's Sam Champion specializes in rooting about the trenches of middle America, with rootsy alt-rock ditties framing spiritually curious lyrics searching for purchase in the postmodern vacuum. And hey, the band is named after a TV weatherman. Indie capital-R Rockers Love as Laughter and Youth Group round out the bill tonight (Wednesday) at SF's Bottom of the Hill. $8, 9 p.m. (Buzz Poole)


At the recent "Bay Area Sings for New Orleans" benefit at Yoshi's, vocalist Nicolas Bearde provided several bright moments for the appreciative crowd. A member of Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra, he rejoined his old pals SoVoSo for some tunes, but it was his jazz shuffle rendering of "Never Let Me Go" that served as the evening's highlight. Friday, he performs material from his latest album, All About Love, at Anna's Jazz Island in Berkeley. $7, 8 p.m. 510-841-5299. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)


For those who dig Deerhoof's What the Hell Is Going On arty randomness but lament that they hardly make it to Oaktown anymore, Experimental Dental School is on a similarly inventive and beguiling tip, and class is in session Saturday night at the Stork Club with Condor, Militant Children's Hour, and Kool Teen. $5, 9 p.m. (Rob Harvilla)


Nawal is a singer-songwriter from the Comoros Islands, east of mainland Africa and north of Madagascar. She relocated to Paris twenty years ago, where she remains a crucial part of its thriving global pop scene, combining her native influences with the rhythms of funk and hip-hop. Onstage, her rich persuasive vocals are complemented by her instrumental work on gambusi (folk oud), guitar, and daf (Iranian frame drum). Tonight (Wednesday) at Berkeley's Ashkenaz, she'll perform with longtime accompanists Idriss Mlanao (bass) and Melissa Cara Rigoli (percussion). $12, 9 p.m. 510-525-5054 or (j.p.)


It's hard not to be seduced by those sultry Tre Songz hooks. Remember your last booty call? As soon as what's-his-name put on "Girl Tonight" and you heard Tre gushing all those insipid, hoochie-coochie lines about wanting You to hold me/Work your body slowly/Give it to me like an OG, you thought the night was full of promise. Maybe not, but it's a fine rap ballad regardless. Tre Songz performs at Saturday's Halloween Masquerade Party at @Seventeenth Club in Oakland; if you go, you better check yourself, or at least check your inner-hoochie at the door. $25, 9 p.m. (R.S.)


Big-name trumpeter icon Clifford Brown would've turned 75 this October, and as the man himself is unavailable, Yoshi's will instead inundate you with future big-shot trumpeter icons in a celebratory week-long tribute goin' down tonight through Sunday -- Arturo Sandoval, Benny Golson, Jeremy Pelt, Randy Brecker, Valery Ponomarev, and the Mulgrew Miller Trio will all pay homage. 8 to 10 p.m. nightly, except 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday. $18 to $30 depending. (R.H.)


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