Extra spice at Eagles

FRI 8/29

When Geno Delafose isn't wrangling cattle and rounding up the quarter horses on his Double D Ranch outside of Eunice, deep in the steamy heart of Southwest Louisiana's bayou country, he's on the road leading the hottest zydeco band on the Gulf Coast. Whether playing a Cajun cultural festival, a church social, or the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Delafose and his French Rockin' Boogie show no mercy, transforming waltzes, two-steps, soul, and blues tunes into irrepressibly syncopated, dance-inducing Cajun party music. He recently walked off with the Best Zydeco Artist trophy at the 2003 Big Easy Awards in New Orleans, but as the scion of one of the style's great families, Delafose needs no title. He was weaned on zydeco. At the age of seven he started playing rub-board in his father's celebrated band, John Delafose and the Eunice Playboys, spending much of his youth performing on a continuous circuit of country dances, church benefits, and backwater bayou celebrations. But while Delafose is steeped in Cajun tradition, it serves him as a guidepost rather than a straitjacket. For instance, he plays the single-row and triple-row diatonic button accordions on old-school "French style" numbers, but picks up the piano accordion when ripping through one of his many contemporary zydeco tunes. He helped pioneer the piano accordion in Cajun music, adopting the versatile instrument for its chromatic range.

His hurtling sound is perfectly captured on his latest album, Everybody's Dancin' (Times Square), which focuses on his romping, updated versions of Creole classics like "Le Bluerunner," "He-Haw Breakdown," and "Les Flammes d'Enfer." With BeauSoleil's Michael Doucet contributing flammable fiddle work on three tracks, the album is an irresistible zydeco gem. Geno Delafose and Rockin' French Boogie perform on Friday, 9 p.m. at Eagles Hall, 2305 Alameda Ave., Alameda. Information: 415-285-6285. -- Andrew Gilbert


And Then Some

Coolin', Man

Fuck Burning Man. That's what the Stork Club seems to be saying with its Overkill Weekend. Why bake in the unforgiving desert sun, eating Tasty Bites you cooked on your dashboard and trying to block out the techno-blare, when you could be chomping barbecue and digging eight bands a day? Most of the acts are local and -- to use a term of journalistic convenience -- on the garage-rock tip, with some hardcore and punk thrown in for seasoning. The action begins at 4 p.m. Saturday with the fabulously named Glittering Gods of the East. Then comes Death Valley High, Red Tyger Church, Salem Lights, the Proles, the New Strange, the Evening, and, eventually, the Sort-Outs. Same bat-time, same bat-channel on Sunday, when Metal Detector kicks things off, followed by All Too Much, Nothing Cool, Mormons (from Los Angeles), Pitch Black, Breathe In, Deadfalls, and Judo Rodriguez. You can actually get more for less during this fest, paying $5 before 8 p.m., $10 after, and the Stork (2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) is even going to open up their back door and let you watch the sunset while you wash down that last dawg. Shows at this boozy altar to Barbie and Christmas are always 21 and up. 510-444-6174. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 8/30

Bar Fly

If you're going to get your drink on to the wailing licks of a blues-rock bar band, you might as well do it where dinner is served, and the band might as well be one with an impressive pedigree. When harmonica player and singer Eugene Huggins steps up to the mic in front of NightFire, he does so with the knowledge that he has some solid backup. Guitarist Harvey Mandel made his first recordings in Charlie Musselwhite's band, later replacing Canned Heat's Harry Vestine just in time for Woodstock; lap-steel player Freddie Roulette is best known for bringing Hawaiian slack-key stylings to the blues. The rest of the band comprises folks who have played with Elvin Bishop, Merl Saunders, and Bob Weir, and tonight's performance at the Baltic (135 Park Pl., Point Richmond) promises a handful of special guests. Call 510-235-2532 for dinner reservations. $5 cover. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 8/30


Marvin X reads for Recovery

In his essay collection In the Crazy House Called America, Marvin X writes unwaveringly about a number of hot-button topics from the point of view of a man who, as James W. Sweeney writes in the book's introduction, "walked through the muck and mire of hell and came out clean as white fish and black as coal." AIDS, love, revolution, addiction, imperialism, education, and God -- Marvin X, aka Marvin Jackmon and El Muhajir, has an opinion on all of them, and a message to deliver: We all need love and acceptance in order to fix our lives, no matter how tattered and torn. With Ed Bullins and others, Marvin X founded the short-lived Black House in Oakland, a community theater and performance space that served briefly as headquarters for the Black Panther Party. Nowadays, the poet, lecturer, playwright, teacher, and producer focuses on his Black Bird Press and Recovery Theatre, the latter of which will receive the proceeds from today's reading at 4 p.m. at Aquarius Rising (6036 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). -- Stefanie Kalem


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