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Volume 2, Number 5 - June 6, 2007 - San Jose, CA

Mason Jennings, Grandmaster Flash, BFD & Bunny Spinning

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eek a mouse
Thu. June 7, 5:30pm
Music in the Other Park
St. James Park
First and St. James Sts.,
San Jose


SINGJAY: A two-time performer at music in the park (in 2002 and 2004) Eek-a-Mouse kicks off the outdoor concert series with laid-back reggae. Eek-a-Mouse's reggae includes an element known as singjaying that amounts to a combination of deejaying and singing all rolled together. Originally from Jamaica, the Mouse still tours all over the world, playing about 200 shows a year. There will be plenty of food and drink available for sale at the show, and because Music in the Other Park is presented by Dos Equis beer, there will be plenty of the golden stuff flowing. Metro Newspapers and J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines are also on the list of sponsors for this wonderfully free event. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and make a date out of it, or just go and enjoy Downtown San Jose giving back. Legendary local ska outfit, Monkey, opens.

indigo girls
Wed. June 5, 7:30pm
Mountain Winery
14831 Pierce Rd, Saratoga
$35 - $40
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The Indigo Girls

CLOSER TO FINE: About 15 years ago, learning Indigo Girls songs became a happy cliché among young feminists starting to play the guitar. As a folk duo, the Indigo Girls played songs with the simplest of chord progressions, and their lyrics were uncommonly relevant to 20-year-old college students trying to find their voice and their way in the world. Their first hit, "Closer to Fine," defined them as poetic anti-authoritarian seekers and gay activists in the late '80s and early '90s, taking their place among iconic female performers like Tracy Chapman and Sarah McLaughlin. The Lilith Fair may be a thing of the past, but Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are still at it, garnering critical praise for their 2006 folk rock album, Despite Our Differences.

currency 357
Wed. June 5, 9pm
VooDoo Lounge
14 S. Second St., San Jose
Usual Cover

Currency .357

HAVE HAIR, NEED SINGER: Just imagine the epic guitar licks of Metallica or Pantera and the punk energy of Pennywise...but without the singer. That's what Currency .357 has managed to deliver as they continue to seek and audition a singer. In the meantime, they're still rocking venues like there's no tomorrow. Two of the members have long hair for ideal head banging, so be prepared to wear a neck brace on Thursday morning. Opening for Currency .357 will be Venting Machine, Falling to Pieces and I Six. If you're into metal singing guys, they will take care of your desire.

ultimate 80s party
roberto duran
Thu. June 7, 7pm
510 S. First St., San Jose
No Cover

Roberto Tinoco Duran

DARK SPARKS: As San Jose's poet laureate, Roberto Tinoco Duran jams out short, quick sound bites that viscerally attack everything about life in San Jose, Calif.: the Chicano experience, race, ethnic and social divisions, the police department, the "10th largest city" tag, Ron Gonzales and more. Nothing is left unscathed. A combustible dude, Duran is not someone you invite to parties for pleasant chit-chat. To celebrate the release of his new book and CD, Dark Spark, he will perform with a few musicians at MACLA. This will not be slap-happy tippy-toe verse; rather, it will be nothing but dark sparks.

trigger renegade
Thu. June 7, 9pm
Britannia Arms: Downtown
173 W. Santa Clara St.,
San Jose
No Cover

Trigger Renegade

DENIM VESTS AND TIGHT JEANS: It's been a while since solid, sexy rock has flowed in from Santa Cruz, but now that it's emerged in a marijuana cloud, Trigger Renegade is proving it's been worth the wait. The band, half of which were uprooted from Southern California to attend UC Santa Cruz, has taken up the mission of spreading the words of the rock gods. Fliers adorned in phoenixes and flames embody the group's image of rock in pure form. Lead vocalist Blake Meahl makes the band truly what it is with soaring vocals and a microphone holster strapped to his thigh--seriously. Get a glimpse of what Santa Cruz mixed with LA looks like. The Fourfits and Kickstarter open.

platinum at abyss
Thu. June 7, 9pm
Abyss Nightclub
146 S. Murphy St., Sunnyvale
Usual Cover

Platinum VIP

PARTY PRIVILEDGE: Finally, a club night that lets all the underage kids in to party without requiring a fake ID. The weekly Platinum event at Abyss Nightclub is like every other great Northern California party, except it's 18 and over. DJ's Nasty Nick and SJ As-is are spinning for the grand opening Thursday night event that will continue on every Thursday night; guest DJs will be featured each week. For the grand opening event, DJs Baldo and Louie will rotate in for their chances on the turntables. Mashups, hip-hop and top 40 will keep things lively, and for those that are 21 and up, there is a full bar.

wax tailor
Fri. June 8, 9pm
The Mighty
119 Utah, San Francisco

Wax Tailor

RAPPER-TURNED-DJ: Trip-hop, electronica, turntablism--call it what you will, just don't confuse Wax Tailor's smooth DJ skills with the artists that grace his albums. In the newly birthed genre of DJ music, success depends as much on collaboration as individual effort, and WT's latest release, Hope and Sorrow, is full of both. Sampling a hearty array of soul singers, hip-hop artists and instrumentalists, the French rapper-turned-DJ constructs an alluring collage of down-tempo sound in the style of early Shadow and RJD2. Fans of the original trip-hop movement will breathe a sigh of relief as funky drum beats and colorful melodies become prominent once again--a stark counterpoint to Shadow's recent mainstream hip-hop experiment and RJD2's unfortunate decline into the bland conventionality of pop. The jazz-laden melodies of Hope and Sorrow reflect Europe's neo-soul trend, only now becoming visible here in the States (see Gnarles Barkley). Showcasing guest talents like Charlotte Savary, Ursula Rucker, and The Others, Tailor paints a diverse musical landscape that is darkly ambient and purposefully cinematic. The U.S. release party for his critically acclaimed and über-successful sophomore album goes down tonight at San Francisco's Mighty, with a live performance and visual installation. Special guest Tycho opens.

mason jennings
Fri. June 8, 9pm
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
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Mason Jennings

FEARLESS: The Song "Godless"--the fourth track on Mason Jennings' self-produced and self-titled debut, is an anomaly in his catalog but nevertheless represents what this singer/songwriter is capable of. Jennings (based in Minnesota, no relation to Waylon) is often pigeonholed as a handsomely melodic folk rocker, but "Godless" is more of a punk rock murder ballad that Jennings doesn't so much sing as spew over a single droning note, thoroughly shredded into sixteenths, on acoustic guitars (complete with "little bendy thing" arguably invented by Tenacious D). Jennings' vocal performance flies off the handle, stuttering through the chorus ("Kk-k-killed a man, now I'm on the run/ Godless burning underneath the sun") and degenerating into shrieking onomatopoeic sounds of guns firing. While more recent albums like Birds Flying Away and Boneclouds (produced by Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace label) are more restrained, showcasing his passions for melody, social justice and activism, his strangely candid voice remains fearlessly vulnerable.

grand prix at taste
Fri. June 8, 9pm
Taste Ultra Lounge
87N. San Pedro St., San Jose
Usual Cover
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Grand Prix Edition Ladies Night @ Taste

STARTING LINE: Get those engines revving for Ladies Night at Taste, when ladies can come out to get treats and pampering from 9:30pm to 11pm, plus freebies. Every lady's favorite eye candy, a male review show put on by the Men of Exotica, will be going on to give the women a little something to watch. This Grand Prix Edition event will give those beautiful women who come out a chance to become Miss San Jose Grand Prix. DJs Don Lynch and Sequence will be heating things up on the turntables. Book your bed bottle service, baby, and show up before 11pm when women get wine tasting, champagne, giveaways and more.

dj roxanne
Fri. June 8, 9pm
8 S. First St., San Jose
Usual Cover

Rockstar @ Vivid

MINUS THE ROCK: Friday night Vivid is the place to party like a rockstar... minus the rock. They're not just bringing in a guest DJ or a Playboy model. Instead, they have DJ Roxanne Dawn, who is also a Playboy model. Vivid's featured guest may be on the turntables, or she could just be there to look hot for the release of her magazine, Rockstar. This girl will definitely be bringing some of her sexy girl crew with her to party in style at Vivid on Friday. Plus, it's Raquel's birthday. Not that we know who Raquel is, but she sounds like one crazy party girl.

analog heroes
Fri. June 8, 9pm
Johnny V's
31 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose

Analog Heroes

RED HOT RETRO: Here they come to save the day: it's the Analog Heroes! Yeah, well, supposedly they were inspired by lackluster digital music of the future, and have gathered their strength to combat fake music with red-hot rock. Opening for for the Heroes are Los Angeles' Artbeat, who might just punk rock your hair into a faux hawk. And no, you won't understand what they're saying as they sing in Japanese and a little English. Wave Array comes down from SF to loosen the crowd up with some psychedelic rock before things get started. Also on this Friday night, there may or may not be a raffle to win a drunk guy, which is strange because usually you don't have to pay to get those. Avoid the raffle but go for the bands as usual at Johnny V's.

bud light
Sat. June 9, 10:30am
Shoreline Amphitheater
1 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View
buy tickets


SFW: Why exactly is BFD such a big f-ing deal? Well, for one, that's what the concert promoters have cleverly named the annual rock festival, but more importantly, it's the bands themselves that make the event Northern California's biggest and baddest alt-rock concert. Consider this year's lineup: Bloc Party, Social Distortion, Queens of the Stone Age and Interpol, to name a few. Not too shabby, huh? While the list of headliners may not exactly compare to those of the past (Foo Fighters and the Beastie Boys come to mind), the show always manages to draw big-name acts as well as local talent starved for attention. And to be honest, there's probably no better way for a band to gain some exposure than by rocking a crowd of thousands of drunken rock fans. Not that the already-established rockers are going to be anything less than spectacular; BFD is a one-stop opportunity for the big guns to prove themselves to an important fan base--you and the rest of the Bay Area.

unmask charity ball
Sat. June 9, 7pm
Triton Museum of Art
1505 Warburton Ave.,
Santa Clara

Unmask the Mysteries AIDS Benefit

SOME BALLS ARE HELD FOR CHARITY: Calling all ballers. If you've ever wanted to go to a real masquerade ball, here's your chance--the AIDS Coalition Silicon Valley and local tech company Xilinx present Unmask the Mysteries, a masquerade gala and AIDS benefit night. Besides being an evening filled with splendor and dancing, the event directly benefits nine local HIV/AIDS agencies, each seeking to spread HIV awareness and prevention techniques to local communities. Billed as a black tie event, the night won't be short on elegance; catered food and top-shelf wine will keep guests well nourished as they sashay across the dance floor. Indulge in a night of festivities while doing your part to help fight the battle against HIV/AIDS.

the avengers
Sat. June 9, 9pm
The Blank Club
44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose

The Avengers

STREET CRED: The Avengers opened up for the Sex Pistols for the last gig the Pistols ever played. So when that opening band comes and plays in San Jose, Calif., in 2007, you should go. Enough said. Fronted by the legendary Penelope Houston, the also-legendary Avengers roll into town on June 9 at the Blank Club. Back when punk was first exploding in the United States, Penelope was one of the first female frontpeople to blast onto the scene. Yeah, she's that famous. The Avengers weren't even around for that long in the original days, and Penelope went on to do a zillion other things, including a lot of folk music, but the Avengers are back, at least for the time being. If you want to see what it was like in 1977, there's no better option than this, my friends.

Sat. June 9, 8pm
The Fillmore
1805 Geary, San Francisco


CARTOON COLORS: Recently named one of Rolling Stone Magazine's "Top 10 Artists to Watch, "Mika is a UK guy who is classically trained in opera but decided to apply his talent to another genre: pop. He's more than a little flamboyant, drawing comparisons to both Queen and Elton John. Sara Bareilles opens with a funky soulful pop that the singer/songwriter brings from Los Angeles.

grand master flash
Sat. June 9, 9pm
Angels Ultra Lounge
400 S. First St., San Jose
Usual Cover

Fame: DJ Grandmaster Flash

THE ORIGINAL TWO TURNTABLES: Pay homage to hip-hop's greatest innovator--the one and only DJ Grandmaster Flash. The legendary DJ comes to San Jose's Angels Ultra Lounge & Cabaret for a Saturday night hip-hop event. To rap fans, Grandmaster Flash is an iconic figure--his groundbreaking techniques on the turntables constitute the basic vocabulary of hip-hop music. From "cutting" to "back-spinning" to "phasing", nobody compiled more tools essential to a DJ than Flash. Honor the man who put the "hip" in hip-hop tonight at Angels.

flawless at cuccini
Sat. June 9, 10pm
72 N. Almaden, San Jose
Usual Cover

Flawless @ Cuccini

TOTALLY FLAWLESS: Be ready to have both your body and soul shook from Cuccini's resident DJs spinning reggae and club hits on Saturday night. DJ R-Rated, DJ Crook and MC Big Worm will be taking care of the jams for the monthly Flawless night at the multi-level club. The first 24 ladies get a complimentary rose--that's two dozen roses for those flawless ladies who frequent Cuccini for dancing and hookah smoking. Cuccini's generosity doesn't stop with flowers--they will have drink specials all the way until 11pm. Hop into your kicks--the dress code allows them--and head to Cuccini's for chill reggae and hot club hits.

vault ultra lounge
Sun. June 10, 9pm
Vault Ultra Lounge
81 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose
Usual Cover

The Hold Up: Gay Pride After Party

OUT AND ABOUT: For their first official gay night, Vault couldn't haven chosen a better night than the one after the San Jose Gay Pride Parade. Wild 94.9 and Flawless Entertainment join forces to throw a one-of-a-kind party. DJ Ricardo will celebrate his CD release spinning awesome hip-hop all night long. St. John from 94.9 and Matt Consola will rotate in with even more house, electro and hip-hop. In honor of the gay pride events, the first 200 people at the club will receive the album Out Anthems 2 on CD, plus $3 blowjobs and redheaded sluts--the drinks, of course. Prizes and drink specials will continue all night long.

Sun. June 10, 7:30pm
Mountain Winery
14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga
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Cesaria Evora

QUEEN OF MORNA: Cape Verde's "barefoot diva" likes to smoke when she performs, rules of the venue be damned. She also likes people to dance at her shows, turning a sharp eye on any usher who tries to stop the inevitable flood of people to the stage, propelled by Evora's commanding presence and the a gentle imperative to move hidden within the propulsive West African percussion and romantic Portuguese melodies. Her singing voice is a sea of earthy contradictions, at once languorous and full of longing, evoking the tragic lament of Fado and the matter-of-factness of the blues. The style is called morna, known as "the blues of Cape Verde," of which Evora is unquestionably the queen. She tours in support of her new album, Rogamar.

charlie daniles
Sun. June 10, 8pm
Shoreline Amphitheater
1 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View
$9.50 - $49.50
buy tickets

Charlie Daniels Band

SOUTHERN TWANG: Get a little bit country this Sunday as the Charlie Daniels Band Volunteer Jam Tour 2007 rolls into Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheatre. The bearded fiddle player and the good ol' boys who make up his band are known for their blend of country twang and southern rock, as well as for their undying love for the American west. Yes, there'll be plenty of cowboy hats and Wrangler jeans in sight, but this is no rodeo. The Jam Tour has been rocking through the western states since 1974.This year's show will feature southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band along with the Outlaws. Fire up the Chevy, boys, and get ready to rock, southern style.

erykah badu
Sun. June 10, 8pm
The Fillmore
1805 Geary, San Francisco
buy tickets

Erykah Badu

DO YOU BADU: Neo-soulstress Erykah Badu brings her laid-back grooves to San Francisco tonight, playing to a sold-out crowd at the Fillmore. With a vocal style compared to Billie Holliday and an abundance of creativity that sets her apart from a typically redundant group of R&B singers, it's no wonder the one-time drama teacher is now enjoying mainstream success. Her songwriting talent is apparent on all three of her albums, and collaborations with hip-hop mainstays like The Roots and A Tribe Called Quest have helped spread the word that Erikah Badu is here to stay. And with playful melodies and a style all her own, who's to doubt it?

brian wilson
Mon. June 11, 7:30pm
Mountain Winery
14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga
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Brian Wilson

GOOD VIBRATIONS: Some call him the greatest American composer of popular music in the rock era, others simply dismiss him as just another guy playing surf music. But wherever you stand, one thing's for sure--Brian Wilson wrote some of the most popular songs this country ever laid ears on. Best known for his work in the love-'em-or-hate-'em Beach Boys, Wilson's contribution to American pop music arose when he merged Chuck Berry guitar rock with vocal-harmony acts like the Four Freshmen. The result was a distinctly intricate sound that instantly propelled the group to the top of the charts. Though Wilson had his ups (a few Top 40 songs) and downs (drug abuse, mental instability), in the next few decades after the '60s, his songwriting genius and invaluable contributions to rock & roll are undeniable. See the man who composed the original soundtrack of the West coast.

Tue. June 12, 8pm
The Independent
628 Divisadero St.,
San Francisco


COMPUTER CAMP LOVE: Dance rockers Datarock come to San Francisco to perform their quirky take on rock & roll in a rousing and sometimes downright silly display of Norwegian indie-pop. When they're clad in matching red jumpsuits, it's tough to take these guys seriouslybut who said they wanted that? Their first single, "Computer Camp Love" lacks nothing in the way of good-natured fun, and the band's energetic live performances have earned them a devoted fan spread from Europe to the US. Now on tour to support the release of their 2007 album, See What I Care, the quartet from Bergen, Norway is out to prove that new trends can never be expected--even if they come dressed in red tracksuits.

hot chip
Tue. June 12, 8pm
The Fillmore
1805 Geary, San Francisco
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Hot Chip

CAN'T HAVE JUST ONE: Sure, they might look a little pale, a little scrawny, and a little nerdy, but there's no doubt London's electro-pop quintet Hot Chip are making the girls swoon. Delivering a hypnotic blend of pulsating synth-rock and vocal harmonies, the outfit's knack for constructing musically diverse albums that are both catchy and stimulating is enough to garner them mainstream success. And with success comes the opposite sex, right? Dance pop is all about fun, and Hot Chip is nothing short of playful. Their grooves beckon the feet to move while lyrics invoke a hearty chuckle. And don't be surprised if you find yourself singing along to their wonderfully infectious melodies. Soon, we'll all be wearing corrective eyewear and novelty T-shirts--and we'll be cool doing it thanks to bands like Hot Chip.

ultimate 80s party

metroactivecoming up
the police
Wed. June 13, 7pm
McAfee Coliseum
7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland
$50 - $225
buy tickets

The Police

COP ROCK: New-wave's royal guard, The Police, opened their reunion tour in Vancouver on May 28, and fans of the London trio turned out in droves to see the rock icons back on stage after a 23-year hiatus. When personal tensions led the group to disband at the height of their popularity in 1985, it seemed like The Police and their hit-parade were gone forever. But doubts about the band's future were quickly forgotten when frontman Sting launched into an ultra-succesful solo career a year later. Soon, the bassist/vocalist was scoring international hits while the rest of the band struggled to gain commercial appeal without their crooning frontman. Now reunited decades after their breakup, the Police are rocking sold-out audiences with a set list full of greatest hits and crowd favorites. From their opening song to their encore, the superstar trio brings as much excitement and rock & roll vitality as they did in the '80s.

--This week's newsletter by: RO, AL, GW, MC & GS

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