Lunar Sea: Neo-surreal dance troupe Momix debut their newest work at the Marin Center Oct. 28.
Falling into Fun
Our highly subjective list of autumn's greatest hits
By Bohemian Staff
Sausalito Art Festival Sept. 1-4. The No. 1 national outdoor fine-arts festival continues to pair great visuals with outstanding music. This year, it's quite a mix of the old with the new as club darlings the Lovemakers (Sept. 2) take the same stage that will be pounded by Eddie Money (Sept. 4), surf guitarist Dick Dale (Sept. 2) and even Blood, Sweat and Tears (Sept. 3). Look for local acts galore, including our own Eugene, Shana Morrison, Ramblin' Jack Elliott,
Solid Air and many more. Bay Model, Sausalito. $5-$20. 415.331.3757.
Kathy Griffin Sept. 8. Her Life on the D List is a hilarious send-up of Hollywood and Griffin's lowly position among the great. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $48. 707.226.7372. www.nvoh.org.
Sonoma County Book Festival Sept. 16. The seventh annual book fair proves that a good thing can get better. This year's lineup includes a panel on food writing and a tribute to Sonoma County poets as well as readings by Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma), James Dalessandro (1906: A Novel) and award-winning poet Brian Turner (Here, Bullet) among others. Events located in downtown Santa Rosa at the Sonoma County Main Library, the Cultural Arts Council Gallery and Court House Square. Free. 707.527.5412. www.socobookfest.org
Cajun & Zydeco Fest Sept. 9. Shake what your mama gave you to the music of Mark St. Mary, Geno Delafose and the French Rockin' Boogie, Rosie Ledet and Gator Beat. Even the youngest generation will enjoy themselves at this 11th annual fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Sebastopol. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St. $20. 707.824.2554. www.rotarycajun.com.
Napa Valley Harvest Festival Sept. 9. This 23rd annual exposition of wine, beer, music, food, more wine, more food and art benefits the Kiwanis Club of Napa. Charles Krug Winery, 2800 Main St., St. Helena. $50-$60. 800.550.6260.
The Prodigals Sept. 9. Say a firm farewell to Enya, as the Prodigals perform real Irish music with a New York kick. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $30-$40. 707.944.1300. www.lincolntheater.com.
Russian River Jazz Festival Sept. 9-10. Now in its 30th year, the RRJF takes it from smooth to fusion to bebop to avant--and that's how we like it. Highlights include Nina Sheldon and the Bobby Hutcherson Quartet on Saturday and Etta James headlining a bill featuring the Original Superstars of Jazz Fusion on Sunday. Book it. Johnson's Beach, Guerneville. $47-$190. 925.866.9599. www.jazzontheriver.com.
Art for Life Auction Sept. 14-17. Proceeds from the sales of some 250 pieces of work benefit the Face to Face/Sonoma County AIDS Network, but this annual event, celebrating its 19th year, is about life (and getting great deals on art and having a good time). Friedman Center, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. Exhibit: Sept. 14-16, free; auction: Sept. 17, $50. 707.544.1581.
SF International Comedy Competition Worldly wits square off for a shot at $30,000 and a fairly high-profile catapult toward fame. Previous contestants include Dana Carvey and Robin Williams. Rounds run Sept. 12-Oct. 6. North Bay appearances include Sept. 14 at SSU; Sept. 15 and 22 at the Marin Center; Sept. 29 at the Wells Fargo Center; and the final round on Oct. 6 at the Napa Valley Opera House. www.sanfranciscocomedycompetition.com.
Glendi International Food Festival Sept. 16-17. Live Balkan music and food from around the world--including Eritrea, Kenya and Romania. The savvy Glendi-goer brings a cooler to haul food home. Protection of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church, 90 Mountain View Ave., Santa Rosa. $8; under 12, free. 707.584.9491. www.glendi.net.
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Sept. 16-17. Some 150 artists converge at this storied fair in the tall redwoods of Old Mill Park. Performers include 'Til Dawn, world-scene hipster Hyim and blues musician Michael "Hawkeye" Herman, who will be honored this year. Throckmorton Avenue at Cascade Drive, Mill Valley. $7; under 12, free. 415.381.8090. www.mvfaf.org.
Taste of Marin Sept. 17. Speaker Paul Hawken will highlight the event that has come to showcase some of the region's most spectacular food. Area farmers, ranchers, vintners and chefs abound. St. Vincents, 1 St. Vincent Drive, San Rafael. $125-$150. 415.663.9667.
Petaluma Poetry Walk Sept. 17. Now in its 11th year, this progressive event offers six venues hosting readings of such artists as Pulitzer Prize nominees Diane Frank and Marvin R. Hiemstra, Jonah Raskin, event founder Geri DiGiorno, California Poet Laureate Al Young and many others. Noon to 6pm. Free. Walk begins at Deaf Dog Coffee, 134 Petaluma Blvd. http://petaluma.poetrywalk.org.
Sebastopol Celtic Music Festival Sept. 21-24. The greatest Celtic musicians this side of the Emerald Isle do more than just fiddle around. Confirmed performers include Richard Thompson (and yes, that's the Richard Thompson) headlining in a night with Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill. Others include Lunasa, the Cottars, La VolČe D'Castors, Vasen, Pipeline and Wake the Dead. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. $10-$142; full fest passes already sold-out. 707.823.1511. http://cumuluspresents.com/celtic.
Birdhouse Factory Sept. 22-24. Cirque Works acrobatic troupe create a magical factory where human bodies do the darndest things. Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $18-$58. 707.546.3600. www.wellsfargocenterarts.com.
Jarvis Puppet Workshop & Festival Sept. 22-23. Got the world on a string? Learn the ¸ber-classified backstage secrets of puppetry, make your own Sifl or Ollie, and see the pros work their magic. Not appropriate for children under five. Jarvis Conservatory, 1711 Main St., Napa. $20-$30. 707.255.5445. www.jarvisconservatory.com.
Redwood Arts Council Sept. 23 forward. The autumn portion of the 27th season commences with the 18th-century string and lutes of the Group Galanteria (Sept. 23). The season continues through June with performances by Ensemble Amarcord, the Nobilis and Peabody piano trios, the Euclid and the Talich string quartets and others. Concerts mostly held at the Occidental Community Church. $10-$20. 707.874.1124. www.redwoodarts.org.
Petaluma Progressive Festival Sept. 24. The Progressive Festival highlights the movement's issues and causes through speakers, live music and information booths. Speakers are still being scheduled, but those confirmed include Global Exchange cofounder Kevin Danaher, Project Censored's Peter Phillips and "Guns and Butter" KPFA host Bonnie Faulkner. Walnut Park, Sixth Street and Petaluma Boulevard South, Petaluma. Free. 707.763.8134. www.progressivefestival.org.
Russian River Food & Winefest Sept. 24. All hail Bacchus and Ceres! This all-day salute to the bounty of the county includes wine, baked goods, cheese and such chefs and authors as Gerald Hirigoyen, John Ash, Sondra Bernstein, Michael Pollan and the food-politics guru herself, Dr. Marion Nestle. Proceeds directly benefit river communities. Monte Rio Riverfront Meadow at Rocky Beach, 16467 Hwy. 116, Monte Rio. $20-$60. 707.869.9474. www.russianriverfoodandwinefest.com.
Classical Savion Sept. 26. Tony-winning dancer Savion Glover brings his newest invocation of the great art of tap to the Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $29-$55. 707.546.3600. www.wellsfargocenterarts.com.
Carlos Mencia Sept. 28. Popular comic brings his Punisher Tour to town, sure to let loose with the incisive, controversial social commentary he's known for. Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $39.50-$45.50. 707.546.3600. www.wellsfargocenterarts.com.
Mozart's Private World Sept. 29-Oct. 1. First U.S. showing of artifacts, memorabilia and portraits believed to have belonged to Mozart and his family. In the Cafe Theater; free. In conjunction with Wolfie's birthday, "classical kids" performance for ages 12 and under on Sept. 30, and 13-year-old piano prodigy Peng Peng performs for kids on Oct. 1. Napa Valley Opera House. 1030 Main St., Napa. 707.226.7372. www.nvoh.org
SRJC Chamber Concert Series Sept. 29-April 20. Subscription-based slate of excellence features violinist Axel Strauss with pianist Jeffrey Sykes (Sept. 29); violinist David McCarroll with pianist Jordi Bitlloch (Oct. 20-21); and the Alexander String Quartet (Dec. 1), finishing in the spring with pianist Jonathan Biss; the Fry Street Quartet and the Amelia Piano Trio. Individual concert tickets ($20-$30) are hard to come by, but the $120 series price for six performances (a steal) is still available. SRJC, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.527.4372. www.santarosa.edu.
Sausalito Floating Homes Tour Sept. 30. Self-guided tour of 15 of the world's most unique homes. Whatever floats your boat. Kappas Marina, Sausalito. $30 (advance reservations recommended). 415.332.1916. www.floatinghomes.org.
Calabash Oct. 1. Go out of your gourd at the Calabash celebration of Gourds, Art and the Garden, where Bay Area artists exhibit their gourd art and instruments to benefit AIDS food bank. Local chefs provide everything yummy to eat. Food for Thought, 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville. $30-$35. 707.887.1647. www.calabashartfest.org.
Annual Mill Valley Film Festival Oct. 5-15. Now in its 29th year, this prestigious festival showcases over 150 independent films and bigger features destined for the multiplex. Settle in for the fun with some popcorn at various venues in Marin. 415.383.5256. www.mvff.com.
19th Annual B.R. Cohn Fall Music Festival & Celebrity Golf Classic Oct. 6-8. Queen frontman Paul Rodgers unleashes "Bohemian Rhapsody" along with the Doobie Brothers and Willie Nelson in annual charity concert. Party on, Wayne! Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa; B.R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen. $25-$300. 800.330.4064. www.brcohn.com.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair Oct. 6-8. For hayrides, the World Championship Grape Stomp Competition, an amazing assortment of outstanding comestibles and more gold medals than can put the "bl" in "bling"--visit the Harvest Fair. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1375 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. $2-$6. 707.545.4203. www.harvestfair.org.
Napa Valley Blues Festival in Calistoga Oct. 7-8. Local blues bands perform throughout the day for free in this relaxed spa town, while the Radiators, based in New Orleans, add to the mix by making a stop at the Charles Krug Winery (Oct. 7; 2800 Main St., St. Helena. $35-$50. 707.944.0799). The next day, Norton Buffalo and the Knockouts, Christopher Ford and the Zydeco Flames provide rhythms for the soul, while beer booths provide sustenance for the body. $10. Pioneer Park, Calistoga. www.calistogajazz.com.
Pete Escovedo & the Pete Escovedo Orchestra Oct. 11. Pete Escovedo shares his wild Latin jazz with audiences at this one-night-only engagement. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 4509 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 8pm. $23-$26. 707.588.3434.
Linton Kwesi Johnson Oct. 12. "World's first reggae poet," described by Time Out magazine as "the alternative poet laureate" makes rare North Bay appearance. 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $20-$30. 415.383.9600. www.142throckmortontheatre.com.
Tao Lin Oct 13. In one of his nearly 100 annual expositions, decorated classical pianist Tao Lin will perform selections from the maestros, including Haydn, Chopin, Schubert and Mily Balakirev. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 4509 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 8pm. $18-$21. 707.588.3434.
El Teatro Calamari Oct. 14. Found-object puppetry and comedic tomfoolery abound in this family performance. Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. $8-$12. www.glasercenter.com.
ARTrails Oct. 14-15 and 21-22. Self-guided opportunity to buy directly from an artist, learn about the work from an artist, support an artist . . . or two or three. Throughout Sonoma County. Free. 707.579.2787. www.artrails.org.
Seymour Hersh Oct. 18. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist talks about the abuse of power in the name of national security. COPIA, 500 First St., Napa. $36-$40. 707.259.1600. www.copia.org.
El Día de los Muertos Oct. 15-Nov. 3. Entire town of Petaluma participates in celebration of Hispanic holiday honoring dead, including altars, art shows and opening gala Oct. 15. www.petalumaartscouncil.org.
Bioneers Conference Oct. 20-22. Hear about groundbreaking ideas and discuss building a blueprint for sustainable systems at the 16th annual Bioneers Conference, a meeting of environmentally focused minds. Featured speakers include Mothering magazine's Peggy O'Mara; MoveOn.org founder Joan Blades; Gary Ruskin, executive director and co-founder of Commercial Alert; Seaflow's Michael Stocker; and many others. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $208-$405. 877.246.6337. www.bioneers.org.
Wynnona Oct. 21. The legendary Wynonna Judd, who has sold over 20 million albums in her career as a country music diva, started off shopping around a demo she and her mother, Naomi, had made on a Kmart tape recorder. Oh, how far the Judd family has come. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $35-$110. 707.226.8742. www.lincolntheater.com.
Jason Robert Brown Oct. 21. Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist (Parade) performs benefit concert for Roustabout Theater. Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. $30-$35. 707.527.0983.www.glasercenter.com.
Acoustic Africa Oct. 21. Musicians Habib Koité, Vusi Mahlasela and Dobet Gnahoré give voice to Africa. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $35-$40. 707.226.8742.
Russian River Chamber Music Festival Oct. 21 forward. Famed series, now in its second year of being absolutely free, kicks off with the Miami String Quartet performing music by Haydn, Ginastera and Tchaikovsky. Healdsburg Community Church, 1100 University Ave. 707.524.8700. www.russianrivermusic.org. Napa Valley Open Studios Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 4-5. Artists throughout the valley open their doors to the public. Sponsored by the Napa Valley Arts Council. Various locations. Opening reception Oct. 7 at St. Supéry. 707.257.2117. www.artscouncilnapavalley.org.
Juan Gabriel Oct. 25-26. Two-night stand with Latin belovéd and Grammy nominee, who has sold more than 60 million records, promises to be as much a journey through Gabriel's life as through his hits. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $50-$150. 707.546.3600. www.wellsfargocenterarts.com.
Momix Oct. 28. The internationally renowned company that PBS featured in its Dance in America series returns to the Bay Area to premiere their surrealist performance, Lunar Sea. This is modern dance as Dali would approve of. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 8pm. $18-$50. 415.499.6800.
Yaelisa Oct. 28. Luminary among Flamenco dancers, the Emmy Award-winning dancer brings her troupe to the Lincoln Theater for a night of traditional flamenco. 100 California Drive, Yountville. $30-$50. 707.944.1300. www.lincolntheater.com.
Wine & Food Affair Nov. 4-5. Russian River Wine Road gathers 64 local wineries for another delicious extravaganza. Various locations in Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. $15-$45. 800.723.6336. www.wineroad.com.
Banana Slug String Band Nov. 4. We like them, they're beautiful! Sing along to the lovelies who proclaim that dirt made their lunch. Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. $10-$15. www.glasercenter.com.
Savage Jazz Dance Company Nov. 4-5. The world premiere of The i-Dance Suite, Part 1, which features music selected randomly from an iPod. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 4509 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $21-$24. 707.588.3434.
Bill Cosby Nov. 5. America's favorite dad keeps making people mad, because America's favorite dad keeps saying what he thinks. And we love him for it. Wells Fargo Center. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $65-$99. 707.546.3600. www.wellsfargocenterarts.com.
'Every Man Jack' Nov. 11-19. Sonoma City Opera premieres this new original work, with libretto by Philip Littell, that explores the human side of Jack London's mythic personality. Green Music Festival, SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 707.939.8288. www.sonomacityopera.org.
Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular Nov. 11. Dude, this is serious. Ten thousand watts of "concert quality sound" will blare the Floyd while cool lights do their thing. Dude! Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $20-$30. 707.944.1300. www.lincolntheater.com.
Festival of Harps Nov. 11. Experimental technique and musical innovation abound at the 17th annual Festival of Harps, featuring Grammy-nominated Mamadou Dibate. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 2:30pm and 8pm. $21-$24. 707.588.3434.
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez Nov. 12. With their scarlet skirts spinning like platters, this famous Latin American company whirl into town with bright choreography inspired by Mayan and Aztec ritual. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 3pm. $20-$60. 415.499.6800.
The Drummers of Burundi & Mombasa Party Nov. 18. Whereas in America, landing one's first drum kit is almost like a religious initiation, in Burundi, drums really are sacred. This is evident by the quality of the beats produced by this royal band, who have recorded with such luminaries as Joni Mitchell. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 8pm. $18-$40. 415.499.6800.
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