BAR TREK: The Phenomenauts will be at the Crepe Place on Friday ifyou silly Earthlings can handle it.
March 24 - 31, 2010
Wednesday | 3/24
Specializing in furious fingerpicking and soaring four-piece vocals, Greensky Bluegrass is a band of youngish Turks with a traditionalist jones. Since 2000, the five-piece outfit from Kalamazoo has made a habit of turning out original compositions that do old-time music proud, an approach that has earned the band not only a loyal fan base but also a fair amount of industry recognition, including a win at the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition and gigs with the likes of Railroad Earth and the Hackensaw Boys. Though neobluegrass isn't quite as fashionable as it was when the band formed, Greensky Bluegrass remains on an upward career trajectory. Moe's Alley; $10 adv/$12 door; 8:30pm. (Paul M. Davis)
Thursday | 3/25
Leading the charge in the new generation of international jazz talent, Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez is the hottest thing to hit the skins since habañero pepper sauce. As percussionist for jazz supercrew the Pat Metheny Group, and through collaborations on 49 albums with folks like Dianne Reeves and Michael Brecker, Sanchez has kept cadence for some of the finest musicians on tour today. Tonight's show features Santa Cruz native son Donny McCaslin and David Binney on sax, with Scott Colley on bass. Kuumbwa; $20 adv/$23 door; 7pm. (Curtis Cartier)
Friday | 3/26
Doffed in outfits straight out of a '50s sci-fi flick, Oakland's Phenomenauts are the sole practitioners of what they term "rocket roll." The four-piece draws from a wide array of influences—rock, New Wave, surf-rock and rockabilly—and jumbles them up into an arch yet affectionate amalgam. Nearly everything about the band is steeped in midcentury Americana, from the elaborate costumes to the vintage sounds and sensibility. It's the sort of thing that could come off as too precious if poorly executed, but the Phenomenauts win the day with their enthusiasm and capacity to rock a crowd. Crepe Place; $12; 9pm. (PMD)
A throwback to the grunge bands of the '90s, or perhaps a heave back to the psych rock acts of the '70s—whatever the case, Washington, D.C., trio Dead Meadow knows how to abuse an amplifier. After a brief hiatus in the mid-oughts, the band members hooked up with howling hair rock act Wolfmother to cut some new tracks and were so pumped they immediately hit the road. On the band's forthcoming film-and-music project Three Kings, the group returns to epic form, bringing psyche rock back to its Zeppelinesque heyday in a grand rock opera. Brookdale Lodge; $20; 8pm. (CC)
Saturday | 3/27
Merging wry lyricism worthy of Guy Clark and Randy Newman to a sensibility forged in the early '80s San Francisco punk movement, the music of Michelle Shocked provokes even when it evokes the comfortably worn-in sound of Americana. Fiercely political, Shocked has been on the forefront of progressive and feminist issues, but she's always managed to avoid being didactic. Her 2009 release Soul of My Soul stands as one of her most outspoken and musically accessible works to date. Moe's Alley; $20 adv/$25 door; 8pm. (PMD)
Growing up the grandson of one of the world's most famous country singers and the son of—well, another of the world's most famous country singers, you might expect Hank Williams III to play country music. And he does, sort of. By taking a smattering of his forbears' vices—drinking, smoking, screwing and distrusting the government—he takes the honky-tonk walk and talk he's had since birth and adds a splash of biker recklessness and a chaser of punk rock discontent for a musical persona that might be described as Rob Zombie and Henry Rollins in a meth-fueled three-way with Dolly Parton. Catalyst; $16 adv/$19 door; 9pm. (CC)
For more than 20 years, Joanne Rand has been crafting songs that take the winding road through the human experience. In "Looking Up," she sings, "Where our power lies is in each other's eyes, is in each other's hands, so hold out your hand." Through her songs, Rand traverses love, politics, conservation, spirituality and life with a seasoned-to-perfection voice, that, according to author Terry Tempest Williams, "opens the doors of creation." Don Quixote's; $10; 7pm. (Cat Johnson)
STRUNZ & FARAH
Even though they come from two entirely different worlds, guitar virtuosos Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah might as well be brothers. Growing up in Costa Rica and Iran, respectively, the two guitarists met in 1979 and immediately began exploring the rich musical territory where Latin America and the Middle East meet. Highly respected in the flamenco community, the duo permeate this Spanish tradition with Latin American elements as well as exotic tinges of their Afro-Caribbean and Middle Eastern roots. Kuumbwa; $23 adv/$26 door; 7 and 9pm. (Maria Grusauskas)
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