J'aime la musique contemporaine: That's right: Louis Lortie also loves contemporary music.
Sesquicentennial Symphony Concert Say that three times really fast. As part of the ongoing 150th-birthday events at San Jose State University, Symphony Silicon Valley, with the venerable George Cleve conducting, performs a benefit show for the College of Humanities and the Arts. A host of SJSU faculty and alums will be there, among them Irene Dalis of Opera San José, who was around for the centennial celebration. Also scheduled are composer Craig Bohmler, pianist Gwendolyn Mok and opera star Lori Decter. Wednesday at 8pm; California Theatre, 345 S. First St., San Jose; call for ticket information; 408.286.2600, ext. 23.
Beaux Arts Trio Having debuted more than 40 years ago, pianist Menahem Pressler, founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, knows something about the importance of experience. He is ably assisted by relative newcomers Daniel Hope, violin, and Antonio Menses, cello. For this San Jose Chamber Music concert, they will perform works by Schubert, Shostakovich and Beethoven. (Deadline Notice: This concert is now sold-out.). Friday at 8pm, Le Petit Trianon, 72 N. Fifth St., San Jose; $21-$36; 408.286.5111.
Nova Vista Symphony Ann Krinitsky leads the symphony in a concert that exposes the Hungarian strain that runs through the music of some famous composers. The selections include a Hungarian March by Berlioz, Hungarian Dances by Brahms and, you guessed it, Hungarian Peasant Songs by Bartok. Saturday at 8pm; Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills; $9-$16; 408.530.0700.
Louis Lortie Stanford Lively Arts welcomes French Canadian keyboard maestro Louis Lortie to campus. The highly acclaimed pianist will perform Darkness Visible and Traced Overhead by Adés, to show off his talent for contemporary music. The rest of the program features a Chopin Nocturne and Sonata and Liszt's Overture to Tannhäuser and Vallée d'Obermann. Saturday at 8pm; Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford; $20-$44; 650.725.ARTS.
Hear them roar: Real tigers wear purple.
Arriba Los Tigres! Today Los Tigres Del Norte (The Tigers of the North) are superstars in musica ranchera, Mexico's country music. Based in San Jose, the nucleus of this accordion-driven conjunto norteño is the Hernandez Brothers, who hail from the small rural town of Rosa Morada, Sinaloa, a state in western Mexico. In their nearly four-decade-long career, Los Tigres have recorded over 55 albums, some of which have gone gold or platinum, and starred in 14 films, some of which are named after some of their best songs. Part of what has made them such beloved performers is their vigilance regarding what is going on around them. From issues of immigration to drug-running narco-corridos, they reflect it in their corrido folk songs. As a result, their fans idolize them, calling them "Los Jefes De Jefes" ("The Bosses of Bosses"). Their story is a Horatio Alger tale of hardship that took a turn in San Jose when they signed with Art Walker's Fama Records. In 1972, they hit big with "Contrabando y Traicion" and the rest is Latin pop history. This year they have received an avalanche of accolades which most recently led to an all-star tribute in Las Vegas presented by BMI. Their new album, Detalles y Emociones (Details and Emotions), was just released by their label Fonovisa, and undoubtedly they will be playing tunes off of it at their homecoming dance this Saturday at the San Jose Convention Center.
Jesse 'Chuy' Varela
Los Tigres Del Norte perform on Saturday (April 7) at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 150 W. San Carlos St., San Jose. Tickets are $35. (408.998.TIXS)
Don't trust 'em: Because they're filthy, thieving bastards.
ONCE JUST a side project between punk stalwarts Darius Koski and Johnny Bonnel of the Swingin' Utters, the Filthy Thieving Bastards strip the storytelling folk-punk mentality of the Utters down to a more basic level, skillfully infusing traditional folk instrumentation with their tested punk chops—think of the Pogues doused with even more punk angst and liquor—to form punk sound rich with narrative. Basically, the Filthy Thieving Bastards are like Swingin' Utters-lite. Koski and Bonnel had scores of material leftover from numerous sessions with the Utters that didn't really fit into the oi/street punk style, although most of that material is sped-up versions of traditional folk anyway. That's how Koski—co-songwriter for both FTB and Swingin' Utters—thinks of their catalog. "I've always thought of [our] songs as just loud, aggressive and fast folk or country songs," he stated in a recent interview, "very simple stuff." Their latest, I'm a Son of a Gun, rocks with acoustic numbers that work like Old World punk poetry, rife with the well-traveled themes marking prior FTB and SU releases. The songs are familiar enough to be played loud in mixed company, but really feel right at home blaring out of a nameless pub's speakers. The Filthy Thieving Bastards set up at the Blank Friday, April 6. with San Jo punk vets the Forgotten and Girl Band.
The Filthy Thieving Bastards play on Friday (April 6) at 9pm at the Blank Club, 44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose. Tickets are $10. (408.292.5265)
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