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Picks for the week of May 30-June 5, 2007

Metro editors' picks: Avant Garden Party Classical Moves

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me first and the gimme gimmes
Thu. May 31, 9pm
DNA Lounge
375 11th St., San Francisco

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

FAT COUNTRY: A great in-joke on the new Me First and the Gimme Gimmes' Love Their Country is when the opening of the Misfits' "Astro Zombies" gives way to Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again." Truly, it boggles the mind. Singer Spike Slawson says the mastermind behind these inspired moments is bassist Fat Mike, better known as the frontman for NOFX, the founder of Fat Wreck Chords and the last man standing who's tried to infuse some political awareness into popular punk via punkvoter.com. Actually, the whole band is a punk brain trust, since Slawson is also in Swingin' Utters, while Me First guitarist Joey Cape and drummer Dave Raun are in Lagwagon and guitarist Chris Shifflet was in No Use for a Name before joining Foo Fighters. Love Their Country is arguably the Gimmes' best record, and bizarrely enough, their cover of the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl" is their most ingenious cover yet. Sounding like the bastard child of NOFX's "Bob" and Billy Bragg's "A New England," it makes the Dixie Chicks sound as good as you've wished they did since they made the idea of their band cool by taking on the Iraq war.

the hold steady
Wed. May 30, 8pm
333 11th St., San Francisco
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The Hold Steady

PARTY BOYS: After releasing an album in October 2006 on Vagrant Records, Boys and Girls in America, the Hold Steady has somehow become the band that everyone already loves--they just don't know it yet. The guys play upbeat indie rock and goof around in their music videos, and it's hard not to like feel good music by a band that looks like they're enjoying what they're doing. As an indication of just how popular the Hold Steady have become, this Wednesday night show at Slim's is already sold out. However, if you do decide to risk it and try to get tickets or you've already got them, you're in for a damn good show. The Hold Steady is on the verge of the next band your friends ask you about. Gracing the stage along with the Hold steady are Illinois and Blitzen Trapper--hopefully no actual reindeer get captured by the latter.

Wed. May 30, 9:30pm
First Billiards
420 S. First St, San Jose
No Cover


HODGEPODGE: Lead vocalist Robin Lovejoy heads up Amalgamation--a tribute to their musical influences--with her soaring voice complementing the rocking jams. Once a belly dancer, the Mediterranean and Spanish influences in Lovejoy's vocal stylings are prominent and attractive. Performing all original music since 2001, the band glorifies their alternative and classic rock influences with awesome guitar licks, a little distortion and drum beats that run like a train.

bud light
the chop tops
Thur. May 31, 8pm
Red Devil Lounge
1695 Polk St, San Francisco

The Chop Tops

GREASER PUNKS: The Chop Tops, those revved up rockabilly rebels from Santa Cruz, are hitting a fitting venue tonight when they set up the stand-up bass, drum kit and Gretsch guitar at the Red Devil Lounge. The Chop Tops, in one blazing song, can rip you back in their sonic '57 Chevy to times when all some guys needed was an open stretch of road, a girl by their side and a roadside honky-tonk on Route 66. The Chop Tops' signature rockabilly style is a punked-up blast from the past that adheres to the proven greaser prescription of cheap booze, fast cars and faster women that'll have you hootin' and hollerin' all night long. The Formaldebrides open.

dj sneak
Thur. May 31, 9pm
Vault Ultra Lounge
81 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose
Usual Cover
guest list

DJ Sneak

MAN OF THE HOUSE: The Godfather of house music, DJ Sneak appears tonight at the Vault Ultra Lounge to spin the groundbreaking sound that sparked a revolutionary shift in club music back in the late '90s. Today, Sneak remains at the top of his game, producing hit mix compilations and overseeing his own label, Magnetic Recordings. Regarded as one of the most influential and innovative DJs on the club circuit, Sneak's legacy extends worldwide. Witness the legendary master of house tonight at the Vault Ultra Lounge.

Fri. June 1, 9pm
Taste Ultra Lounge
87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose
Usual Cover
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Q-Burns @ Velvet Shop

THE OTHER Q: Performing DJ gigs all over the world, Q-Burns has made a name for himself by infusing house music with classic funk and disco influences. He is coming all the way from Orlando, Florida to give downtown dancers a taste of house music done right. M3 and MJ Gamez will also be on the turntables to raise the roof while visuals light up the night. In another room, DJ Solarz will spin soul and hip-hop just to mix things up. The infamous Taste drink special, Godzillas, will be slung at the bar for a decent price. The Velvet Shop features live house, soul, R&B, hip-hop and party music all night long.

jordan knight
Fri, June 1, 9pm
San Jose Civic Auditorium
180 Park Ave, San Jose
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Jordan Knight

NEW KID NO MORE: Back when boy bands were cool (c'mon, work with me here), nobody had more chicks on his pager than New Kids on the Block's Jordan Knight. The teen heartthrob led NKOTB to the top of charts with his sweet falsetto voice and even sweeter haircut. Long story short, by 1994 the group was as uncool as the fluorescent sweaters they once wore. The band members went their separate ways and remained, for the most part, out of the spotlight. Except Jordan Knight. The teen pop revival launched a solo career and scored a Top 10 hit with 1999's "Give It to You." He also landed a spot on VH1's The Surreal Life in 2004 and appeared in the Five reality show Trusty Me--I'm A Holiday Rep. Now touring to support his 2006 release, Love Songs, Knight once again has the ladies swooning, though they might be a little more, shall we say mature, than his fans of his teenage years.

fahrenheit ultra lounge
Fri. June 1, 9pm
Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge
99 E. San Fernando St.,
San Jose


GLAMOUR SHOTS: It's that time of the month again--Fahrenheit gets glam with giveaways and DJs spinning amazing dance music. The Glamorous event will have DJ Fabian mixing things up with Top 40 and house, and Funky B gets things even hotter on the turntables throughout the night. Forget about getting stupid or hyphy, Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge puts on some of the most upscale parties and events in the South Bay. Make sure to get glam for this event because "dress to impress" is the way to go at Fahrenheit. Forget about dancing in the streets and ghost riding the whip, it's a way better idea to be dancing in Fahrenheit on Friday night.

richard vission
Fri. June 1, 9pm
Ruby Skye
420 Mason St., San Francisco

Richard Vission

HOUSE ARREST: Raising the roof of house, both figuratively and musically, DJ and producer Richard Vission recently released his first double CD, Automatic, to wide acclaim, and is touring the club circuit to show house lovers everywhere what he's made of. Vission is known for his amazing remixing skills in the dance community as well as the various singles and mix CDs he's released in the past. With international recognition and a worldwide fan base, Vission has a full arsenal of mixes to work with. Joined at Ruby Skye by David Garcia, the two DJs are sure to garner the dancing crowd's enthusiasm for their beats.

Sat. June 2, 9pm
Britannia Arms: Cupertino
1087 De Anza Blvd, Cupertino
Usual Cover


NOT SUCKING SINCE 2004: Tight guitar riffs and vocal melodies that actually stay in tune help separate Hollister's Novice from the less-than-stellar pack of local bands that seem to live at all our favorite watering holes. In the world of rock & roll up-and-comers, it's not often you hear a group that doesn't struggle with sloppy instrumental work. Refreshing, to say the least, but let's not get caught up in comparing the four-piece alt-rock outfit with their sub-par peers--it's the music itself that sets them apart. Catchy punk phrases join energetic rhythms to form a sound that is intricate and emotionally charged. While there's no denying the talent present in this band, it's the wonderfully constructed songs and impeccable performances that make Novice worthy of mainstream acceptance.

Sat. June 2, 9pm
Café du Nord
2170 Market St., San Francisco

The Raveonettes

PRETTY IN BLACK: Discovered by a Rolling Stone editor in Denmark, The Raveonettes have made their mark in hipsters' minds everywhere with their artful inception of noise, jagged guitars and male-female harmonizing. The new material on their recent Pretty in Black album has widened the band's repertoire with a much more retro sound--the single, "Love in a Trash Can," is rockabilly-esque--but still has the signature sound that is The Raveonettes. Rocking the intimate Café du Nord on Saturday night will also be Midnight Movies and The Meek.

stardust at vivid
Sat. June 2, 9pm
8 S. First St., San Jose
Usual Cover


NO MO' A GO-GO: It's a sad day in the world of Vivid Nightclub--their hottest go-go dancer is retiring. Not only is Amber Nicole going out with a bang, but Supremacy Events is unleashing their new event night, Stardust. Resident DJs Nasty Nick and Devious Dave will be reaching for the stars and spinning Top 40, house, hip-hop and reggaeton all night long for one of the hottest crowds on Saturday night. Come see Amber Nicole on her last night go-go dancing, because she'll surely be going all out. Get on the guest list and get in free before 11pm--otherwise you have to pay to party.

wiggle wagons
Sat. June 2, 9pm
Johnny V's
31 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose

Wiggle Wagons

MOONSHINE METAL: Buzz-sawin' licks delivered with full-tilt hardcore Southern Pride tear into downtown tonight when the Wiggle Wagons pull their liquored-up, country-shred convoy into Johnny V's. Their sets are filled with booze, blazing guitars and driving bass lines that help tell the hard-luck tales of the Wagons. This local outfit rips out buzzed-up country tunes with the full-blown angst of punk, tempered by a love of whiskey, women and welfare that'll turn heads, blow amps and break some hearts wherever they plug in.

6 days to nowhere
Sat. June 2, 9pm
C&J's Sports Bar
1550 Lafayette St, Santa Clara
No Cover

6 Days to Nowhere

NOWHERE MEN: 6 Days to Nowhere hits that certain edge between hard alternative rock and metal. The guitars are melodic instead of screaming, the bass drives the tone with the pounding skins mimicking the beating heart, and then you get a shot to the head when vocalist Brendan McCarthy goes from low but lilting harmony to an electrifying burst of controlled lyrical aggression. Guitarist Adam Missimore and drummer Alex Gomez tried for three years to form a working band before all four musicians, with the addition of bassist A.J. Davenport, coalesced as 6 Days to Nowhere, and when you hear the purity of their sound, the tenacity has paid off in kind.

chillin 9 year
Sat. June 2, 8pm
444 Jessie St., San Francisco

Chillin' 9th Anniversary

JUST CHILLIN': Started nine years ago, Chillin' Productions has helped Bay Area fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and other artists gain exposure and make a name for themselves without ever taking a penny from the artists. To celebrate the ninth anniversary, Chillin' Productions is bringing in 60 fashion designers, 60 painters/photographers and 60 filmmakers to party while eight DJs spin. DJ Laron, Dirtyhertz and Dave Madix are only a few of the DJs who will have sets during the night. These are some of the most skilled artists in the area and they're all getting together to celebrate. Join them and find out what art in the Bay Area really means.

Sun. June 3, 2pm
Club Cuccini
72 N. Almaden St., San Jose
Usual Cover

Hot Assada Sundays IX BBQ Fest

RIDIN' DIRTY: Promoters Playboi and Ulises present the biggest day party BBQ in the South Bay, Hot Assada Sundayz BBQ Fest 9. Since 1998, the two have been kicking off summers right with some of the best house, dirty house and hip-hop DJs in the Bay. This year the party's going down at Club Cuccini and will feature San Francisco's Dimitris Mykonos and David Savior, as well as Las Vegas "derty house" master Joey Mazzola. Awesome drink specials and a saucy list of VIP hosts are sure to keep this party hoppin' all Sunday long.

Sun. June 3, 8pm
333 11th St., San Francisco
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ME, ME, ME: Exploring the strangely erratic indie-rock vein popularized by bands like Modest Mouse and Built to Spill, Mewithoutyou takes the confusion one step further, and not just because of their name (what a curveball). Assembled from the remnants of brothers Aaron and Michael Weiss' the Operation, the hard-rocking siblings mellow things out to achieve a kind of irreverent passion-pop with vocals that range from spoken to all-out screamed. Also appearing tonight is East Coast emo-core outfit Piebald. After traversing the Boston-area emo circuit for the latter half of the '90s, the band parted ways, but regrouped two years later and achieved minor commercial success with their boisterous indie-rock sound. Now touring the country in a bio-diesel van to support their latest album, Accidental Gentlemen, the boys take aim at mainstream stardom and rock & roll glory--without contributing to global warming. Manchester Orchestra and The Snake The Cross The Crown also perform.

Sun. June 3, 1pm
Santana Row
400 S. Winchester Blvd.,
San Jose

World Music Sunday Series @ Santana Row

GLOBAL EXCHANGE: This Sunday kicks off a new weekly entertainment series, presented by Firesign Entertainment, featuring musical performers from across the world in a display of multicultural sound. Taking the stage this week is San Jose's own Brava, a five-piece ensemble that fuses traditional Latin-American styles with R&B, funk and blues. Warm sun and hot rhythms are on tap all afternoon at the Row, so come enjoy a little Latin melody free of charge. In fact, the city wants to give you a little souvenir to remember them by--the first 50 people to register receive a free lawn chair.

Avant Garden Party
Sun. June 3, 3-7pm
Ellis Island
2888 Sandy Lane,
Santa Cruz

Avant Garden Party

GLOBAL EXCHANGE: THE EMPHASIS is global at New Music Works' annual Avant Garden Party. The guest artists at the catered soiree are the Thai Piphat Music and Dance Ensemble, which hails from Wat Buddhanusorn. Their demonstrations of Thai music will be richly complemented by a menu of trad Thai dishes and some fusion entrees by chefs Jozseph Schultz and David Jackman. The musical selections also include pieces by Hindemith, guest composer Terumi Narushima of Australia, Phil Collins and Christian Wolff. (Michael S. Gant)

pretty girls make graves
Mon. June 4, 7pm
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell St, San Francisco

Pretty Girls Make Graves

DIGGING GRAVES: Taking their name from the Smiths song (which comes from Kerouac's The Dharma Bums), Seattle's indie-rock quintet Pretty Girls Make Graves appear at the Great American Music Hall tonight before heading home to Washington for a final show in front of their home crowd. Calling it quits after six years on the road and five album releases, PGMG ends their run of intense live performances and energetic studio cuts in a bittersweet final tour of the West Coast. Led by Andrea Zollo's lyrically clever vocals and Derek Fudesco's prog-bass style, the band represents the earnest anti-pop rock revival that slithers rhythmically along in a state of organized chaos. While devoted fans will undoubtedly sulk with the group's demise, they will also happily rejoice in the musicians' inevitable return to the indie-rock scene. Opening acts are Kill Me Tomorrow and Moonrats.

john mayer
Tue. June 5, 7:30pm
HP Pavilion
525 W. Santa Clara St.,
San Jose
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John Mayer w/ Ben Folds

IT'S GOOD TO BE MAYER: With Jessica Simpson (again) out of the picture, the legions of young girls who inevitably flock to John Mayer's concerts can once again scream at the top of their lungs, their echoes bouncing off the walls like a torturous game of Pong, and gaze at Mayer from afar, rejoicing in the bluesy pop artist's onstage gyrations by fainting and causing extra work for the HP Pavilion's security staff. Piano man Ben Folds opens and may shock a few with his version of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit."

laura viers
Tue. June 5, 9pm
Café du Nord
2170 Market St., San Francisco

Laura Viers

VIERS TO YOU: It's always refreshing to hear music with intelligent lyrics these days, when it seems, like Hollywood, all the good ideas have already been done--again and again and again. But alas, creativity reigns in the form of Seattle's latest phenom, Laura Veirs. The singer-songwriter's lyrical talent is a stark exception to the stagnant pool of unoriginal pop-waste that accumulates in record shops across the country. Veirs' poetic narratives reflect a deeper consciousness that is heavy with irony and introspection. Soothing and delicate, songs offer unique perspectives of everyday life that are unusual yet intellectually coherent. In the spirit of '60s songwriters like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Veirs contributes a dazzling interpretation of the human experience, all presented with musical grace and emotional integrity.

flying saucers
Tue. June 5, 8pm
Johnny V's
31 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose

Flying Saucers

FLYING SAUCER ROCK N ROLL: Self-described "sleazy rock" band The Flying Saucers make a crash landing at Johnny V's tonight for a night of gritty rock & roll full of distorted guitar licks and incoherent vocals. Sure, these guys cherish their liquor as much as the next group of aspiring rock stars, but few can rival the amount of intoxicated emotion put forth at a Flying Saucers show. Stumbling all the way from the bars of Costa Mesa, Calif. to bring you trashy garage rock at its finest, the beer-soaked threesome not only welcomes shouting and cursing during their set, they'd actually prefer it if you'd give 'em some hell...then buy them a drink.

ultimate 80s party
conductor guy
Thu. May 31-Sun. June 3

Classical Moves

IRENE DALIS VOCAL COMPETITION: Firsts of any kind usually ramp up the excitement level. That should certainly be the case with the brand-new Irene Dalis Vocal Competition. Dalis, of course, is the guiding force of Opera San José. The 10 competitors, winnowed from a field of more than 100 from across the country, will vie for three top slots with major cash awards. Friday at 7pm; California Theatre, 345 S. Second St., San Jose; $50; 408.437.4450.

DEL SOL STRING QUARTET: For a concert elaborately titled "Umbilical Chords" Women Composers and the Creative Process," the Del Sol String Quartet brings to light the works by a wide range of women composers who make reference to motherhood in their work, with pieces by Kui Dong, Teresa Carreño, Sally Beamish, Linda Catlin Smith and Ruth Crawford. The one male composer on the program, Mark Fish, contributes a world premiere based on the life of Crawford. Thursday at 7pm; Le Petit Trianon, 72 N. Fifth St., San Jose; $7–$20; 415.374.0074.

EL CAMINO YOUTH SYMPHONY: To mark another successful season, the El Camino Youth Symphony, guided by Camilla Kolchinsky, takes on Shostakovich's Gadfly Suite, big chunks of De Falla's Three-Cornered Hat and selections by Saint-SaŽns and Rimsky-Korsakov. The featured spotlight shines on concerto competition winners Jennifer Choi (cello) and David Woo (clarinet) as well as flutist Cynthia Tsai. Sunday at 2:30pm; California Theatre, 345 S. Second St., San Jose; $5/$10; 650.213.7111.

SAN JOSE YOUTH SYMPHONY: Yair Samet takes the podium as the Youth Symphony presents a "Sounds of Spring" concert with pianist Kenric Tam. This is a chance to hear the works the symphony will take abroad for its summer tour: Gershwin's Strike Up the Band Overture and Rhapsody in Blue, Bernstein's Three Dance Episodes from On the Town and Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 4. Saturday at 7pm; California Theatre, 345 S. Second St., San Jose; $5–$15; see www.sjys.org for details.

POCKET OPERA: The irrepressible Donald Pippin has done it again—taken a favorite opera and given it a witty, accessible English translation. This time, it's Jacques Offenbach's The Bandit, a tale of royal nuptials, a jewelry heist and lots and lots of francs for the taken. Saturday at 7:30pm; Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont; $18–$35; 415.972.8934.

SAN JOSE SYMPHONIC CHOIR: Talk about venerable. Now in its 82nd season, the San Jose Symphony Choir, led by Leroy Kromm, numbers more than 100 singers. For this performance, the choir muscles up to Brahms' Ein Deutches Requiem, with soloists Nancy Wait Kromm and William O'Neill. Friday at 8pm; St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica, San Jose; $18–$25; 408.995.3318.

VIVACE YOUTH CHORUS: To round out its season, Vivace presents three concerts. The first takes place Saturday at 4pm at Stone Church, 1937 Lincoln Ave., Los Gatos, and is a family show showcasing all levels of the choir. On Sunday at 5pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 20 University Ave., Los Gatos, the Teen Ensemble performs. Finally, on June 10 at 4pm in the San Jose City Hall, the chorus celebrates Vivace Day—for free. Tickets are$8/$12; see www.vivaceyouthchorus.org for details.

PENINSULA POPS: June is a good time to hear some of the lighter fare that orchestras trot out with the warm weather. The Peninsula Pops contributes to the seasons with a program of movie themes from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Grease!. Sunday at 3pm; Spangenberg Theater, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto; $10–$20; 650.856.8432.

PALO ALTO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: Music director Benjamin Simon welcomes guest artists Rufus Olivier (bassoon) and Jia Jie Lu (cello) for an eclectic afternoon that encompasses a cello concerto by C.P.E. Bach, Dvorak's Serenade for Strings and the world premiere of local composer Geoffrey Pope's Spires Unceasing. Sunday at 3pm; Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford University; $6–$12; 650.856.3848. (Michael S. Gant)

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


EEK WEEK: A two-time performer at music in the park--in 2002 and 2004--it's appropriate that Eek-a-Mouse kicks off the outdoor concert series with laid-back reggae. In the early '80s Eek-a-Mouse--born Ripton Hilton--started from his Jamaican homeland to make a name for himself, conveniently on the coattails of a world already missing Bob Marley. Eek-a-Mouse's reggae includes an element known as singjaying, which amounts to a combination of deejaying and singing all rolled together. The Mouse, even though he's been doing it forever, still tours all over the world playing about 200 shows a year to faithful reggae lovers. There are food and drinks available for sale at the show, and be assured that 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.

--Capsules that were taken from the Metroactive Club Newsletter were written by: RO, AL, GW, CT & SP

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