Fall Arts Guide 2009
The Big Show
Sept. 19 at San Jose State Event Center
When I wrote about the Limousines earlier this year, I mentioned that Live 105 was playing their single "Very Busy People." What I neglected to mention is that San Jose's Channel 104.9 has been playing it even more—a lot more, actually. They seem to be supporters of not only the Limos but the whole San Jose music scene, and what they're doing over there right now is very interesting. What they'll be doing on Sept. 19 is "The Big Show" at the SJSU Event Center. Originally planning to feature Placebo before the band canceled all of their U.S. dates, the station now has emo kings the All American Rejects headlining. Also on the bill is Jack's Mannequin, the current project of Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate. Like fellow quirky-smart alt-pop bands Possum Dixon and the Feelies, Something Corporate never really quite got their due. McMahon's knack for catchy tunes even worked against him in some ways—songs like "Punk Rock Princess," "I Want to Save You" and "Konstantine" were far more lyrically intriguing and emotionally authentic than the band got credit for. He's found even bigger success with Jack's Mannequin. Channel 104.9 has also booked the Gaslight Anthem and the Airborne Toxic Event for the Big Show—along, of course, with the Limousines. (Steve Palopoli)
Treasure Island Music Festival
Oct. 17–18, Treasure Island, San Francisco
The Flaming Lips may be the best live band in rock & roll right now. Certain shows, such as their New Year's Eve blowout in San Francisco in 2007, have become legendary. The Lips are returning to the Bay Area Sunday, Oct. 18, to headline the second day of this year's Treasure Island Music Festival, heading a lineup that also includes the Decembrists, Yo La Tengo, former-Hüsker-Dü-frontman-turned-indie-eccentric Bob Mould and more. Saturday's bill, meanwhile, will make fans of the current electro-'80s revival feel like they've died and gone to hipster heaven. MGMT and Passion Pit, the two most popular bands in the scene, are both playing, along with Girl Talk (with Gregg Gillis coming off possibly the best mashup album of all time, 2008's Feed the Animals) and San Jose's own Limousines. (SP)
Oct. 30, The Blank Club, San Jose
If there is a more fun band on this planet made up of Japanese women rocking out Ramones-style on songs about candy bars, bison, vegetables and big cats, I haven't found it. And frankly, neither has anyone else, which is why what began as a fun way to escape the boredom of the corporate world in 1981 has become one of rock's most beloved cult acts three decades later. It didn't hurt that fans like Nirvana (who took them on tour) and Sonic Youth (who put together the popular tribute album Every Band Has a Shonen Knife Who Loves Them) exposed them to bigger and bigger audiences over the years. The group has had some different members, but Naoko Yamano is still its leader. Live, they rock like they're in an arena no matter what size the club, windmilling heavy riffs and crossing guitar necks on anthems like "Cobra vs. Mongoose." And with the song "Ramones Forever" on their last album, they made it clear that they'll always stay true to their musical mission. (SP)
Nov. 8, Fox Theatre, Redwood City
As we take a look back at the incredible career of John Cleese, it's impossible not to quote Monty Python. This is not because Cleese hasn't accomplished plenty on his own—for instance, as the star of the classic comedy A Fish Called Wanda, or on Fawlty Towers. It's because the legendary British comedy troupe has soaked through so much of our pop-culture fabric; sometimes quoting Monty Python is more like a reflex than a voluntary act. For newbies, here are three examples of how this phenomenon might come up in real life: (1) Whenever anyone asks you your favorite color, say "Blue! No, yelllll ..." and then act like you're falling off the Bridge of Death. (2) Whenever you're in a room full of people and someone yells for "David," wait till the guy says, "I'm David!" and then say "I'm David ... and so's my wife!" (3) Whenever your friends point out that your parrot has died, say "It's not dead! It's resting!" Anyway, it's not clear exactly what Cleese will be speaking about on this tour, but really, does it matter? The guy can be funny about anything, as proven on his appropriately surreal blog, www.cleeseblog.com. (SP)
Nov. 13 at HP Pavilion
At the ripe old age of 74, singer/songwriter/poet and ordained Zen monk Leonard Cohen says the only two things he doesn't talk about are his mistresses and his tailors. By the time Leonard hits San Jose, he will be 75 and performing the last show of nearly 200 on his 2008–09 tour, his first global go-around in 16 years. Last year he performed to sold-out arenas all across Europe and the resulting concert DVD, Live in London, earned more than 80 five-star reviews. Another leg of the tour brought him to the States, including three shows at Oakland's Paramount Theatre last April. In the early '90s, Leonard often quipped, "I have a five-note range. And that range drops one octave each year." Now, during each show, he says, "I haven't been onstage in 14 years. Back then, I was 60 years old, a kid with a dream." Believe it or not, Cohen's voice actually sounds better these days, and he skips around the stage like a 5-year-old. The band of virtuosi behind him appear tireless throughout the three-hour show, which is seriously quite Zenlike in its depth and simplicity. (Gary Singh)
Dec. 4–6, Montalvo Arts Center
Who can forget when British singer/songwriter Richard Thompson released his smash hit "Oops! ... I Did It Again" in 2000? It changed everything. Suddenly the former leader of famed '60s folk group Fairport Convention was a media sensation. It went Top 10 in the United States, and to No. 1 in countries around the world, eventually selling millions of copies. And the video! Featuring astronauts discovering Richard Thompson dancing on Mars in a tight red cat suit, it was controversial for it's strong sexual overtones. After that, it was nothing but global celebrity and scandal, with Thompson photographed getting out of a limo wearing no underwear, and later caught driving with his baby in his lap. Wait, all that happened to Britney Spears? Oh. I guess I get them mixed up because Thompson's cover of "Oops" made me forget all about Britney's version. It was on his album spanning 1000 Years of Popular Music, and while it didn't bring him riches or paparazzi, it did prove that the man considered one of the greatest guitarists in the world—and with songs like "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and "Wall of Death," certainly one of the best tunesmiths—can play absolutely anything convincingly. And will. (SP)
Dec. 12, HP Pavilion, San Jose
If there's one thing the documentary Some Kind of Monster proved, it's that Metallica has no idea why its music is good. The band members are a little too wrapped up in their own neuroses and power struggles and who gets to name the albums to notice. Which might explain why they stuck with producer Bob Rock for way too many albums after he helped transform their sound into a pop-metal juggernaut on The Black Album. Not that Metallica ever really went soft. But c'mon, listening to their Rick Rubin–produced return to form, last year's Death Magnetic, was a big, rumbling reminder of the Metallica we've been missing. It almost seemed to pick up where And Justice for All left off 20 years ago. Don't forget, that album came out the same year that Poison was on the charts with "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Who had to come in and save metal once again? That's right, James and Lars and crew. It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. (SP)
Sept. 12 at Shoreline
Everybody's favorite punk lounge singer Richard Cheese turned "Somebody Told Me" into a damn good torch song, right down to the clinking ice cubes. I kind of like it better that way, perhaps only proving that the hopelessly catchy chorus about boyfriends who look like girlfriends that Brandon Flowers had in February of last year has potential no matter how it's delivered. That was a couple of albums back now that the Killers have withstood their low point, 2006's boring Sam's Town, and bounced back to some degree with last year's Day & Age. But only now is it becoming clear how much impact their 2004 debut really had. It was for all intents and purposes the beginning of this retro-'80s wave that bands like Passion Pit and MGMT are riding right now. I mean, the Killers named their band after a name on a drumset in a freakin' New Order video! How much more obsessed with the sound of the '80s can they be expected to be at this point? (SP)
Crosby, Stills And Nash
Sept. 18 at San Jose Civic
NASA has finally found a task to test the enormous processing power of their biggest supercomputers: computing the number of albums that Crosby, Stills and Nash have between them. After countless hours of work, they finally arrived at a number: 26,584. Who knows if it's right, but considering all the incestuous recording of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, it just might be. There's their early projects like Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds; there's Crosby, Stills and Nash; there's Crosby and Nash; there's Crosby without Stills and Nash; there's Stills without Crosby and Nash; and there's Nash without Crosby and Stills. Basically, on their way to becoming the hero band of a generation—through protest songs like "Ohio" and generational anthems like their version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock"—there was every configuration. Most recently, CSN added to the total with an album of old demos that came out this year. When NASA's scientists tried to add it with a recount, they accidentally added in a Neil Young variable and melted down the mainframe for good. (SP)
1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell; 800.745.3000.
San Jose Taiko: Sept. 11 at 8pm. Sept. 12 at 2 and 8pm.
Diane Schuur, Bobby Caldwell: Oct. 17 at 8pm.
B.B. King: Nov. 15 at 7pm.
John Lennon Anthology Concert: Dec. 4 at 8pm.
290 S. Seventh St., SJSU; 800.745.3000.
Super Band: Sept. 7 at 7pm.
Brand New, Manchester Orchestra: Oct. 16 at 7:30pm.
Rob Thomas, One Republic, Carolina Liar: Oct. 18 at 7pm.
Hollywood Undead and Atreyu: Nov. 18 at 7pm.
2215 Broadway, Redwood City; 650.369.4119.
Painted on Water, with Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan: Sept. 11 at 8pm.
Dave Brubeck Quartet: Sept. 19 at 2pm.
Marshall Tucker Band, Moonalice: Sept. 19 at 8pm.
Lee Eun Mi: Oct. 3 at 8pm.
Wild Child: Oct. 17 at 8pm.
TinMan, Destroy: Oct. 24 at 7pkm.
Lisa Lampanelli: Nov. 21.
525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 800.745.3000.
AC/DC: Sept. 2 at 8pm.
Pink: Sept. 17 at 7:30pm.
Miley Cyrus: Sept. 20 at 7pm.
Tribute to Cesar Chavez with Los Lobos, Carlos Santana and Little Joe y La Familia: Sept. 27 at 8pm.
Rascal Flatts: Oct. 16 at 8pm.
Marco Antonio Solis: Oct. 17 at 8pm.
Marc Anthony: Nov. 14 at 8pm.
Billy Joel, Elton John: Nov. 17 at 7:30pm.
2209 Broadway, Redwood City; 650.369.4119.
Baru: Aug. 27 at 9pm.
Pride & Joy: Aug. 28 at 9pm.
Tony Lindsay Band: Aug. 29 at 8pm.
Luce: Sept. 4 at 8pm.
Marcia Ball: Sept. 5 at 8pm.
Cheeseballs: Sept. 11 at 9pm.
Dervish: Sept. 22 at 8pm.
Pop Fiction: Sept. 25 at 9pm.
Denny Laine: Oct. 2 at 8pm.
John Worley, Bari Bari, Murray Low Trio: Oct. 18 at 4pm.
Edgar Cruz, Christopher Dean: Nov. 8 at 7pm.
Montalvo Arts Center
Carriage House, 1400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga; 408.961.5858.
David Sanborn: Aug. 2 at 7pm.
Peter Frampton: Sept. 13 at 7pm.
Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra: Sept. 18 at 7:30pm.
Tommy Castro Band: Oct. 2 at 7:30pm.
Chris Botti: Oct. 4 at 7pm.
Roger McGuinn: Oct. 15 at 7:30pm.
Vienna Teng: Oct. 17 at 6 and 9pm.
Paula Cole: Oct. 24 at 8pm.
Keola Beamer and Neil Hogan: Nov. 1 at 7:30pm.
Earl Klugh: Nov. 5at 7:30pm, Nov. 6 at 8pm.
J.C. Smith, Tribute to Howlin' Wolf: Nov. 14 at 8pm.
Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey County Fairgrounds; 831.394.6534.
Jazz Festival: Sept. 18–20.
14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga; shows at 7:30pm unless otherwise indicated; 800.745.3000.
Heroes of Woodstock: Aug. 26 at 7pm.
Susan Tedeschi, Jackie Greene: Aug. 27.
The Pretenders: Aug. 29.
Foreigner: Aug. 31.
Sheryl Crow, 16 Frames: Sept. 2–3.
Daryl Hall and John Oates: Sept. 4–5.
Gipsy Kings: Sept. 10–11.
The Doobie Brothers: Sept. 12.
Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal: Sept. 13.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sept. 15.
James Taylor: Sept. 16.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited: Sept. 18.
Etta James and Robert Cray Band: Sept. 20.
The Temptations, the Four Tops: Sept. 23.
Wynonna: Sept. 24 at 7:30.
Tower of Power, Average White Band: Sept. 25.
Tony Bennett: Sept. 26
Cheech and Chong and Shelby: Sept. 27.
John Prine: Oct. 1.
Pink Martini: Oct. 2.
Loggins & Messina: Oct. 5–6.
Music in the Park
Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose; 408.279.1775,
White Album Ensemble: Aug. 27 at 5:30pm.
San Jose Civic
135 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.277.5277.
Progressive Nation 2009, Dream Theater, Zappa Plays Zappa: Aug. 27 at 6pm.
Pedal to the Metal Tour, Mudvayne and more: Aug. 28 at 6pm.
Gary Allan: Sept. 9 at 9pm.
5 Jokers and a Queen of Comedy: Sept. 19 at 8pm.
Facundo Cabral: Oct. 10 at 8pm.
Jaguares: Nov. 20 at 8:30pm.
1 Amphitheatre Pkwy., Mountain View; 800.745.3000.
Nickelback, Hinder, Papa Roach, Saving Abel: Sept. 1 at 6pm.
Def Leppard, Poison, Cheap Trick: Sept. 2 at 7pm.
Blink-182, Weezer: Sept. 13 at 6:30pm.
Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Jimmy Wayne: Aug. 25 at 7:30pm.
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