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Picks for the week of November 28-December 4, 2007

Thursday Nov. 29
San Jose Civic Auditorium
135 W. San Carlos St,
San Jose


THOUGH the last decade has been tough for the rock & roll circus, the overpowering popularity of hip-hop and country music still can't put an end to badass power chords and gritty vocals, thanks to bands like Switchfoot. The San Diego–based quintet began their ascent to stardom as Chin Up, an alt-rock band founded by brothers Jonathan and Tim Foreman. After dawdling around the SoCal bar scene for a year, the group changed their name to Switchfoot and cut their first LP, The Legend of Chin. Two years later, the band released New Way to Be Human, which found great success in modern rock circles and propelled Switchfoot toward mainstream status. By 2003, that status was achieved as their album, The Beautiful Letdown was anything but, and Switchfoot's position at the top of rock's latest resurgence was concrete. Relient K and Ruth also perform.

Steel Pulse
Saturday Dec. 1
Stanford Memorial Auditorium

The Roots

OVER the course of the last 15 years, the Philadelphia-based Roots crew have managed to get and keep their name on the lips of anyone even remotely interested in organic hip-hop. The band has a shifting cast of musicians and MCs, but the two most recognizable figures are drummer ?uestlove and MC Black Thought, who also founded the group. Slowly but steadily, the Roots have evolved their sound from a jazzy, improvisational bent into a formidable hip-hop and neosoul studio act. Their latest album, Game Theory, hit the mark conceptually as a scathing social and political critique, but suffered from a wealth of unenjoyable musical ideas. Even as they work on their 10th album, the Roots remain the undisputed kings of live hip-hop.

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