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Fall 2005 Arts Guide:
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Challah Back: Gwen: Did you know 'Kabbalah' is 'hollaback' spelled backward, basically?

Do the Ladies Run This Mother?

This fall, Gwen Stefani, M.I.A. and Missy should revive the Lilith Fair and trick out the amphitheater with tubs of Cristal and half-nekkid male servants

By Todd Inoue

IS THERE a correlation between our insatiable appetite for fossil fuel and the spike in great summer jams made by women? Some years, it's feast or famine, but in third quarter 2005 the hits came fast and furious: "Pon de Replay" by Rihanna, "1 Thing" by Amerie, "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls, "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani and one-offs by Ciara, M.I.A., Missy Elliott, Lady Sovereign, Goapele, even Mariah Carey. How great is it to be a woman (or just own a good car stereo) these days? Good enough that every one of these ladies made cruising the interstate fun again—damn the price at the pump.

This momentum carries into the fall as many of radio's hit makers take to the road to cop more attention, if not more airplay. Hot on the success of Love Angel Music Baby, Gwen Stefani brings her "Harajuku Lovers" tour to the Bay Area twice—Oct. 18 at the HP Pavilion and Dec. 1 at the Oakland Arena. British Sri Lankan MC devastator M.I.A. opens the Oakland date, but you can also see her headline the Grand Ballroom on Oct. 5. Destiny's Child closes its chapter of pop domination with Amerie, Tyra and Mario at the Oakland Arena on Sept. 3. Ambassador's Lounge hosts a concert starring "Superwoman" Lil Mo and Xscape ("Just Kicking It") on Sept. 16.

On the guitar/amplifier tip, newcomer Inara George steps to the new Santa Cruz venue the Attic on Oct. 4. Punk-rock vixens the Gore Gore Girls come back to the Blank Club on Sept. 30, and author, rock journalist and Incredibles member (Violet) Sarah Vowell reads Oct. 28 at the Fox Theatre.


Let's Hug It Out: The Pussycat Dolls ask the musical question 'Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?'

Big Shows

Every summer, the rumor mill swirls over who's playing the Bridge School Benefit (Oct. 29-30). At presstime, Bright Eyes is the only one tagged as a sure bet. Even Neil Young—resting from his recent aneurism—might sit this one out. Metallica takes a rare opening slot for the California Raisins (a.k.a. the Rolling Stones) on Nov. 13 and 15 at SBC Park. Green Day returns SBC Park to the kids on Sept. 24.

U2 plays two shows (Nov. 8-9) at the Oakland Arena. Hell remains frozen as the Oct. 10 and 14 Eagles shows at the HP Pavilion are a lock. Santana headlines the HP on Sept. 15. The Oakland Arena welcomes Nine Inch Nails on Sept. 30 and System of a Down on Oct. 8. The venerable Monterey Jazz Festival happens Sept. 16-18 at the Monterey Fairgrounds while the upstart Monterey Bay Reggaefest (with Alpha Blondy, Twinkle Brothers, Culture, Midnite, Abyssinians, a special reggaeton showcase and many more) happens Labor Day weekend.


Summer Slam: After Rihanna's 'Pon de Replay,' the Diwali riddim should be retired.

Young at Heart

More than a million Hot Topic shoppers bought Fall Out Boy's debut and a good chunk will show up on Nov. 3 at the SF Weekly Warfield. The next day, the equally hyped Hawthorne Heights take over Slim's. My Chemical Romance steps up to the SJSU Event Center on Oct. 2.

Franz Ferdinand tries to prove it is not a one-hit fluke with an Oct. 6 gig at the Bill Graham Civic. The Hieroglyphics seem to engage a younger audience every year, and they will again on Sept. 3 at the Catalyst. Also worth checking is the Ghetto Fabulous Hip-Hop Film Festival, which jumps off Sept. 23-24 at MACLA in downtown San Jose.

For the Hipsters

The Download Festival with Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, the Killers and others plays Oct. 8 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. You can also see the Arcade Fire on Sept. 18 at the Warfield. Get a hotel and stick around for the Bloc Party on Sept. 22 at the same venue. I'm jazzed to hear that the Go! Team is back on Oct. 23 at the Fillmore. Bring some bucks to buy one of the band's new tour-only CD releases. Diplo gets from behind M.I.A.'s decks to spin a set on Oct. 27 at SF's Rickshaw Stop. Interpol goes gloomy on Sept. 15 at the San Jose Civic. Hella warms up before its tour with System of a Down with a Sept. 7 gig at the Santa Cruz Vets Hall. The Lovemakers celebrate the release of their Interscope record on Sept. 2 at the Blank Club. The wonderful Devendra Banhart plays Oct. 30 at Bimbo's. Dead Can Dance's triumphant return to the live stage happens Sept. 21-22 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. There are no Brazilian Girls in Brazilian Girls, but there's a whole gang of good music. Go see them Aug. 31 at the Attic. Also look for Lyrics Born Sept. 15 at Agenda Lounge, Sigur Ros Oct. 1 at Paramount Theatre and Mexican bad boys Molotov Sept. 30 at Barcelona.

Oldies but Goodies

Tickets for ZZ Top's Sept. 23 show at Montalvo are long gone, but check Craigslist for extras. Heidi Klum bagger Seal takes the Saratoga stage on Sept. 28. Toto may or may not play at the Avalon on Oct. 28; it's listed on Ticketweb but no sign of it exists on the Avalon site. Stray Cat Brian Setzer and his orchestra play their annual feel-good Christmas show on Dec. 20 at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. Vanessa Williams shows up at the same venue on Sept. 24 and Emmylou Harris on Sept. 29. Bring cowbells to the Blue Oyster Cult show on Sept. 2 at the Catalyst. Tracy Chapman hits the same venue on Oct. 8. Irish tenor Ronan Tynan appears in Cupertino on Oct. 11 at the Flint Center. And similar to ZZ Top's "What the heck are they doing here?" appearance at Montalvo, Devo plays Oakland's opulent Paramount Theatre on Oct. 8.


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From the August 24-30, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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