.Calendar Picks: Week of Apr. 25-May 1




Hot Mulligan not only identifies as a post-emo; they claim they invented the genre. Taking inspiration from pop-punk greats (Blink 182, Green Day, etc.), they’ve been on a steady and irreverent ascent from the underground since 2014. Their first two albums, 2018’s Pilot and 2020’s You’ll Be Fine, won them a dedicated fan base. Last year’s Why Would I Watch amped up the screaming. For that special mix of angsty guitars, wistful melodies and seductive melancholia that got many a millennial through high school, Hot Mully may be the new Fall Out Boy. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 7pm, UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $35. 510.356.4000.




Jackson Holbert brings to his first poetry collection, Winter Stranger, poems laced with the frayed, fraught, shredded reality of addictions and violent endings. The young writer’s voice is distinct, sparse and haunting as he questions indifference in the natural world, humans, ghosts, dreams and memories. The book won the 2022 Max Ritvo Prize, and Holbert’s poems have appeared in Narrative, The Nation, Poetry and other publications. Nothing says more about the weight of a word or the tempo of a phrase than hearing its creator speak it. Listen for tenderness and connection in the chill. Hear the call of a soul scouting for its origins and yearning to survive. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 6pm, Books Inc., 1344 Park St., Alameda. Free. 510.522.2226.




Five-time Grammy Award-winner Kidjo’s projects range from compelling theatrical works to a fantastic reimagining of the Talking Heads classic album, Remain in Light. In a 2021 interview, Kidjo said the hardest lesson she’s learned about songwriting is to be in the moment; embracing less is more. Songs, she said, have to be birthed, then allowed to live their own lives. Being onstage is like paradise, according to Kidjo, where one can love oneself and others, express joy or pain, share culture, find and give strength, learn, be humble and be spiritually naked. – LF

INFO: 8pm, Zellerbach Hall, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley. $37-$120. 510.642.9988.




Ritchie first came on the scene in 2013 when his hip-hop trio, Injury Reserve, dropped their first mixtape. Over the years, they produced several concept albums based around themes like being drafted into the NBA or recording two of the albums in an actual dental office owned by one of the members’ families. Unfortunately, before they could release their sophomore album—the critically acclaimed By the Time I Get to Phoenix, which could have rocketed them to stardom—the death of MC Stepa J. Groggs meant the end of the trio. The healing process led Ritchie down the cathartic path of solo work, recently releasing his debut, Triple Digits [112], at the beginning of the month. – MAT WEIR

INFO: 9pm, New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. $20. 510.227.8177.




Two alt-rock groups on the rise join forces this weekend at Crybaby. GARZI grew up going to Warped Tour and listening to emo bands like Memphis May Fire and Sleeping With Sirens, who he says helped him channel feelings of “being an outsider during those teenage years, especially as a POC punk.” Meanwhile, co-headliner Groupthink is forging new ground in indie sleaze. As Ones To Watch reported in 2023, “If there was a subgenre of music tailored to every red cup-ridden house party, Groupthink would champion the sound.” – AM

INFO: 6pm, Crybaby, 1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. $15-$17.




Koo Koo is the hottest band that only your kindergartener has heard of. The comedy disco band has a manic, gonzo energy that children around the country immediately understand and cherish, like an irreverent but kid-friendly musical sugar high. The band became a classroom hit due to their many zany YouTube videos, but ultimately their music is geared towards raucous and interactive live performances, where audiences can sing and dance along to timeless classics like “All I Eat Is Pizza,” “Who Farted?” and “Poof! I Am A Wizard And I Will Turn You Into An Inanimate Object Because An Old Man In The Woods Gave Me These Powers.” – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 1pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $21/adv, $26/door. 510.214.8600.




Cabaret, born in France in the 1880s, quickly became a hotbed of biting political and social satire alongside risqué entertainment, performed in small clubs and old cellars. So when Sarah And the Safe Word says, “cabaret is the punk rock of the 1930s,” they’re tapping into a long history of sexual liberation, pushing the envelope and an underground counterculture ethos. Lead singer Sarah Rose created the dark-cabaret-punk-rock group, which celebrates self-realization and liberation with a unique combination of gothic theatricality, ’20s style and bending genres. – SBB

INFO: 8pm, Gilman, 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. $15/adv, $25/door. 510.524.8180.




Before becoming department chair of Studio Music and Jazz at the Frost School of Music in 2013, trumpeter, arranger, composer and producer John Daversa effectively courted audiences outside the usual jazz circles. The 18-piece big band he brings to Yoshi’s features a brilliant cross-section of Bay Area reed and horn players and a superlative Miami rhythm section led by Cuban-born drum star Dafnis Prieto, who was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2011. The vivacious Berkeley jazz and soul vocalist Tiffany Austin joins the ensemble as a special guest, which presents many intriguing possibilities regarding Daversa’s capaciously creative book of Beatles tunes. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 6:30pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $32, $69. 510.238.9200.




Best known as an artist who emerged from the late ’70s U.K. punk scene (managed by none other than Sex Pistols impresario Malcolm McLaren), Ant broke through in America right as a new entity called MTV emerged. Given the London native’s sartorial flair that favored a pirate motif long before Johnny Depp donned his Captain Jack Sparrow apparel, videos for singles like “Stand and Deliver” and “Antmusic” gave Americans a full dose of New Romantic panache straight from the U.K. Four decades-plus later, Ant is bringing his Antmusic 2024 Tour to the States with the English Beat in the opening slot. *Read more here.DAVE GIL DE RUBIO

INFO: 7:30pm, Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. $49.50-$79.50. 510.302.2250. 




When Kassi Valazza released her debut album, Dear Dead Days, in 2019, she didn’t know how prophetic it would be the following year. Since then, she has gained a cult following through her country twang and folksy tunes. Last year she dropped her sophomore full-length, Kassi Valazza Knows Nothing, a beautiful 10-track album with a name that seems to suspiciously go along with her debut and the world events that followed. Maybe the truth is hidden in tracks like “Room in the City,” “Rapture” and “Watching Planes Go By.” Okay, it’s probably all just a giant coincidence, although … Valazza’s captivatingly hypnotic voice does put any listener into a trance. – MW

INFO: 8pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. $15/adv, $18/door. 510.526.5888.


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