Critic’s Choice for the week of August 10-16, 2005

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.


Dishy bow lips, bombshell boobs, and a dress so short it could almost be a halter. Such are the salient features of ’50s bombshell Jayne Mansfield — at least, the ones worth committing to memory. Watch the actress purse her lips and shimmy her hips alongside such rock ‘n’ roll legends as Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Julie London in the 1956 flick The Girl Can’t Help It, screening at Oakland’s Parkway Theater Thursday at 9 p.m. The raunchfest kicks off with live dancing by San Francisco’s leggy, patent-leather-shoed, all-girl dance troupe, the Devil-ettes. $8, cash only. (Rachel Swan)


Stacey Earle is indeed Steve’s little sister, but while he’s dark and political and heavy, she’s bright and personable and romantic. And like Stacey, her husband and partner in rhyme Mark Stuart is a solid guitarist, songwriter, and singer. Together, they delight audiences with their finely crafted tunes, most of them celebrating the highs and lows of a couple happily under the influence of love. Tonight at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage. $17.50-$18.50, 8 p.m. 510-548-1761 or (j. poet)


Adrienne Young is hard to classify. She can play a high-lonesome old-time bluegrass song one moment (like a mountain woman wailing the blues) one minute, then jump right into a bright, bouncy bit of folk-pop. Her Little Sadie band delivers the goods behind her, from electric twang to acoustic finesse. Sunday at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage. $17.50-$18.50, 8 p.m. 510-548-1761 or (j.p.)


Yosvany Terry Cabrera is an alto saxophonist from Camaguey, Cuba, who creates contemporary jazz fusing elements of his heritage with hardbop and funk, as his latest disc, Metamorphosis, expertly shows. Tonight he invades Yoshi’s with a potent band that includes his brother Yunior (bass), Dafnis Prieto (drums), Osmany Parades (piano), and the East Bay’s own Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet). 8 p.m. ($16) and 10 ($10) p.m. 510-238-9200 or (Jesse “Chuy” Varela)


Black resistance movements have an uncanny penchant for blossoming in August — consider the 1803 slave uprising in Haiti, Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831, and George Jackson’s prison revolt in 1970. This month, local hip-hop activists will commemorate a long history of armed struggle in the temperate and healthful environs of a West Oakland garret, knowing that around here, the revolution starts when you shake your hips and liberate your own ass. Celebrate Black August this Friday at the Noodle Factory’s monthly Living Room party, featuring performances by Sake 1, LP, Persia of the Mamaz, and more, plus visual art by Selam, J.B. R.A.P. , and Bushmama. 1255 26th Street. Free before 11 p.m., $8 thereafter. (R.S.)


For a show once barely known, Leonard Bernstein’s delightful Candide opera (a spoof on Voltaire’s best of all possible worlds) has made a huge comeback. Festival Opera presents four performances of the work over the next two weeks — Saturday, Tuesday, and Friday, August 19 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, August 21 at 2 p.m. — in Walnut Creek’s Dean Lesher Center. With the incredible “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow” as highlights, expect a wonderful performance from Michael Morgan’s first-class company. $31-$100. 925-943-7469. (Jason Victor Serinus)


The classic keys, strings, and traps trio gets a fresh spin by three of the Bay Area’s finest Friday night: Scott Amendola takes drums and electronic percussion, Wil Blades tackles the Hammond B-3 organ, and Will Bernard sits in on guitar. The all-ages concert is mostly jazz, but considering the members’ workings in everything from rock and blues to Parisian musette (not to mention their frequent guest appearances in each other’s bands), expect the results to be fresh, fun, and unexpected. At Berkeley’s Hillside Club (2286 Cedar St.). 8 p.m. 510-701-1787. (Larry Kelp)


Poor souls who missed the fabulous antics of Spanish cuchi-cuchi girl Charo at SF’s Trannyshack last week need not fret: There’s another fantastically campy glamour-fest on the horizon. Sunday’s Tenth Annual Faux Queen Pageant — billed as a full-scale gender-bender revue for “drag queens trapped in women’s bodies” — features fashion and talent contests of the American Idol variety, judged by local celebrities such as trans activist Cecilia Chung and TV personality Dee Dee Russell. Sponsored by the Klubstitute Kollective, the show kicks off at 7 p.m. at Slim’s in SF, and costs $10 in advance or $15 at the door. All proceeds benefit the San Francisco Sex Information & St. James Infirmary. (R.S.)


Percussionist Bobby Matos is an unsung icon from NYC who came up playing in the streets of Spanish Harlem and the Bronx, emulating timbales heroes like Tito Puente and Willie Bobo. More than twenty years ago he relocated to Southern California, where he has built a loyal following and produced outstanding albums for Cubop Records and others. But his latest disc, Acknowledgement (for Dawan Muhammad’s Life Force label), may be his best yet, packing jams that swing with mambo and Coltrane-style hardbop. Matos brings his Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble to La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley Friday night. $15, 8 p.m. 510-849-2568 or (J.C.V.)

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