Critic’s Choice for the week of August 2-8, 2006

Midday piano, evening jazz, and a Bloc Party!

Quintuple Axe Attack!!

Toronto indie supergroup Broken Social Scene cobbled together several low-level Canadian acts into one internationally viable one. Barely. Andrew Whiteman, one of five guitarists in the ten-piece band, says the tour is always a clusterfuck: “Everyone asks us how we organize it all. The short answer is we don’t.” Nobody in the gang gets rich this way, he says. But their rider does include whiskey and wine as they globe-hop from Japan to Lollapalooza playing lively, rich, everything-including-the-theremin rock music similar to the Arcade Fire. With more than seventy thousand copies sold of its third, self-titled album, the band has played on Late Night with Conan and Letterman. “You need more guitars!” Conan told them. This is the band’s final tour, as the members are pursuing individual projects, so don’t miss them with Bloc Party and Mew in what promises to be a spectacular extravaganza Thursday, August 3 at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. $35. 7:30 p.m. (David Downs)

Piano Par Excellence

New-music pianist, radio personality, and Express contributor par excellence Sarah Cahill ventures beyond the safety of the Berkeley cloister Wednesday, August 2 for the wild unknowns of downtown San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Church to present a decidedly un-Catholic concert of the captivating music of Leo Ornstein and Percy Grainger. $5. 12:30 p.m. 415-777-3211. (Jason Victor Serinus)

The Faulkner of Jazz

Mose Allison is in a class by himself. The bluesman, piano player, singer-songwriter, composer, and homespun philosopher resists easy classification. During his fifty-plus years in the spotlight he’s carved out a unique niche, delivering his ironic tunes of life’s vicissitudes in a honeyed drawl that invites us to laugh gently at ourselves and contemplate the mysteries of being human. He’s a pretty damn good piano player too. Thursday through Sunday at Yoshi’s in Jack London Square. 8 and 10 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. $10-$20. (j. poet)

Mo’ World Fusion

You wouldn’t catch President Bush or his cronies at this event: Iranian musician Emam & Friends share a double bill with the Mo’Rockin Project, a band that combines North African and jazz musicians improvising on Islamic melodies. The two bands usually play clubs, but this week they perform at all-ages dancehall Ashkenaz. With Emam on percussion, his friends for this gig are oud and violin player Gari Hegedus, guitarist Matthew Montfort, and harpist Diana Rowan. Mo’Rockin is the creation of Moroccan oud player Yassir Chadly and trumpeter-bandleader Khalil Shaheed, who spent more than a year working up a way to combine their love of North African and jazz music, then put together a burning band driven by drummer Deszon Claiborne. Thursday, August 3. $12. 8:30 p.m. (Larry Kelp)

Punk Politicos

San Francisco’s Drogues remind us why the Minutemen were way ahead of their time. More than 25 years later, the combination of high-pitched, staccato guitar wrangling, politically minded speak-sing vocals, and hyperactive bass lines still sounds as relevant as ever. The threesome plays in support of its second, self-released album No Facts That Don’t Fit on Friday, August 4, with the Don’ts and the Mayfire at the Ivy Room. $7, 10 p.m. (Kathleen Richards)

The Northern Ozomatli

La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley hosts a benefit concert for the Latin American component of IDEX, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that channels funds to more than five hundred self-help community projects around the world. Performing a select set of tunes will be singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman of Modern Lovers fame, alongside Latino alternative rockers Los Nadies. Since arriving on the scene a couple of years ago, the Nobodies, as their name translates, have garnered a loyal following by delivering no-holds-barred politically charged shows. Lead vocalist Juan Cuba and guitarist Francisco Ferrer are Bay Area rock en español pioneers maturing into leaders with a conscience. Thursday, August 3. $20. 7:30 p.m. (Jesse “Chuy” Varela)

Righteous Tuba

The aptly named Drums & Tuba proves that tuba blasts, drums, and guitar can concoct convincing post-rock grooves. With the addition of looped samples and electronics, the trio layers a sound much more dynamic than expected. The band’s live show helped earn it a fan in Ani DiFranco, whose Righteous Babe label has released its last three albums, including the most recent, Battles Olé. Drums & Tuba plays with That One Guy and Loop! Station on Saturday, August 5 at 12 Galaxies in SF. $10, $12, 9 p.m. (K.R.)

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