Critic’s Choice for the week of February 2-8, 2005

Our writers tell you what's hot this week.


Keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Michael Brecker, and trumpeter Roy Hargrove have all been sanctified individually for their work, so the combination of all three together is a pretty happening gig, ya dig? In fact, the trio already has one Grammy, for 2002’s Directions in Music, a tribute to John Coltrane and Miles Davis (in whose band Hancock once played). For Tuesday’s Zellerbach Hall concert, they’ll be focusing on contemporary composers like Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Ray Charles, Jaco Pastorius, and many others. If you consider yourself a jazz aficionado, you’ll be there, or be square. $30-$62, 8 p.m. (Eric K. Arnold)


Joel Gibb — the mastermind behind the Hidden Cameras, a pop choir from Mississauga, Ontario — writes instantly catchy, insanely addictive pop tunes. He calls his oeuvre (you guessed it) “gay church folk music,” a pithy description for songs that combine spirituality and sexuality into something almost sacred. Monday night at Oakland’s LoBot Gallery ( and Tuesday at SF’s Bottom of the Hill ( (j. poet)


Last autumn, KALX DJ Anthony Bonet, aka Sex 14Teens, suffered a massive aneurysm, followed by approximately eight strokes. He won’t walk again, and, being uninsured, his significant other is now wading through such foul waters as Medi-Cal paperwork and housing issues. If you’d like to help funnel coin to the cause of moving expenses, assisted technology, transportation devices, etc., consider attending the Benefit for Anthony Bonet Friday night at Bottom of the Hill, where he was a booking assistant. The lineup is full-on stellar Bay Area twang, with Red Meat, Hammerdown Turpentine, and Jeffrey Luck Lucas and the Sorrows. $8 and up, 10 p.m., 21 and over. 415-621-4455 or (Stefanie Kalem)


Do not miss the Takács String Quartet, whose performances promise a level of tonal beauty and interpretive refinement rarely equaled by other string ensembles. The quartet actually appears here twice in the next few months: once in April, and once this Sunday in Berkeley’s Hertz Hall, featuring selections from Beethoven’s early and middle-period string quartets. $42, 3 p.m. 510-642-9988 or (Jason Victor Serinus)


It’s an embarrassment of riches: Two days after the Takàcs performs Beethoven, our local Cypress String Quartet joins forces with Scott Anderson, principal clarinetist of the Honolulu Symphony, to perform Brahms’ great, mellow Clarinet Quintet. A bit of Mendelssohn and short, romantic works by Dvoràk and Suk round out Tuesday’s Berkeley City Club program. $20, 8 p.m. 510-525-5211. (J.V.S.)


Za’atar rarely performs live, but invariably its music is a revelation. The acoustic ensemble performs songs and instrumentals from Jewish cultures in Arab and Muslim lands — from Morocco eastward through Iraq — on an array of Middle Eastern instruments, including the oud, ney, darbuka, and saz, blurring boundaries and styles with classical precision and gorgeous arrangements. With two CDs’ worth of material to draw from, Za’atar performs Sunday at Berkeley’s Ashkenaz. $9, 8 p.m. 510-525-5054 or (Larry Kelp)


Th’ Legendary Shack*Shakers, one of the few bands headbangers and roots rockers can both groove on, bring their blend of hard rock, psychobilly, and primal blues to town for another wild-ass hootenanny. Led by the slightly deranged Colonel J.D. Wilkes, the band lives up to that ostentatious name with its extreme antics and solid musicianship. Monday at Bottom of the Hill in SF. $8, 9 p.m. 415-621-4455 or (j.p.)


Join Carnaval San Francisco and the SF Crab Festival for a Fat Tuesday celebration Tuesday night at the Roccapulco nightclub at 3140 Mission Street in SF. Performing will be Loco Bloco, the local drum-and-dance ensemble that since 1994 has been providing low-income youth with free classes in drumming, dancing, and theater. While the SF Carnaval extravaganza doesn’t happen until late May, this is a great warm-up. All proceeds go straight to Loco Bloco. $15, 8 p.m. 415-626-5222, ex. 30. (Jesse “Chuy” Varela)

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