Critic’s Choice for the week of June 2-8, 2003

Indie hip-hop at the Fillmore, a genre-bending jazz singer, twanged-out Midwestern rockers, and a controversial opera, among other things.


Indie hip-hop at the historic Fillmore? Sounds dope, especially when the co-headliners are Prince Paul (De La Soul, Stetsasonic, Handsome Boy Modeling School) and Aceyalone (Freestyle Fellowship, Project Blowed). Acey is best described as an MC’s MC, while Prince Paul, besides being a devastating beat creator, is a supa-def DJ who can still get busy on the wheels of steel. Rounding out the bill are up-and-comers Eyedea and Om Records’ SoCal duo People Under the Stairs . It’s happening Thursday night. 415-346-6000. (Eric K. Arnold)


With a style that equally embraces Miles Davis, the Beatles, and Indian classical music (and bends them to her musical vision), Ann Dyer is the Bay Area’s most innovative jazz vocalist. Dyer celebrates the release of her latest CD, When I Close My Eyes (on jazz label Sunnyside) with a concert Monday at Yoshi’s that also unveils her new band of musicians and improvisers who work beyond the jazz mainstream: accordionist Dan Cantrell (of Balkan dance band the Toids), cellist Marika Hughes, bassist Devon Hoff, and percussionist Timothy Quigley. 510-238-9200. (Larry Kelp)


Téka helped jump-start the Hungarian folk revival of the late ’70s. By turning their backs on the music officially sanctioned by the Communist Party, they took enormous personal risks, but in the process helped revitalize Hungarian folk and popular music. The band’s solid musicianship and dedication to Hungary’s folk traditions has made them one of their homeland’s most loved bands. Sunday at Ashkenaz in Berkeley. 510-525-5054. (j. poet)


Chicago’s Califone personifies how many Californians view Midwesterners — as rumpled, gruff, world-weary, noisy, mumbling backwoods yahoos. Fortunately, these guys are great too — a barefoot psychedelic rock band on your back porch, fusing country twang with bummed-out indie rock and all manner of arty instrumentation and noise collage-type shit. It’s mellow, it’s weird, it’s extremely cool. Request “Your Golden Ass.” Tuesday at Slim’s in SF. 415-255-0333. (Rob Harvilla)


Thursday brings the final evening of San Francisco Opera ‘s controversial production of Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust in the War Memorial Opera House. General Manager Pamela Rosenberg mixes leather, nudity, and a weak tenor with some otherwise excellent singers and conducting. It’s Berlioz’ 200th birthday, and you’ll have two and a half hours sans intermission in which to take it all in. 415-864-3330. (Jason Victor Serinus)


The Gotan Project is the brainchild of Philippe Cohen Solal, Eduardo Makaroff, and Christof Muller, who were looking for a 21st-century way to present tango. They gathered together some of Paris’ best Argentine musical exiles (including vocalist Christina Villalonga), and while the musicians play live, the trio wraps them up in their funky, dubwise electro-beats. Tuesday at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco. 415-474-0365. (j.p.)


Antibalas means “bulletproof,” and indeed, the Brooklyn-based band’s music is strong enough to repel Teflon hollow-tips. Originally begun as a Fela Anikulapo-Kuti tribute outfit, the 15-piece unit has developed its own Afro-beat originals while staying true to the spirit of Fela’s music. Antibalas’ affinity for revolutionary, sweaty grooves has made its two albums, Afrobeat Liberation Orchestra Vol. I and Talkatif, popular with everyone from die-hard world beatniks to P-funk aficionados to collegiate jam band bohos. Yet the band’s records, while engaging, pale in comparison to its live shows, which tend to be frenzied, endurance-challenging groove-fests. Antibalas will be at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday for a show you honestly don’t want to miss, if you know what’s good for you. 415-885-0750. (E.A.)

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