Critic’s Choice for the week of November 15-21, 2006

Babies love disco, High on Fire loves bourbon, and the Trucks love men on their knees.

Thick, Pummeling Bourbon

Bribe the babysitter. Get your homework done early. Chug some Red Bull. Whatever you need to do, drop everything and get to this show — unless, that is, you don’t enjoy loud, thick riffs and pummeling drums inciting sloshed metalheads into a frenzy. Oakland metal trio High on Fire returns to the Bay Area after a short hiatus due to drummer Des Kensel’s surgery. We hope that can only mean one thing: a new album in the works. Check ’em out with United Defiance and Salmon Asylum on Saturday, November 18 at Bourbon Street at 9 p.m. $12. (Kathleen Richards)

Babies Love Pleasanton

Apparently it’s never too early to start clubbing. Baby Loves Disco, the club event for kids and their parents, features DJ Sake 1 spinning disco hits for kids age six months to seven years old. The child-proof disco also features bubble machines, a “chill-out” area, diaper-changing stations, healthy snacks, and cocktails for the parents. The event was so popular at San Francisco’s Ruby Skye this year that organizers decided to take the show east of the hills, with two more shows to follow soon. Pleasanton’s Aura Nightclub, Saturday, November 18. 2-5 p.m. $15 adults, crawlers free. (K.R.)

Baroque Then and Now

On the one hand, the sheer musicality of Flauti Diversi makes me recommend its performance this week at Berkeley’s intimate Music Sources. After all, the Bay Area chamber ensemble is composed of Frances Feldon (baroque and eight-key flute), David Wilson (violin), Anthony Martin (viola), David Morris (violoncello), and Katherine Heater (fortepiano). However, violinist Gidon Kremer deserves equal attention in Zellerbach Hall this week, as he demonstrates J.S. Bach’s influence on the music of Pärt, Bartók, Piazzolla, and Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer. I’m so torn, I’m going to both. Flauti: Saturday, November 18. 8 p.m., $18-$15. 510-527-9840; Kremer: Thursday, November 16. 8 p.m., $68-$ (Jason Victor Serinus)

A Six-Piece Yoshi Roll

Long one of the Bay Area’s key players for his stylistic breadth and depth of expression, Oakland clarinetist Ben Goldberg has been very busy of late. He plays with Clarinet Thing, Nels Cline’s Andrew Hill Project, Tin Hat (formerly Trio), and the San Francisco Jazz Festival with pianist Myra Melford. This week he celebrates the release of his own CD, The Door, the Hat, the Chair, the Fact with two sets at Yoshi’s in Jack London Square. His band includes Tin Hat and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum violinist Carla Kihlstedt. Monday, November 20. 8 & 10 p.m., $6/$10. (Larry Kelp)

Grrrls, Grrrrls, Grrrrrls!

Next-generation riot grrrls the Trucks inherit the great Northwest rocker-chick tradition of Bikini Kill and, more recently, the Gossip. But rather than yowling their throats raw about depression, these DIY divas channel their angst into charming synth-pop melody over simple, almost naive beats that belie a tough, self-assertive core. My love is conditional/to whether or not/you get down on your knees, they say in “Why The?” Eat it up at Oakland’s Uptown with Post Coitus on Thursday, November 16. 8 p.m., $5. (Sam Prestianni)

Panoramic, Atmospheric Folk

Paul Arnoldi got his start in the folk revival centered on Cambridge Square, but during the ’60s he was a mainstay at Berkeley folk clubs like the Jabberwocky and the Freight, a new club at the time. Arnoldi’s tunes blend country, folk, and singer-songwriter impulses delivered with a timeless, happy-go-lucky demeanor that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Sunday, November 19 at the Freight. 8 p.m., $17.50/$18.50 door. (j. poet)

Attractions Picante!

The fifth annual Salsa Congress rolls into the Oakland Marriott City Convention Center this weekend, attracting dancers from around the world and exceptional salsa bands and DJs to keep them swinging. Daylong dance workshops prelude dancing until 4 a.m. This year’s musical performers include New York’s New Swing Sextet on Friday, and from Colombia, the dynamic Sonora Carruseles (Saturday). This event is a must for salsa fans, and advance tickets are highly recommended! Friday through Sunday, November 16-19. $35/$40. (Jesse “Chuy” Varela)

More Bang for Your Buck

A lot of the shit that comes out of emcee Prozack Turner‘s mouth might seem a little, well, insensible. Like his idea of soliciting tour sponsorship from Magnum condoms and Dannon yogurt. Or the intentionally cheeky love ballad he rapped to Internet porn star Adriana Sage. Having relocated to Los Angeles, where he recently dropped the hooky, funk-driven album Bangathon — the emcee’s most imaginative to date — Zack’s still an East Bay standard-bearer. He performs Friday, November 17 at Oakland Metro, along with One Block Radius, Himself, A Kruse, Braynsuqt, and DJ Socrates. 8:30 p.m., $13. (Rachel Swan)

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