Critic’s Choice for the week of November 27-December 3, 2002

Chainsaws and airplane parts, a San Diego showcase, "First Tuesday" jazz, and two a cappella groups.


Swiss-born Eveline Muller-Graf started out her musical life innocently enough, on piano and recorder. But eventually she moved on to drums, scooted to Seattle, and started building instruments (not necessarily in that order). She cofounded the Seattle Chainsaw Ensemble and built her own percussion setup, fabricated mostly from airplane bits and christened the Boeing after the majority of the parts used to be, or were meant to be, flying in the sky. Friday night she’ll perform at 21Grand with Vacuum Tree Head (featuring Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s Moe! Staiano) and Schloss. 510-444-7263. (Stefanie Kalem)


San Diego’s PR latafundia Holiday Matinee has been hawking indie wares for more than three years , and thus is extraordinarily equipped to bring a little piece of Saint Doug to the East Bay. The Can You Hear Me Now Tour hits the Starry Plough on Saturday night, showcasing San Diego bands (jazz/noise/trip-hop ensemble Ilya and indie-rock supergroup Likemillions), illustrator Joshua Krause, shutterbug Max Stromberger, jewelry maker Gabriella Aymes, filmmaker Ian Woodward. … and juggling by actor Kumar Pallana (The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore)! 510-841-2082. (Stefanie Kalem)


The “First Tuesdays” series at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco is an important mirror of the creative energy and brilliant musicianship currently gracing the resident jazz scene. This Tuesday is no exception, with pianist Art Hirahara, bassist Todd Sickafoose, and drummer Scott Amendola (a veteran of T.J. Kirk and the Charlie Hunter Band) sharing a litany of jazz standards and originals laced with odd meters and free improvisation. 415-626-2787. (Jesse “Chuy” Varela).


East Bay singer Linda Hirschhorn has a way with vocal harmonies, as evidenced by her women’s a cappella sextet Vocolot. On Sunday at La Peña Cultural Center, Vocolot celebrates the release of its new CD, Heart Beat, in a concert dedicated to the vision of a world at peace, with Hirschhorn’s original compositions and others that mix tantalizing harmonies with lyrics in Yiddish, Ladino, Arabic, and English. 510-849-2568. (Larry Kelp)


Chanticleer, the Bay Area’s superb twelve-member male a cappella vocal ensemble, presents its annual Chanticleer Christmas this Sunday at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley. Directed by Joseph Jennings, this memorable evening, which often sells out, features medieval and Renaissance music, carols, and spirituals, including works by Michael Praetorius, the contemporary John Tavener, and Franz Biebl (his Ave Maria is a Chanticleer favorite). 800-407-1400. (Jason Serinus)


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