Critic’s Choice for the week of October 3, 2007

Our picks: Bryan Adams & George Thorogood, Sterling James benefit, The New Trust, Kev Choice, B'Nai Rebelfront, Rafael Manriquez, Duamuxa, Turn of the Screw and Girlyman


Even though songs by Bryan Adams and George Thorogood often share space on classic rock formats with the likes of Styx and Foreigner, the two have canons superseding that of those corporate rock icons. Canadian-born Adams is a rocker who also happens to be a pop idiot savant occasionally confused with y’allternative godhead Ryan Adams (much to the latter’s well-documented ire). And while tripe like that lame Three Musketeers song the Canuck Adams did with Rod the Mod and Der Stingle is lame enough to have his American counterpart toss out concertgoers from his shows cheeky enough to request “Summer of ’69,” the elder Adams still has penned his share of quality songs including “One Night Love Affair” and the Sporty Spice duet “When You’re Gone.” As for Thorogood, although he’d done more to create a career by recycling the same three chords while tossing out the odd Chuck Berry or John Lee Hooker cover, the former minor league baseball player has been known to throw the occasional musical curveball by delving into the songbooks of unlikely artists including Nick Lowe and Frank Zappa. Saturday, October 6 at the UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre. 7:30 p.m., $35-$75. APEConcerts.comDave Gil de Rubio


The apparently indefatigable Sterling James has brought a quiet storm to your FM dial every weekday afternoon for years — twenty, according to her press materials, though not exclusively on KBLX 102.9 FM. Having worked for pop-oriented Alice 97.3 and dance station Energy 92.7 before landing her current slot, James wasn’t always spinning the hits of Anita Baker and Luther Vandross. In fact, the veteran radio host’s tastes are pretty hip, judging from the performance lineup at her forthcoming twentieth anniversary celebration — which includes soul singer Martin Luther, hip-hop diva Jennifer Johns, free-jazz trio Broun Fellinis, YouthSpeaks poets, and DJ Wisdom (who holds court in hip-hop and world music scenes). Save for Luther, it’s unlikely that any of these artists would ever be characterized as “soft and warm.” They’ll bring a storm nonetheless. Count on it. Sterling James’ 20 Years in Bay Area Radio Party goes down Saturday, October 6 at the Independent. 9 p.m., $20-$25; proceeds benefit YouthSpeaks. TheIndependentSF.comRachel Swan


Santa Rosa’s the New Trust would be right at home in Oakland. The indie rock quartet draws evenly on aggression and patience, rarely broadcasting its next move: a tension that works as well in popular clubs as it does in secret warehouses. But its song titles seal the deal: “Chill the Fuck Out,” “Wake Up, It’s the Nineties,” and “You’ve Got to Be Fucking Shitting Me” sound made in Oakland, like the chapter titles of some tastemaker cabal’s latest report on pop culture. For now, the New Trust’s upcoming visit to Oakland will have to suffice — the band plays the Apgar Co-op (921 Apgar St.) on Saturday, with support from Themes, Ole Hole!, and Santiago, a fellow Santa Rosa act featuring Gabe Meline of Tilt and the Mr. T Experience. 8 p.m., donations accepted. — Nate Seltenrich


Despite the proliferation of son clave beats and technophile studio effects in current hip-hop, it’s rare to hear a track with live instrumentation — let alone a real DJ scratching real records. But in Oakland, three artists are bucking the trend. Local emcee Kev Choice — who has consolidated his career as music director and sideman for Lauryn Hill, but also holds down the rhythm section for Goapele and Amel Larrieux — is a jazz pianist turned emcee whose eight-piece band includes some of the Bay Area’s best emerging talent in both worlds. He joins forces with guitarist B’nai Rebelfront (of the Coup) and singer Jrod Indigo for the Junction, a new monthly residency at Oakland’s Black New World Gallery, which kicks off this Friday, October 5. Together they’ll reveal the protean quality of jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and funk, and treat hip-hop fans to sounds rarely heard in the genre — such as a live horn section and a keyboard playing through changes. 9 p.m., $10. BlackNewWorld.comR.S.


Oakland Opera Theater, known for its innovative productions of contemporary opera, directs its resources toward Turn of the Screw, Benjamin Britten’s gripping tale of haunted hell. Starring the wonderfully-voiced soprano Anja Strauss as the Governess, plus the Starling Trapeze Duo doing God knows what, this production in the company’s new venue should see ticket lines around the block. October 5-14 at the Oakland Metro Operahouse. Thursdays through Sundays at 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m. 510-763-1146. $25 advance, $32 door. OaklandOpera.orgJason Victor Serinus


Three decades after exiles from the military coup in Chile began arriving in the Bay Area, La Peña Cultural Center is offering music programs focusing on what that experience means. Chilean singer Rafael Manriquez and the group Duamuxa share the stage on Sunday in “Celebrating Chilefornia: The Chilean-Californian Identity Through Music and Documentary.” A truly inspiring musician who plays guitar with a classical approach to accompany his soaring tenor voice, Manriquez has lived half his life in Berkeley, but his music is always rooted in Chile and its people’s struggles for justice and identity. Duamuxa works mainly in radio, and tonight celebrates its bilingual radio documentary, Chilefornia, playing excerpts along with music and a photo exhibit. 7:30 p.m., $12. 510-849-2568. LaPena.orgLarry Kelp


Girlyman, a harmony-driven folk, pop, and bluegrass trio from Brooklyn, takes a humorous lyrical approach to deliver a message of peace, love, and understanding. The out trio of Ty Greenstein, Doris Muramatsu, and Nate Borofsky makes serious music with glorious three-part harmonies and insightful lyrics that range from the heartrending to the uplifting. Each member of the trio is an expert multi-instrumental picker, which gives their shows an anything-can-happen vibe. Think the Carter Family backed by the B52’s. Wednesday, October 10 at the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco. 7:30 p.m., $15. or 415-861-5016. — j. poet


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