This Week’s Day-by-Day Picks

WED 20

What is soul-jazz? Seventies-era Miles Davis? Les McCann and Eddie Harris? King Curtis? Lou Donaldson and Dr. Lonnie Smith? How about Medeski, Martin & Wood? Saxophonist Bryan Girard thinks he knows — it’s what he and his band Bryan Girard’s Soul Jazz Collective play, a shade funkier than the straight-ahead sound he displays on his 2005 CD Palindrome (Disc Makers). The Collective is a jazz quartet with major soul chops, featuring the veteran Bay Area sax man on alto and tenor, Barry Finnerty (who played on Miles’ The Man with the Horn) on guitar, Wayne De La Cruz on Hammond B-3 organ, and David Rokeach on drums. Girard and friends take the stage at 8 p.m. tonight at Jupiter, 2180 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, a very digable planet. — Kelly Vance

THU 21

James Cagney’s pre-Code comedy Lady Killer has enough fast-lane — for 1933, that is — nuttiness and criminality to probably warrant some censorship had it been made two years later under the Hollywood production code, but it’s Cagney’s roughhouse with costar and frequent punching bag Mae Clarke (he pushed a grapefruit in her face in Public Enemy) that would raise more eyebrows today. Trouble develops when former theater usher Cagney tries to leave his hoodlum friends behind in his new role as a movie actor. Screwball was never screwier than when Cagney populates a prototypical Hollywood party with monkeys from a zoo. The Roy Del Ruth-directed Lady Killer, part of the Pacific Film Archive’s “Pre-Code Hollywood” series, plays tonight at 9 p.m., right after Skyscraper Souls (7:00). 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, 510-642-1124 or BAMPFA.berkeley.eduKelly Vance

FRI 22

Forget about “Fire and Ice,” that old Pat Benatar song. The two elements actually do mix; they also scratch, cut, blend, beat-juggle, and play everything from the hyphyiest new slumps to the head-noddinest old-school classics. Where, you might ask, does such astounding alchemical interaction take place? Why, at the Golden Bull’s “Firewater Fridays,” when DJ Crimson and DJ Icewater hold forth on the turntables, spinning supertight hip-hop and funk. Drink specials will be poured for you and yours, while you break out all your booty-quakin’ dance moves, from the “Get Low” to the “Cabbage Patch” to the “Robot.” It gets popping around 11 p.m.; call 510-893-0803 for more info. — Eric K. Arnold

SAT 23

When it comes to talented improvisational comedy troupes, it’s hard to top the guys and gals of Big City Improv. The award-winning ten-person crew, led by director Jayne Entwistle, can freestyle on the fly like a rapper, free-associate like a psychologist, and riff on a topic like a bebop saxophonist. A perennial Bay Area favorite, Big City Improv’s comics have been incorporating audience participation into their live shtick since 2001, and though a trip across the bridge to see them is usually required, tonight, for one night only, they’ll be at the Ashby Stage in Berkley for a laugh-inducing riot that promises to be both unscripted and unlimited, as far as how funny it can be. $15. More information: BigCityImprov.comEric K. Arnold

SUN 24

The Industrial Workers of the World, aka Wobblies, are celebrating their centenary this year. Even though the loosely structured “fighting labor union” is nowhere near as powerful as mainstream labor orgs in the United States, it has made up for that in pugnacity ever since its founding in 1905, exemplified by legendary organizer Joe Hill and proclaimed in dozens of songs (“Union Maid,” “Which Side Are You On?,” etc.) sung by such troubadours as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, U. Utah Phillips, and Ani DiFranco. The Wobblies’ local celebration, which takes place this evening (7:30 p.m.) at Berkeley’s La Peña Cultural Center (3150 Shattuck Ave., is called 100 Years of Struggle — highlighted by labor songs from Folk This! and members of the Allegro Non Troppo Opera Company, a reading by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and lots of us-against-them pep talk. Check out IWW.orgKelly Vance

MON 25

The era of the iPodistas has begun. The ability to program a personally-selected mix onto your ‘pod has created a new pop-cultural paradigm that combines jukebox and DJ aesthetics, while opening up a wide world of music possibilities. It’s difficult to expect any thematic consistency out of most jukeboxes, and far too many club DJs are more into following trends and slick mixing techniques than just playing good music. Which is where Kizzy Killmeister comes in. The barista at Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden in Alameda plugs in her ‘pod with a different batch of theme-related tunes every Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. Past events have featured ’60s Jamaican soul and classic R&B female singers, and this week, Killmeister presents “A Selected History of Tom Waits,” which promises to be an educational and enjoyable listening experience. For more info, e-mail [email protected]Eric K. Arnold

TUE 26

Besides being blessed with one of the coolest-sounding names ever, Django Reinhardt was a musical innovator who became one of the must influential jazz guitarists of the 20th century. A child prodigy, the Belgian-born musician combined traditional Manouche (French Gypsy) music with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington’s then-new jazz stylings, developed a unique fingering system after overcoming a freak accident which left him with only two fully mobile digits on his left hand, and founded the Hot Club of France, a popular quintet with a following in Europe and America. His legacy will be honored at the opening night of Yoshi’s Django Reinhardt Festival, which features the John Jorgenson Band with David Grisman tonight and tomorrow, continuing through Sunday, July 31 with contemporary Gypsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt and special guests. 8 and 10 p.m., $20, Yoshis.comEric K. Arnold

Previous articleMetal Is In, Matt Is Out.
Next articleCasual Wining

Newsletter sign-up

eLert sign-up

clear sky
46.6 ° F
50 °
43 °
78 %
0 %
55 °
55 °
53 °
53 °
54 °