Archive for the ‘Music & Theater’ Category

Shakespeare, Bollywood-Style

Midsummer Night's Dream
[Image via]

Through June 1st, the good old Curran Theater is presenting a Bollywood-inflected version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which has been translated into a mixture of seven Indian languages, plus English. Created in 2005 in India and later performed at Stratford-upon-Avon (and across the UK), the show includes, at a minimum, the following:

  • Singing!
  • Dancing!
  • A man magically transformed into a donkey!

So what’s not to like? Here’s the Examiner review that originally clued me in. And here’s the review, where I got that picture. Even more information is available here, where you can also buy advance tickets. Finally, here’s the official website of the show.

Performances are at 8:00 PM Thursday through Sunday. There are also two matinee performances remaining at 2:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35-$80.

Darfur Now College Tour- Berkeley 4/24

Darfur Now

Free screening– with donations going to Genocide Intervention Network (GI Net)– of Don Cheadle’s Darfur Now, at Berkeley next Thursday. More info here. Great line-up: Gaopele & Zion-I, and Berkeley college kids getting in an uproar about something that matters… Until we get an East Bay Metblogs, I guess this’ll have to do! Definitely a reason to BART over.

Sugar Pie & Sushi @ Yoshi’s

I’m on my way out the door to catch Sugar Pie DeSanto at Yoshi’s on Fillmore. I’ll be the guy with the front row table on the right hand side of the stage hootin & hollerin’…


For those unfamiliar with Sugar Pie, she’s a local treasure who was raised on Buchanan street, as well as Etta James cousin and an R&B recording artist since 1955 when she got her start on Federal Records courtesy Mr. Johnny Otis.

Back in the day she recorded tracks with her cousin Etta and Willie Dixon that were hits on the Chess & Checker labels, and she’s still going strong today with her latest CD “Refined Sugar” (found on iTunes).

I caught her last year at the San Francisco Blues Festival where she stole the set she shared with the aged Jimmy McCracklin’. I was impressed with this diminutive lady’s feisty persona, with her seasoned & saucy sense of fun and frivolity.


Ear Hustle @ Nickie’s This Tuesday

Ant Marshall, who helped bring worldwide attention to the Hip Hop poetry scene via NYC’s Lyricist Lounge events has relocated to the Yay Area and is now promoting Ear Hustle in the Lower Haight at Nickie’s.

This Tuesday’s event will highlight the contributions of the local ABB Records label whose signings have included the North Kakalaky based hitmakers Little Brother, as well as locals like Planet Asia and Martin Luther.

They’ll also be showing some highlight reels of the recent JAM awards shot for Current TV featuring hip hop industry luminaries like Snoop Dogg, Raekwon, Dead Prez, etc

More Info and some ABB artist mp3 trax after the jump…

Letterman Awaits Prophet – No Picket Lines In Sight

Last year, the Orpheum was abuzz as a certain late night Tv host brought his shtick to town for a solid week of shows. Currently the writers strike has been sapping the comedy out of late night television, it was nice to note that David Letterman’s “Worldwide Pants” outfit did their own deal with the writers to get ’em back doing what they do best.

I refuse in my couch potato moments to watch any scab t.v, and hope you’ll do the same…

Which is why I whole heartedly recommend y’all tune in to Mr. Letterman’s program this week while the competitors languish in their writer-less arrogance. In fact to sweeten the pot, on Wednesday January 9th, Letterman has one of SF’s lesser known entertainment assets on hand as a musical guest, that being the mighty guitarzan Chuck Prophet.
He started somewhere outside of Danville with a teenage rapscallion act known as Bad Attitude, who were fixtures at joints like The Berkeley Square and Ruthies Inn.

Somehow, after a lot of broken strings and hearts and contracts, he made his roundabout way to the Ed Sullivan theater, only 45 or so years behind the Beatles & The Stones…

More on this momentous occasion in tv history after the bumpy thang…


faure.jpgThis morning on KALW’s Artery program — the weekly arts segment that plays at the end of “Morning Edition” every Thursday at about 8:51 a.m. — reporter Nathaniel Johnson had a lovely story about the presentation of the Fauré Requiem at Grace Cathedral this Sunday.

You can listen to Johnson’s radio piece here.

The piece called attention to the suitability of the Requiem — a choral and orchestral setting of the Christian funeral mass, a project which most major composers tackle sooner or later — being sung on Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, in a time of war. Alan Jones, the Dean of the cathedral, had some things to say about how funerals ask us to look at death instead of just ignoring that inevitability, and how it’s particularly necessary to do so when our country is involved in a war.

Please note that the Fauré Requiem will be performed not as a concert but as part of the regular Sunday morning service at 11:00 a.m. You can also listen to a live webcast.

Pictured: Composer Gabriel Fauré

North Beach Legend Enrico Banducci’s Wake This Sunday

Enrico’s at 504 Broadway will be packed this Sunday afternoon as it’s hosting a “wake” in honor of namesake Enrico Banducci . The neighborhood will no doubt turn out in droves to celebrate the amazing & colorful life of grand showman Enrico with his family and friends. The event is scheduled this Sunday Oct 28Th @ 1pm and open to general public with an open mic forum.


Banducci passed away on October 9th, but leaves behind an iconic entrepreneurial legacy that includes not only his namesake Broadway cafe but also the Clown Alley hamburger stand, and most famously the hungry i nightclub. This intimate venue, refused to serve drinks during the entertainers sets, and helped launch the careers of The Kingston Trio, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart, Mort Sahl, Dick Gregory, Jonathan Winters, Maya Angelou, Woody Allen, Prof Irwin Corey, Jonathan Winters, and even Barbra Streisand. He fed the talent his famous free sandwiches, and nurtured free speech and art in a very conservative era.

Banducci , who might have had more wives than real business sense eventually lost too much money running his most famous venture, and an era ended when he sold the Hungry i name off by 1970 to topless club king Sam Conti who used the name as a strip club at 546 Broadway.

More on Enrico’s enduring legacy after the jump

Summer of Love Flashback Continues @ Longshoreman’s Hall Benefit This Saturday

Longshoreman’s Hall, the same venue where the notorious Acid Test’s were held in the mid 1960’s, is hosting a concert and special benefit fundraiser this Saturday night. While it’s very unlikely that Ken Kesey or Jerry Garcia will be in the neighborhood, their spirited disciples and old friends sure will, and carrying a torch for a special charity.

If you were down with The Summer of Love or would just like to carry that spirit with ya into the current millennium perhaps you’ll dig this “Far Out” benefit concert event for the “Hope and Beyond” Student Service-Learning Project.
Amongst the organizers are John Helms, the brother of legendary rock promoter and Family Dog member, the late Chet Helms.

Saturday’s benefit concert at the historic labor venue near Fisherman’s Wharf will be fun for all involved and raise much needed funds that go to India to get AIDS testing and prevention programs rolling in that populous but unprepared region.
layla allman .jpg
Amongst the performers participating in this benefit gig are Summer of Love survivors like Mike Wilhelm of The Charlatans and the remaining members of The Quicksilver Messenger Service. Members of the younger generation might want to check out the band Lane Four, a recent KFOX radio contest finalist featuring Gregg Allman’s 14 year old daughter Layla. She’s the co-emcee for the evening and student body president of her school in the Redwood City School District. The event is open for FREE for the first 100 + adult San Francisco residents pledging to be HIV TESTED, and $25 thereafter for all pledging HIV testing.


Fried Chicken, Free Tacos, Soap & Water on the Skids This Sunday

Too Much Pork For Just One Fork…

it’s one of my favorite songs by “Southern Culture On The Skids” who are in town on Sunday night…but apparently if you want the free pork, you’ll need to look up their locally based labelmate Chuck Prophet.

Sunday afternoon, local rooty rawk maestro Chuck Prophet returns from his recent European tour foray with his band the Mission Express, and plays a free set at Amoeba Records on Haight St at 2 pm. Later that same night follow the El Tonayense taco truck to the Makeout Room for the free tacos out front in celebration of Prophet’s new album “Soap & Water” on North Carolina based Yep Roc records.
Chuck claims The El Tonayense folks:

“do a killer “al pastor” which is sort of like a Mexican doner kebab; a slow cooked pork thinly sliced off the spit with a machete-like knife.”


Don’t forget to get in the club to hear the mighty Mission Express run through their retinue of rocking new material lab tested over the past few weeks on the European continent. It’ll be yer only chance for awhile, as the band splits to head out across the great divide on a North American campaign until December. It’s all going down at an early show scheduled to start at 8pm, which means you have time to head over to The Great American Music Hall later that night to catch Chuck’s Yep Roc labelmates “Southern Culture On The Skids” who are known to fling bulging buckets of Fried Chicken and down home danceable sounds around in copious quantities…

Preview tracks via mp3’z from both bands after the jump

Rum, Sodomy & San Francisco: The Pogues return to the Fillmore for 4 more nights of revelry

The celtic minstrels of the Pogues whose biggest hit was entitled Fairytale of New York, certainly have left their hearts in San Francisco, a city receptive to their wicked ways. Sunday night begins a four night stand at the Fillmore, where general admission for two will set attendees back approx $160 after all the ticketbastard nastiness and fees are accounted for.

Despite the high tabs at the box office and of course the bar, no doubt the old wooden dance floor will be packed and straining under the weight of audiences excitedly clamoring to catch the band some 20 years after their first sold out west coast shows in the same venerable venue.pogues 1987 poster

Indeed that cold November night in 1987 they had Joe Strummer of The Clash along with them on guitar, and it was a very foot stompingly wild & whiskey soaked occasion. It was so uh, magically momentous actually to see the wily assemblage holding court back in the day that I’m not sure I’ll join in the fray at the Fillmore this year. I wouldn’t want to taint the foggy veils of my already perfect memories ya know?

The band came through last year as well, and they heartily held the fort down for several nights, and I heard few complaints, despite the progressively debilitated condition of lead singer Shane MacGowan. It’s just amazing to me that the fragile freak o’ habit known as Shane’s still alive, while the seemingly invincible Joe Strummer is dead…

Click to head below the fold, and download a couple mp3 tracks of rare live material. One is a celtic folk infused version of Bobby Fuller’s classic tune “I Fought The Law” ripped from some rare vinyl with Joe Strummer & Shane MacGowan trading off on raspy lead vocals…

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