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SF Weekly Picks 

Wednesday, Sep 11 1996
Wednesday, September 11
Bluetones Not sick of Britpop yet? Well, that's good because England's got plenty more where that came from. The Bluetones have a decidedly Northern sound (a la the Stone Roses), although they come from London. That just means that the quartet plays guitar-driven pop that is as crisp and clean as a schoolgirl's sock. At its best, this is inviting; at its worst, completely innocuous. Thankfully, they sport two brothers in the band -- which is good for press -- and their devoted following back home all paint themselves blue -- even better. Magnetics and Handsome Poets open. Bottom of the Hill, 9:30 p.m., $7.

Thursday, September 12
Little Jack Melody would like to eliminate all the guitar bands from the world, if that's OK. Rock is dead, after all, and Melody and His Young Turks hear a kinder, gentler aural reality coming just around the corner. It will be one filled with candlelight, cafes, and a no-tech musical aesthetic which includes the pump organ, tuba, banjo, sax, and circus drum. There will be tangos, tarantellas, rumbas, polkas, and waltzes arranged with popish, wry wit and keen observations. It will be fabulous if World of Fireworks is any indication. Melody's sweet, sultry voice flutters over tinkling ivories and intoxicating accordions; rumbling saxophones dance through drunken percussion. It's a neo-Weimar cabaret from Denton, Texas, that finds co-dependency and the L.A. riots appropriate subject matter. Don't take this wrong, Little Jack, but you guys rock. Cafe Du Nord, 8 p.m., $3. Also at Bruno's on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 11 p.m./12:30 a.m., $4.

Friday, September 13
Celtic Crossings The Great Potato Famine brought millions of Irish immigrants clambering to American soil in search of a full soup pot. It doesn't take a leading Irish historian to grasp the profound effect that this exodus had on Irish culture; nor does it take the author of the only monthly Irish-language newspaper column in the Western United States to spell it out; or even a champion concertina and uilleann piper to put it to music. But it would be nice, especially on this the commemoration of the famine's 150th anniversary. Dr. Gearoid i hAllmhurain, Ph.D. (pictured), specializes in ethnomusicology at the University of San Francisco, writes for the San Francisco Gael, and is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist with several All-Ireland titles under his belt. Although no longer a member of the Kilfenora Ceili Band -- Ireland's oldest, title-holding, traditional dance band -- hAllmhurain's latest musical project is an extraordinary solo release that includes guest appearances by Paddy Canny -- a renowned fiddler who has not agreed to be recorded in over 30 years -- flute master Peter O'Loughlin, and Ireland's "1995 Musician of the Year," Martin Hayes. Hayes and hAllmhurain perform together tonight. Noe Valley Ministry, 8 p.m., $12.

Saturday, September 14
Eddie Kirkland Nothing like a spry 70-year-old blues musician who leaps across the stage, does the splits, and grins like a polecat while plucking away at his old Silvertone hollowbody to make you feel old way before your time. Kirkland was born in Jamaica, the land of infectious grooves. He moved to Detroit, where he played with John Lee Hooker during the birth of postwar electric blues. From there, it was off to Memphis, where he recorded for Stax and played with Otis Redding during the heyday of soul. Next, it was Macon and Capricorn Records during the conception of Southern rock. Like a man outside of time, he's been there and done that. But he has so much to give. Accompanied by a fresh, young group of backing musicians who can just barely handle his heat, Kirkland will have you up on your feet making a complete fool of yourself in no time at all. Biscuits & Blues, 9 p.m., $10.

Sunday, September 15
Gus sounds like he just woke from a little nap. He's sleepy, intimate, and low. Then there're guitars, hard, brash, and mean. The anxiety kicks in, followed by urgency, and a little dose of remorse. All within 195 seconds. It's a beautiful thing, but Seattle-born Gus wants it on record that he is an anti-singer/songwriter even though he writes all his own songs and he most definitely sings them. He also doesn't want anyone thinking his self-titled debut is a breakup record, though most of the songs are about the inevitable end of a long-term relationship. That's OK. Gus is a work of textural experimentation that has a lot more in common with U2's Zooropa than with a poet wearing an ill-fitting hat on open-mike night. Edna Swap and Drag open. Bottom of the Hill, 5:30 p.m., $3.

Monday, September 16
Left Coast Jazz Fest Telefunken's frontman, Ismael, believes wholeheartedly that musicians should create inspired, innovative, funky-ass art -- with a collective consciousness. A high school dropout who first began to pick up books because of the rap music he heard in the late '80s, the former East Coast poet uses his role in the hip-hop community to affect the lives of youth. Tonight, his trio is backed by the phat jazz sounds of the Unknown Giants. This is the last of five nights sponsored by BlueVision in a citywide celebration of the birth of the West Coast's vibrant youth-based jazz community. 330 Ritch, 9 p.m., $5.

Tuesday, September 17
Hank Williams Sr. If you've always dreamed of singing "There's a tear in my beer" while an entire roomful of people regards you with perfect understanding and sincere empathy, look no further. On this day in 1923 one of the most charismatic figures in country music was pushed from his mother's womb into a world filled with woe. A serious alcoholic by the age of 22, Williams revealed his lament with eloquent simplicity that truly spoke to folks. Unfortunately, all the Top 10 singles under the sun could not quiet the relentless call of the bottle. He didn't live to see 30, but 43 years later, the music he left behind is ageless. Join Rick Quisol and the Rootie Tootie Cowboys as they wind through Williams' extensive catalog. Lyric sheets and musical accompaniment will be supplied for anyone in the crowd who wishes to sing along -- anything from "Cold, Cold Heart" to "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" to "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It." Max & Sam's Hi-Ball Lounge, 9:30 p.m., $2.

By Silke Tudor

About The Author

Silke Tudor


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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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