That's Entertainment Tonight's "Sounds of San Francisco" triple-header isn't just any old jam; it's A Tribute to Paul Weller, the genius behind the Jam and their sometimes acid, sometimes bittersweet brew of British pop and blue-eyed soul. Mod Lang recording artists the Kinetics, formerly the Supernaturals, and the Loved Ones before that, are naturals for this gig -- a quintet who love Mersey Beat and vintage pop, equipped with keyboard and horns and known for instigating impromptu dance parties by slipping into '60s-style R&B grooves midway through a hummable melody. Tom, Dick, & Harry take a similar route, invoking Curtis Mayfield and the English Beat. Helium Angel share the bill, during which all the bands will play selections from the Jam, Style Council, and solo Weller songbooks. DJs Kirk and Kitty English spin between sets at the show, which begins at 9 p.m. at 330 Ritch, 330 Ritch (at Townsend), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 541-9574.
Dead Man Squawking In Sam Shepard's musical mystery Suicide in B-Flat, two detectives investigating a death are haunted by the ghost of an improvisational jazz musician. The show played to sell-out crowds at the Justice League, where it debuted, and now the local talent who imbued Suicide with such cool comic appeal -- including percussionist Josh Jones, singer Scheherazade Stone, bassist Marcus Shelby, and actors Sean San Jose, Kelvin Han Yee, and John Robb -- give a little something back at a return engagement, which opens with a Benefit for UC Berkeley's Young Musicians Program. The YMP Young Lions Jazz Combo and the Berkeley High School Jazz Combo demonstrate the benefits of the program, which serves talented low-income youngsters, with sets before the show, and the Bay Area Jazz All-Stars, including Dimitri Matheny and Will Bernard, cap off the evening's entertainment. It all begins at 7 p.m. (Suicide in B-Flat continues through March 25) at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is $25-50; call 255-0333.
The Last Word Former prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, a Kennedy Center honoree, spent most of her life onstage and has continued to find herself there long after her 1965 retirement. Separating her professional career from her personal life is tempting but nigh impossible, as her appearance at Words on Dance should prove. Beginning with the cultural influences she absorbed on the Oklahoman Osage Indian reservation where she spent her childhood, Tallchief's dancing has been shaped by a whirlwind of outside forces: her family's move to L.A., where she became a Nijinska protege; her stint at MGM; her teen-age performances with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in Europe, where she was treated as an exotic attraction; her duty-bound marriage to New York City Ballet's George Balanchine, who made her his third wife and muse; her affair with a young Nureyev; and ballets like Firebird and Allegro Brillante, which still bear her leggy, dazzling imprint. Tallchief and 22-year San Francisco Ballet veteran Evelyn Cisneros, who's danced many of the same roles, swap stories and compare notes on rare film clips of Tallchief partnered by Nureyev and others. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $12-35; call 978-ARTS.
Chopin Goes Cha-Cha-Cha Baseball players aren't the only Cuban stars to have sidestepped America's no-travel policy through the intervention of prominent Americans: When pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba applied for a visa so that he and his band could play Lincoln Center and the Grammys two years ago, Dizzy Gillespie's widow, Wynton Marsalis, and Bill Cosby threw the considerable collective weight of their celebrity behind his request. The band was denied access but Rubalcaba was granted entry, and he played solo at both shows, giving Americans a live taste of his range, which spans Afro-Cuban and Caribbean dance rhythms, elements of romantic classical music, and American bebop and modern jazz. Bassist Jeff Chambers and former Gillespie drummer Ignacio Berroa back up Rubalcaba at a live local show beginning at 8 p.m. (the trio's run continues through March 15) at Yoshi's, Jack London Square, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. Admission is $5-15; call (510) 238-9200.