Following the success of February's "No Categories," Ubiquity Records presents a monthly night of ambient and down-low beats supplied by DJs featured on the Ubiquity, Luv N' Haight, and Cubop labels. Besides regular hosts Jonah Sharp, Vinnie Esparza, and Andrew Jervis, this month's session will offer Chicago's Anthony Nicholson, whose mix of Afro-beat and funky future science has informed the Urban Sound Gallery and his own label, Clairaudience. "No Categories" will be held on Friday, April 28, at 111 Minna at 9 p.m. Ticket are $5 before 11 p.m. and $7 after; call 864-8448.
In keeping with the very experimental nature of composer John Cage, the John Cage Memorial Barbecue offers the premiere of Randy Nordschow's composition for five electric guitars performed by the Guitars of Wrath, as well as "Transitoire," written for guitars, amplified gong, space heaters, water, and video, and "Drawing a Line as Far as I Can Reach," written for a solo beer drinker and a trumpet. Fred Frith joins the Guitars of Wrath on Saturday, April 29, at Mills College in Oakland at 8 p.m. Admission is free; call (510) 430-3308.
Rising out of Oaktown like a misplaced Patsy Cline, Sandra Mello's voice leads the Bellyachers through patina-rich country songs that touch on the darkness of Tarnation without the artsiness, and the homespun honesty of Loretta Lynn without the clichés. Following the country track of loss, the Bellyachers offer tales about love ("His stare gets tangled 'round my hands/ Tied in prayer and tied in prayer") and displacement ("We blamed Nashville for our unrest") without the tongue-and-cheek faithlessness of y'allternative. We're lucky to have them for our own. The Bellyachers open for Joe Buck on Saturday, April 29, at the Ivy Room in Albany at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5; call (510) 524-9299. And on Sunday, April 30, supporting Mover at the Hotel Utah with the Blue Arrows at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $4; call 546-6300.
Sounding like Nico interpreted through French ye-ye, Persephone's Bees create garage-heavy go-go and dark, keyboard-heavy psychedelica strained through a martini shaker with a pop twist. Angelina Moysov trills through lines like "I see the darkness in your eyes" in a distinctive Russian parlance that is part Brigitte Bardot coquetry and part Nina Hagen lunacy, while guitarist Tom Ayres and Loved Ones backbone Bart Davenport lay down a bed of confectionery hooks so insidious and irresistible it should be given a warning label: highly addictive, even if taken in small doses. Moysov's sultry lullabies, which are sometimes sung in her native tongue, twirl around arsonists, Dostoevski, memory, and a sky burdened by the weight of mankind's self-seeking demands ("It hurts to be the sky," Moysov tenderly explains), making the music as surreal and heady as it is gorgeous. Persephone's Bees perform one last night before going into the studio for a month on Tuesday, May 2, at Cafe Du Nord with Perry Dakar opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 861-5016.