We're not sure why the group is called Albino! If the members of this Afrobeat ensemble were all white, that would be one thing, but nope, that's not it. Or if they were all black, that would be kind of funny, too. No matter: The band's pull comes from the serious chops of its players, not the potential dumb jokes to be made from its name. Lead vocalist, percussionist, and arranger Geoffrey Omadhebo played with reggae great Sonny Okosun back in Nigeria, and percussionist Friday Jumbo was a conga player in African megastar Fela Kuti's Africa '70 group -- try to beat those résumés for cred. The guitar players (there are a couple, and a bass player), keyboardist, and four-man horn section are all well-known and well-respected funksters in their own rights, and even the drummer/dancers are serious scholars of all kinds of groovy moves from West Africa, Haiti, and Cuba.
Put all that together on one stage, dedicate the show to the spirit of Fela Kuti, and you've got what they call "heavy heavy Afrobeat." Jessica Lurie and Sikiru Adepoju open at 10 p.m. at the Elbo Room, 647 Valencia (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $10; call 552-7788 or visit www.elbo.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Relax into Run_Return
Hey, you got your jazz in my indie rock! Well, you got your DIY attitude all over my crazy electronics! So it goes for members of the upstart band Run_Return, whose open worship of post-rockers HiM and Tortoise drives them to fits of vibraphone madness laced with laptop bleeps and a -- yes, we'll say it -- funky low end. Leaders Tommy Fugelsang and Kevin Dineen share that cool mind-meld that childhood friends have, and luckily, they use their powers for good music, not for evil. Mixing in plenty of live instrumentation like acoustic guitar, sax, drums, and bass guitar balances the electronic bits, and the result is a warm and mellow hybrid.
The Ebb and Flow joins R_R in opening for Call and Response at 9:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $8; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Right Before Your Eyes
Art suddenly appears at "Illusion 2004"
You say you're into art? Put your money where your mouth is at "Illusion 2004," an evening of instant creativity. You'll arrive at a bare white-walled room and watch as local artists swiftly fill in the blank space with drawings and paintings. By the time the evening is through, artists and spectators will walk out of a masterpiece that didn't exist only hours before.
Don your drabbest gear -- attendees are asked to wear black so as not to detract from the colorful surroundings -- and witness something new come to life starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission (at 25th Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 821-1155 or visit www.missionculturalcenter.org.
-- Karen Macklin
What a Trip
The locals and tourists who crowd into the Civic Center Pride bash can easily exhaust, so take a break from the hordes at the alternaparty "Voyage," conveniently close to the rainbow-colored hoopla and featuring performances and turntablism from DJ Derek, Juanita More!, Fauxnique, and Suppositori Spelling. The sweet grooves begin at 3 p.m. at the Soluna Cafe & Lounge, 272 McAllister (at Larkin), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 621-2200.
-- Brock Keeling