Music

Critic's Choice for the week of August 16-22, 2006

Jurassic 5's DJ, Canada's rock warrior, and Wild Thing's hot sidekick.

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DJ Idolatry

As a member of Jurassic 5, Cut Chemist launched himself into the upper echelons of DJ idolatry. Now, with his debut full-length solo album, The Audience's Listening, Chemist takes the listener on an unexpected trek through a textural, global-savvy sound. He plays free shows at both Amoeba Music locations in the Bay Area. Berkeley: Thursday, August 17, 5 p.m. San Francisco: Thursday August 17, 8 p.m. AmoebaMusic.com (Kathleen Richards)

Sex & Muppets

It may be shtick, but Zoopy's onstage combination of chain-smoking, alcoholic muppets being attacked by scantily clad go-go dancers is sure to magnetize some segment of the population. Accordingly, the Oakland group's sound — the mastermind of Madball — gives more than a nod to the silly funk-jamming of Ween. Zoopy plays with Electric Vagina at the Ivy Room on Wednesday, August 23. 10 p.m., $5. IvyRoom.com (K.R.)

Wild Americana

Chip Taylor wrote "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning." The royalties from those tunes give him the freedom to pursue his current career as a singer-songwriter with a strong foundation in Americana. His most recent double album Unglorious Hallelujah takes a wry look at look at today's event through the eyes of a guy who's been there and done that. His partner in crime, Carrie Rodriguez, supplies harmonies and sings lead on the tunes she wrote for her recent solo CD, Seven Angels on a Bicycle. Thursday, August 17. 8 p.m., $17.50, $18.50. TheFreight.org (j. poet)

Techno-Spiritual Classics

Besides Festival Opera's continuing production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, the classically adventurous must turn to San Francisco for fulfillment. Friday finds Earplay presenting Guillermo Galindo's Post-Colonial Discontinuum at the de Young Museum's Koret Auditorium in conjunction with the museum's ongoing Chicano exhibitions. The work features Galindo performing an instrument fashioned from discarded technological artifacts, combining contemporary technology and compositional techniques with elements of Mesoamerican spirituality and fragments of Mexican traditional music. Friday, August 18. Free; 6:30/7:30 p.m. DeYoungMuseum.org (Jason Victor Serinus)

The Rock Warrior

In the '70s, Vancouver native Thor, aka the Rock Warrior, made the connection between metal and theater after earning the bodybuilding title of Mr. Junior Canada. Ever since, the Norse god has channeled his smoking guns into writing B-movies, comics, acting, and demonstrating "amazing feats of strength" onstage. He plays in support of his recent album, Devastation of Musculation, with Zolar X, Boyjazz, the Martyr Index, & DJ Isaac Owen Money at the Golden Bull on Sunday, August 20. 7 p.m., $7. 510-893-0803. (K.R.)

Afrocentric World Jazz

Q's Lounge, in the Everett & Jones Barbeque complex at 126 Broadway in Oakland, has been hosting a smokin' summer jazz series that thus far has presented top-notch resident talent including Calvin Keys and Arlington Houston. This Friday the exciting drummer and percussionist Babatunde Lea brings in his Afrocentric world jazz combo featuring saxman Richard Howell. A devotee of the great African drummer Babatunde Olatunji, Lea has played with a legendary cast of musicians including Joe Henderson and McCoy Tyner. From NYC originally, he came into his own as a bandleader in San Francisco with his group Phenomenon. His albums for Ubiquity and Motema have garnered him international acclaim, and he is always a class act. Greg Bridges from KCSM and KPFA emcees. Friday, August 18. 8 & 10 p.m., $10. 510-663-2350. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

19th-Century Minstrelsy

History couldn't get much more fun than the rare teaming of Jody Stecher and Bill Evans in their show "The Secret Life of Banjos" this week at the Freight & Salvage. The Bay Area musical mainstays come from different generations and approaches, but together cover the wonders of the banjo (and they've got carloads of historic instruments to play on) from 19th-century minstrelsy through folk, country, jazz, and bluegrass to the present. Stecher was an early explorer of roots music, from his mid-'60s recordings of Bahamian musicians, including Joseph Spence (which is where the Grateful Dead got its longtime show closer, "I Bid You Goodnight") through his jamming with such friends as Jerry Garcia and David Bromberg to his longtime duo with Kate Brislin. Evans came up through bluegrass before discovering its roots, and was a founding member of David Grisman's Bluegrass Experience, Bluegrass Intentions, Due West, and his own new String Summit. Friday, August 18. 8 p.m., $18.50/$19.50 door. TheFreight.org (Larry Kelp)

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