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Volume 2, Number 29 - November 21, 2007 - San Jose, CA


The Phenomenauts, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Blues Traveler

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editorialpick
The Phenomenauts
Fri. Nov. 23, 9pm
The Blank Club
44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose
408.292.5265
$10

The Phenomenauts

INTERGALACTIC PLANETARY: Phenomenally fun, these campy retro intergalactic planetary space cadets have built themselves something of a cult following in the Bay Area with their toe-tapping rockabilly pop songs and outrageous live shows complete with costumes and props like the Streamerator, which blasts rolls of toilet paper into the atmosphere. This sci-fi rocket roll band tours in a tricked-out art van dubbed the Galactic Battlecruiser. You can't miss it.

 
metroactive
dj am
Wed. Nov. 21, 8pm
HP Pavilion
525 W. Santa Clara St.,
San Jose
408.998.TIXS
$37.50-$49.50
buy tickets

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

POST-J.C. SUPERSTAR: Just in time for the holiday season, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to the Bay Area to spread its wholly original holiday cheer in the form of a Christmas-oriented rock opera. Combining classical arrangements and an entire orchestral ensemble with guitar-based rock & roll, TSO goes above and beyond the average church choir to overtly honor every kid's favorite holiday. In 2004, the group released its third Christmas album, Lost Christmas Eve, completing the festive winter trilogy. Though countless artists have recorded Christmas material (even Jimi Hendrix had a three-song Christmas LP), none can compare to a full-fledged rock opera like that of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

dj am
Wed. Nov. 21, 7pm
Mountain View High School
3535 Truman Ave.,
Mountain View
$7

Crossing the Void

HONORS CLASS: Harkening back to the early days of heavy metal, Mountain View trio Crossing the Void honors a time when bands like Blue ÷yster Cult and Iron Maiden were considered kings of dark guitar rock. Double bass drums, eerie guitar riffs and vocals that sound amazingly like BOC frontman Eric Bloom give the band a perfectly vintage sound circa 1978. Of course, the members of the group weren't alive during the heyday of their preferred genre, but the teenage rockers have certainly taken a page out of the history books and rewritten it in their own youthful style.

ARTISTNAME
Wed. Nov. 21, 9pm
Vivid Nightclub
8 S. First St., San Jose
408.279.4444

Massive

NO WORRIES: All signs indicate that Vivid's Famous party is going Massive this week. Weighing in on the day before Thanksgiving, Massive is casting its line out with $2 drinks (before 11pm) and Top 40, commercial house, hip-hop, reggaeton and Latin house on the hook, luring all partiers who know that there are worse ways to nurse a hangover than kicking back at home and eating a big, rich Thanksgiving meal.

180 Lounge
Wed. Nov. 21, 7:30pm
180 Restaurant & Lounge
15 N. Santa Cruz Ave.,
Los Gatos
408.399.1804
$10

Black Wednesday

Pre-Turkey: Yes, the 180 Restaurant and Lounge is open on Thanksgiving, but why not sneak in the night before? There's no cover, DJ Rich will be spinning the tunes, and every 180 patron's favorite bartender Joey B will be serving up the drink specials.

cirque du soleil tickets
metroactive
ARTISTNAME
Open daily; call for details
Circle of Palms
Market Street between
San Jose Museum of Art and the
Fairmont Hotel, San Jose
408.279.1775
$12-$14
more info

Downtown Ice

SKATE OR DIE: It's crazy how fast this annual downtown attraction springs from nowhere into a fully fledged, fully frozen ice skating rink. It's a fun little circle with an open area in the middle for show-offs, but don't expect to see any Bryan Boitano-esque action, because there's no jumping allowed. Besides, this being Sharks territory and all, all the kids want to be hockey skaters, not figure skaters.

metroactive
featuredpick
ARTISTNAME
Fri. Nov. 23, 9pm
Vault Ultra Lounge
81 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose
408.298.1112
guest list

Station 81

THE ROOF IS ON FIRE: The Friday after Thanksgiving, Mauricio Mejia at the Vault is dedicating a night to firefighters in San Jose and around the Bay. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the San Jose Fire Museum, and a portion of the heavy beats will be donated directly to your booty.

 
ARTISTNAME
Fri. Nov. 23, 9pm
VooDoo Lounge
14 S. Second St., San Jose
408.286.VODO
guest list

Kill the Radio

DJS KILLED THE RADIO STAR: As with anything defined by what it isn't, we're not exactly sure what "anti-mainstream" music is, other than a promising concept for a party. Resident DJs Soulo, Presto, b-side, Sweet Steve, Reminisce and Wish take up arms (and decks) against a sea of troubled radio stations, and by opposing, end them.

ARTISTNAME
Fri. Nov. 23, 9pm
Vivid Nightclub
8 S. First St., San Jose
408.279.4444

Nick D'Anna

FAKE 'N' BAKE: Nick D'Anna, one of the stars of E! channel's Sunset Tan, a reality series about an L.A. tanning salon, comes to Vivid Nightclub. Dude ... really? I mean we hope that hundreds, if not thousands of people show up to party at Vivid this Friday, but please, for the love of God, don't go just to get close to the manager of a tanning salon.

Vicente Fernandez
Fri. Nov. 23, 7pm
HP Pavilion
525 W. Santa Clara St.,
San Jose
408.998.TIXS
$45.50-$155.50
buy tickets

Vicente FernŠndez

RANCHERA KING: The undisputed king of traditional ranchera music makes the trip north to satisfy his American fanbase, and there's no doubt Vicente Fernandez will get plenty of love in this corner of the world. The '60s icon has led a long and illustrious career that dates back to his days as "El Idolo de Mexico," which earned him comparisons to Frank Sinatra and even Elvis Presley. Surely the King would have recognized Fernandez's vocal talent and onstage flair—after all, it was enough to earn the ranchera legend a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a bundle of Grammy nominations, and a Person of the Year Award from the Latin Recording Academy in 2002.

Winter Wonderland
Open daily; tree lighting on Fri at 5:30pm
Circle of Palms
Market Street between
San Jose Museum of Art and the
Fairmont Hotel, San Jose
408.279.1775
Free
more info

Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting

LIGHT THIS CANDLE: After a leisurely skate around Downtown Ice or a leisurely stroll around Winter Wonderland, be sure to stop by the new gift market and international dessert cafe on Paseo de San Antonio, which will be serving German gluehvien, hot apple cider, gourmet chocolates, pumpkin pie and lots of other goodies. Stick around until 5:30pm for the San Jose tree lighting ceremony.

ARTISTNAME
Fri.-Sat. Nov. 23-24, 8pm
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
255 Almaden Blvd, San Jose
408.998.TIXS
$25-$70

Lord of the Dance

PRAISE THE LORD: Lord of the Dance is an Irish music and dance extravaganza writ large to fill stadiums rather than theaters, and over the course of its 10-year run, it's done just that, grossing more than $800 million in ticket sales. Conceived by Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley, who once held the world record for tapping his feet 35 times in one second, Lord of the Dance is a 21-scene show based on Irish folklore about a battle between the Lord of Darkness and the Lord of the Dance in a place called Planet Ireland. A never-produced spin-off, titled Lord of the Press, stars a heroic newsletter writer who can, against all odds and evil, type 36 words in a second. Take that, Flatley!

producers tickets
metroactive
ARTISTNAME
Sat. Nov. 24, 9pm
Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge
99 E. San Fernando St.,
San Jose
408.998.9998
guest list

Euphoria

LAST SATURDAY: Sal hosts DJs Adam Cova, Audio Distortion and Eddy Santana.

ARTISTNAME
Sat. Nov. 24, 9pm
Vivid Nightclub
8 S. First St., San Jose
408.279.4444

Runway

SMASHED: San Jose does South Beach this week with a fashion show hosted by a clothing company called Smashed, Inc. It's like shopping at the mall, but the shirts are displayed on much nicer racks. Add to that Vivid's usual blend of Top 40, commercial house, hip-hop, reggaeton and Latin house and you've got yourself an evening more fun than hanging around that piano player at Nordstrom.

metroactive
ARTISTNAME
Sun. Nov. 25, 9pm
Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge
99 E. San Fernando St,
San Jose
408.998.9998
No cover
guest list

Sundown

BLACK SABBATH: Some people like to recharge before the work week with some electro, breaks, progressive house and trance played by rotating DJs, and they don't want to pay squat for it. If you know people who fit that description, please tell them to go to Fahrenheit this Sunday. They'll probably thank you with energetic sex.

metroactive
ARTISTNAME
Mon. Nov. 26, 7pm
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz
831.427.2227
$20-$23

Lavay Smith

PIN-UP: A staple on the Bay Area's swing scene, this provocative outfit takes a classy approach to traditional big-band swing and jump blues, incorporating salsa, bebop and sultry New Orleans-styled R&B into its classic sound. Led by Lavay Smith, with her pinup-girl curves and glamorous wardrobe, the band transports its audience to another era. Smith's rapturous vocals bring to mind Dinah Washington or Billie Holiday; her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are a horn-heavy band composed of quality musicians who have performed and recorded with the kings and queens of jazz.

metroactive
ARTISTNAME
Tue. Nov. 27, 7pm
The Catalyst
1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz
831.423.1336
$27-$32
buy tickets

Blues Traveler

THE HOOK BRINGS YOU BACK: For most of the nation, the indelible association of that one damn harmonica line from "Run-Around" will be Blues Traveler's singular contribution to popular music. But as with fellow mid-'90s hit-making fluke Barenaked Ladies, the success of "Run-Around" mostly obscured the hard work ethic and loyal following that BT established long before hitting the Top 10. Though the band failed to maintain that level of mainstream popularity, BT's core fanbase has only grown with time. In fact, those who have stuck with the band have had the pleasure in recent years of hearing BT turn out the best music of its career, most notably with 2004's Bastardos, an eclectic pop and psychedelia-tinged work that shows staggering growth away from the jam-friendly blues rock that was the band's stock-in-trade earlier in its career.



metroactivecoming up
Joan Jett
Sat. Dec. 15, 8pm
San Jose Civic Auditorium
135 W. San Carlos St.,
San Jose
408.998.TIXS
$37-$67
buy tickets

Joan Jett

JETT SET: Joan Jett is famous for "I Love Rock and Roll," but she should be more famous for only getting stranger and cooler over the last 25 years. After being a pin-up rocker chick for the Runaways, she spent several years grinding out high-grade hard pop, with her leather-clad manservants the Blackhearts in tow. But in the early '90s she hooked up with the Olympia riot grrrls, going on to front the Gits after Mia Zapata died. Then she started obsessing about kinky sex and made her subversive cover of Sweet's "A.C.D.C." into one of last year's catchiest tunes. And she does a live version of the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" that's second only to Iggy's.

ARTISTNAME
Sun. Dec. 9, 7pm
Little Fox Theatre
2209 Broadway, Redwood City
650.369.4119
$18-$20

Jonathan Richman

ROADRUNNER: I worry about Jonathan Richman. I know we all like to think of him as Happy Happy Fun Man, singing songs about Little Dinosaurs and Leprechauns and parties in the USA, but there's that other side of him, too—the forlorn, brooding Jonathan Dark Half that reaches all the way back to songs like "Hospital" and "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste" from his Modern Lovers years. You can usually see a little bit of this in concert, when Jonathan stares out with a hangdog expression that says, perhaps, "Man, it really was great dancing at the lesbian bar. I sure miss it. A lot." It's just that you're having such a great time at his show that you assume this apparent pathos is really only meant to be entertaining and cute. Is Jonathan in a funk? It's hard to tell when the show itself is still so relentlessly fun.

--This week's newsletter by: MC, GW, SP, SQ


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