Steinway Soloist: Jonathan Bass performs Sunday at Le Petit Trianon.
El Camino Youth Symphony The symphony's Concerto Competition champ, violinist Alexi Kenney (who is all of 12), shows off his winning chops on Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. Not to be outdone, guest pianist Chloe Pang will interpret Gershwin's forever-green Rhapsody in Blue. The rest of the program features Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 5. Camilla Kolchinsky conducts the youth symphony, which boasts more than 100 young members. Saturday at 7:30pm; Flint Center, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino; $5/$10; Ticketmaster.com.
Lyric Theatre Honoring its commitment to the wit and whimsy of Gilbert & Sullivan, Lyric Theatre presents Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri, in which forest fairies scheme to take over the House of Peers. The comic open debuted in 1882 at the Savoy Theatre, where the magical new technology of electrical lighting was used to create the special effects for the fairy characters. The echo of A Midsummer Night's Dream is deliberate, as Gilbert drew on Mendelssohn's music for his fairy sounds. March 24, 29, 30-31 at 8pm and March 25 and April 1 at 2pm; Montgomery Theater, Market and San Carlos streets, San Jose; $12-$30; 408.986.1455.
New Century Chamber Orchestra A Guest concertmaster leads the 17-strong string orchestra in a program called "New Tonalities." The centerpiece of the evening is the world premiere of Buenos Aires-born composer Jorge Liderman's Rolling Strings. Also scheduled are The Four Temperaments by Hindemith, with solo pianist William Wolfram, and Bruch's Serenade on Swedish Melodies. Friday at 8pm; St. Mark's Episcopal, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto; $28-$42; 415.357.1111.
Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra Conductor David Ramadanoff has been in charge for the Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra for 27 years, who allows for an almost telepathic communication between baton and players. Tonight's selections include Debussy's Petite Suite, Copland's Appalachian Spring Ballet, Haydn's Concertante and Mozart's Overture to The Magic Flute. Saturday at 8pm, Portola Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road, Portola Valley; also Sunday at 3pm, Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Ave., Los Altos; $5-$18; 408.948.1083.
New Music Works In an intriguing showdown between modern composers and the mythos of the American West, New Music Works of Santa Cruz transforms Johnny Cash, Bob Wills and Black Bart with some help from Charles Ives and SJSU electronic-music muse Allen Strange. Ives' Charlie Rutlage takes off from a traditional frontier folksong. Strange's Heroes II: Songs in Black, a world premiere for instruments and synthesizer, pays homage to Johnny Cash. The outlaw Black Bart is saluted in Robert Strizich's Songs of Black Bart, another world premiere. Friday at 8pm; Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz; $12-$18; 831.421.9200.
Redwood Symphony Stretching a bit to alliterate their way through the classical repertoire, Redwood Symphony offers "The Three B's?!!" The works range from Brahms' Violin Concerto (with guest Karen Bentley Pollick) and Berio's Rendering for Orchestra (based on Schubert's Symphony no. 10) all the way to Bach—not that Bach, not the other Bach, but P.D.Q. Bach and his comic 1712 Overture for Really Big Orchestra. Sunday at 3pm; Bayside Performing Arts Center, 2025 Kehoe Ave., San Mateo; $10-$20; 650.366.6872.
San Jose Chamber Players Some familiar names on the local classical scene—cellist Peter Gelfand, violinist Christina Mok and pianist Mark Anderson—perform another "three B's" concert, this time with works by Beethoven, Bloch and Brahms. Sunday at 2pm; Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos; $10-$18; 408.357.7492.
Steinway Society The piano-promoting folks at the Steinway Society presents soloist Jonathan Bass, whose local connections including a teaching stint at SJSU. His choices range from Bach to Chopin, Scriabin and Barber. Sunday at 7pm; Le Petit Trianon, 72 N. Fifth St., San Jose; $20-$65; 408.295.6500.
Trio Voronezh Emphasizing their considerable skills on Russian instruments, such as the domra, a kind of plucked lute, and the bajan, a button accordion, not to mention the balalaika, the members of Trio Voronezh present a program of Russian folk tunes along with classical selections by Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and Bach. This evening is part of the Sunset Concerts at Saint Luke's series. Friday at 8pm; St. Luke's Church, 20 University Ave., Los Gatos; $10-$20; 408.354.4560.
Winchester Orchestra of San Jose Flutist Pat Chambers joints the Winchester Orchestra for Chaminade's Concertino for Flute and Orchestra. This program also features a world premiere: Kerry Lewis' Into the Wilderness. Lewis, a Santa Rosa product who attended San Jose State, studied with noted Aptos composer Lou Harrison and has written pieces for the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and the SJSU Choraliers. The West Valley Masterworks Chorale will add its voices to Gounod's Messa Solennelle. Saturday at 7:30pm, West Valley College Theater, 14000 Fruitvale Ave., Saratoga; also Sunday at 7pm, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 81 N. Second St., San Jose; $7-$18; 408.269.1905.
Michael S. Gant
Sweaty Palm: Frontman Mike Palm keeps skate-punk alive.
IN THE LATE '70s, three disaffected youth from Fullerton coalesced as Agent Orange, taking their cues from early heavy metal and blending it with classic California surf rock.
Early on in their career, Agent Orange cut Living in Darkness, arguably one of the greatest punk debut LPs of all time, which showcased James Levesque's uncanny bass and songwriting abilities. These early recordings, now known as The Darkness Sessions, cemented Agent Orange's reputation and influenced a generation of young punks. When their first single, "Bloodstains," found its way onto the Southern California alternative rock station KROQ, skate-punk exploded. Many punk bands cut their collective teeth in the fertile Southern California skate and hardcore scenes, but few have had the impact of Agent Orange.
After a 10-year hiatus—from '86 to '96—frontman Mike Palm reformed Agent Orange with Dusty Watson on the drums and Perry Giordano on bass, inflicting brain damage on a new crop of skate punks. With its DIY mentality intact, this lineup tours relentlessly without major label backing or concerns, just like it did during the first wave of skate-punk.
What Agent Orange rips out today is the same melodic, surf rock-infused skate-punk anthems it always has. For a new generation of punks (and all us older ones that'll be crawling out from under our adult rocks), Agent Orange hits the Blank Club with supporting work from the Razor Burns and Bad Samaritans.
Agent Orange plays on Saturday (March 24) at 9pm at the Blank Club, 44 S. Almaden Ave, San Jose. Tickets are $10. (408.292.6265)
WHAT STARTED life as a plain old magazine article by Aaron Latham has morphed into a movie with John Travolta and Debra Winger, a phenomenon (mechanical bulls in C&W bars) and now a musical. Urban Cowboy relates the yarn of one Bud, a Texas oil-refinery worker who honky-tonks his way into an an-again-off-again affair with Sissy at Gilley's saloon. Line dancing? You bet, pardner. Trailer park marital woes? Ditto. The Broadway touring company of the stage musical drops by the Campbell Heritage Theatre for one performance. The long-neck-raising score includes "Could I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life," "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" and "Lookin' for Love in All the Wrong Places."
Urban Cowboy plays Friday at 8pm at the Campbell Heritage Theatre, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell. Tickets are $47. (408.866.2700)
Photograph by Drew Goren
Back in black: And still reinventing Axl Rose.
I FEEL LIKE the music editor has something against me. He keeps hinting that there's some band I'm supposed to write about this week, and it's like he's holding it against me that I can't remember what it is. What is he against, me? Just this morning he asked me if I know who lives on Again St., and when I said "I don't know, who?" he said "Me." Anyway, to get off the subject for a minute, there's this really awesome punk band I wanted to tell you about that many of us first picked up in 2002 just because their album was called Against Me Is Reinventing Axl Rose. They were catchy and political and you could dance to it. Now they're on a major-label and fans are waiting for their big new record to break. I can't remember their name, I guess that's another strike against me. Anyway, whoever they are, they're great and this other band the Riverboat Gamblers is opening for them who opened for the Rollins Band and X in SF a while ago, and blew everybody away.
Against Me! plays on Friday (March 23) at 8:30pm at the Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $13-$15. (831.423.1338)
Send a letter to the editor about this story.