March: 26: The great New Orleans bandleader Trombone Shorty plays Berkeley's UC Theatre Saturday night, but the real story here is the venue. The UC Theatre, a movie house built in 1917, has been closed for 14 years, but now it’s been reborn as a non-profit music venue under the leadership of David Mayeri, the former COO of the now defunct Bill Graham Presents. Mayeri says he's committed to bringing top national bands to the UC -- thereby saving East Bay residents a trip to the Fillmore and other clubs in SF -- and offer plenty of community events, including the Berkeley High School School Jazz Band on June 3. Upcoming shows include a Dark Star Orchestra residency April 7-9, Los Lobos on May 13, and Joe Jackson on June 22.
March 31-May 14: Colette, born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, is known for her work in vaudeville, her many affairs with men and women, and the feminism that imbued the heroines of her novels. She's best known for the short story "Gigi," which inspired the Broadway play (starring Audrey Hepburn, who Colette picked herself), and the Hollywood musical. Now Bay Area actress Lorri Holt (wonderful in Masha and Vanya and Sonia and Spike last year at Berkeley Rep) and Zack Rogow have researched and written Colette Uncensored, a bioplay about Colette, including excerpts from a newly published collection of her writings. David Ford directs, which makes us even more eager to see it. Details are here.
March 25: Rachel Efron writes emotionally charged songs that live at the intersection of jazz and pop. "For me, it’s always been that intersection between words and melody, which is I feel where I live. On her new EP Angel No More, she sounds kind of angry on the title song: "It’s you who knocked me down/Now I’m crawling falling all the way home/I’m your angel no more." But Efron said in an interview that she's not so much angry, just more human: "It’s about a person who’s been living as an idealized version of herself, and when she can’t sustain that anymore, everyone grieves it." At her gig at the Red Poppy Art House, Efron says she'll play with bassist Aaron Germain, as filmmaker Mirissa Neff somehow turns the club into a music box. Details here.
Continuing through Sept. 18: Here’s a way to learn about an important piece of local art history: The San Jose Museum of Art is celebrating artists who began working in the South Bay in the 60’s, after they were recruited by what was then San Jose State College, now San Jose State University. The exhibit features work from the permanent collection of artists like Geoffrey Bowman, Rupert Garcia, Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, and others who also helped found the museum. Find details here on Artists in Residence: San Jose's 20th-Century Vanguard.
March 26: Bring your dog, your blanket and a warm coat to this show. Proxy is an almost year-round, free (Cheap Thrill!), outdoor movie series at the intersection of Octavia and Hayes streets in San Francisco. The spring season opens Saturday night with Laurie Anderson’s film Heart of a Dog. The screening will also be a place for those in need of pooches, as the San Francisco Animal Care and Control will be offering dogs for adoption from 5-7pm. Details here
March 31: The band Into It Over it is supposed to be really one man -- Evan Weiss -- but his third album, Standards, feels very like a collaboration. Weiss and drummer Josh Sparks holed up in a Vermont cabin for months writing the songs, and the drum work is a dense and wonderful battery for these smart songs. Then they came to San Francisco to work with John Vanderslice at his Tiny Telephone Studios. Weiss and Sparks play the Social Hall in San Francisco on Thursday along with The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die. Could be a magic night.