Every now and then, a few promising Bay Area shows conflict on the calendar. That’s OK; it’s the sign of a scene vibrant enough to have that much happening. The downside is that with the lack of venues and local support, some deserving shows will fall through the cracks — but, in a glass-half-full way, it’s nice to know there’s this much going on.
Anyway — Saturday, Dec. 3, is one of those intersection nights. The calendars list five shows, all of them worthwhile. I’d like to call out three:
Nightshade at Trinity Chapel (2320 Dana Street Berkeley), 8:00 p.m.
….. As I’ve noted before, this is San Francisco bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa’s chamber ensemble, mixing vibes, electric guitar, woodwinds, and computer electronics (and Mezzacappa’s acoustic bass, of course). Their debut CD, Cosmic Rift, on Leo Records, combines Mezzacappa’s compositions with covers from Frank Zappa and Olivier Messaien.
* Nightshade’s Web page.
* Recent blog post about Nightshade.
Phillip Greenlief, and Jon Raskin/Kanoko Nishi at 784 65th St., Oakland (2 blocks from Ashby BART), 8:00 p.m.
….. I’m presuming this is a house concert. I don’t know anything about the venue. This is their second show, and they’re hoping to keep a series of shows running for a while. Greenlief will open with solo saxophone, then Jon Raskin (of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet) and Kanoko Nishi on koto will perform as a duo. Expect squeaky abstract goodness (although Greenlief might decide to bring his jazz bag, too).
* Greenlief-related: About his duo CD with Joelle Leandre.
* Raskin/Nishi duets available on Nishi’s MySpace page.
Grex at Meridian Gallery (535 Powell Street, San Francisco), 8:00 p.m.
….. The pop/chamber duo of Karl Evangelista (guitar, vox) and Margaret Rei Scampavia, (keys, winds, vox) will perform with with guests Jordan Glenn (drums) and Karen Stackpole (percussion, gongs). Grex will be doing songs from the recent album, Second Marriage, and previewing “the second part of its Filipino-American trilogy–a fantastical exploration of the band’s World War II-era ancestry, tentatively titled ‘Mushroom.'” Expect artsy pop, sometimes with somber overtones, juxtaposed with noisy freak-outs.
* Grex’s Web site.
* Previous blog entries: The Grex Factor / Fred Frith’s Manifesto.
If you’re not familiar with these venues — Trinity and Meridian are listed on my highly unpublicized Venues page.
This busy night is followed by a couple of weeks of great local shows. I’m hoping to find time to put those in another post.