One hour ago, I stood in danger of being trampled by a throng of bodies, strangled by a microphone cord and kicked in the face by flailing feet.
In other words, it's 1am, and I've just returned from seeing Iceage, a punk band made up of 20 year-olds from Copenhagen, Denmark.
With the exception of excellent local punk bands like Ceremony, No Sir, Creative Adult and a bevy of others playing in warehouses, basements and living rooms, the North Bay's top music offerings for the next several months are of the decidedly calmer, quieter variety—and after all, everyone needs a breather.
To wit: the Green Music Center this week announced their second-season lineup, and it's got plenty to dazzle classical music fans. The great Renee Fleming kicks off the season on Sept. 15, with Lang Lang and Izthak Perlman also part of the opening-week festivities. Hilary Hahn, Jessye Norman, Herbie Hancock, Richard Goode, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Mariza, Bryn Terfel, Garrick Ohlsson, Ruth Ann Swenson and more round out the concert headliners. Because of the center's partnership with MasterCard, you'll have to be a MasterCard holder to buy tickets on April 2; the general public onsale is April 22. (Remember, SSU students get 50 percent off.)
The Healdsburg Jazz Festival this year honors the great jazz bassist Charlie Haden in a two-day tribute, featuring six sets of don't-miss jazz; collaborators include Geri Allen, Chris Potter, Lee Konitz, Ravi Coltrane, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Bill Frisell and Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. The Fred Hersch trio, Oliver Lake solo, the Azar Lawrence Quartet and a unique duo of Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran—who'll be fresh from his jazz-and-live-skateboarding shows in San Francisco—are among the many other top-notch jazz acts in Healdsburg this June; tickets will be on sale within the week.
The rumors are true: the Last Day Saloon appears to be closing in May. The for-sale banner draped from the side of the Railroad Square venue says it all: "Owner Retiring." Dave Daher, who has certainly earned his retirement, is selling the building through Sotheby's; asking price is $2.15 million. After a retirement roast and party featuring Commander Cody, Bill Kirchen and special guests on April 28, the venue has a few select shows booked with Pride & Joy, John Courage and others until closing day on May 5.
The Lincoln Theater in Yountville has been quiet as of late, but country star Travis Tritt drops by on April 20, with a Napa Valley Youth Symphony Red Gala on May 25. Not to be outdone, on Sept. 21, Symphony Napa Valley holds an opening gala as well.
As for the tougher music fans out there who look forward to getting kicked in the face? Not to worry: Leftover Crack plays the Phoenix Theater on April 14.