Thursday, December 6, 2001
Boom Boom Boy PAT TRAVERS The people who remember hearing "Snortin'' Whiskey" on the radio in the early ''80s will recall a hard-driving anthem with Southern overtones, and those who recognize "Boom Boom, Out Go the Lights" will identify the hallmarks of guitar rock''s heyday: blistering licks layered on top of a heavy and unambiguous rhythm section. And then there''s "Radio Active," a later, more melodic spin on the form of the rock song. What all these hits have in common is the genius of Pat Travers, a Canadian-born prodigy who took his cues from Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton and emerged as a classic ''80s axeman who was flexible and talented enough to evolve with the times. Tonight he plays an acoustic set, then plugs it in for a roof-raising set with the South Bay''s Wish Box-the evening''s opener-backing him up.9pm. Ocean Thunder, 219 Lighthouse, Monterey. $15/$10. 643-9169
A Beastly Way to Spend the EveningWILD THINGS FLASHLIGHT TOURS Have you ever wanted to see how animals behave after the zookeepers have left the building? Since many of the wild creatures who make their home at Wild Things are nocturnal, it''s almost being cheated to only see them in the daytime. Fortunately for the nature-lovers among us, this exotic animal talent agency (many of the ranch''s residents have appeared in movies and TV shows) is offering its third annual nighttime flashlight tour, featuring tricks by an African elephant and a black bear and a surprise visit by Santa and the reindeer brothers Klondike and Yukon. For a bit extra, you can get your picture taken with one of the hoofed heavies. Not recommended for children under 3. The opportunity is repeated every Friday and Saturday night through December. 6:30pm. Friday and Saturday. Vision Quest Ranch, 400 River Road, Salinas. $12/$10. 455-1901, ext. 3.
A Rose Is A RoseCAMERATA SINGERS This year the Camerata Singers are performing a holiday concert called "A Rose in Winter," a collection of sacred and secular songs about the Virgin Mary. What this translates to is an evening of graceful and gorgeous melodies, some complex and some disarmingly simple. From the haunting "Coventry Carol" and the tender "Lo How A Rose E''er Blooming" to the gorgeously harmonic "Hymn to the Mother of God" and Rachmaninoff''s "Ave Maria," the chorus weaves a spell under the able direction of John Koza. Concertmaster Vladimir Khalikulov shines in a special composition for viola, piccolo, cello and eight-part chorus. 8pm. Friday: St. Paul''s Episcopal Church, 1071 Pajaro, Salinas. $16/$13. Saturday: Carmel Mission Basilica, Rio Rd., Carmel. $20$13. 373-3255.
Chainsaw SoulSPENCER JARRETT There are some people who are incapable of seeing the music for the trees. Harmonicat Spencer Jarrett isn''t one of those people; in fact, he sees the music in the trees sort of. Jarrett, who was a founding member of the house band at the New York City blues club Tramps, where he got a chance to be a backing musician for some of biggest names in blues music (including Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers and Big Mama Thornton), waxes philosophical when talking about the connection. He spent four years in forestry school before becoming an Ohio-based forest ranger, covering a territory that spanned Maine to Missouri. As he went about his rangerly duties in the wild, a chainsaw at his side, he says his day job was a complementary gig to his nightlife. The forest "made sense in terms of music," says the South Bay musician. "You go out into the forest and it''s kind of chaotic and you have to decide which way you''re going to go. With improvisational music, you have to make the same kind of choices." In addition to fronting his own band, The Blues Shakers, Jarrett also performs with the Gospel QC''s, a Bay Area quartet that''s planning a tour of the deep South in the next year. 9pm. Sly McFly''s, Cannery Row. 649-8050.
Latin LoversOZOMATLI "Eclectic" is to LA Latin-fusion dance band "Ozomatli" as "fattening" is to "donut"; it''s way understated and far too academic to adequately describe such a sensory delight. Suffice it to say that many players and many styles unite in this band to happy effect (please see story, pg. 36). 9pm. Planet Gemini, 625 Cannery Row, Monterey. Call for price. 373-1449.
What Big Teeth You Have!GREAT WHITE SHARKS No shark is more feared than the Great White. Along with its exceptional size and seeming ferocity, the thing that distinguishes it most from other predators (and what was so terrifying about the one in Jaws) is its ability to leap completely out of the water in the pursuit of prey. In six talks throughout his one-day visit to the Aquarium, researcher and nature photographer Chris Fallows presents his video of sharks in action off the coast of South Africa and gives a talk on their remarkable prowess. His documentation of the hunting behaviors of these magnificent creatures is groundbreaking. 11am-5pm on the hour, except at noon. Monterey Bay Aquarium Auditorium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey. Free with admission. 648-4888.
The Rio ThingCLAUDIA VILLELA & RICHARD PEIXOTO The music created by vocalist Claudia Villela and guitarist Ricardo Peixoto is certainly Brazilian-although both are transplanted Bay-Area locals, originally from Rio; and it''s definitely jazz-although he''s an ex-rocker with classical training from the Berklee School, and her roots are folky Bossa Nova, which she learned from her parents. Since 1985, these two have been collaborating to create a fiercely contemporary sound: he on a Brazilian 7-string, a steel 12-string, an electric Gibson or a tenor banjo, and she with a gorgeous voice that happens to include a stunning five-octave range. The melodies and harmonies of their compositions are unique; the improvisations astonishing; the rhythm totally Brazilian. 7:30pm (doors open at 7). The Jazz and Blues Company, 236 Crossroads Blvd. $30. 624-6431.
Seaotters Sing MessiahCSUMB WINTER CONCERT I admit it, I''m a sucker for winter concerts. The holiday favorites, gospel tunes and chorale music bring me right back to the warm fuzzy place that is falling asleep on Mom''s lap during annual Christmas concerts of my youth. The only difference is now I sit in my own seat and I stay awake. But the warm fuzzies are still there. And they''ll be out in full force Sunday afternoon as CSUMB''s Music and Performing Arts Institute presents its annual winter concert. CSUMB''s chorale, gospel choir, jazz big band and the small vocal ensemble Nuovo Plaisir will perform a range of holiday music from Caesar Franck''s Panis Angelicus to Pola and Wyle''s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Traditional gospel favorites (think Silent Night, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, etc.) round out the bill. 3pm. CSUMB World Theater, Sixth Ave., Bldg 28, Seaside. $7/$5/$3. 582-4580.
A Poodle, a Truck and the Open Road STEINBECK CENTENNIAL SERIES During the 1960s, while America was being torn in two, Monterey''s favorite son, John Steinbeck, went camping with his pet poodle. He packed up his camper, scooped up the inimitable Charley and headed out across the USA. From his journeys he wrote a popular book called Travels With Charley. It was also made into a film, Steinbeck''s America, by Lee Mendelson. See the movie and hear a discussion of the book and the author during a talk at Hartnell College. There will be a dramatic reading of Steinbeck''s work from the ''60s and an interview with journalist-activist David Harris.2-5pm at the Western Stage Studio theater at Hartnell College in Salinas. For more information call 775-4737 or visit www.steinbeck.org.
This week's Hot Picks were scooped and shoveled by Kate Folsom, Alex Gilrane, Traci Hukill, Jessica Lyons, Andrew Scutro and Chuck Thurman.