In the early days of rock 'n' roll (1950s, mid-'60s), "package tours" were common; instead of opener/headliner, there'd be several "star" performers doing whirlwind sets. Brooklyn-based indie label Ropeadope revives this concept, sending its diverse roster out to collectively barnstorm the United States, delivering four-hour sets featuring individual performances and impromptu collaborations. The Ropeadope circus comes to town with a kaleidoscopic variety of performers: jazz-guitar whiz Charlie Hunter (formerly of locals T.J. Kirk); innovative sample/beatmaster DJ Olive , who of late has been creating magic with improvising musicians; Critters Buggin, an instrumental Seattle unit that makes like a caffeinated, jazzier, more drum 'n' bass-charged Tortoise; virtuoso cellist Matt Haimovitz, who's been taking classical music old (J.S. Bach) and contemporary (Lou Harrison) out of concert halls and into rock clubs; Oakland hip hop act the Coup, which offers up def beats as well as melodic and political substance; Sex Mob, which aims to make cutting-edge jazz fun (the band's Sex Mob Does Bond disc is all 007 movie music); and more! It all goes down on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19-20, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or go to www.theindependentsf.com for more info.
-- Mark Keresman