Thursday, August 22
Holy Barbarians The Cult's Ian Astbury is at it again, but the band is brand spanking new -- apparently that was the only option left after the Cult's disastrous tour last year. While the Holy Barbarians have a subtler sound than their glamorous metal predecessors, there just isn't a way around Astbury's distinctive, pretentious, long-hair vocalization. No matter what the man sings, you can't get "She Sells Sanctuary" out of your head. Advise: Wear earplugs, listen to the song in your head, and relish in the sweaty rock star antics of Astbury's eye-catching stage performance. You're bound to have a blinding time. Slim's, 9 p.m., $10.50-11.
Friday, August 23
Kurt Elling Journeying into territory usually reserved for female vocalists, Elling is a Grammy-nominated jazz chanteuse who is part scat singer, part lounge lizard, and part coffeehouse poet. Once upon a time Elling was a divinity student who planned on teaching philosophy, but his lush, natural baritone drew him down a different road, one riddled with strange new gods who came in the guise of Mel Torme, Jon Hendricks, and Mark Murphy. He had to follow the stronger calling. As one would expect, existential dilemmas are nestled among his rich, improvisational musings. Elbo Room, 10 p.m., $4.
Saturday, August 24
Slayer Prepare for the blood bath. Pits may have originated in the punk scene, but it was the metalheads who made it dangerous. Bless them. Fans of Rancid may run around in circles, waving their arms in the air, completely secure in the knowledge that if they fall someone is bound to help them to their feet. No such niceties are afforded those of the longer-haired persuasion. And Slayer fans are known to be among the most violent of the violent moshers. Fun for the whole family. Unsane and DFL open. Trocadero, 8 p.m., $15-17.
Sunday, August 25
Charles Parker Tribute Charlie Parker was the messiah of modern jazz. His alto sax was the shout that heralded the age of bebop, and his audiences were among the first to acknowledge jazz as an art form and a symbol of bohemian rebellion. Join Larry Schneider and the Dick Whittington Trio as they pay tribute to the Bird in the lovely environs of the Maybeck Recital Hall. 4 p.m., $25.
Monday, August 26
"Sono-Space: Light and Darkness" To this day the shakuhachi -- a woodwind instrument fundamental to traditional Japanese music -- is associated with reflection and meditation. The classical repertoire was gathered by Kurosawa Kinko in the mid-18th century from Buddhist temples and wandering monks who played throughout the countryside. Hideo Sekino, a Tokyo native and devout student of the ancient art form, will play and arrange pieces that express the transience of life and the deep power of nature; didgeridoo performer Marsha C. Long accompanies and Mary Sano performs an interpretive dance that will explore the relationship between light and dark. Theater of Yugen, 8 p.m., $8.
Tuesday, August 27
Sex Pistols Let's hear it for the band that started it all. Now look, some critics have deemed it pathetic and insulting that the Sex Pistols have regrouped. Those critics are just a bunch of fucking yobs. It is perfectly fair that the papas of punk should get a little payback now that there's money to be had. Think of it as a pension plan. Johnny Lydon has been perfectly honest about his fiscal intentions, and the band has no qualms about self-parody. So, I say, "God Save the Queen" one more time. Goldfinger and Gravity Kills open. Shoreline Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m., $21.50-25.
By Silke Tudor