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Jazz legends Alice and Ravi Coltrane hit SF Jazz Fest 

Wednesday, Nov 1 2006
Some bands are good for a brief fling then forgotten; others you pathologically revisit because they've got their teeth buried in your buttons. Sweden's Love Is All is in the latter category; it skronks with such overdriven insistence the music demands you leech off its staccato desires. Flirting with lo-fi post-punk tricks familiar to fans of Liliput, X-Ray Spex, Life Without Buildings, and James Chance, Love Is All inhabits a stalker-esque purgatory as desperate and affected as a John Cusack movie, and just as endearing. Crush out on the nervy writhing at Popscene — on Thursday, Nov. 2, with doors at 10 p.m. — and you'll likely end up singing Love Is All's praises nine times over. Visit for more info. — Tony Ware

It feels genuinely old-school to say, but I fell for OK Go's infectious power pop through the power of the band's persuasive video. The now nearly ubiquitous clip — available at a YouTube near you — is for the song "Here It Goes Again." For those not privy to the comedy and coordination at stake there, the Chicago act performs a synchronized dance on three rows of moving treadmills — leaping between, strutting on, and spinning around the human hamster wheels. I've watched the damn thing more often than I can count, and it still busts me up every time. Fun facts: The video took 40 takes to finish, and the band used 13 of those for the final cut. According to the group's publicist, no one landed in the hospital, but there were "black-and-blue bums, for sure." Hopefully, the members of OK Go will keep their bums a healthy shade of peach when performing here on Thursday, Nov. 2, at Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. The show is sold out; visit for more info. — Jennifer Maerz

There may be no separating Alice Coltrane from the massive influence her husband John had on post-bop jazz, but there's also no denying the gifted musician her unique place in history. Holding down the piano stool in the tenor titan's group through the controversial, often atonal exploration that marked the final stage of his career, Alice Coltrane would pursue her own mix of modal blues and Indian spiritualism on such transcendent releases as Journey to Satchidananda and Ptah the El Daoud before withdrawing from music to open an ashram in the late '70s. Over two decades later, Coltrane has returned to performing and recording with encouragement from saxophone-playing son Ravi, who joins free-jazz bass hero Charlie Haden and legendary drummer Roy Haynes when the Alice Coltrane Quartet makes a rare appearance as part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Masonic Auditorium at 8 p.m. Admission is $25-85; visit for more info. — Dave Pehling

A monolithically important reggae producer and one of the pioneering architects of dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry helped shape both Jamaican music and the alchemy of spliffed-out studio remix science with his expansive, echo-chambered manipulation behind the soundboard of Black Ark studios during the 1970s. While his recorded output as a performer sometimes suffered during the age of digital dub in the decade that followed, the wizened septuagenarian Perry has earned critical kudos for his most recent release, Panic in Babylon. Expect cryptic onstage pronouncements, an impenetrable fog of ganja smoke, and a huge outpouring of One Love when the Yoda of reggae music takes the stage backed by New York outfit Dub Is a Weapon for two nights starting Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Independent at 9 p.m. Admission is $25; call 771-1422 or visit for more info. — D.P.


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