Well, the Super Bowl of our area is upon us, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament, which officially kicks off Thursday, even though shenanigans have been going on since Monday.
So that means the local nightclubs, watering holes, restaurants, wine tasting rooms and music venues will be crawling with celebrities and golf fans. OK, maybe just golf fans.
Truth be told, I thought some of the local venues would up the ante and bring out the big guns, but the only big guns scheduled this week — New Orleans legend Dr. John at the Golden State Theatre and reggae star Pato Banton in Salinas — were postponed and canceled, respectively. Although there is Brenton Wood (remember "Oogum Boogum" and "Gimme Little Sign?") Saturday night at the Fox Theater in Salinas. FoxTheaterSalinas.com or Vallitix.com for tix on that one.
So what does that leave us? Well, a combination of local favorites, a couple of newbies and a indie circus out of Oakland. Yes, an indie circus. From Oakland. More on that later.
The obvious hots spots, whether it's music, dancing or just drinking (and gawking) are Cannery Row, downtown Monterey, Carmel and, of course Pebble Beach. And here are some of the hot venues: Roy's, Tap Room, The Bench, Rio Grill, Mundaka, Vesuvio's, Dametra, Brophy's, Cantinetta Luca, Jack London's, Mission Ranch, 1833, Cibo, Montrio, My Attic, CRBC, Sly McFly's, Planet Gemini. Did I miss anyone? I'm sure I did, but this list is not all-inclusive, just my best guess.
And here are some of the bands (and DJs) you'll see in those joints: The Money Band and The IPOs Friday and Saturday at Sly's; DJ Steb and DJ Hanif at 1833 and CRBC; BTA Friday and Saturday at Cibo; Cheeky Spanks at Tavern Off the Green at Mission Ranch on Friday night; DJ Darth Friday night at Luca; and comedian Eric Blake at Planet Gemini.
For something a little different than the dance bands and such, try old-timey music with The Emery Bops and Mikey Selbicky Friday night at Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room on Cannery Row; local rock-folk singer-songwriter Jay Burriss Saturday night at London Bridge Pub; jazz-pop singer Andrea Carter Friday night at Bistro 211 in The Crossroads; jazz with Bob Burnett & Sasha Landry Friday night at Plaza Linda in Carmel Valley or with the David Morwood Band Friday and Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Monterey; or blues-rock with Monterey's hard-edged The Audio Waltz and Bogie & the Turtles Friday night at Blue Fin on Cannery Row.
Or how about some more dance-oriented music? Then try The Wharf Rats with dynamic singer Nancy Jones at the Fuse Lounge in Carmel Friday night or Carla Blackwell, also Friday night, at Casa Sorrento in Salinas.
A little more far afield, you may want to check out L.A.-based singer-songwriters Shane Alexander and Kyle McNeil at the Maiden Pub in Big Sur or perhaps Carmel based rock-pop singer-songwriter Tommy Faia at Plaza Linda in Carmel Valley.
But the two shows you may not want to miss this week are the California Honeydrops and the Dani Paige Band Thursday night at 8 and the aforementioned Vespertine Circus Saturday night at 8, both at the Golden State Theatre in downtown Monterey.
The Honeydrops are an inspired replacement for Dr.
The band honed its rough-and-ready style by busking in the subway stations of Oakland, as well as with constant touring, including six European tours. The band already has four albums to its credit, including a live album, an album of B-sides and two studio efforts "Soul Tub!" and "Spreadin' Honey."
And Monterey's own Dani Paige Band should be a great opener with its jet-propelled rock 'n' soul and the spirited vocals of lead singer Paige.
Tickets are $18 in advance at the box office or goldenstatetheatre.com or $20 day of show.
Vespertine, also out of Oakland, features acrobatics, juggling, clowning, aerial-artistry and dance featuring a small collection of young "ambitious oddballs," whose mission is "overwhelmingly inspired by the golden age of traveling sideshow and traditional family-based circuses. We believe that some things are worth doing because they are beautiful; no other justification is needed."
Show kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday, tickets are $20 general and $10 child in advance or $25 and $15 at the door.
By the way, if you bought tickets to the Dr. John concert, you can get in free just by showing your tickets, which will also be honored when Dr. John returns, reportedly in September.
And don't forget the finale of the monthly Independent Marketplace is Thursday from 4-9 p.m. in Sand City. Check out my story above or at montereyherald.com/gomagazine.
And speaking of New Orleans legends, piano great Allen Toussaint plays Monday night at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. Over a 40-year career Toussaint has played with virtually every New Orleans musician worth his or her salt, from Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, andThe Meters, to Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey and Ernie K-Doe.Tickets are $28 advance at 427-5100 and online at www.kuumbwajazz.org or $31 door.