Brass Menazeri: balkan brass first Thursdays coming to the Mission

If you think New Orleans is where you’ll find the best brass bands, you might want to take a second look at Southeastern Europe.

Balkan music is high-energy, virtuosic brass/percussion at it’s best and it has been finding it’s way into more American acts. You may have heard the influence in the music coming from that moody New Mexico kid Beirut, who is apparently more popular now than the actual Lebanese city which bares the same name.

San Francisco has its own Balkan Brass band, Brass Menazeri, who have been tearing it up for years. In fact, they are probably one of the only groups of their caliber in the states. Their shows are dancey and fun. Here’s a clip of them on Chasing the Moon.

If you’re into this stuff, starting October they are performing first Thursdays at El Valenciano. You know, that place you always walk by and wonder, “what goes on in there, anyway?”. Turns out, it’s actually a beautiful room with a lot of charm and an excellent dance floor.

Thursday, October 6, 2011 Brass Menazeri – now every first thursday!!!!
1153 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA (United States) – Map
Set: 9:00 PM
Tickets: $5-10

Surprise Slavic Soul Party Show @ Amnesia Tonight

You don’t want to miss this: Slavic Soul Party is a Balkan brass band from Brooklyn that doesn’t make it out here too often, and when they do it’s in much bigger venues. They just announced that they’ll be playing at the Mission tonight.

In addition to the Serbian brass band tradition, they mix in some American funk, soul, New Orleans, and whatever-the-fuck-they-want traditions. They even did a Nirvana tune on one of their records (and not some trite version of “Lithium” or something… try often overlooked In Utero gem “Very Ape”)!

Tonight (Sat, Nov 13) they will be performing at Amnesia with the Bay Area’s own premiere Balkan brass band Brass Menazeri. Who knows, if you’re lucky you might catch them all teaming up like Voltron and marching up Valencia St. later tonight.

Tonight: Balkan Brass for Haiti @ El Rio

I know.  You want to do your part for Haiti, but you’ve already stuffed your face to the limit with Bi-Rite bake sale goodies and texted 90999 from your mom’s cellphone at least twenty times.  Well, there’s more!

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief in Haiti is hosting a benefit tonight at El Rio (Mission @ Caesar Chavez) featuring quite a diverse collection of musical performances.  Headlining is Brass Menažeri, a frenetic, cascading rhythm of Serbian, Macedonian, Greek & Rajasthani Roma.

Other acts include the percussive jazzy stylings of Ezra Lipp and Ofir Uzier; Sean Lee with some one-man-banjo old timey twanging; Arthur Adams strumming some Haitian pop guitar (H-Pop>J-Pop?); and of course the Mission’s own La Corde opening everything up with some loud punk rock.  Makes sense, right?

$1 PBR and $2 well drinks!  Determine your own legacy of generosity at the door with a sliding scale that starts at only $5.  The music begins promptly at 8pm.