Music News & Reviews

Three to See: KRS-One, Chuck Ragan and Al Kooper

KRS-One, shown a decade ago at the VH1 hip-hop honors show in New York, takes the stage Friday at Harlow’s.
KRS-One, shown a decade ago at the VH1 hip-hop honors show in New York, takes the stage Friday at Harlow’s. Sacramento Bee file



10:30 p.m. Friday


The Arizona Daily Star has reported that the Tucson Unified School District is under fire from the outgoing state superintendent for violating state rules on ethnic studies, in part by using KRS-One’s “An Introduction to Hip-Hop” in an African American studies class. A letter of noncompliance took umbrage to the quote that “Hip-hop is defined as the artistic response to oppression.” It is for situations such as these that KRS-One (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone) does what he does. He is as relevant as ever after more than 25 years, and throughout that time, things like “letters of noncompliance” have served as inspiration for his legendary lyricism. Doors 10 p.m. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $20-$25.

Chuck Ragan


9 p.m. Saturday


With Witch Room, Marilyn’s on K and Assembly going the way of the dodo in 2014, new kid on the block Goldfield has been quietly doing its part to fill the void in venues, sprinkling in some slots for national touring acts that stretch beyond their standard slate of weekend boot-scootin’ country rock. The former frontman of Hot Water Music has transfigured into a cult hero of alternative Americana rock, a vocalist husked with splintery Southern howl who is not afraid to keep close tabs on his rowdy punk-rock roots. Pawnshop Kings and Jake Desrochers lend support. 1630 J St., Sacramento. $20.

Al Kooper


7 p.m. Thursday


Perhaps the most famous Hammond organ riffs of all time are also the most divisive. When Al Kooper mashed down the keys on Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” it lit the fuse on a revolution of electric rock and roll, but also drew the ire of folk rock purists. Also lending a hand to Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Rolling Stones, Kooper gained fame as a supporting man and producer royale, but also has carved out his own cubby space in the halls of rock history with 10 solo albums over the last 50 years. This solo performance is Kooper’s only Northern California tour stop. Doors 6 p.m. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $30.

Looking ahead: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin. Jan. 25 at Auburn Event Center

Tickets for country legend Dave Alvin (with brother Phil) and the Guilty Ones at the cozy “Foothill Fillmore” don’t figure to last much longer. Giddyap! 145 Elm Ave, Auburn. $25.