.Hit List: Best Music, Arts & Culture July 20-26

This week, witness the production that pushed pop punk over the top to claim its rightful place in the Western canon. Green Day’s American Idiot comes to City Lights Theater in San Jose’s SoFA District. Jill Scott brings her retro jazz, neo-soul and hip-hop sensibilities to The Mountain Winery. Toxic Summer drops the womp at the City National Civic, with EDM button-mashers 12th Planet, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, SKiSM, Trollphace and MUST DIE. And The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, Salt-N-Peppa take it way back at the Old School Legends Live show at SAP Center.
American Idiot
Thu, 8pm, $19-$39
City Lights Theatre, San Jose
City Lights Theater’s new adaptation of Green Day’s American Idiot adeptly packs the sprawling, Broadway-sized rock opera into an intimate black-box theater, without losing any of its explosive energy. With a full live band and multiple actors performing songs on guitar, the production is tight, wild and spontaneous. In its last show of the season, City Lights Theater Company has managed to bring startling new life to an arguably over-exposed musical. There are no surprises left with a show like American Idiot. City Lights knows this, and has modified its adaptation in a wonderfully endearing way.

Toxic Summer
Fri, 8pm, $50
City National Civic, San Jose
Vital Events, the same music promotion group known for “Wobbleland” and some of the most relentlessly fun dance nights at The Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz, is bringing its trademark energy and musical explosiveness to San Jose’s City National Civic. While the show is for all ages (16 and older), V.I.P and drinking sections will be available for those 21+. Other rave-ready features include free water and a smoking section. With performances by 12th Planet, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, SKiSM, Trollphace and MUST DIE, Toxic Summer promises to be a wild night of dubstep and trap wompage. (TM)

Aaron Frisby & Lance Cyril Mountain
Fri, 7pm, Free
Seeing Things Gallery, San Jose
As the son of the influential pro skater Lance Mountain, Lance Cyril Mountain was exposed to skateboarding—along with the art and music of skate culture—at a very young age. When he was just four years old, one of his drawings became a popular graphic used by Powell Skateboards. The younger Mountain returns to Seeing Things Gallery, which hosted his first solo art show back in 2014. The group show will also feature Aaron Frisby, an Oklahoma-based mixed-media artist, who assembles vibrant collages out of colorized black-and-white photos. (ST)
Star Trek in Barco Escape
Fri, 5:35pm, $9.50
Camera 12, San Jose
Home-streaming has trampled the box office monopoly on cinema, as audiences have been seduced by the glut of options accessible in the ever-replenishing rabbit holes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. To win them back, Camera 12 will be rolling out a new cinematic technology at their premiere of Star Trek Beyond. The new three-screen “Barco Escape” format—which has been described as a “3D experience without the glasses” and hailed as a massive upgrade for silver screens—aims to elevate the lens-flare-laden adventures of the Starship Enterprise and her intrepid crew. (JF)
Jill Scott
Fri, 5:30pm, $50
Mountain Winery, Saratoga
Blending poignant poetry with retro-jazz vocals and hip-hop sensibilities, Jill Scott is one of the best known names in neo-soul. The powerhouse vocalist wields a voice that smolders in the lower registers, dripping alternately with melancholy, longing and independence. She can also climb the vocal register and strike at notes in the rarest of octaves. Originally discovered by Questlove, she’s as comfortable warbling the hook on rapper Lupe Fiasco’s Grammy-winning single “Daydreamin’” as she is laying down spoken-word gospel on her anthem of persistence, “When I Wake Up.” She recently starred in the James Brown biopic “Get On Up” as the Godfather of Soul’s second wife. (JF)

Fri, 10pm, Free
Pure Lounge, Sunnyvale
Thomas Joseph Rozdilsky passed on a professional golf career for a job with less pomp and more noise. Creator of the uber-popular mix “Bounce Generation,” TJR specializes in all realms of DJ-ing, from producing to mixing to live scratching—a rarity in the era of preprogrammed playlists. He builds his drops to precipitous heights, then unleashes gobsmacking bass, slathered with horns that sound like they’ve been put through a taffy stretcher. A savant of club anthems, he collaborated with Pitbull on “Don’t Stop the Party,” providing a brain-burrowing kick and snare for Mr. Worldwide, who asks the gathered crowd if they’re “having a good time out there.” He is answered, deliriously, in the affirmative. (JF)

Old School Legends Live
Fri, 6:30pm, $35.50- $67.50
SAP Center, San Jose
Back in 1979, a group of fast-rhyming upstarts from New Jersey scored a Top 40 hit with a little number called “Rapper’s Delight.” The song, which combined funk, soul and disco rhythms with spoken—rather than sung—words is one of the first hip-hop tracks to ever gain national attention. Three years later, in 1982, Grandmaster Flash sowed the seeds for gangster rap, painting a bleak picture of urban poverty with “The Message.” A few years on, Salt-n-Peppa put their own, sexy spin on the emergent genre, winning a Grammy for “Push It.” These three rap legends, along with Lisa Lisa and Stevie B all perform this Friday. (NV)

The Shrews
Fri, 8pm, $8
The Ritz, San Jose
Los Gatos indie rockers The Shrews blend overdriven guitars, precise and propulsive rhythms, and catchy vocal melodies with an unmistakable swagger. Drawing upon their influences—from the crisp pop of The Beatles to the gritty, proto-punk of The Velvet Underground—The Shrews build songs that sound distinctly modern, while simultaneously paying homage to the bands that pioneered rock & roll. Presented by Scene!, The Jean Jackets, Mercy High, Joan & The Rivers and The Roughies will also perform. (NV)

Morning Coffee
Sat, 7:30pm, Free
O’Malley’s Sports Pub, Mountain View
If quaffing uncut cold brew and slamming energy supplements isn’t doing the trick, try a windmill punch to the face. San Jose hardcore outfit Morning Coffee will gladly provide the soundtrack. Combining breakneck drumming with bowl-rattling breaks and caustic, concussive vocals, they don’t so much pen songs, as assemble improvised explosive audio devices. None of the five high-velocity tracks on Things I Think About When I’m Alone exceeds the 2:30 mark, and “Scars On My Face” clocks in at just 27 seconds. Who cares? You’ve got other things to worry about, like watching your back while you flail in the pit. (NV)
River Ratts
Sat, 9pm, $6
BackBar SoFA, San Jose
Hailing from Jamaica, ska deals in groovy rhythms, bright horn pops and melodious, fedora-wearing frontmen, who roll around on longboards. Hardcore exists in stuffy garages and dingy clubs, where riffs rip at the sonic spectrum, drums accelerate into the red, and vocalists push the limits of their larynxes. The River Ratts merge these two seemingly disparate genres, taking their mashups far beyond even the heaviest Sublime b-side. On “fuck you and what your going through,” the SoCal band flip between breezy, upstroked interludes, punctuated by melodious steel drums, and grinding, hard-charging hardcore seshes—culminating in a singular, split-personality sound. (JF)


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