July 25-31, 2007

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Music Picks

Chanteuse Soiree, LeAnn Rimes and Strike Cupertino

Chanteuse Soiree: CATCH THREE of the Bay Area's top female jazz vocalists in one extraordinary evening at the Little Fox Theatre in Redwood City. Wendy Waller, Jennifer Lee and Juliet Green perform jazz standards and original compositions, as the three songstresses each showcase their unique perspectives on the jazz tradition. Waller's uncanny vocal abilities have earned her the adoration of numerous jazz critics, while the sophisticated style of Jennifer Lee continually brings audiences to life. Originally from Maui, Hawaii, Juliet Green began teaching music in the Portola Valley before joining the award-winning a cappella group +4db, and later the jazz quintet Moodswing. (Garrett Wheeler) Chanteuse Soiree happens on Sunday (July 29) at 7pm at Little Fox Theatre, 2209 Broadway, Redwood City. Tickets are $16–$18. (650.369.4119)

LeAnn Rimes: Whoa! When did LeAnne Rimes get all grown up? It seems only yesterday she was singing her 14-yr-old heart out getting so "blue over you." That album won her a Grammy, making her the youngest person ever to do so. Well now that she's married, (did you catch her MTV cribs episode with her new hubbie?), she has experience to back up her heartfelt lyrics. Of course, she still has the chops too. (Liz McGurn) LeAnn Rimes performs on Friday (July 27) at 7:30pm at Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga. Tickets are $39.50–$59.50. (408.998.TIXS)

Strike One: HERE'S SOMETHING that never happens: I'm at a crowded nightspot wishing the throng of people waiting at the bar would just vanish, when out of the confusion appears an attractive young waitress carrying a tray with a single frosty beer, which she offers to me, free of charge. I accept the magical miracle beer and take a sip—it tastes nostalgically like high school. Then she saunters away just like she came, strutting her stuff as if a camera crew were following her every move—which it was.

Last week, Strike Cupertino (on Wolfe Road south of 280), a swank, newfangled bowling alley at the renovated Vallco Fashion Park, now Cupertino Square, celebrated its impending grand opening with a generous media and VIP pre-party, during which bowling, eats and drinks were all free. That was enough to lure me, along with everyone, their mothers and their mothers' camera crews to the party, the result of which was something of a clusterfuck—all lanes, pool and air hockey tables and arcade games already taken, nowhere to sit, little room to even stand and eat any of the free food. They even ran out of short glasses for drinks, which meant I never got to try the margarita I ordered (I saw the big bottles of Patron flowing and couldn't resist).

Still, the place was pretty impressive, feeling like a cross between an ultralounge, a sports bar (TVs over every lane!) and a laser tag arena (black lights are the new fluorescent). It's definitely not your father's bowling alley (unless you are the offspring of the guy that owns it), meaning that Jeffrey 'the Dude' Lebowski wouldn't step foot in here if Bunny's life depended on it. Even the shoes are new, with "Strike" embroidered on each one. But for those who like their bowling like they like their ultralounge—clean, automated, kind of expensive and tastefully lit, Strike!'s got some balls for you. (Mike Connor) Strike Cupertino is located at Cupertino Square on Wolfe Road south of Highway 280.

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