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Club Life

539 Alma St., Palo Alto; 650.566.1381; www.art21.us

By Todd Inoue

By day, Art21 is a downtown Palo Alto contemporary art gallery. When the weekend approaches and the sun goes down, the spot sets up a PA and opens its doors to live jazz and poetry. Independent promoter Earthwise Productions recently became part of the mix introducing touring performers ranging from wistful singer/songwriters to a Swedish jazz-funk trio. This Sunday, Earthwise presents an eclectic show with new folk artist Michael Fracasso, Chris Austin Songwriting Contest winner AJ Roach and Houston-based law student/acoustic strummer Annie Lin (pictured above).

Lin has been on my radar recently with her latest album, Truck Was Stuck. Despite her professed admiration for Lisa Loeb, the songwriter appears to have more in common with Lois Maffeo, Aimee Mann or Mary Lou Lord. The album does a thematic Memento-style backtrack about a traffic accident, beginning with the hospital visit before revealing the distractions and drama that lead to it. She hits a comfy stride on the album standout "Ambulance Driver" before breaking into a gallop on "A Lot Like Me" and "Whole." Suckers for concept albums (revolving around tragedy) and pedigreed indie pop nerds will both find Annie Lin a welcome spot on their iTunes playlist.

As for the Swedish jazz funk thing, that's EST, or the Esborn Svensson Trio, who perform at Art21 on Sept. 18—a pit stop along the way to the Monterey Jazz Festival. Most shows begin at 7pm, all shows are all-ages.

Aug 22: Annie Lin, Michael Fracasso, AJ Roach
Aug 27: Neil Adler
Sep 3: Jessie Norfleet and Melvin Arterberry
Sep 10: Private Music
Sep 11: Neil Adler
Sep 17: Tim Enos and Norm Copperman
Sep 18: EST Trio
Oct 9: Steve Poltz

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From the August 18-24, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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