Channeling Jackie Harvey

You know you’re headed for Pennysaver territory—the musical analogue to Mary Jane Popp’s “Snack, Travel and Popp” restaurant reviews, perhaps—when you start cruising suburban shopping-center art fairs to check out the music talent. Nevertheless, there the Scene Weasel was on Sunday, at the “art fiesta” at Town & Country Village, at Fulton and Marconi avenues, where a veritable cornucopia of future thrift-store masterpieces awaited—even some garish acrylic clown paintings.

And, hidden behind the snooty William Glen store, under a blue tent, sat Bolivian guitarist and pan-pipe player Oscar Reynolds, who lives downriver in Pittsburg. He was fiddling with the sound system, which played one of his CDs. As a connoisseur of shopping-center Andean folk music, the Weasel was disappointed that Reynolds wasn’t playing guitar or blowing his pan pipes; he just sat there, all alone. His CD sounded nice, though.

In a better-traveled part of the shopping center, a Chapman Stick player named Michael K was busy tossing off bizjazz licks and chatting up the small crowd. “I still get hate mail,” he told one woman. “My next-door neighbor told me, ‘I’ve got my stereo cranked all the way up and my vacuum cleaner on, and I can still hear you.” Guess you had to be there.

The Weasel has been on a business-jazz tear lately, and what better way to whet that jones than a visit to the first annual Auburn JazzFest this Saturday at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, located at 1230 High Street in Auburn? The fest kicks off at 2:30 p.m. and features Ray Obiedo with Pete Escovedo, Frank Martin & Friends, Michael Manring, Grant Reeves, Carol J. Toca, Incendio, Lorraine Gervais and foothill-based smooth-jazz-fusion band Objects in the Mirror. The latter quintet has a new CD, Drive, which is closer to Open Fire-era Ronnie Montrose than, say, the Rippingtons. Admission at the gate is $55, with “gold” VIP seating priced at $75. For more info, check

Up Highway 49, at Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts (314 W. Main Street), there’s a pretty spiffy non-bizjazz event at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, with three fine female singer-songwriters: Noe Venable, Elena Powell and Carolyn Aiken. None of them play the soprano sax, and $15 will get you in. It’s the last time you’ll be able to see Venable for a while, because she’s headed to New York for an extended period.

And last, right here in Sacramento on Sunday, June 13, there’s a fund-raiser to help refurbish the 24th Street Theatre at—natch—the 24th Street Theatre inside the Sierra 2 Center for the Arts, 2791 24th Street. The show, They Can’t Make Things Up Like This!, stars Bay Area political satirist Will Durst. Nevada City folksinger Bodhi Busick, who’s spent a lot of time hanging out with folk legend U. Utah Phillips and virtually none hanging out with Kenny G., will open the show, which starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $50, and you can give more if the spirit moves you.