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Hit List: Best Music, Art & Culture Jan 5-8

In Clubs, Culture, Music
ALADDIN SANE: The Caravan celebrate's David Bowie's 70th birthday this week.

ALADDIN SANE: The Caravan celebrate's David Bowie's 70th birthday this week.

David Bowie died a year ago this week—on his 69th birthday. Celebrate the legacy of this pop legend at The Caravan’s Bowie Ball or yuck it up with “This American Life” contributor and comedian Kurt Braunohler at Rooster T. Feathers. Check out new artwork from one of the South Bay’s most prolific grafitti artists, Girafa, at his group show at Seeing Things Gallery. And don’t miss the new face of young country, Kane Brown, when he comes to The Rodeo Club.

Bowieball
Thu, 10pm, Free
Caravan Lounge, San Jose
It’s been almost a year since David Bowie died. Felled by liver cancer at 69, Bowie continued to work up until the week before his death, releasing his final and 25th studio album—Blackstar—just days before passing away on Jan. 10, 2016. Over the course of his career, Bowie dipped his toes into folk rock, glam, electronic and experimental music—leaving an indelible mark on the pop music landscape before turning to face the strange. Celebrate the life of this pop provocateur like he would have wanted: by putting on your red shoes and dancing … with a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon. (NV)

Bar Con
Thu, 8pm, $8-$10
BackBar SoFa, San Jose
Anime. Booze. Rock. Celebrate the art and music of anime outside of the confines of the McEnery Convention Center. Chat about everything from Pokémon to the miscasting of Ghost in the Shell over $5 specialty drinks, music and more. There will be two screens of anime, and live performances by J-rock artists Phoenix Ash and Akai Sky, and a set by DJ Lawbster. There will also be retro gaming consoles on hand; and judging by a poll on the Bar Con Facebook page, it looks like Kirby Superstar on the Super Nintendo will be the featured game of the night. (NV)

Kurt Braunohler
Thu-Sat, 7-9pm, $14-$22
Rooster T. Feathers, Sunnyvale
Don’t let his coiffed blond hair and Mormon-next-door look fool you. Kurt Braunohler is one messed up dude. According to his 2013 stand-up spot on Conan, he breast fed until his was 5, started smoking at age 10 and takes a sick pleasure out of liking the years-old Facebook photos of long-forgotten high school acquaintances in the hopes of throwing them for a loop. A contributor to Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist network and the one-time host of IFC’s comedy game show Bunk, the 39-year-old comedian has tickled NPR listeners with his appearances on This American Life and Radiolab. (NV)

Arsenio Hall
Fri-Sat, 7:30pm, $25
The Improv, San Jose
With a career spanning three decades, Arsenio Hall needs no introduction. The comedian is best known for hosting The Arsenio Hall Show, which ran from 1989-1994—and was reprised from 2013-2014. The Cleveland-born comic got his start in stand-up in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles, where he made a few appearances on Soul Train and went on to star alongside Eddie Murphy in Coming To America. The 60-year-old Hall is making the rounds of the stand-up circuit. He comes to San Jose for a two-night special event this week. (NV)

Annie
Fri-Sun, 8pm, $40+
San Jose Center for Performing Arts
If you’re unfamiliar with the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, the Tony Award-winning 1977 musical, or its two film adaptations, there’s a good chance you’ve at least heard a few bars of Annie. Jay-Z sampled “It’s the Hard Knock Life”—by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin—on his “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).” The touring musical, which is directed by Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, is a brand new incarnation of the beloved Broadway production. It’s only in town for a couple of days, from Jan. 6-8, so get while the getting’s good. (NV)

Top To Bottom
Fri, 7pm, Free
Seeing Things Gallery
The title of this exhibition is apt, seeing as how the artists showing their work are known for a wide range of techniques and subject matter. There’s Girafa—one of the Bay Area’s best known reformed graffiti artists—who spent years bombing walls with his signature cartoon giraffe. Kristin Farr, a journalist, photographer, graphic designer and fine artist, has a passion for brightly colored, interlocking geometric shapes. Rich Jacobs’ endearingly sloppy pen-and-paper and watercolor sketches feel decidedly connected to the world of skateboarding and DIY punk zines. All three come together to ring in 2017 at Seeing Things. (NV)

Las Mañanitas: Juan Gabriel
Sat, 9pm, $10
BackBar SoFa, San Jose
It was a hard year for music fans. From David Bowie, through Prince and Leonard Cohen, and onto George Michael—we lost so many greats in 2016. But these are all English language artists. The Spanish-speaking world also lost icons last year, including the bolero, mariachi and Latin pop singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel. Known for penning numerous hits, including “Amor Eterno,” “Querida,” and “Abrázame Muy Fuerte,” Gabriel also holds the distinction of recording the best-selling album of all time—Recuerdos, Vol. II— in his home country of Mexico. Celebrate his birthday, life and legacy with Sonido Clash on Jan. 7. (NV)

Craig Cardiff
Sat, 7:30pm, Free
Red Rock Coffee, Mountain View
After meeting a woman with the words “Love is Louder” tattooed across one of her arms, Canadian singer and songwriter Craig Cardiff found himself compelled to ask for the meaning behind the inscription. That was the beginning of his two-and-a-half-year project, in which Cardiff collected stories from fans at his shows. The resulting record, Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise), is his distillation of all the tales—from the tragic to the triumphant and everything in between. The Juno Award-nominated musician comes to Mountain View to assure his audience that everything will work out. (NV)

Kane Brown
Sun, 7pm, $15
Club Rodeo, San Jose With his tattoo sleeves, gaged-out ears and darker-than-Dierks complexion, Kane Brown is a new and unique face in the world of country music. The millennial musician is on the rise in Nashville—after catching the attention of Sony executives with his cellphone-shot YouTube videos and 1 million-plus Facebook likes. “The world’s not used to it,” he told Billboard, when the music industry mag asked him about his mixed background and DIY approach. They better get used to it. His breakout hit, “Used to Love You Sober” made a big splash on the country charts and he just dropped his debut self-titled LP in December. (NV)

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