After a smattering of stops around the country, including the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, the Jacksons — Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito — brings the "Unity Tour" to Saratoga's Mountain Winery on July 27. And rather than an attempt to push individual solo projects, the quartet instead offers a setlist that gets to the heart of what fans want to hear.
"My mom had always told Michael and my other siblings that it was her wish to see her sons back together onstage before she passed on," Tito Jackson tells San Francisco Chronicle. "But then tragedy struck and Michael died, and we just thought it's now or never. Who better to sing Jackson 5 hits and Michael's songs than his own brothers? We've been doing this since crawling out of our cribs. It's a part of us. That's the way I look at it."
The Mountain Winery offers a "Life of the Party VIP Package" for $399 (not including "convenience fees") that includes a meet and greet with the guys. It's steep, to be sure, but perhaps a small price for a venture capitalist to pay for a rare glimpse at music's royal family. Regular tickets start at $49.50.
On the arty indie rock tip, Dirty Projectors heads to Oakland's Fox Theater on July 27 in support of the new (and sixth) album Swing Lo Magellan and its arresting single "Gun Has No Trigger." The acoustics of the room are going to mesh beautifully with the Brooklyn band's lush sound. Incidentally, Fiona Apple is playing the Fox the next night (July 28); it's sold out, but the truly curious/deep-pocketed can always find a way through Stubhub, Craigslist, or their friendly neighborhood scalper.
Big K.R.I.T., a promising young rapper from Mississippi who writes and produces his own tracks and recently released his debut album Live from the Underground on Def Jam, takes the stage at Slim's in San Francisco on July 27 and the Catalyst in Santa Cruz on July 28. He already had a sizable fanbase at last year's Rock the Bells hip-hop festival at Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mountain View (which returns to the venue, minus K.R.I.T., on August 25-26). Expect a thoughtful, all-ages crowd of people who know the words and an opportunity to see how the genre is evolving articulately.