Our Weekly Picks: March 14-20

Pub date March 13, 2012


“History of the Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe”

Those hurting from lurid leprechaun depictions could do worse than attend San Francisco’s Crossroads Irish American Festival (going on now through April 7) for legitimate, culturally relevant Éire-inspired happenings. Lectures, live music, dance — and don’t worry, this is no stodgy teetotaler lineup, either. Visitors to the California Historical Society today can check out the group’s collection of artifacts of (and a presentation regarding) that very San Francisco of beverages, the Irish coffee. Ephemera from the drink’s progenitors at Buena Vista Cafe in Fisherman’s Wharf, correspondence with the Irish Consul, drink propaganda going back decades. A trip to your favorite cozy bar to sample a cup is required post-exhibit. (Caitlin Donohue)

5:30-7:30 p.m., free with RSVP (rsvp@calhist.org or 415-357-1848, ext. 229)

California Historical Society

678 Mission, SF



The Knux

Hailing from “the real New Orleans” where “every day was hell,” the Knux isn’t fucking around. Brothers Kentrell “Krispy” Lindsey and Alvin “Joey” Lindsey wear skinny jeans and Converse, but if you call them hipster rappers, they will crush you. The Knux released its second full-length album, Eraser, last September and seem to play shows as frequently as humanly possible. Their heady brand of hip hop integrates elements of punk and garage rock, and most of their songs are at least a little bit (if not entirely) about sex; drugs figure in prominently, too. Joey has called their performances “a musical orgasm on stage.” Tempting. (Mia Sullivan)

With Vibrant Sound, the Cuss

9:30 p.m., $12

Café Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016



Willie Nelson

“Outlaw” is a term that tends to be thrown around a little bit too liberally these days, particularly when it comes to discussing musicians — but one man that undoubtedly deserves that title is Willie Nelson, whose five-decade and counting career as a singer, songwriter, poet, author, and social activist has been forged entirely on his own terms. Known for his own recording hits, his partnerships with people such as Johnny Cash, his slew of songwriting successes (notably the classic tune “Crazy,” as made famous by Patsy Cline), the 78-year-old icon continues to prove that he is a musical and social force to be reckoned with. (Sean McCourt)

With Pegi Young and the Survivors

8 p.m., $55

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakl.



San Francisco Dance Film Festival

Now San Francisco really has reason to brag about its Dance Film Festival. The first two editions of the fest packed ’em in, not because of big names but because the selections, mostly shorts, were so varied and, for the most part, mesmerizing. This year the festival boasts three different programs in three different locations, with 23 films (including four feature-length documentaries) from ten countries. A particularly fine doc is Joffrey: Mavericks on American Dance, which has an additional post-fest screening at the Balboa Theater on Mon/19 (www.balboamovies.com). As the film demonstrates, Robert Joffrey was one of America’s most adventurous artistic directors, both in terms of commissioning new work and restaging historical ones. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sun/18, $10–$100

Various locations, SF



“Life and Death in Black and White: AIDS Direct Action in San Francisco, 1985-1990”

Last month’s splendid display of well-selected AIDS quilt panels in the Castro (which commemorated dozens of passed community members), excellent local HIV oral history doc We Were Here (which should have won the Oscar), and recent fetishization of early 1990s gay party music in the clubs (which … don’t ask) have opened a fascinating wormhole into the recent — and recently unspeakable — past. The invaluable unearthing of contemporary gay history continues: we’ve moved from the Milkeolithic into the HIVoscene. The GLBT History Museum’s new exhibition “Life and Death in Black and White” will help dig even deeper, bringing important and inspiring ACT-UP and other protest photographs by Jane Philomen Cleland, Patrick Clifton, Marc Geller, Rick Gerharter, and Daniel Nicoletta to light. (Marke B.)

Through July 1

Reception tonight, 7-9 p.m., $3-5

GLBT History Museum

4127 18th St., SF

(415) 621-1107



Lindstrøm (cancelled)

We should all hold off final judgment at least until Mungolian Jet Set makes its way over here, but otherwise, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is currently Norway’s funkiest export — if for no other reason than that the electronic musician has been anointed by having prog-rock legend Todd Rundgren remix his latest single, “Quiet Place to Live.” It’s an inspired move, particularly since the album it comes from — Six Cups of Rebel — has the same anything-goes eclecticism that marked Rundgren’s work. The result, which feature Lindstrøm’s vocals for the first time, plays like a post-disco version of cuts from Rundgren’s 1973 prog classic A Wizard, a True Star. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Magic Touch, Conar, Solar, and more

9 p.m., $18


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880



Hot Buttered Rum

This friendly San Francisco-based quintet delivers twangy bluegrass bliss with its signature woodwind accents. Heavily influenced by jam giants like the Grateful Dead, Phish, and Béla Fleck, Hot Buttered Rum’s music is light, fun, and compositionally lush. Although HBR has developed a jammy, improvisational style and reputation over the years, the group focused more on songwriting while making its latest album, Limbs Akimbo. Band member Erik Yates (banjos, guitars, woodwinds, and vocals) has described the album as “deeper” and more reflective of struggle than its previous work, which explored utopian themes like backpacking, first love, and materialism. Did I mention most of these men were reared in Northern California? (Sullivan)

With Cornmeal

9 p.m., $21

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750


Layo & Bushwacka

Matthew Benjamin and Layo Puskin first joined forces in the 1990s during the hustle and bustle of London’s acid house scene. Since then, the affectionately dubbed DJ-producer duo Layo & Bushwacka continue to pump out tracks that straddle the fence between pounding techno and groovy house music on their own Olmeto Records. “Love Story,” from their 2002 release Night Works, remains the seminal example of their classic, no-frills tech house, with vintage-sounding vocals and catchy melodies layered over driving beats. (Kevin Lee)

With !K7, Ripperton, Eduardo Castillo, VOODOO, and Brandt Brauer Frick

9:30 p.m., $20

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955



Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail

Wine country tours are all well and good — until it’s your turn to be the designated driver. Enter the cheesemaker tour, brought to you courtesy of the California Artisan Cheese Guild. The association’s nifty new map has directions to 27 producers of blue, washed rind, semi-soft, and surface-ripened wonders in Sonoma and Marin Counties, from Tomales’ Ramini mozzarella (made from the milk of water buffalos) to the Italian-style snacks of Sebastopol’s Bohemian Creamery. Samples and tours are available at many of the cheeseries, consult your handy (available online) map for which ones are which. Two different 50-mile driving routes await you, as does — perhaps less explicitly — a picnic in the high grasses, or perhaps sunny sand dunes with a wheel or three. (Donohue)


Various cheesemakers, Sonoma and Marin Counties



Robert Glasper Experiment

Following his singular and hilarious performance with Reggie Watts at Yoshi’s last month, pianist Robert Glasper returns, this time with his full band. The Robert Glasper Experiment has just released Black Radio, in which Glasper seems to be taking a shot at infusing some life back into jazz as well as raising the bar back up on popular music. Prominently blending jazz, R&B, and hip-hop, the album feature collaborations with Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def (a.k.a. Yasiin Bey), and many others, as well as an unexpected cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The assuredly tight band will features guest vocalist Bilal at these dates. (Prendiville)

Tonight, 8 p.m., $20–$25

New Parish

579 18th St., Oakl.


Also Sun/18, 9 p.m., $20-25

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782



Kafana Balkan

A few short years ago, it seemed like wild Balkan dance parties were everywhere. Not so left-field a concept! (And not just because we have a sizeable population of hard-partying Eastern European immigrants.) The whirling Romany, a.k.a. gypsy, tunes and wanderlust ethos served as perfect redux for post-playa burners, California dreamers, nomadic spirits, and techno-fatigued clubgoers. The music’s woozy brass oompahs, astonishing accordion flights, and multiple time-signatures tapped into familiar, ecstatic Norteño, Irish jig, and polka veins while appealing to musicological intellects and enthusiastic dancers. Some great gypsy parties remain, especially at Amnesia Bar in the Mission. But hoist your glass of rakija for the return of one of the largest and best: Kafana Balkan swings back into action with fantastic DJ Zeljko and a live blast from the Brass Menazeri ensemble. It’ll be rather good-insane. (Marke B.)

9 p.m., $10

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF



Barbary Coast Burlesque

Consider the bunny. Scotty the Blue Bunny that is, a azure spandex-clad gent whose providence could only be, and sure enough is, San Francisco. Scotty stalks the stage in transparent plastic stripper heels and towering blue wabbit ears, a walking, talking, anthropomorphic vaudeville game. Would you believe he’s not the main attraction in his own troupe? No, no, that honor must be bestowed upon the betasseled lovelies of the Barbary Coast Burlesque, formed in 2006 by the elegantly-monikered Bunny Pistol. This, friends, is retro-sex — sleek and classy Burly Q in a city that does it very well. Check out this month’s Barbary Coast showcase at the equally impressive Yoshi’s, and resist the urge to hop-hop-hop onstage to join in the fun. (Donohue)

8 p.m., $20

Yoshi’s San Francisco

1330 Fillmore, SF

(415) 655-5600




Led by singer-bassist Glen Benton, Deicide has been storming stages and terrorizing the music world for nearly 25 years with their Florida-bred brand of death metal, stirring up controversy with their anti-religion lyrics, offstage antics, and (of course) their extreme sound. Returning to San Francisco on the “March of Death 2012” tour in support of their latest album, last year’s To Hell With God, fans can expect nothing less than a night of brutal blast beats, demonic vocals, and thrashing guitars. (McCourt)

With Jungle Rot, Abigail Williams, and Lecherous Nocturne

8 p.m., $25–$28

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF


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