Our Weekly Picks: January 30-February 5

Pub date January 29, 2013



Bay Area thrash metal legend Testament has been unleashing its sonic assault, and inspiring untold legions of fans, for nearly 30 years now. Propelled by the powerful lead single “Native Blood,” which draws from singer Chuck Billy’s Native American roots and experiences, the band’s newest album, Dark Roots of Earth (Nuclear Blast) was released last summer, and features the band’s signature frenzied formula for pit-inducing anthems. With longtime members Eric Peterson, Greg Christian, and Alex Skolnick joined by former Death drummer Gene Hoglan, don’t miss the band as it kicks off a new titanic tour right here in the city. (Sean McCourt)

With Overkill, 4Arm, the Butlers

6:45pm, $32.50


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000



Local Natives

Local Natives stole our collective hearts in 2009 with their self-funded debut Gorilla Manor, an irresistible slice of unearthly folk rock, before cruelly fading into the background. Finally, four years later, they’ve resurfaced with a sophomore effort, Hummingbird. Though the Orange Country-bred group recorded the album in Brooklyn, the California sunshine still shines through its meandering, ethereal soundscapes. The band’s songs draw heavily from indie peers Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes, but manage to add a refreshing, summery glow to the reverb-heavy pop murk. The album, which was produced by Aaron Dessner of the National, promises to translate well to a live format, keeping the band’s trademarked harmonies in place while also allowing vocalist Kelcey Ayer’s dreamy falsetto to soar. (Haley Zaremba)

With Superhumanoids

8pm, $25

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakland

(510) 302-2250



“The Eyes: San Francisco Beat Film” If you’ve already read Dharma Bums, had a drink at Vesuvio’s, or paid homage to Beat culture in the number of other ways available in San Francisco, here’s something different. Beat artists such as Bruce Conner, Wallace Berman, and ruth weiss made movies that captured the living, breathing world of their generation. Complementing the Jay DeFeo retrospective (on view until February 2), the five short films that SFMOMA will screen tonight are intriguing not only as historical documents, but also as an expansion of the artistic vocabulary of dislocation and spontaneity that contribute to the Beat Generation’s continuing allure. (Laura Kerry)

7pm, $10

SFMOMA, Phyllis Wattis Theater

151 Third St., SF

(415) 357-4000




As a fiercely dedicated San Franciscan, I often feel obligated to rep local acts and tout their worth over artists from, say, Los Angeles. Out of all our hometown heroes, however, few deserve my praise as much as the wonderfully spaced-out indie outfit Geographer. The trio combines digital, analog, and a bit of experimentation to create gorgeous, lush pop songs that break the mold while still managing to stick in your head. Though Geographer has racked up a fair amount of buzz both locally and nationally over five years, it somehow continues to be one of the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets. So throw on your Niners jersey, pedal your fixie to the Fillmore, and show your SF pride by shoegazing your heart out. (Zaremba)

With Midi Matilda, ON AN ON

8pm, $20


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000



“Ice Cream Girl”

It’ll be like a Lisa Frank trapper-keeper, come to life. Paint Pens in Purses, an all-female urban art collective, will present its newest collection this weekend: “Ice Cream Girl” — a blend of “urban, contemporary, and low-brow artwork” created by lady-artists from across the country. There will be Lauren Max’s photography, works by Tofusquirrel, who brings vibrant, cartoonish ice cream critters (with cheeky names like Mr. Pattymint Cone, and Sherby Sprinkles); and colorful drawings by curator Shayna Yasuhara, among works by other artists. Oh, and Paint Pens in Purses will raffle off four of Dayna Gilbert and Yasuhara’s two-foot-tall ice cream buddies. Plush! Plus, this thing has free drinks. (Emily Savage)

8pm, free


520 Haight, SF




Don’t go to see Killers if you want a smoothly polished performance. Do go to observe two deeply-thinking artists, Jesse Hewit and Laura Arrington, work on finding a vehicle to tackle questions as fundamental as living and dying. The performance is likely to be rough, messy, and fierce. Don’t be surprised if some of it also looks fragile, that’s the nature of living — and performing. Hewit and Arrington —calling themselves Jarry for this project — have worked alongside one another, but separately for several years. Now their energies are flowing together for what at this point is a two-act creation: first a funeral, than a killing. Originally, they had called the project Adult — perhaps not very sexy, but accurately describing the two of them and what they do. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sun/3, 8pm


1310 Mission St., SF




Life and Death Label Showcase

I spent a couple weeks of the new year coveting Mexico’s BPM festival; not just the beaches of Playa del Carmen, but some talent-packed, label-centric showcases. Particularly the one from Italy’s Life and Death, an upstart label that’s forging a deep-dug sound somewhere between the soulful, well-paced grooves of NYC’s Wolf+Lamb collective, and the smart, deep tech of Germany’s Kompakt. Luckily, label founder DJ Tennis is taking a scenic trip back to Rome, stopping in town for a stacked lineup that includes ever-playful Thugfucker, Berlin’s rising duo Tale of Us, and SF’s own PillowTalk. With each act individually known for putting its own spin on the party, expectations here are high. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Jimmy Edgar, Adnan Sharif

9pm, $15


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880




Geeks were picked on for generations. With the advent of the 21st century computer age and mainstream successes of all manner of tech-related products, and even the acceptance of watching sci-fi and reading comic books, we can now proudly come together for a celebration of our collective nerdiness! Join Adam Savage from Mythbusters, Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and singers Paul and Storm for a night of comedy, music, readings, and much more — all embracing geek pride. Be sure to think of clever cover band names and prepare for double-entendre sing-alongs about sailors, because when it comes to being one of the funniest groups of geeks around, they sure ARRGHH! (McCourt)

7pm, $35.

Marines Memorial Theatre

609 Sutter, Second Floor, SF



Driss Ouadah

In Fences IV, Algerian artist Driss Ouadahi depicts a hazy sky with pink-tinted clouds behind the delicate geometry of a fence. Sounds picturesque, right? But the chain-links expand to the borders of the canvas, trapping and disorienting the viewer. In “Trans-Location,” the artist’s latest show largely comprised of cityscape paintings, Ouadahi builds on this tension between promise and enclosure. The gridded and abstracted architectural spaces invite the viewer in but ultimately fail to allow them passage or clarity. Viewable from the comparatively accessible architectural space of Hosfelt Gallery, the works enacts an elegant commentary on modernity’s failure to deliver its political and social promises. And the paintings look cool too. (Kerry)

Through Mar. 23

Reception 4-6pm, free

Hosfelt Gallery

260 Utah, SF

(415) 495-5454



Adam Green and Binki Shapiro

Opposites do attract. Adam Green is a so-called “anti-folk” Manhattanite with an extensive catalog of foul-mouthed, tongue-in-cheek ballads and admirably humble beginnings as Kimya Dawson’s counterpart in the Moldy Peaches. Binki Shapiro hails from LA, is a retro fashion icon and former member of Brazilian-American supergroup Little Joy, along with her ex-boyfriend and Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti. The duo’s vastly different backgrounds and musical leanings don’t seem compatible at first glance, but in practice they blend beautifully. During the writing of the record, both Green and Shapiro were going through romantic rough patches, which ultimately pushed the musicians to help write each other’s breakup albums, creating a finished product rife with earnestness and vulnerability. (Zaremba)

With the Range of Light Wilderness

9pm, $18

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157



Vieux Farka Toure

It should be enough to say that Vieux Farka Touré follows the footsteps of his father, the late, Grammy-winning Ali, or that he’s known as “the Hendrix of the Sahara.” But not quite. In “Gido (featuring John Scofield)” — yes, of jazz-rock fame — an acoustic guitar expertly noodles in a Malian scale, a bend on an electric cues bass and drums, then the two guitars continue to converse. It’s tempting to fashion this into some metaphor about the melding of African music and Western rock, and though this wouldn’t be misplaced, the main takeaway from “Gido” and the whole album, The Secret (2011), is that it sounds great. As Yoshi’s will prove, Touré creates his own breed of music, and he does it well. (Kerry)

With Markus James

7pm, $25


1330 Fillmore, SF

(415) 655-5600


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