Selector: April 17-23, 2013


Night Beats

Seattle’s Night Beats has all of the fixings of a good psych-garage act; the lo-fi recordings, the raspy vocals with punctuated yelps, and the noisily manipulated guitar. But the band, which takes its name from Sam Cooke’s best record, has a direct link to the more soulful breeds of music the title suggests, such as R&B. “Dial 666” is simple, 12-bar blues, “High Noon Blues” borrows sentiment and structure from that genre, and “Puppet on a String” seems to call for some old-fashioned dance moves. With the combination of vigorous rock and sensuous roll, Night Beats’ show at Brick and Mortar promises to be satisfying. (Laura Kerry)

With Cool Ghouls, Primitive Hearts, Big Drag

9pm, $10

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782


Bad Religion

Mixing aggressive guitar riffs with politically-savvy lyrics and harmony-laden vocals — which the band refers to as “oozin’ aahs” in its liner notes — Southern California’s Bad Religion has been going strong for more than three decades. It just released latest album, True North on founding member Brett Gurewitz’ iconic independent label Epitaph Records last January. And the punk rock stalwarts continue to be driven by singer-author-professor Greg Graffin’s powerful songwriting, which touches on everything from global politics and religion to more personal experiences and emotions that just about anyone can relate to and share in a sense of powerful catharsis. (Sean McCourt)

With the Bronx, Polar Bear Club

8pm, $27.50–$30

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF


The 2 Bears

I don’t need caffeine. My computer just starts playing “Work” by the 2 Bears at 7am, complete with rising organ, a pulsing groove, and motivational chorus: “We’ve got to work harder, for the future, my love we got to work.” It might not even be the best song on Be Strong from the 2 Bears (Hot Chips’s Joe Goddard and the Raf Daddy), as it faces stiff competition from hilarious, cuddly club anthem “Bear Hug” and the uplifting, romantic space dub on “Church.” But, it does the job of getting me moving, and by the time the disco queen vocals kick in I’m likely showered and downstairs having breakfast. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Sleazemore, Richie Panic (Lights Down Low)

10pm, $15 presale

1015 Folsom, SF


“Touching Art: Tribute to Judith Scott”

Skin, the largest organ, keeps our insides safe from the perils of the outside, but it is also the membrane through which we experience the world. In its tribute to Judith Scott, swissnex will explore this, looking at touch’s role in the creation of art. Scott, who could neither speak nor hear and therefore relied heavily on her sense of touch, made beautiful cocoon structures at Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center for 20 years. Swissnex, in conjunction with Switzerland’s L’Art Brut, will screen a film about the artist, showcase some of her work, and host a talk by Dr. Sandra Weiss on the connection between touch and emotion. The night promises be a touching intersection of art and science. (Kerry)

6pm, $10


730 Montgomery, SF

(415) 912-5901


An evening with Manlio Argueta

While a hard punishment, exile can also be the place where great works of art are born. “I left with a closed fist and came back with an open hand,” said Rafael Alberti returning to Spain after 38 years of exile. Ostracized in Mexico, Pablo Neruda finished one of his masterpieces Canto General. Exiled in Costa Rica, acclaimed Salvadorean poet Manlio Argueta wrote his most celebrated novel, One Day of Life (Vintage Book, 1983). In line with his mentor, poet Roque Dalton, Argueta vividly writes about the 12-year civil war through a peasant family’s eyes. The book, available in 15 languages, was named one of the best 10 novels in Spanish of the 20th century by NY’s Modern Library. (Fernando Andres Torres)

7pm $10


2969 Mission, SF

(415) 902-4754


“We Are Winning, Don’t Forget: Short works by Jean-Gabriel Périot”

Jean-Gabriel Périot developed a painstaking approach to making films. By carefully stitching together archival images, both still and moving, he creates political narratives that are poignant despite (or because of) their brevity. As a part of a US tour that begins at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the filmmaker comes to the Bay with nine short films, with subjects ranging from Hiroshima to “politics and tomatoes.” The evening at Artist’s Television Access presents a great opportunity to see these stunning films and the man behind the camera. (Kerry)

8pm, $10

Artist’s Television Access

992 Valenica, SF

(415) 824-3890


Sheetal Ghandi: Bahu Beti Biwis

Deconstructing cultural artifacts is just about today’s lingua franca. Sometimes you might wish that artists left well enough alone. Yet, at its best it shows creative minds at work that are willing to take the risks inherent in changing lenses. Sheetal Ghandi is one of them. Even though her performance practices are already exceptionally broad —Kathak, modern and West African dance, plus Broadway as well as Cirque du Soleil — she took a lot of imaginative leaps for her solo show Bahu Beti Biwis (Daughter-in-law, daughter, wife), a series of both humorous and poignant portraits of women and the roles traditionally assigned to them. It’s a piece that has been described as empathizing with “Indian women across time and space.” (Rita Felciano)

Fri/19-Sat/20, 8pm; Sun/21, 7pm, $20–$25

ODC Theater

3153 17th St., SF

(415) 863-9834


Mishap Psychic Fair

Nothing will make sense on 420 anyway (unless you snagged tickets for Snoop Lion at the Fillmore, in which case: jealous), so you may as well go to the goofiest damn event you can find. Surely the Mishap Psychic Fair is in the running for the honorific — the (is it?) satirical set-up will feature tongue-in-cheek booths where you can align your crystals via rock opera, attune to your inner “sexy anger,” and temper it all with cocktails if you’re not too bleary-eyed from the traditional mode of celebration on this international holiday. Buy tix to the fair in advance and you’ll snag a complimentary photo of your aura, a so-called magic elixir, or henna tattoo. Heal thyself, hippie. (Caitlin Donohue)

Sat/20, 8pm, $10

Geoffrey’s Inner Circle

410 14th St., Oakl.


The Last Unicorn screening and birthday celebration

And now for something completely magical: Peter S. Beagle, author of beloved 1968 fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (among dozens of other works), turns 74 today, and he’ll journey from his home in Oakland for a pair of birthday- and unicorn-themed San Francisco events. (Hooves up if you ever had a unicorn-themed birthday party! I know I did … maybe more than once.) First is a screening of the 1982 animated film adapted from the book, with voices by Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, and Alan Arkin; Beagle will be on hand to answer questions and sign books. Diehards can continue the festivities at the Cartoon Art Museum, which hosts a reading and further signings by the author, plus an auction of some mighty nifty original artwork to benefit the museum and Beagle’s imminent multi-city tour. Costumes are encouraged, obvi. (Cheryl Eddy)

Screening, noon-3pm, $8.50

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

VIP reception, 6-8pm, $25

Cartoon Art Museum

655 Mission, SF


“Bill Frisell presents Hunter S. Thompson’s The Kentucky Derby

Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell has tackled many an avant-garde project in his 40-plus year career, and his latest foray beckons fans of music, stage, and literature. Bringing life to Hunter S. Thompson’s memorable “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” this weekend, Frisell will be joined by narrator Tim Robbins in a multimedia production featuring set design by the iconic writer’s longtime collaborator Ralph Steadman. Considered the first of Thompson’s pieces to truly reflect his “Gonzo” style of journalism, the story and production will no doubt envelop audience members in an aural and visual way never before experienced. Buy the ticket, take the ride. (McCourt)

Sat/20, 7:30pm; Sun/21, 4 and 7:30pm, $35–$80

SF Jazz Center

201 Franklin, SF


Maria Minerva

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom. That’s what I’ve found out on Wikipedia. What I’ve found out about Estonian lo-fi electronic chanteuse Maria Minerva is that she’s an art school graduate/critic/glossolalia expert/comedy student. But, all I really know is that her Bless EP on 100% Silk is excellent. “Soulsearchin’,” focuses on the anxiety of options, built around George Carlin’s “Modern Man,” but it’s the laid-back guitar, slightly off-kilter percussion, and circling vocals on “Symbol of My Pleasure” that stay with me. (Prendiville)

With Butterclock (live), Marco De La Vega, and more

9pm, $10 presale

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955


Oakland Veg Week

Perhaps you are deluged by the information regarding sustainable eating available today. This is completely understandable — at times, we feel as though we will surely perish under the mountainous weight of fair trade quinoa foisted upon us by Bay Area foodie culture. Luckily, Oakland Veg Week is going on, with its host of events meant to dispel myths about what to eat. Go on a farm field trip, take vegan cheese-making classes (both April 27), attend a talk by Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society on why eating animals is bad for the earth (April 25), snack your way through a delicious grand finale at the Lake Merritt Sailboat House (April 28), or check out the host of other, veg-friendly events this week. (Donohue)

Through April 28

Various Oakland locations

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