Selector: June 5-11, 2013


“New Filipino Cinema 2013”

Fourteen out of the 16 films screening at Joel Shepard and Philbert Ortiz Dy’s co-curated series are American premieres. Aside from being an impressive coup for the programmers, that statistic suggests we don’t get many Filipino movies stateside, despite the country’s thriving cinema industry. All the more reason to visit Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for “New Filipino Cinema 2013,” a five-day, 16-film showcase with several filmmakers appearing in person as well as a panel discussion puzzling over “What is New Filipino Cinema?” One highlight is sure to be the delightfully insane-sounding Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, Erik Matti’s horror-comedy about Philippine folklore’s favorite fetus-gobbling monster. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sun/9, $8–$10

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF



Here’s a sweet little slice of pop for your foggy SF summer. Lenka’s album Shadows, on her own Skipalong Records, is about as breezy as it gets, with the songwriter’s child-like whisper whipped into pleasant melodies rising over fiddle-de-dee beats and bells; they’re songs that have been described as modern lullabies for adults. But don’t let the lilting pop fool you, the Australian singer-songwriter (and wife of visual artist James Gulliver Hancock, who does much of her album artwork and stage design) has major creative chops, having worked as an actress by age 13 in her homeland, and in collaboration with Australian electronic group Decoder Ring on the soundtrack to ’04’ film Somersault. She’s released a couple of albums on Epic Records since a late aughts move to the US, and her newest, Shadows, drops this week. The song “Show” from her ’08 debut is likely her best known stateside, thanks to its brief appearance in commercials and family-friendly sitcoms. (Emily Savage)

With Satellite

9:30pm, $15

Café Du Nord

2170 Market, SF


Fossil Collective

Fossil Collective will not offer you a chance to let loose and dance. You may not even sing along with the band at its shows. But its performance doesn’t need any of that. The group is fond of making the type of music you simply love and truly appreciate. Reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, the angelic harmonies of Fossil Collective could take you to the heavens and back. All that finger-picking of the acoustic guitars alone is entrancing enough. “Only when the moon is bright enough/only when the stars are high enough,” croon the brothers in “Let it Go.” Well, the moon is bright enough with this band, and the stars are definitely high enough. The Leeds-based band opens tonight for the Boxer Rebellion. (Hillary Smith)

9pm, $21.50


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000


Sam Amidon

He’s highly derivative; completely unoriginal; a thief. And he’s refreshing because of that. Growing up in Brattleboro, Vt., folk music surrounded Amidon and seeped into his psyche. As he wrote his new album, Bright Sunny South, songs from his youth resurfaced and he would build on or reshape them, The result feels so old and familiar that it’s uncannily thrilling, as if he has the ability to communicate with the ghosts of Irish traditional music, historical Appalachian tunes, and old New England melodies and beckon them into a living frenzy. Amidon fits more neatly into the folk revival than his peers; he has literally brought folk back to life. Come see his beautiful reincarnation at the Chapel. (Laura Kerry)

With Alessi’s Ark

9pm, $12


777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157


Slough Feg

Once a constant presence on local stages, metal battlecruiser Slough Feg has been hiding in a nebula of late, awaiting the moment to strike. The time is now ripe; the band returns this week to the Eagle Tavern, also recently on hiatus. But though the historic SOMA leather bar has undergone a few renovations, expect no such changes from Slough Feg when it returns to the Eagle’s long-running Thursday Night Live series. The band’s inimitable sound continues to mix galloping classic metal with infectious melody; vocals by singer/guitarist Mike Scalzi veer from Sci-Fi to show tunes to philosophy and sometimes encompass all three at once. When he ducks offstage to change costumes, brace yourself for incoming fire. (Ben Richardson)

With Owl, Wounded Giant

9:30pm, $10

Eagle Tavern

398 12th St., SF


San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival opening performance

You know it’s June when the SF Ethnic Dance Festival (by now just about the oldest event of its kind in the country) returns. Still, without a permanent, or at least a stable home, the Festival with its four weekends of 35 companies and over 500 performers, will perform where it is welcome: at YBCA, the Legion of Honor and closes with an artists’ discussion at the Museum of the African Diaspora. The opening performance by Ballet Folklórico Netzahualcoyotl (Mexico) and Fogo Na Roupa Performing Company (Brasil) will take place in the Rotunda of City Hall. What a great idea to have the seat of government be inundated by the sounds, sights, and sentiments of cultures that were alive and thriving before this city was even a speck on the map. (Rita Felciano)

Noon, free; additional performances, $18–$58

City Hall Rotunda, SF

(415) 978-2787


Parquet Courts

The genre “Americana punk” doesn’t describe the music of Parquet Courts as much as it describes their story. The Texans relocated to Brooklyn a few years ago, and now that they’re in a jungle of a city, they’re going to do what they want. With songs off of Light Up Gold (2012) such as “Yr No Stoner,” “No Ideas,” and “Stoned and Starving,” the band projects the attitude of people whose greatest care is deciding between Swedish Fish or licorice. Any laziness in subject, though, is undermined by music that captures and emits real energy. Parquet Courts may be punkish, but they understand where they came from. And considering their weird and exciting breed of rock, we can’t wait to see where they’re going next. (Kerry)

With Cocktails, Pang

9pm, $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011


Raissa Simpson’s UNLOCK

Choreographer-dancer Raissa Simpson may best be recognized locally for her nuanced yet powerful performances with Robert Moses Kin and Zaccho Dance Theatre, and as the brain and heart behind the 3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic. For her own Push Dance Company, she has choreographed among others, the early, still eloquent solo Judgement in Milliseconds, the intimate site-specific Mixed Messages as well as an ambitious hip-hop opera, Black Swordsman Saga. For her present eighth season concert she chose a venue she knows inside out: Zaccho Dance Theatre’s recently refurbish performance space. The mixed evening’s focal point will be the premiere of UNLOCK, inspired by anthropologist-writer Zora Neale Hurston: it will be danced by Adriann Ramirez, Nafi Watson­Thompson, Arvejon Jones, Jhia Jackson, Elizabeth Sheets, and Katerina Wong. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sun/9, 8pm, $25

Zaccho Dance Theatre

1777 Yosemite, Suite 330, SF


Mark Farina and Roman Flügel (two sets each)

Sideshows can be sad at 1am. I once witnessed a DJ give up, outright get on the mic and tell us to pack into the main room to see the headliner, an uncomfortable situation on every level, and the difference between a party and a show. Here, Public Works is tricking out the conventional club hierarchy, with dual performances from two headliners, starting with a signature mushroom jazz set from Mark Farina in the loft and Roman Flügel housing the main room. At some point they’ll pull the old switcheroo, not just on the stages, but on genres, showcasing an entirely different sound — house and techno, respectively — from each. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Dax Lee, Duserock

9:30pm-3:30am, $20

Public Works

161 Erie St., SF

(415) 932-0955


“Plants from Outer Space”

How could the theme “Plants from Outer Space” steer you wrong? The San Francisco Succulent and Cactus Society’s annual show and sale is this weekend, and the theme is just that, with plant oddities from around the succulent world on full display. And if you’re picturing Seymour Krelborn squinting upwards after that Total Eclipse of Sun before noticing his own little leafy plant of horror, you’re also in my brain. More to reality however, the show will include California plant vendors with succulents, cacti, and the like, with society members of the nonprofit educational organization on hand to answer all your pertinent plant questions. (Savage)

Also Sun/9, 9am-5pm, free admission

San Francisco County Fair Building

1199 Ninth Ave., SF


San Francisco Free Folk Festival

The San Francisco Folk Music Club is teeming with diehard folk fans who just might plague you with the same passion. Musicians and listeners alike will gather for the 36th time at this excitingly diverse event. Though large and busy, the festival offers an intimate experience with performers playing on three different stages. More than 20 folk groups will perform throughout the day from noon until 10pm, making this a must-see for Bay Area folk fans or people just looking for a fun, folky time. Some artists I recommend looking out for: Anne and Pete Sibley, Misisipi Mike Wolf, and the Easy Leaves. Just try leaving not a die-hard folk music fan; I dare you. (Smith)

Noon-10pm, free

Presidio Middle School

450 30th Ave., SF


Said the Whale

So, what did the whale say? The Canadian group Said the Whale may not have a straight answer to that, but it sure wouldn’t mind shooting the bull with you after the show anyways. On stage, it employs this same personable energy. Its upbeat attitude transforms into a deep appreciation of the depressing or fickle moments of life. It has a driving theme of nature in many songs, like in “Hurricane Ada” and “Seasons”. It’s not just the lyrics that reflect this theme though. Stomping, swaying, and thrashing around, the musicians of Said the Whale are all four seasons. Collected, they’re a hurricane. If you’re lucky enough, they’ll sweep you up with them. (Smith)

With Parson Red Heads and Desert Noises

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

10pm, $10

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782


Sunset Island

From boat parties in the bay (and Croatia!?) to a campout in Belden Town, Sunset Sound System is putting on bigger, bolder events than ever in 2013. But still, the one I look forward to the most is this “Electronic Music Picnic” on Treasure Island, which recalls both the crew’s name and its origins, dancing as the sun went down on the Berkeley Marina in 1994. The key word in this year’s lineup is “live,” featuring sets from the all hardware Detroit duo Octave One and vintage toned Chicago house veteran Tevo Howard, as well as the deep sounds of Midwestern DJ DVS1. (Prendiville)

With Galen, Solar, J-Bird

Noon-9pm, $10–$20

Great Lawn, Treasure Island

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