This Week’s Picks: January 29 – February 4, 2014

Pub date January 28, 2014



The year 2013 was a tumultuous one for this London indie outfit. It recorded and released its sophomore album within a matter of months, simultaneously announcing the record and frontman Daniel Blumberg’s departure from the band. This was a surprising turn of events for a band that should have been basking in the afterglow of the critical success of its 2011 debut, not to mention universal adoration by both music journalists and the blogosphere. Instead of disbanding or recruiting a new vocalist, guitarist Max Bloom has stepped up to the mic and taken a turn from its shoegaze-tinged debut to embrace other forms of alternative rock, but don’t worry — it still sounds like it emerged from a time capsule buried in 1997. (Haley Zaremba)

With GRMLN, The She’s

8pm, $15

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421



Performance Research Experiment #2

It sounds deceptively dry, but “Performance Research Experiment #2” is a fairly accurate description of what Jess Curtis and his partners will show this weekend: It’s simultaneously a show and a scientific inquiry of what a performance does to a viewer — like it or not. Some of it will be sheer fun, some of it puzzling, and some of it difficult to watch. Curtis admits that the experience can be “intense.” The work — about a dozen two-minute episodes performed by Curtis and his partner on stage Joerg Mueller with media artist Yoann Trellu — raises fascinating questions about our bodies’ involuntary responses to what comes at them. This performance shows that science and art, contrary to common assumptions, can in fact inhabit the same universe. (Rita Felciano)

Jan. 30-Feb.1, 8pm, $15-20

Joe Goode Annex

499, Alabamba St. SF


“Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese”

Oakland food writer and chef Stephanie Stiavetti has gone and done something we were all waiting for: made our near-constant urge to eat only macaroni and cheese for dinner seem like a reasonable, adult thing to do. Her new cookbook marries the sophistication of handcrafted artisan cheeses from around the world with the simple joy produced only by the smell of perfectly browned, parmesan-covered pasta filling your kitchen. There are classic recipes, to be sure; there’s also an entire roasted pumpkin stuffed with Italian sausage, pasta and Fontina. She’ll talk all things mac-and-cheesy at this reading, and of course — don’t forget your Lactaid — she’ll be bringing samples. (Emma Silvers)

6:30pm, free

Omnivore Books on Food

3885a Cezar Chavez, SF

(415) 282-4712



Jean-Luc Godard: Expect Everything from Cinema

We know him best for his 1959 black-and-white debut Breathless, a genre-changing film that came to epitomize the French New Wave with its philosophical angst, tender tragedies, and haphazard American-Western heroism — all set in Paris of the ’60s, with recklessness, heavy eyeliner, and a rejection of the traditional love story. Yet Jean-Luc Godard produced a number of works, and when viewed together they form an inventive collection, to say the least. Beginning Jan. 31, BAM/PFA will screen Godard’s shorts and features in the film series “Expect Everything From Cinema,” allowing Godard die-hards and New Wave newbies the chance to see his films on the big screen, and begin to recognize characteristics of his work on a continuum, from subversive political messages to his ambiguous-realism style. (Kaylen Baker)

Times vary per week, visit BAMPFA website for details, $9.50

Pacific Film Archive Theater

2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

(510) 642-1124


Dirty Harry

Of all of Clint Eastwood’s many iconic film roles, that of rogue San Francisco Police Detective Harry Callahan in 1971’s Dirty Harry is perhaps the most indelible. Shot on location throughout the city and Marin County, the film mixed the traditional cop drama with a harsh and gritty approach, incorporating then-recent events such as the Zodiac into the script about a serial killer terrorizing the populace. Here’s your chance to cheer on one of the most famous — but misquoted — lines in film history: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?!” Feature preceded by cartoons, newsreels, games, and more. (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $5

Paramount Theatre

2025 Broadway, Oakland

(510) 465-6400



Reggie and the Full Effect

For a guy who played with classic emo outfits like the Get Up Kids and My Chemical Romance, Kansas City’s James Dewees sure seems like a happy guy. His solo act, Reggie and the Full Effect, is the polar opposite of Dewees’ other musical endeavors. This bizarre and completely hilarious side project bounces back and forth between genres as varied as hardcore, emo pop, and bluegrass, sporting song titles like “Happy Chickens” and “Revenge is a Dish Best Served at Park Chan-Wook’s.” Though Dewees hit the road for a farewell tour in 2008, he’s back this year with a new album (thanks, Kickstarter) and his first solo tour in half a decade. The only thing to expect from this show is the unexpected. And trust us, the unexpected is very, very entertaining. (Zaremba)

With Dads, Pentimento

8:30pm, $16

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455


Millennium Film Journal: 35th Anniversary Celebration

Sprung from the still-vital Millennium Film Workshop, which had its edgy beginnings in New York City’s fertile 1960s Lower East Side scene, the bi-annual Millennium Film Journal has been studying and celebrating avant-garde film since 1978 (and has since expanded to include video and works in other mediums, too). This San Francisco Cinematheque presentation welcomes current editor Grahame Weinbren to celebrate the publication’s 58th issue with a program of film and video by Stella Brennan, Catherine Elwes, and others, as well as a slideshow that looks back through its long and varied history on the printed page. (Cheryl Eddy)

7:30pm, $6-$10

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF



The Fourth Annual Super Bowl: Men In Tights

If you’d rather do your taxes than watch three hours of football this weekend, join SF Indiefest at the Roxie for the Fourth Annual Super Bowl: Men in Tights comedy show — “Come for the comedy, stay for the commercials.” Indiefest’s SportsSweater comedians will provide hysterical (and most likely incorrect) play-by-play commentary, raunchy sketches, and general debauchery while the game plays on Roxie’s big screen. Ad junkies rejoice, as the only untouched part of the Superbowl comes every 15 minutes. Watch America’s top-notch commercials uninterrupted by the horde of jokesters. And what Sunday football viewing is complete without beer, wine, bloodies, and snacks? Tickets benefit the Roxie Theater and IndieFest. (Laura Childs)

3pm, $10

The Roxie

3117 16th, SF


The Toasters

Everything has changed since 1981. The Soviet Union has fallen, the Internet has taken over the world, smartphones have taken over our brains, and no one listens to Kim Carnes. One thing, however, has stayed completely, unflaggingly consistent: New York’s checker-caped crusaders of third-wave ska. Thirty-three years, nine albums, and 40 lineup changes later, the Toasters are still skanking. Though they haven’t released a new record since 2007, these ska kings have been touring nearly constantly for three decades. If you’re looking for up-and-coming, hip, or new and different, this is not the show for you. But if you’re looking for an absolute blast with some well-practiced dudes who know how to put on a show better than just about anyone, you definitely want to be at the Gilman tonight. (Haley Zaremba)

With Monkey, Jokes for Feelings, The Skunkadelics, Skank Bank

5pm, $10

924 Gilman, Berkeley

(510) 524-8180


Groundhog Day

If you’re among the grouchy, local Niners fans looking for something else to do this Sunday, why not enjoy the uniquely brilliant 1993 comedy Groundhog Day screening on the holiday itself? The cult classic stars Bill Murray as a cantankerous TV reporter who is grudgingly sent to cover the annual proceedings in Punxsutawney, Pa., only to be trapped in a mysterious time loop where he is forced to repeat the same day, over and over again. Following his journey, going from annoyed and suicidal to finally embracing life and love, this funny and touching film was added to the National Film Registry in 2006. (Sean McCourt)

2pm, $8-$8.50

CineArts @ Empire Theater

85 West Portal, SF

(415) 661-2539



Burroughs at 100: The Films of William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs is best known for his powers with the written word. Specifically, his tendency to do terrible, wonderful, innovative, influential, shocking and heroin-laced things with it over the course of 18 novels, six collections of short stories, and four collections of essays. His work in films, however — the result of collaboration with artist Brion Gysin and filmmaker Anthony Balch at the Beat Hotel in Paris — showcases an entirely new side to the writer, who was interested in the ways visual art could adapt his “cut-up” method and other themes in his writing. Part of City Lights’ celebration of Burrough’s 100th birthday, the films Towers Open Fire, The Cut-Ups, and Bill and Tony will be screened with commentary by Burrough’s friend, filmmaker, and film historian Mindaugis Bagdon. (Emma Silvers)

8pm, free

City Lights Bookstore

261 Columbus, SF



From Russia Without Love: The 2014 Winter Olympics and Human Rights in Russia

Two good things, at least, that have come from the worldwide outrage at the horrifying persecution of homosexuals going on right now in Russia: a wake-up call that, despite many encouraging gains, us LGBTs are far from out of the woods yet. (The other good thing? Tons of hilarious memes of Putin in drag. Oh, and also we discovered which vodkas were actually Russian, so we could boycott them.) This discussion with educators and advocates will discuss the treatment of Russian homosexuals and queer athletes and spectators in the shadow of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The panel includes Dr. Krista Hanson, SFSU professor of Russian culture, and Helen Carroll, sports project director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. (Marke B.)

5:30pm, $8-$20

Commonwealth Club

595 Market, SF