LUNCH WITH RHYTHM
Starting Wednesday, and running through early October, People In Plazas hosts a series of free, outdoor musical concerts during lunchtime (shows usually noon-1pm), mostly downtown but also in the Castro and other ‘hoods. “Our mission is to activate urban open spaces through events which generate social congregation,” the group explains on its website. This translates to over 170 shows, reaching an annual audience of more than 45,000. Wed/9, swing by 50 Fremont to catch jazz vocalist Sony Holland (pictured), or 525 Market for Peter Di Bono Accordion Trio. This week along also brings Latin jazz, bluegrass, funk, opera, and Filipino pop, so head to www.peopleinplazas.org and check out the diverse schedule.
MIME TROUPE NAILS IT!
The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s new play, Ripple Effect — which debuted July 4 in Dolores Park as usual, but this time in a park shrunk to half its usual size by ongoing renovations — was a rousing success that perfectly captured the city’s current zeitgeist and growing pains. And the tight space the large crowd squeezed into seemed to focus its energy all the more, reinforcing the message that political radicals, immigrant workers, and young techies (represented by the three main characters, who blamed one another for their troubles before realizing their common ground) are all in this together. Brava! The play, the Troupe’s 55th, now tours the Bay Area before returning to Dolores Park for closing shows on Labor Day weekend. www.sfmt.org
THE BURNING BATHS
Sutro Baths wasn’t always a weird hole in the ground right by Ocean Beach. It used to be the ultimate bath house (not that kind, jeez) drawing families from across the city to its ocean water pools. In a newly unearthed 8mm film — posted on invaluable western SF neighborhoods site Outsidelands, a Best of the bay winner — you can witness the Baths’ final hour as the iconic landmark burns in a 4-alarm fire in 1966. The ultimate hook-up spot, gone before its time. www.outsidelands.org/baths_burning.php
Crowds packed Oakland’s Mosswood Park July 5 and 6 for the irreverent punk, garage, and rockabilly-focused Burger Boogaloo. While the masses waited for the queen (Ronnie Spector) Sunday evening, ’90s pop-punk faves The Muffs (pictured) celebrated their first new album in a decade with a respectably rockin’ set. See www.sfbg.com/noise for more. PHOTO BY AMANDA RHOADES
Last year San Francisco hosted the nation’s first LGBT video game convention, and now it’s sequel time. GaymerX2 will feature Pokemon Snap contests, grind-ready video game music, and video game coding classes — because inclusivity starts with you! Check it out at the intercontinental hotel July 11-13, and remember to dress in your best cosplay. (We’re going as Mario, because who doesn’t want a hot ‘stache?)
FOLSOM TUNES IN
Folsom Street Fair (happening September 21) has the justifiably naughty reputation as the world’s largest fetish gathering, of course. But in the past few years it’s also been garnering raves — and attracting eager crowds — as a music festival as well. The lineup for this year’s stages was just released, and while you’ll still find plenty of driving circuit techno, your chains will also be rattled by the likes of electro-ethereal acts Austra, MNDR, and Monarch; deep house favorites DJs Pareja and Stereogamous, and hometown heroes Younger Lovers, Micahtron, and Zbörnak. www.facebook.com/folsomstreetevents
ROCK THE BOX
We issued a challenge to the artists of the Bay Area: make our paper boxes beautiful! Now we’re ready to unveil the work of 12 artists who will brighten up the streets with their work. And party! Join us Thu/10, 6pm-9pm at 111 Minna, SF, at our Rock the Box event, to celebrate with cocktail specials and a look at the new work. www.sfmediaco.com/rockthebox
A new group show opening Fri/11, 6pm-8pm, at SF’s Jessica Silverman Gallery called “The History of Technology” sets out to “explore themes of nostalgia and futurism, obsolescence and transcendence.” Artists Simon Denny, Samuel Levi Jones, Dashiell Manley, Philipp Timischl and Margo Wolowiec and writer Joseph Akel distill the effects of attention span, user experience, and source-material splicing so that “the grand, abstract history of communications technology becomes a personal history played out in real time before an art object.” www.jessicasilvermangallery.com
MOTORISTS FIGHT BACK
Believing that they’re somehow discriminated against on the streets of San Francisco, a new political coalition of motorists and neighborhood NIMBYs on July 7 turned in nearly twice the signatures they need to qualify “Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco” initiative for the November ballot. It’s a direct attack on the city’s voter-approved “transit-first” policies and efforts to reduce auto-related greenhouse gas emissions. It would prevent expanded parking meter enforcement without neighborhood approval, require representation of motorists on the SFMTA board, set aside SFMTA funding for more parking construction, and call for stronger enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists. See www.sfbg.com/politics for more.