Our weekly picks

Pub date November 10, 2009




Ripping up stages on the road for more than 20 years now, the Supersuckers continue to bring their high-octane blend of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll to fans around the globe. Starting out in Tucson, Eddie Spaghetti and co. made their way to the Pacific Northwest in 1989, and thrived in the burgeoning Seattle scene, but never quite sounded like their local contemporaries. The broad range of American musical influences that make up the band’s sonic DNA have spawned a country album, collaborations with people such as Willie Nelson, and an overall appreciation for honest music made for real people. That fiercely independent attitude led the band to start its own label, Mid-Fi, on which it has been releasing material since 2001, including the latest, last year’s raucous Get It Together. (Sean McCourt)

With Last Vegas and Cockpit

8 p.m., $16


333 11th St., SF

(415) 255-0333




Andy Caldwell

If you grew up in the 1990s, then you may remember dancing to mellifluous old-school house jams like "Superfunkidiculous," by Santa Cruz-born, San Francisco-turned-Los Angeles resident Andy Caldwell. A globally-renowned DJ and remixer of futuristic and experimental beats, the multifaceted Caldwell spun with late R&B legend James Brown and also happens to be a classically-trained trumpeter and pianist. His latest, Obsession (on his own Uno Recordings), offers what his Web site dubs "electro club thumpers" and draws on yet another Caldwell talent — pop songwriting. (Jana Hsu)

10 p.m., $20


85 Campton Place, SF

(415) 433-8585



DV8 Physical Theatre

When the British DV8 Physical Theatre made its San Francisco debut in 1997 with Enter Achilles, an angry and visceral examination of the idea of manhood and masculinity during the AIDS pandemic, the company was still relatively unknown. Audiences here were stunned by the raw, abrasive quality with which these guys threw themselves across barroom furniture and each other. Now the company is back with its 2008 To Be Straight With You, in which choreographer Lloyd Newson tackles religion, tolerance, and homosexuality. Integral to Straight are interviews with people who agreed — sometimes reluctantly — to speak on those topics. Many of DV8’s works have been reinterpreted for the camera. This engagement offers an opportunity to see some of them, including Saturday’s free screening of 2004’s The Cost of Living, starring legless dancer David Tool at 7 p.m.(Rita Felciano)

Through Nov. 14

8 p.m., $39

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF

(415) 978-2787



Frank Fairfield

Frank Fairfield calls Los Angeles home, but his sound is strictly Appalachia: the valleys where British ballads were reborn in the craggy, high, lonesome lyricism of American country blues. The story of Fairfield’s being discovered busking at a Hollywood farmers market sounds like a Robert Altman plot, but then 20something’s mesmerizing apprenticeship of old ballads is something more than a PR pitch. Fairfield’s reedy voice returns familiar tunes to restless wandering. The warbly fiddle and dusky banjo inscribe the album in 78rpm shadows, but for all the cracks, Fairfield’s arrangements bear the emotive precision of a true disciple. (Max Goldberg)

With Devine’s Washboard Band

8 p.m., free

Adobe Books

3166 16th St., SF

(415) 864-3936,




There are many ways to divide and read this curious title. JIG-SAW-MENTAL-LAMA is the obvious one, but does this suggest a mindful Tibetan monk who saw a jig? Or, shifting the "S" and "L," the mouth of a llama jigs in aw(e)? Perhaps I’m way off and this complicated mashup actually refers to a picture puzzle of tall men and Japanese female sea divers in search of shiny pearls. However you cut it up, the title of this group exhibition and weekly film and video screening series — involving 18 locally and internationally acclaimed artists — foreshadows endless entertainment. (Spencer Young)

Through Dec. 19

Opening tonight, 7 p.m.

Gallery hours Thurs.–Sat., noon–6 p.m. and by appointment)

David Cunningham Projects

1928 Folsom, SF

(415) 341-1538





Fourteen years after Raekwon crowned himself the king of gangsta grit with the classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx … (Loud Records), he returns to the sonic kitchen with the long-awaited sequel, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx … Pt. II (H2O/EMI Records). Part myth, part manifesto, Pt. II continues the coke-addled narrative found on the first album. With RZA and Busta Rhymes serving as executive producers, the tracks spin kung fu soul radio and pounding instrumentation, creating an aesthetic that is vintage Wu-Tang but also prescient. After a decade of lackluster hip-hop releases, Rae’s Mafioso style has returned to change the game with a pack of veterans: Ghostface, Masta Killa, and Method Man all show up on the record. Ghostface even tops his own solo album, Wizard of Poetry (Def Jam), on songs like "Penitentiary" and "Cold Outside" — an open wound of a track dealing with love and death in a world where two-year-olds get strangled in the street. Lyrically genius, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx … Pt. II carries its promise of greatness all the way to the end. (Lorian Long)

9 p.m., $25–$30


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1422



Fuck Buttons

This British dirty electro drone duo have cleaned up real proper with their latest release, Tarot Sport (ATPR). By distilling the grating vocals and grinding, blitzkrieg gradients of their previous album (Street Horrrsing, on ATPR) for the ethereal and quixotic, Tarot Sport sounds more like Moby’s Play (V2/BMG Records) and less like Throbbing Gristle meets Kraftwerk. It’s actually somewhere in between, lost in the mist of glitter tank tops, autobahns, and leather dungeons. That being said, this is the only show I can imagine neon wand-twirling, pacifier-sucking, pogo-jumping, shoegazing, and head-banging all happily coalescing into one full house at Bottom of the Hill. (Young)

With Growing and Chen Santa Maria

10 p.m., $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455




Mountain Goats

Before the new Mountain Goats album dropped, John Darnielle wrote on his Web site that the new album consisted of "12 hard lessons the Bible taught me, kind of." Indeed, The Life of the World to Come (4AD) does consist of 12 Bible verses that trigger Darnielle’s memory of Midwestern skies before rainfall, glances between lovers, dying family members, and old houses creaking beneath the weight of one’s hesitation to enter. Not one to suffer without hope, Darnielle comes close to finding salvation with King James’ heavy hand. In "Isaiah 45:23" he sings "And I won’t get better, but someday I’ll be free / ‘cuz I am not this body that imprisons me." In Chapter 45, God appoints Cyrus as the restorer of Jerusalem. In Darnielle’s verse, he calls for an existence without bodies. "1 John 14:16" sounds like a Jon Brion score from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Darnielle considers his own "counselor" in that verse, as a source of love despite the beasts that too often surround him. (Long)

With Final Fantasy

9 p.m., $25


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000




Erased James Franco

With roles including James Dean and Harvey Milk’s boyfriend, Scott Smith, it’s clear why James Franco is hovering around gay icon status. Is it any surprise, then, that he’ll be appearing in person at the Castro Theatre? Maybe not, but it’s still exciting. True Franco fans can catch a double-dose of the eclectic actor, who will also be introducing episodes of Freaks and Geeks at SFMOMA earlier in the day. Sure, you’ve seen them 80 times already, but can you ever really have too much Daniel Desario? The Castro event is equally intriguing: Franco appears alongside artist Carter and SFMOMA associate curator Frank Smigiel for a screening of Erased James Franco. The film presents Franco stripped to the status of art object as he discusses his past performances. One word of caution: "stripped" is merely a euphemism. For actual James Franco nudity, you’ll have to use your imagination. (Louis Peitzman)

3 p.m., $10

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third St., SF


8 p.m., $10

Castro Theatre

429 Castro St, SF



Young Widows

Young Widows are redemptive heroes for a once-burgeoning post-hardcore scene. Seemingly everyone’s friend, they have unleashed a veritable tidal wave of split 7-inches in recent years, along with two full-lengths of their own. Alloying plutonium-heavy guitar tones with squalling, unpredictable lead-work, the trio produce a distinctive brand of sleazy, noisy hardcore, with anthemic gang-vocals and the occasional rusty hook layered on top. The band’s Louisville, Ky., roots grant them membership in a growing class of talented, idiosyncratic Southern headbangers. (Ben Richardson)

With Russian Circles and Helms Alee

9 p.m., $13

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 621-4455



SkirtChaser 5K

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! The SkirtChaser 5K is a race with a twist: women runners get a three-minute head start on the menfolk, who must then sprint to catch up to the pack (athletic skirts are optional, but encouraged — pick one up along with your registration fees). Part of a series of races held nationwide (the Bay Area version benefits Chances for Children), SkirtChaser offers a grand prize of $500 to the first finisher (male or female), and additional bonus goodies, like free sunglasses to the first couple who cross the line together. There’s also a post-dash fashion show and live entertainment segment, complete with dating games. (Hsu)

2 p.m. (women’s start); 2:03 p.m. (men’s start), $35–$85

Golden Gate Park, Music Pavilion,

36th Ave. at Fulton, SF


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