Our Weekly Picks

Pub date December 2, 2009


Baroness became one of the most promising bands in heavy music with the release of 2007’s The Red Album (Relapse), generating high expectations for its new monochromatic opus, The Blue Album (Relapse), released this fall. Driven by the squalling vocals and versatile technique of guitarist John Baizley (who also has made a name for himself as a visual artist) the band has exceeded the high hopes of their fans with an offering that combines muscular riffing, allusive Southern flair, and affecting dynamics. Those gathered at Bottom of the Hill will rock out to standouts like “Ogeechee Hymnal” and “The Sweetest Curse.” (Ben Richardson)
With Earthless, Iron Age
9 p.m., $14
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th, SF
(415) 626-4455


Handmade Ho-Down
Over 55 crafty bitches will participate in the Handmade Ho-Down, SoMa’s first craftstravaganza urban street fair. This means you will have 55 very good reasons to blow some cash. From pillows to wall prints, there will be something precious for everyone. Forget the stench of mothballs, this ain’t your grandmother’s fluorescent-lit craft show. And what’s a street fair in San Francisco without booze and music? There will be a full holiday bar along with a DJ so you can drink, dance, and shop to your heart’s content. Bring unused art supplies to benefit Drawbridge, a nonprofit art program for homeless and at-risk youth, and get there early for a free SWAG bag. (Lorian Long)
6 p.m., free
1015 Folsom
1015 Folsom, SF

Black Christmas
Some call 1974’s Black Christmas the first-ever slasher film — it predates Halloween by four years, and its sorority-sister victims are picked off one by one as the movie progresses. (It also beat 1979’s When a Stranger Calls to the creepy prank-caller punch.) With an incredible cast (Olivia Hussey! Margot Kidder! John Saxon! Keir Dullea!) and atmospheric direction by the late, great Bob Clark (who also helmed that other holiday classic, 1983’s A Christmas Story), Black Christmas remains legitimately spooky, as well as one of the greatest holiday-horror flicks ever made. Traveling moviemeister Will the Thrill presents the film tonight with live music by Project Pimento; check the Thrillville Web site for deets on the Dec. 10 show in San Jose. (Cheryl Eddy)
8 p.m., $10
Four Star
2200 Clement, SF
(415) 666-3488

Joshua Churchill and Paul Clipson
In conjunction with NOMA Gallery’s current “Until the Bright Logic is Won/Unwishpering as a Mirror is Believed” exhibit by artists Peggy Cyphers and Joshua Churchill, Churchill and Paul Clipson are presenting a this one-off sound and film performance. I’m imagining two hours filled with Brian Eno-y abstractions and spiritual glosses of nature’s lovely things. If that isn’t unclear enough, maybe the curious misspelling in the show’s title, lifted from Hart Crane’s poem “Legend,” might help. I’m referring to switcheroo of the h in “Unwishpering” (the original being “Unwhispering”). Assuming it was intentional, we now have a new word that undoes the whispering of a wish. Come witness this etymological birthing as Churchill and Clipson unwishper in your eyes and ears. (Spencer Young)
7-9 p.m., free
NOMA Gallery
80 Maiden Lane, 3rd floor, SF
(415) 391 0200

Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes
Dreading December’s inevitable mall trip? Consider Golden Girls’ Dorothy your inspiration: “You know Robbie wants a Batman hat. I went to six different stores, they were all sold out … Ugh, I cannot believe a person would push a perfect stranger out of the way, step on her hand, and give her an elbow to the forehead just for a Batman hat. But I did it anyway.” Ah Bea Arthur, what ever will we do without you? But although our favorite sassy grandmas may no longer be churning out the pithy one-liners they once were, their torch has happily been plucked and held aloft by San Francisco drag queens. The ladies will be performing two of the original series’ very special Christmas episodes line-for-line — rumor has it the fearsome foursome takes on a soup kitchen in one. Get some silver-haired sass for your holiday soul. (Caitlin Donohue)
7 and 9 p.m. (also Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 26), $20–$25
Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory
1519 Mission, SF

The 13th Small Format Art Sale
My grandma did beautiful paintings of Texas hill country, but nowadays I’ve only got one ’cause the durn things are too large to qualify as carry-on luggage. Would that Grandma had lived in the age of the The Lab’s small-work-and-postcard art show. The space’s 13th annual celebration of all things tiny and beautiful is perfect for that nomadic creative type on your shopping list. And as a nomadic creative, I’m fully ready to celebrate some innovative, postal service-friendly designs, accumulated during an egalitarian open submissions call. If while there you are shoulder-tapped by a man or woman who wants to show you what’s in their pocket, be not alarmed. They’re a representative of the Museum of Pocket Art, a group that piggybacks larger gallery events to show wallet-sized works. Or they’re a total perv. Only one way to find out … (Caitlin Donohue)
6–-9 p.m. reception (continues through Sun/6), free
The Lab
2948 16th St., SF
(415) 864-8855

The Dead Hensons Finale Extravaganza
While cuddly Muppets and innovative creature designs are probably the first things that pop into most people’s minds when they hear the name Jim Henson, the late creative genius also incorporated wildly catchy music into his productions, using songs that still have the power to transport listeners back to their youth when hearing just a few bars of tunes such as “Pinball Number Count.” Capturing that unbridled sense of joy and innocence, The Dead Hensons perform selections from the early days of The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, and are known to cause spontaneous bouts of dancing and sing-alongs with their rockin’ interpretations. Tonight the eight-piece band will joined by several special guests, including members of Rogue Wave, No Doubt, and more. (Sean McCourt)
9:30 p.m., $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF.
(415) 621-4455

Lower Haight Art Walk
Whether you like it or not, the holidays are here. Avoid the bloated shopping malls and the schizophrenia of Union Square, and hit up the Lower Haight for its “Holiday Edition” Art Walk instead. The event takes place between the 400 and 700 blocks, and nearly 30 merchants will participate with live music, art shows, live painting, and waistband-threatening holiday munchies. There will be window and tree display contests, which means you might see Baby Jesus robotripping with a pacifier in his mouth, or Santa and Rudolph getting bestial under the mistletoe. This is the Lower Haight, after all, and one should expect something subversive and oddly charming from such a crazy yet cozy spot in the city. Fuck Macy’s and fuck carolers, the Xmas spirit thrives with the freaks and geeks of Haight Street. (Long)
7–10 p.m., free
Haight (between Pierce and Webster), SF


The Cranberries
Before emo came along and turned 13-year-olds into crybabies, there was the Cranberries. Dolores O’Riordan was the mouthpiece for many angst-ridden adolescent girls in the mid-1990s. Say what you will about the band, there’s no denying the sense of dreamy giddiness one feels whenever “Linger” or “Dreams” plays on the radio. Memories of flannel dresses, cassette tapes in your backpack, and the anticipation of another glorious episode of My So-Called Life can overwhelm you with sugary-sweet nostalgia. Following in the footsteps of such holy-shit! reunions like Pavement, Jesus Lizard, and Sunny Day Real Estate, the Cranberries — performing with the original lineup — could name their tour “Everyone Else Is Reuniting, So Why Can’t We?” It’s been seven years since the band last toured, so let’s hope “Zombie” still has sharp teeth. (Long)
8 p.m., $36
Regency Ballroom
1290 Sutter, SF
(415) 673-5716

“Exercises in Seeing”
Wish you could give up the heavy-lidded responsibility of having eyeballs day in day out? Hate having to constantly gaze, blink, scan, squint, divert, and cry? And tired of going to art shows where all you do is look at things? Or maybe you just hate art altogether? Well, tonight’s your lucky night. You can wear two eye-patches if you want, because those pesky wet balls will be useless at this exhibit. For one night only, poet David Buuck will audibly walk you through artwork in the dark by 30 local and international artists — artwork even he hasn’t seen! All you have to do is listen or sleep or walk around and relive your first sexual experiences by “accidentally” groping people. (Young)
9 p.m.–6 a.m.
Queen’s Nails Projects
3191 Mission, SF
(415) 314-6785


Om Shanti Om
Om my gawd, y’all — Om Shanti Om is playing the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts! Set within the world of Bollywood, this 2007 monster hit from director-choreographer Farah Khan (she choreographed 2001’s Monsoon Wedding) works cameos galore into the tale of good-hearted, 1970s-era bit player Om (Shah Rukh Khan), who falls for movie star Shanti (Deepika Padukone), not realizing she’s already entangled with sinister producer Mukesh (Arjun Rampal). Stuff — betrayals, tragedy, reincarnation, revenge plots, haunting — happens, but you know you wanna see Om Shanti Om primarily for the glorious musical numbers, and for the mighty SRK, gloriously corny here (as always). (Eddy)
2 p.m., $6–$8
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission, SF
(415) 978-2787

Formed in Sweden in 1990, legendary black metal group Marduk was designed, in the words of founding member Morgan Hakansson, to be “the most blasphemous metal act ever.” Although it draws from similar lyrical themes as other groups in its genre, such as the requisite references to Satanism and gore, Marduk adds several other diabolical layers, notably imagery and historical content from World War II. Marduk had to cancel its opening slot appearance for Mayhem earlier this year due to visa issues — this is the first chance in years for Bay Area metal fans to see one of the most brutal acts in our neck of the woods. (McCourt)
With Nachtmystium, Mantic Ritual, Black Anvil, Merrimack and DJ Rob Metal
8 p.m., $20
DNA Lounge
375 11th St., SF
(415) 626-1409

A Multimedia Event with Califone
The lonesome crowded West has an apt soundtrack in the music of Califone, whose very name evokes rustic Americana. Some groups never let a good song get in the way of atmosphere, while others are guilty of just the opposite. In contrast, Califone frequently manages to combine strong songcraft with an attention to scene-setting detail. And that it should — its new album All My Friends are Funeral Singers (Dead Oceans) shares the same title as the feature film directorial debut of the group’s Tim Rutili. In fact, tonight the band supplies a live score to Rutili’s movie, which stars Angela Bettis, the petite-but-tough-as-nails presence at the core of low-budget horrors such as May (2002) and Tobe Hopper’s not-bad 2003 remake of Toolbox Murders. A throwback to a time when actual actresses rather than Hollywood fembots had lead roles in U.S. movies, Bettis plays a fortune-teller who lives in an old house at the edge of the woods. Califone plays the music. (Johnny Ray Huston)
8 p.m., $16
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF
(415) 885-0750
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