Our Weekly Picks: September 8-14, 2010

Pub date September 7, 2010



Project Thrust

Many might think the bigger the bust, the better. But when it comes to the female body, shit gets complicated. Tits are either too big, too small, too this, too that. “How, when, and why are women aware and unaware of their feminine features? When do women hide curves and when do they flaunt them? Is it difficult to sustain sexiness?” These are some of the crucial questions choreographer and dancer Malinda LaVelle — who has danced with the Foundry and is now an artist in residence at the Garage — explores with her dance company Project Thrust and its newest work, Project Bust. Whether you love or hate the twins, LaVelle’s bold and funny choreography will leave you with a profound new respect for the female form. (Katie Gaydos)

Through Thurs/9

8 p.m., $15


975 Howard, SF

(415) 518-1517





Jerry Springer the Opera

Time for a big, dramatic, Jerry Springer Show-style revelation: I’m the father of your baby! Uh, just kidding. Actually, I was going to say that I had to ask the Googles if The Jerry Springer Show is still on TV. And indeed, 19 seasons along, it is. Even if its zeitgeist was a few years ago, and the most scandalous stuff on the idiot box now comes courtesy of Real Housewives, there’s no excuse for any self-respecting Springer fan (oxymoron?) to miss Jerry Springer the Opera, which promises “strippers and rednecks, incest and coprophilia, Jesus, Satan, and the Virgin Mary, the Ku Klux Klan, and a lesbian dwarf.” Adventurous local company Ray of Light Theatre ushers in its 10th anniversary season with this lurid, award-winning spectacular. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Oct. 16

Wed.–Sat., 8 p.m., $20–$36

Victoria Theatre

2961 16th St, SF





Thanks to Judgement Day, Grayceon, and Giant Squid, San Francisco concert-goers are familiar with the peculiar potency of heavy metal cello. Unlike those bands, however, Finland’s Apocalyptica consists entirely of cellists. Since its beginnings in 1993 (sawing out Metallica covers), the quintet (four cellos, drums) has built up a cult following and turned its talents toward writing original songs. A new album, 7th Symphony, was released Aug. 20, featuring collaborations with Dave Lombardo (strong) and Gavin Rossdale (weak). Apocalyptica’s live show, nevertheless, is not to be missed. If you’re never seen someone play a cello while standing up and headbanging — well, what’s taken you so long? (Ben Richardson)

with Dir En Grey, Evaline

8 p.m., $28

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF





“Infinite City: Cinema City”

Writer Rebecca Solnit’s “Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas” mapmaking project has investigated butterflies, queer history, hippies, and the SF vs. L.A. rivalry. Now, and perhaps inevitably, Solnit and her collaborators turn their attention to local cinema. Tonight’s work-in-progress screening, “Housing Shadows and Projecting Fog,” includes films on film (and fog) by Andy Black and Sam Green, and Christian Bruno. Saturday’s sprawling “cinema crawl” invites the movie-minder to various theaters. Two highlights: the Roxie spreads sparkle with Pickup’s Tricks, Gregory Pickup’s 1973 profile of founding Cockette Hibiscus; and the obligatory Vertigo screening (1958) at the Vogue. (Eddy)

7 p.m., free with museum admission ($9–$18)

(Sat/11, “A Few Dream Palaces of San Francisco” cinema crawl, various venues and times)

Phyllis Wattis Theater

SF Museum of Modern Art

151 Third St., SF

(415) 357-4000





Having stormed out of Kentucky onto the national scene with 2007’s No Salvation LP, Coliseum took an abrupt left turn when it came time to write this year’s follow-up, House With A Curse. Throttling back the incendiary crust-punk crossover of their previous albums, the trio debuted a new drummer and a stately post-punk sound — its tempos, at least when compared to precedent, sound almost meditative. Despite the switch, the songwriting remains stellar, and mastermind Ryan Patterson’s throaty yowl is wielded with mastery. Joined by local troublemakers Walken on Potrero Hill’s lowest stage, the band will deploy its new bread and circuses. (Richardson)

With Burning Love, Walken, Buried at Birth

9 p.m., $8

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St., SF

(415) 252-1330




The Gories

Looking for some good clean fun? This ain’t the show for you. As their name suggests, garage-rock vets the Gories play dirty, sinister blues with vocals that wail about feral girlfriends, explosive girlfriends, and motorcycle heroes, intercut with harmonica blasts and impassioned, slightly insane woo-hoo!s. Formed in Detroit circa 1986 — when squares were jamming to Whitney Houston and “Addicted to Love” — the band’s sound suggests nothing about the ’80s; it’s more like the tunes you’d want to hear while drag-racing to a midnight rager in a cemetery. Singer Mick Collins went on to form the Dirtbombs, a band that’s commanded its own rightful following, and this Gories reunion gig is a rare affair indeed. Turn up early for Haunted George, a kindred lo-fi cat whose discography includes an album titled Pile O’ Meat. Have mercy! (Eddy)

With Haunted George and Nice Smile

8 p.m., $20


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421






Paul Laurey and Christine Bonasea

Paul Laurey grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia; he was training to be a scientist when the desire to dance hit him. Christine Bonasea was born in France and also tried academia and dance. Dance won out for her as well. Now courtesy of Joe Landini’s RAW — or resident artist workshop, which offers no money but free rehearsal space — they are sharing an evening of independent choreography. Both work with excellent, equally committed fellow performers: Laurey in Pull, Push and Things that Matter with Christine Cali and Sonsheree Giles; Bonasea in the matter of things with Rosemary Hannon, Jorge Rodolfo de Hoyos, and Kira Kirsh. The thrill comes from watching good dancers taking new risks and committing themselves to new contexts. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sat/11

8 p.m., $15


975 Howard, SF




“Drawn From Life: Comic Books and Graphic Novels Adapted”

When it comes to adapting a work for film, some preexisting properties have proven more successful than others. Video games: bad; Jane Austen novels: better; comic books: blockbusters, even when the movie ends up sucking. There’s yet to be a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar doled out for a graphic novel or comic adaptation, but can such a breakthrough be far off? Missing from the Pacific Film Archive’s lineup are Ghost World (2001) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (still in theaters), but as graphic novel geeks the world over await/assault news regarding the Y: The Last Man movie, there’s plenty of tiding-over afoot. Campy delight Flash Gordon (1980) kicks off the series, with Hellboy (2004), Popeye (1980), American Splendor (2003), and Wes Craven’s oft-overlooked 1982 Swamp Thing among future selections. (Eddy)

“Drawn From Life: Comic Books and Graphic Novels Adapted”

Through Oct 31, $5.50–$9.50

Pacific Film Archive

2575 Bancroft, Berk.

(510) 642-5249





Craig Ferguson

In the supposedly madcap, late-night TV landscape (see: 1996’s The Late Shift), it’s surprising that Craig Ferguson has ultimately emerged as the least traditional of them all. The Scottish comedian — accent and all — makes up jokes on the fly, curses like a sailor, and often references his past as an alcoholic, a bartender, and a punk band drummer, every night on The Late Late Show. But in sticking to his guns, Ferguson comes off as a real talent rather than a manufactured experience, and the program’s unpredictable nature is the real reason to tune in — who cares about the guests anymore? You don’t have to visit the L.A. studio to see the man work; this week he brings his wanton charm to Davies Symphony Hall. (Peter Galvin)

8 p.m., $45–$55

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness, SF





“Castration Myth”

So there was this artist named Rudolf Schwarzkogler who was affiliated with Viennese Actionism — a 1960s art movement that used the body as canvas and violence as paint — and in 1965 he scared the art world and discredited the avant-garde by cutting off his penis. Or so people thought; turns out it was just a friend and a filleted fish. Fast-forward 36 years to 9/11 and we have the whole world scared, the term post-avant, and not one, but two dismembered phalluses — this time for real. Is there another fish myth at stake? Seeing this exhibit of Rudolph’s “Aktion” performance photographs is one way to find out. (Spencer Young)

Through Oct. 9

6–8 p.m., free

Steven Wolf Fine Arts

2747 19th St, SF

(415) 263 3677




Dylan Moran

Perhaps best known to American audiences for his appearances in Shaun of the Dead and Run, Fatboy, Run, Irish comedian Dylan Moran is a huge hit in his native U.K., notably for his brilliant role as a cantankerous and drunk yet lovable book shop owner in the tragically short-lived BBC series Black Books. His live stand-up is where he’s really made his name though; biting, sarcastic, and side-splittingly hilarious observations of a variety of topics we all encounter in our day-to-day lives — along with ones that most of us presumably don’t, such as having a weekend tryst with a Smurf. (Sean McCourt)

8 p.m., $36

Marines Memorial Theatre

609 Sutter, 2nd floor, SF

(415) 771-6900







Taking equal parts David Bowie-fetishism, avant-garde pop, and the sort of world eclecticism pioneered by Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel — and recently invigorated by Yeasayer and Vampire Weekend — this Brooklyn band hits just the right measures of each to create its signature Suckers sound. While that description might lead you to believe the foursome’s sound might be aloof or reserved, its debut Wild Smile is surprisingly sunny, like a collection of the slowest dance songs. Forget the name, a sucker is the last thing you’d be for getting a ticket to this one. (Galvin)

With Menomena and Tu Fawning

Through Sun/15

8 p.m., $18

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750


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