Our Weekly Picks: November 23-29

Pub date November 22, 2011


Immortal Technique

“So now that it’s proven, that a soldier of revolution/ Or head of an empire, disguised in a constitution/ Can not escape the retribution or manipulation/ Of the self-appointed rulers of the planet’s corporations.” So says Afro-Peruvian rapper Immortal Technique on new mixtape The Martyr (Viper Records). Born Felipe Coronel, Tech seizes every opportunity to eviscerate American class warfare and excoriate the United States government’s complicity. Tech’s angry sermons get a little lost in the first half of Martyr because of distracting riffs taken from the Beatles, Aerosmith, and The Goonies soundtrack, though there is a clever reworking of ABBA’s “Money, Money, Money” in reference to this generation’s “Rich Man’s World (1%).” Pure, undiluted Tech shines through on the mixtape’s second half. Swill with care. (Kevin Lee)

With Chino XL, Da Circle, DJ GI Joe

8 p.m., $32.50


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000



MOM’s Family Funk’tion

Before you indulge in caloric binges, first endear yourself to the soulful 1960s sound that has always sounded sweeter during the holidays: Motown. No one knows and appreciates this more than the masterminds behind MOM (Motown on Mondays) who bring originals, remixes, and “close relatives” of Motown label songs to venues and events across San Francisco, including Madrone Art Bar, Public Works, SF Funk Fest, even the Treasure Island Music Festival. The first MOM’s Family Funk’tion goes down the night before the turkey funeral that is Thanksgiving at Brick & Mortar, with DJs Gordo, Timo, Phleck, and Matteo spinning the tracks that get the tail-feathers shaking. The crew from MOM promises to provide “toasty soul and fresh funk jams.” (Emily Savage)

10 p.m., $5

Brick & Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782




Before her set at Pitchfork Music Festival last summer, we were all given tubes of neon yellow warpaint so we could emulate tUnE-YarDs’ Merrill Garbus. Though we may have resembled her, it was no use. We would never be as badass as the woman on stage looping ukulele, smashing drums, and wailing something fierce. With help from additional saxophonists and drummers, the playful jams of Garbus’ quirky hit album w h o k i l l (4AD) burst forth into the calculated cacophony that is tUnE-YarDs. (Frances Capell)

With Pat Jordache

8 p.m., $23

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF

(415) 673-5716




“Sing-A-Long Sound of Music”

Chances are “Sing-A-Long Sound of Music,” the classic musical from 1964 with lyric subtitles so the whole theater can burst into song, is your mother’s dream come true — unless I am the only one who has watched their mom caper around the house, singing “My Favorite Things” (a possibility). It’s fortunate that “Sing-A-Long Sound of Music” should show the weekend after Thanksgiving. If mom’s in town, it’s your best bet. Additionally, the theater hands out goody bags, holds a pre-film concert featuring organist David Hegarty, as well as a costume contest. Your mom can dress up as Maria, of course, and you can dress as one of the Von Trapp children. Come on, do it for family. (James H. Miller)

7 p.m., $15

Castro Theater

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120




Are there a lot of orphans in the DJ community? Why are they active the weekend after Thanksgiving, when touring bands are presumably in food comas? Thankfully, there’s still down and dirty shows like this to sweat the gravy out, featuring a big lineup of international and SF DJs including Nadastrom, the progenitors of the bastard toddler of Dutch house and reggaeton: moombahton. Put on by Soundpieces, Camp?, and Irie Cartel, the proceeds of the event will benefit DJs Bogl and Benjammin Taylor, who lost their home in the fire above the Haight and Fillmore Walgreens a couple months back.(Ryan Prendiville)

With Truth (NZ), Stylust Beats (CAN), Lorne B (CAN), Tuffist (SP), Dnae Beats and more

10 p.m., $15 advance

103 Harriet, SF

(415) 431-1200



“Velveteen Rabbit”

There is a lovely tradition in English children’s books that dresses issues around growing up with imagination and a gentle but firm hold on reality. Winnie the Pooh and Wind in the Willows are two of them. Marjorie Williams’ 1922 The Velveteen Rabbit is another. ODC/Dance’s KT Nelson, a young mother at the time, choreographed it 24 years ago. Today, it’s as fresh and imaginative as ever, with wonderfully colorful costumes, Benjamin Britten’s splendid score and Geoff Hoyle’s intimate narration. The two-person high Nana has just a touch of Victorian strictness about cleaning up the nursery but her efficiency is more than held in check by the toys who have minds of their own. Opening performance is Grandparents’ (20 percent off) and photo day (Rita Felciano)

Through Dec. 11, times vary, $15–$45

Novellus Theater

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

700 Howard, SF

(415) 978-2787



“Great Dickens Christmas Fair”

Do not discount the Dickens Fair’s potential for holiday weekend shenanigans. Opportunities for hijinx abound, and not just because the fair’s 800 performers — from dirty-overcoated “guvnah!” drunks to crinoline-encased ladies who tea — are encouraged to interact in character with passers-by (mess with them gently! They love it!) The fair fills the cavernous Cow Palace, and houses a corsetry with live models coordinated by local cinchers Dark Garden, an adventurer’s salon where you can share your rollicking tales of shot glass exploration with fantastically mustached gents — and yes, you can booze your face off. Four bars, people! Including an absinthery in an alley, where you can mix chemically-induced hallucinations in with your environment-induced ones. (Caitlin Donohue)

Through Dec. 18, $22–$25

Cow Palace

2600 Geneva, SF




Boys Noize

Here’s a great way to shed those new extra turkey (or Tofurkey) pounds — waddle into the Mezzanine Saturday night in your most comfortable tight jeans and dance your ass off. Boys Noize throws down the kind of relentlessly squelchy music that might make pioneers of Detroit’s minimal techno scene wince. Noize, actually the moniker of German DJ Alex Ridha, has been busy as of late, pushing releases on his record label, BoysNoize Records and its digital offshoot BNR Trax. The label’s sounds range from acidy techno to sinister electro, with a sprinkle of wobbly dubstep and a dash of oddball, leftfield sounds — much like the label’s creator himself. (Lee)

10 p.m., $30


444 Jessie, SF

415) 625-8880


SUNDAY 11/27

Jeffrey Luck Lucas and Nebulous Orchestra

The Mission District’s Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist is no ordinary church — sure, it holds regular worship services, but it is also highly progressive (vocally supportive of LGBT rights, for example), boasts a colorful mural on one of its exterior walls, and is staunchly community-oriented, welcoming the occasional secular event into its historic (circa 1910, after being rebuilt post-1906 quake) building. Tonight’s performance features Mission troubadour Jeffrey Luck Lucas, heading up an “orchestra” (pipe organ, oboes, clarinets, strings, and more) comprised of other local musicians. You can bet that the acoustics in the church — itself known for a strong music program — will render the experience even more amen-worthy. (Cheryl Eddy)

With Gloaming Boys

6 p.m., $8–$20 (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist

1661 15th St., SF


MONDAY 11/28

“You Are All Captains”

A beguiling and beautiful meta-fiction, You All Are Captains grew out of Oliver Laxe’s experience teaching film workshops to local kids in Tangiers. Everyone plays themselves in this reflexive movie, though Laxe casts himself as the fool — a presumptuous European director guiding students to his own ends. The disguise allows him to realize sly but substantive reflections upon the ontology and ethics of filming. It’s fitting that You All Are Captains is making its local premier in a classroom: a U.C. Berkeley student group flying under the banner of “Picturing Neo-Imperialism” has invited Laxe to present his debut in person more than a year after it won the FIPRESCI critics’ award at Cannes. (Max Goldberg)

7 p.m., free

UC Berkeley

Dwinelle B-4, Berk.



Metal Mother

By some standards, Oakland’s Tara Tati came into music fairly late: she didn’t take up the piano seriously until she was 23. But you wouldn’t guess as much listening to her ethnic fusion project, Metal Mother. On the debut album Bonfire Diaries, the singer-songwriter builds up a bold and elemental sound. With its trudging percussion and distinctly dark temper, Metal Mother invokes ’80s goth rock, ethnic fusion bands like Dead Can Dance, and at times, world ambient soundscapes. And yet, at heart, Tati sounds like a pop artist in the same vein as Björk circa Homogenic, and that alone implies talent. (Miller)

With Horns of Happiness, Mortar and Pestle, Birdseye

8 p.m., $10

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861- 5061




Is the Locust a joke? With its speedy deliver, high vocals, beepy attack synth, and masked personas, I never could quite decide. And yet, who cares? The energy level was always high, the shows always masterful absurdist romps. Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian from the screamy ’90s-born Three One G act have now formed Retox — like Locust 2.0. Masks now off, and sounds a bit filled in (but really, just a smidge — its new album clocks in at 13 minutes total), it’s shinier, thicker, less jokey. It’s helter-skelter rock’n’roll, minus the screeching buzz-saw, the painful intro to “Boredom is Counter-Revolutionary” notwithstanding. The band is matched well with frantic experimental Japanese noise-punk act Melt-Banana. Anticipate high-energy, non-medical spasms. (Savage)

With Melt-Banana, Peace Creep

9 p.m., $14

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455