Our Weekly Picks: December 25-31

Pub date December 27, 2011


Doe Eye

When Maryam Qudus — sole member of local indie-pop project, Doe Eye — sings “I Hate You,” it’s hard to believe her. It’s cute as hell. But the point of the song is indeed that. She doesn’t hate the faceless “you,” but is tortured by the affection. It’s that kind of thoughtfulness with an added ear for pop charm that makes Doe Eye a project you can espouse. Doe Eye released the EP, Run, Run, Run, in August, and sure, it’s about as radio-friendly as you can get. But the instrumentation, with its orchestral and wavy synth touches, is undoubtedly inspired by indie-rock acts around today, be it Beach House or St. Vincent. (James H. Miller)

With The Trims, Pounders, and Miles the DJ

9 p.m., $8

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455



Mara Hruby

Michael Jackson doing “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Al Green doing “Light My Fire.” Nina Simone doing “Rich Girl.” (Yeah, Hall and Oates, look it up.) While a cover rarely make the original irrelevant, a good one should make it the artist’s own. On From Her Eyes, a free EP she reportedly sang, arranged, recorded, and engineered, Oakland’s Mara Hruby lent her sweet, soulfully agile voice to tracks by Mos Def, Andre 3000, Bob Marley, Jamiroquai, and others, rendering each different and new. Since then Hruby has been at work on her debut album, teasing songs “Lucky (I Love You)” and “The Love Below” online, and will be including new material at this show. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Chris Turner

8 p.m., $15

Yoshi’s Oakland

510 Embarcadero West, Oakl.

(510) 238-9200



The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and A Woman is a Woman

A double bill of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and A Woman is a Woman (1961) at the Castro is the stuff cinephilia is made of. Those sweet on The Artist should be sure to check in with these earlier Gallic interpretations of Hollywood razzle dazzle. The first, Jacques Demy’s Umbrellas is the purer confection in many ways, but the film’s tender sentimentalism and radiant color design flow towards a soulful poetry of the everyday. The second, by Jean-Luc Godard, is an early distillation of his complex movie love and a poignant offering to actress Anna Karina. Both films feature scores by Michel Legrand, so they carry their complex register of emotions with a lightness that escapes words. (Max Goldberg)

3:25 and 7 p.m., $10

Castro Theatre

429 Market, SF

(415) 621-6120




What do you get when you cross a gutter punk b-boy with a space goth? Sprinkle him with a little MDMA and you’ve got Travis Egedy, a.k.a. Pictureplane. Egedy works clubby ’90s vocal samples and celestial beats into infectious pop songs, which he sings over in a breathy, lusty moan. With effervescent dance anthems like “Black Nails” and “Trancegender,” Egedy gives goths something to freak to. And you’re just as likely to shake it as you are to wind up in the center of a mosh pit. We should all thank our lucky stars for the weird amalgam of personas that is Pictureplane. Speaking of stars, did I mention he’s really, really into space? (Frances Capell)

With Popscene DJs

10 p.m., $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011



Asher Roth

Let’s face it. A lot of us love rap, but many of us can’t relate to carrying guns or moving kilos of cocaine. Luckily there’s Asher Roth, a gifted 26-year-old MC who raps about things the everyman can identify with — like partying with friends and soaking up sunshine. Roth may be a college bro, but he’s legit enough to have earned props from the likes of Ludacris and Slick Rick. Roth prides himself on his live performances and makes them unforgettable by bringing along a full band. If that’s not incentive enough, Thursday is the release show for Roth’s fresh new Pabst & Jazz Sessions mixtape produced by Blended Babies. (Capell)

10 p.m., $25

330 Ritch, SF

(415) 542-9574



Wizard Of Oz

For more than 70 years and counting, The Wizard of Oz has entertained and fascinated viewers; at the time of its original release, the film’s breathtaking color sequences enthralled audiences still stuck on black and white, and the soundtrack’s beloved songs introduced the world to the talents of Judy Garland. For the majority of us who have grown up watching the movie on television, we are in for a special treat tonight when the grand old Paramount hosts a screening, a rare chance to see such a classic piece of cinema on the big screen, the way it was meant to be viewed. Just watch out for flying monkeys! (Sean McCourt)

8 p.m., $5

Paramount Theatre

2025 Broadway, Oakl.

(510) 465-6400




Taking the same searing energy that propelled its contemporary punk counterparts then add the rock solid drumming of DJ Bonebrake, the guitar virtuosity of Billy Zoom, and the poetic lyrics and intimate vocal interplay of John Doe and Exene Cervenka. Legendary Los Angeles punk rockers X have always distinguished themselves from the other bands of the genre. This holiday season finds the band celebrating with “The Xmas Traveling Rock & Roll Revival,” where fans are sure to hear all of their favorite iconic tunes, and probably a couple of revved-up holiday favorites as well. (McCourt)

With Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss, and the Black Tibetans.

8 p.m. Fri.; 9 p.m. Sat/31, $33–$50

Slim’s, 333 11th St., SF

(415) 255-0333



Agent Orange

In the mid through late 1970s, Southern California was one of the hubs of hardcore punk, with bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Wasted Youth all forming in the region. It was also a center of skateboarding, thanks to — among other things — a newly developed polyurethane wheel and a drought that left scores of pools empty. The band Agent Orange was a by-product of both of these phenomenons. Formed in Orange County in 1979 by lead singer and guitar player Mike Palm, bassist James Levesque, and drummer Scott Miller, the band took a Dick Dale spin on hardcore and became synonymous with early incarnations of “skate punk.” Skateboarders needed an identity of their own, and Agent Orange helped with that task. Now, 30 years later, you don’t need to know how to do a kick flip to understand why they were so essential. (Miller)

With Inferno of Joy, Tokyo Raid, The Nerv, Suggies

8:30 p.m., $15

330 Ritch, SF

(925) 541-9574



Gavin Russom

“I hear you’re buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator.” James Murphy tipped his hand when he wrote that a decade ago, but while would-be musicians could have gone straight past the irony to eBay, one thing they wouldn’t have was Gavin Russom. The ace up the sleeve, Russom is the tech wizard, creating analog synths for LCD Soundsystem and others. But more guru than a Radio Shack hobbyist, Russon has performed, DJ’ed, and created music on his own and under the aliases of the Crystal Ark and Meteoric Black Star. His latest “Night Sky,” is an epic, speedily slow building, sexually suggestive track that proves, as usual, he knows what you really want. (Prendiville)

With LA Vampires, Bobby Browser, Magic Touch, and Pickpocket

9:30 p.m., $10

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955




Is one of your New Years’ resolutions to go Sailing The Seas Of Cheese? Do you plan on serving up some Frizzle Fry? Imbibing in some Pork Soda? Well, any way you look at it, the two club shows this week by musical boundary-busting Bay Area rock favorites Primus are a rare treat for local fans to see the band up close and personal. You can choose to ring in the New Year with Les Claypool and company on Saturday, or if you prefer, you can work off your holiday hangover on Sunday with the band, which will be performing two sets each night at its Hawaiian Hukilau-themed parties. (McCourt)

9 p.m.; 8 p.m. Sun/1, $50–$65

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell St., SF

(415) 885-0750


Thee Oh Sees

There’s no shortage of New Year’s Eve events taking place in the city, but you’re hard-pressed to find a more definitively San Francisco way to spend the evening than with local psych-pop darlings Thee Oh Sees. Though many a band has hopped on the fuzzy garage train in recent years, these guys have been blazing the trail for well over a decade (under various monikers). Each new release, including the spanking new Carrion Crawler/The Dream (In The Red) finds Thee Oh Sees shredding harder and better, but its live shows will melt your face clean off. Enjoy some gnarly guitar riffage, kiss a stranger, and partake in the vices you’ve resolved to quit come sunrise. (Capell)

With The Fresh & Onlys and White Fence

9 p.m., $15–$20

Brick & Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 371-1631



“Sea of Dreams NYE 2012”

Part carnivale, part circus, part burn, part Halloween, part massive: the annual Sea of Dreams event takes the promise of a wild New Year’s Eve and adds more. In part it has to do with the crowd, drawing some serious do-it-themself-ers with fantastically creative outfits. But whatever distractions are off stage, there will be hard competition from a triple bill of headliners including local favorites Beats Antique, infectious dance MC Santigold (who has new material to debut live), and the return of Amon Tobin’s deafening, eyeball melting ISAM set. (Prendiville)

With Claude VanStroke, MarchFourth Marching Band, An-ten-nae, Diego’s Umbrella, and more

8 p.m., $75–$145

SF Concourse Exhibition Center

635 8th St., SF



Eliza Rickman

With her little toy piano Eliza Rickman makes bewitching alternative folk rock. Listening to her EP, Gild the Lily, is like walking through a life size dollhouse and feeling not sure whether to be frightened or enchanted. There’s something about the nature of the toy piano — its sparkling sound can be at once blood curdling and tender (like John Cages’ Suites for Toy Piano, which popularized the instrument). Similarly, Rickman’s voice has a plucked from the garden pleasantness, but her words tend toward the tragic. This balance between adorable and dreary can even be seen in the titles of her songs, like “Black Rose” and “Cinnamon Bone.” In any event, whether she’s cinnamon, bone, or both, the toy piano under her hands is more than a novelty. (Miller)

7 p.m., free


853 Valencia, SF

(415) 970-0012


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