Our Weekly Picks: October 17-23

Pub date October 16, 2012


Bob Dylan

What does one need to know in order to decide whether or not to go to one of the upcoming Bay Area Bob Dylan concerts? What more can you say about a legendary singer-songwriter who has left an indelible mark on the fabric of American culture for 50 years — the man who earlier this year was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to this country via his more than 600 songs, including “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and “Blowin’ in the Wind?” All you need to know is that Dylan is in town, there are still tickets available, and you will never forgive yourself if you miss the opportunity to see this one of a kind icon. (Sean McCourt)

With Mark Knopfler

Wed/17-Thu/18, 7:30pm, $59.50–$125

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

99 Grove, SF




Makers Nightlife

Do you need to have a reason to engineer cool robots and get generally crafty? If your answer is, “No, just do it!” you might like Maker Faire, a showcase of DIY creativity and cool technology. And there doesn’t seem to be a better place to see it than inside the living domes of the California Academy of Sciences. Many projects will be on display for you to ogle and nerd-out on, including pieces by Applied Kinetic Arts and a jukebox-style dancing robot. If the creativity gets you itching to work with your hands, the event will be ready with a craft table for making freak flags. Or you can just sit back and enjoy a live performance by the very cerebral, digital painter, J-Watt. Either way, it should be a fun night of quirkiness, creativity, and intellectual stimulation. (Molly Champlin)

6pm, $12

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse

(415) 379-8000



Jason Lytle of Grandaddy

It’s been a great year to be a Grandaddy fan. Not only did 2012 yield a handful of unexpected reunion shows for the Modesto space pop band (including an excellent Outside Lands night show at the Independent), but now frontperson Jason Lytle has just released Dept. of Disappearance, his second album of solo material. Just as on 2009’s Yours Truly, the Commuter, Lytle’s new batch of tracks maintains his knack for penning achingly beautiful songs full of swoon-worthy keyboard lines, touching lyrics, and warmly lush DIY production. (Landon Moblad)

With Sea Of Bees

8pm $20

Swedish American Hall

2174 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016



Stolen Babies and the Fuxedos

While there’s a good chance that you’ll be terrified, bemused, appalled, or amazed by the aggressively madcap triple-header of Darling Freakhead, the Fuxedos, and Stolen Babies, you most certainly will not be bored. What with the polymetric layers of Darling Freakhead’s nihilistic introspection, the twisted, sideshow extroversion of the Fuxedos’ leader, Danny Shorago, and the steampunkish dark carnival menace of Stolen Babies, plus plenty of puppet carnage, costume changes, and apocalyptic accordion interludes, this is one evening guaranteed to haunt your consciousness, as well as your eardrums, for a long time afterwards. (Nicole Gluckstern)

9pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455



Tiger Army

Berkeley-spawned rocker band Tiger Army released its self-titled debut record 13 years ago this month — so it’s a fitting time to return to the Bay Area for two special shows, part of “Octoberflame,” a fifth annual run of gigs that take place around each Halloween. Here’s hoping the band kicks off with its classic intro of “Nightfall” and “Nocturnal,” a psychobilly-tinged combo from the early days that would set the standard for the group’s darkly melodic sound — it would be a most appropriate soundtrack for the season. (McCourt)

With the Goddamn Gallows, Death March (Fri.); Suedehead, God Module (Sat.).

Fri/19-Sat/20, 8:30pm, $23


333 11th St., SF

(415) 255-0333



Trolley Dances

The idea started in San Diego, where streetcars actually are called trolleys. This hasn’t stopped the yearly version of San Francisco Trolley Dances to become a major hit among (some) tourists and (lots of) locals. Now in its ninth year, this mini-festival of public art has yet to run out of steam. More and more artists — and not only dancers — seem to be excited about the format. The offerings this time around include stilt walkers and circus artists, dance theater companies, carnival performers, and dancers from street to modern to African. You can do the whole tour on foot or on a bike if you are so inclined. For a map, consult the website. (Rita Felciano)

Sat/20-Sun/21, 11am- 2:45pm (every 45 min), free with Muni ticket

Starts at Mission and Fifth Street, SF

(415) 226-1139



The Hula Show 2012

You might think about hula and imagine rapidly shaking grass skirts finishing off a day spent lounging on refreshingly warm, blue beaches. If you feel that Hawaiian vacation nostalgia hitting you, let Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu transport you back. Evoking the slow pace of Hawaiian life, their dances allow you to luxuriate in each movement like a cool breeze rustling through palm trees. But it’s not all poi and roasted pig — the San Francisco-based troupe brings things up to the city pace by mixing traditional Hula with more contemporary music and styles to create a dynamic stage performance. Be prepared to open your eyes to Polynesian dance as an art form in a way you’ll never see at a tourist-attraction luau. (Champlin)

Through Oct. 28

Sat/20, 8pm; Sun/21, 3pm, $35-$45

Palace of Fine Arts Theater

3301 Lyon

(415) 392-4400



Wax Idols

Wax Idols’ badass frontperson Heather Fedewa (who goes by the moniker “Hether Fortune”) has dubbed her refreshingly unique garage pop-punk-death rock genre “morbid classics” and cites Christian Death as a prominent artistic influence. This raucous Oakland-based quartet brings it on heavy, but its fun, sardonic tunes are quite accessible to the less-than-devout death rockers among us. Fortune’s songs focus on morbidity, love, and defiance, and the band’s sound oscillates between the sunny, upbeat punk of “Gold Sneakers” and the dark and raw introspection of “The Last Drop.” Wax Idols recently finished recording their second LP, so stay tuned! (Mia Sullivan)

With Wymond Miles, Evil Eyes

8pm, $10

Brick and Mortar

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782




Those suffering post-Folsom exhibitionist blues need no longer wear overmuch clothing, for one night at least. Masquerotica takes over one of the largest venues in town — which, hooray, isn’t the hard to get to Cow Palace. The Concourse Exhibition Center is way closer to the center of town, way less mileage to truck your thigh highs and stripper-envy through. The bash promises a stadium-sized assortment of erotic artists, DJs, acrobats, and fetish designers vending their leather and lace wares. Rest assured that T&A won’t be the only stars present: Kink.com talent, contortionist Sylvia Currin, the ladies of Trannyshack, and lascivious visual artists will all be featured at the second year in a row of this no-streetwear-allowed blowout. (Caitlin Donohue)

8:30pm-3am, $55–$125

Concourse Exhibition Center

635 Eighth St., SF



Kaki King

A talented guitarist who has done the indie-rock thing and just married her partner in New York last week (seriously California, get on it), don’t let Kaki King fool you; she’s not another Tegan and Sara. More about the music than the iconery, Kaki King is exploring life through her love of guitar and the result is genuinely heartfelt and evocative work. She began learning the instrument at the age of four but soon became more serious about drums. Luckily for us, she returned to guitar for her classical training in college. Percussive techniques remain a signature of her style though and are just one way she explores all that the instrument can do, including unique tunings and steel lap guitar. Her new album, Glow, is entirely instrumental and a little more experimental than previous work. She describes this step in a new direction as one of those things that you can’t believe you’ve made, like something bigger than you must have been helping out. (Champlin)

With Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

7pm, $20; 9pm, $15

Yoshi’s SF

1330 Fillmore, SF

(415) 655-5600




Few artists split the difference between alt and mainstream as convincingly as Radiohead/Beck/R.E.M. mega-producer Nigel Godrich. Yet, while he’s built a giant reputation as a behind-the-scenes figure, the guy’s true musical sensibility has always remained somewhat of a mystery. Until now, with the development of Ultraísta: a hypnotic, Afrobeaty, Krautified synth-pop band he can proudly call his own. Think of them as a 21st century equivalent to Garbage: another supergroup of sorts, featuring assertive female vocals, synth contributions from an elusive knob-twiddler for the stars (in their case, Nirvana producer Butch Vig), and deep, layered production that’s constantly busy but never muddy or overstuffed. On Ultraísta’s self-titled debut, Godrich’s angular, heavily syncopated King of Limbs aesthetic remains in full force; we’re just glad to hear him writing the hooks this time around. (Taylor Kaplan)

With Astronauts, etc.

8pm, $18


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421



Dan Deacon

If there were anything that could top the hyperkinetic charm of a Dan Deacon album, it would likely be a Dan Deacon show. The Baltimore-based experimental electronic musician treats live performances as joyous, life-affirming events full of enthusiastic crowd participation, all spearheaded by Deacon himself. America, his newest LP, continues to evolve the more nuanced and fleshed out sound he first dabbled with on Bromst in 2009. As a result, this tour’s live shows will include a full backing ensemble to help recreate America‘s frenetic blend of electronic composition and live orchestration. (Moblad)

With Height with Friends, Chester Endersby Gwazda, Alan Resnick

8pm, $16

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750