Weekly Picks: October 2 – 8, 2013

Pub date October 1, 2013

Among the undead.



“How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse”

Who hasn’t thought about who they would want on their zombie apocalypse team, how they would escape the city, or where they would go if they got out? But that’s just the first 24 hours. What about some oh, 28 days later? What about 28 weeks? What about doing more than just surviving? The collection of workshops offered by Curiosity Atlas this fall could be the key to your happy post-apocalypse. Join Curiosity Atlas on opening night to preview such workshops as “Defending Against Multiple Attackers,” “MacGyver Night,” “DIY Herbal Apothecary,” “Aging and Collecting Beer,” “Apocalypse Baking,” and other essential skills for living the good life among the undead. The night will feature hands-on demonstrations, live performances, and human-friendly refreshments. (Nina Glasov)

7-10pm, $10

Verdi Club

2424 Mariposa, SF




The Drunken Botanist

For most drinkers, the word “booze” ignites cerebral images of fluorescently-lit bars and the night, however wild or relaxing, to follow. But for Amy Stewart, author of 2013 New York Times bestseller The Drunken Botanist (Algonquin Books), the sloppy story begins much earlier, as the plants involved evolve, grow, reproduce, ferment, and distill in the days, weeks, and even millennia leading up to liquor’s transformation. Amid overhanging vines and tropic air in the Conservatory of Flowers, Stewart will discuss these diverse herbs, flowers, fungi, and fruit that end up our cups, as well as global drinking practices, comical anecdotes, gardening tips, and some of her favorite razzed recipes. After grabbing cocktails mixed by Amanda Victoria of Lillet and Mark Stoddard of Hendrick’s Gin, don’t leave the event wasted — get your own signed copy of The Drunken Bontanist. (Kaylen Baker)

7pm, $35–$40

Conservatory of Flowers

100 John F Kennedy, SF

(415) 831-2090




Father John Misty

It’s easy for musicians to hide behind personas, but when Joshua Tillman (formerly of Fleet Foxes) stopped recording under his real name and released an album — last year’s Fear Fun — as Father John Misty, it was a moment of revelation. Contrary to the faux-sincerity that has made the revivalist strain of folk rock damn near unlistenable in the last few years, Misty embraces a vivid self-awareness that avoids the usual mix of solemn preciousness and vain humility, humorously detailing his own mushroom tripping genesis (“I’m Writing a Novel”) and possible legacy (“Now I’m Learning to Love the War”). This solo show, with support from comedian Kate Berlant, should showcase the real Father John Misty. (Ryan Prendiville)

9pm, $25–$30


333 11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333




The Wicker Man

Just to get it out of the way: Yeah, the 40th anniversary “definitive new restoration” of British cult-horror classic The Wicker Man (1973) — we shall not speak of the 2006 bee-laden remake — owes its crisp clarity to digital projection. But if the not-on-actual-film tradeoff means seeing the movie uncut, as director Robin Hardy intended, perhaps it’s worth it. A stodgy, Jesus-loving Scottish cop (Edward Woodward) is in for the shock of his life when he travels to pagan stronghold Summerisle, with residents including Christopher Lee (as flamboyant Lord Summerisle) and sexy-dancin’ Britt Ekland. The eerie folk-song soundtrack, which will presumably sound better than ever, is reason enough to catch this DCP event. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sat/5, 7 and 9:30pm (also Sat/5, 4:30pm), $8.50–$11

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF




WestWave Festival

Balancing ingredients and flavors is a good way to plan a menu. It seems to work in dance as well. At least that’s what the five-member panel, which chose the artists to be commissioned for the second of this year’s West Wave programs, seems to have had in mind. All the choreographers are women but they bring a huge range of tastes to their practice. Moving here after 20 years in the other dance capital, modern dancer Anne-René Petrarca is creating a quartet about the power of female energy. Anandha Ray calls her fusion piece “tribal belly dance,” remembering its birthplace in India. Gorgeous Flamenco artist Holly Shaw is translating her passion into choreography that considers the figure of the outsider. And finally, ballet dancer Casey Lee Thorne is using the kinetic power of light in her contemporary vision of an old language. Bon appétit everyone. (Rita Felciano)

8pm, $15–$20

West Wave Dance Festival

ODC Dance Commons, Studio B

351 Shotwell, SF




It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman

42nd Street Moon kicks off its 2013-2014 season in celebration of 75 years of the Man of Steel. From the songwriters of Bye Bye Birdie and Annie comes the 1966 musical It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman, opening this month at the Eureka Theatre. Starring Lucas Coleman as the man himself, Jen Brooks as Lois Lane, and Darlene Popovic as Dr. Agnes Sedgwick, the show follows Clark Kent/Superman as he juggles heroics and romance. With such lively tunes as “You’ve Got Possibilities” and “Pow! Bam! Zonk!” audiences are in for some riotous fun featuring one of the most prolific superheroes of all time. (Kirstie Haruta)

Through Oct. 20 (Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri, 8pm; Sat, 6pm; Sun, 3pm), $21–$75

Eureka Theatre

215 Jackson, SF

(415) 255-8207




Billy Bragg

British folk-punk rocker Billy Bragg’s debut album, Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs. Spy, came out 30 years ago. If anything, time has only strengthened his writing and resolve, as well as his social activism bent, as evidenced on the troubadour’s latest release, Tooth and Nail, on Essential Music. Fans have two chances to see Bragg this weekend in the city, one at the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park — and for others who prefer to skip the crowds and dust, you can see him up close and personal tonight, appearing with his friend Jon Langford. (Sean McCourt)

9pm, $35

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750




“Bikes to Books”

You admired the artful, informative “Bikes to Books” map, created by Bay Guardian contributor Nicole Gluckstern and local-history buff Burrito Justice, in our Sept. 11 issue. Now comes the map’s official release party. Begin with a group bike tour that visits all 12 San Francisco streets named for notable artists and authors (Jacks London and Kerouac, Isadora Duncan, etc.) with local ties. And since City Lights founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti helped mastermind the street-naming project back in 1988, it’s fitting that the party portion of the day (complete with literary reading hosted by Evan Karp) takes place in Jack Kerouac Alley, just outside the famed bookstore. (Eddy)

Bike tour: 10:30am-2pm, free

Meet at Jack London (north side) and South Park, SF

Reading: 2-4pm, free

Jack Kerouac Alley (near Broadway and Columbus), SF




Iconic Hair Movie Night

When you think of memorable ‘dos in classic horror films, who else but Elsa Lanchester comes to mind? To honor her famous style, Morphic Salon is screening Bride of Frankenstein for free as part of its Iconic Hair Movie Nights series. Watch as Dr. Frankenstein, revealed to be alive by Mary Shelley, builds a bride for his first monstrous creation. And while you’re at it, perhaps you’ll be inspired to get a shock of white in your own hair to match the leading lady! RSVP for this event at info@morphicbeauty.com. (Haruta)

Free, 7 p.m.

Morphic Salon

660 Market, SF

(415) 789-6682




Tom Odell

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell tends to capture powerful if fleeting feelings of young love and wistfulness, yet with a cheerful energy. Perhaps thanks to bouncy piano chords and Odell’s robust vocals, the British singer’s performances manage to escape the deep, tormented-soul identity adapted by many young acoustic soloists. His 2013 debut album A Long Way Down reached No. 1 on the UK Official Chart earlier this year. And the musician hit an even higher note last month when he reimagined Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” at the annual BRITs awards program to honor John as the first ever recipient of the BRITs’ Icon Award. This charming singer makes his way to the Chapel tonight, where he’ll share the stage with Australian Vance Joy. (Hillary Smith)

9pm, $15


777 Valencia, SF




Fucked Up

Toronto-based hardcore punk outfit Fucked Up has made a career of being unapologetically over-the-top. Look no further than its borderline-corny name (how can it be the first punk band to come up with that one?), its insanely ambitious concept albums, and the unparalleled insanity of its live shows. Always on the verge of taking things too far, Fucked Up flirts with that fine line between insanity and brilliance, and occupies the space between with authority. No other band can create high-minded, multi-instrumental rock operas of this magnitude and get away with it (although Titus Andronicus is sure trying). As if its fervent, fearless creativity wasn’t cause enough to go see this band (co-headlining with Terror) also know that frontperson Damian Abraham is seriously the nicest dude in the entire world. (Haley Zaremba)

With Power Trip, Code Orange Kids

7pm, $16

Oakland Metro Operahouse

630 Third St, Oakl.

(510) 763-1146




La Tigre e la Neve

Somehow, Italian screenwriter Vincenzo Cerami always succeeded in capturing beauty in his films, through the highs as well as the lowest lows of life. The third and final screening of the IIC’s series “A tribute to Vincenzo Cerami,” features actor Roberto Benigni in Cerami’s La Tigre e la Neve (2005) as Attilio de Giovanni, a besotted Italian poetry teacher. Though Giovanni’s children and students adore him, the woman of his heart, Vittoria, spurns him, leaving Italy with another poet for Iraq. When the second Gulf War erupts and Giovanni hears that Vittoria has been injured, he chases after in an attempt to bring Vittoria to safety. Expect hope, despair, laughs, and underlining it all, a sense of utter, expanding beauty. (Baker)

6:30pm, free

Italian Cultural Institute

814 Montgomery, SF

(415) 788-7142




The Babies

The Babies have been pegged as a super-band of sorts from the start, with Cassie Ramone from Vivian Girls on guitar and Kevin Morby from Woods on bass. In their latest release, 2012’s Our House on the Hill, the Babies strive to break free from their lo-fi attachments in previous bands and experiment more with country, blues, and folk elements. The Babies aren’t a side project, as much as an entirely new entity with something different to offer. San Francisco’s Tony Molina, hardcore frontperson turned “punky” indie act also plays this show. His newest record, Dissed and Dismissed, released by Melters this year, is impressive. Loaded with undeniably catchy, fuzzy tunes, the album at times harkens back to an era when bands like Guided by Voices and Pavement were king. Get some drinks and get fuzzed out in more ways than one at the Hemlock Tavern tonight. (Erin Dage)

With Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

8:30pm, $8

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923