This Week’s Picks: January 22 – 28, 2014

Pub date January 21, 2014



JD Wilkes and The Dirt Daubers

As the wild frontman for The Legendary Shack Shakers, Col. J.D. Wilkes brought

together a wide array of blues-infused and swampy sounding rock n’ roll, earning them

the admiration of fans and invitations to tour with noted performers such as Robert Plant.

Wilkes—a bonafide Kentucky colonel, hence his title—formed The Dirt Daubers in

2009 with his wife, Jessica, and added guitarist Rod Hamdallah and drummer Preston

Corn for the band’s most recent album, Wild Moon (Plowboy Records). Produced by

iconic punk rocker Cheetah Chrome (The Dead Boys), the album finds them back in the

vein of mixing traditional sounds with an infectious rock attitude and approach. (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $10-$12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011


Sweat Lodge

Spend a minimal amount of time on the stretch of Mission between El Rio and The Knockout, and you’ll probably hear of these lo-fi punks. Not simply since one member is a fixture at the former bar, cooking up Indian tacos and sweet frybread on the back patio. No, it’s because Sweat Lodge seems to be a favorite of discerning music aficionados and drunkards alike. The last unprompted recommendation came from a guy who had literally just picked himself off the sidewalk (his back hurt) and said, “That dude’s band fucking rocks” as Rocky passed. Perhaps sensing jaded skepticism he added, “and I don’t give praise lightly.” But I’ve checked the tumblr and the tapes, and can’t disagree. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Giggle Party, Nasty Christmas

9pm, $8

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th, SF

(415) 612-4455



Napoleon Dynamite 10th anniversary screening

Flippin’ sweet! It’s time to polish up your dance moves, sketch out some ligers, and get out the vote for Pedro — and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, clearly you’ve never seen the 2004 cult comedy classic Napoleon Dynamite. As part of this year’s SF Sketchfest, join actors Jon Heder, Jon Gries, and Efren Ramirez for a 10th anniversary screening of the film and a live, in-person Q&A session, where you can ask them anything you ever wanted to know about the oddball movie, or perhaps even life in general&ldots;like, “Do the chickens have large talons?” (Sean McCourt)

7pm, $25

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF



Dave Alvin

First displaying his formidable guitar chops as a member of The Blasters in the early

1980s, singer/songwriter Dave Alvin has also played with X and The Knitters, and has

gone on to a distinguished solo career, with his most recent record, Eleven Eleven (Yep

Roc) coming out in 2011. Hailing from the working class town of Downey, the Grammy Award-winning Alvin absorbed a host of musical influences growing up,and his soulful songwriting exudes the best of that Americana and roots-based music — he comes to the city tonight for a special acoustic show with Nina Gerber and Christy McWilson. (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $25

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750


Dent May

Over three albums, Dent May has been a bit of a indie pop chameleon. Take the fabulous lounge kitsch of The Good Feeling Music Of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele. Or the drum machine disco revival on Do Things. And May’s latest, Warm Blanket, is predictably unpredictable: see the Bowie styled “Let’s Dance” intro that quickly upshifts into an afrobeat groove on “Let Them Talk.” Still, one thing May shares with his label bosses Animal Collective is a shared affinity for Brian Wilson, and it’s the biggest referent, with a track like “Corner Piece” sounding like it could have spun off of Pet Sounds, and it’s the perfect opportunity for May to get increasingly open-hearted and romantic. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Chris Cohen, Jack Name

9pm, $12


333 11th St., SF

(415) 255-0333


Francesca Lombardo at Heart Phoenix’s HIGHER

Sometimes it feels like watching reruns. The one where the DJs idle behind the decks, doing their best to seem effortlessly cool, making adjustments with a cigarette in hand (and another drooping from their bottom lip). Worse than than that, the occasional amped up excitement, hiding the fact that the webcast probably won’t translate 100 percent, and in any case, the scenester crowd will look bored. Francesca Lombardo’s recent Boiler Room run avoided both pitfalls. Centered around her vocals, and orchestrated with strings, Lombardo’s music took a middle path through deep house — somewhere between Maya Jane Coles and Nicolas Jaar — confident but with enough of a nervy edge befitting her recent addition to Crosstown Rebels. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Christian Martin, Galen, shOOey, Gravity, Layne Loomis, Ding-Dong, and more

9pm-4am, $15-20

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955




Jessy Lanza

We’ve seen a major resurgence of UK R&B-circa-’89 over the past few years, but while songstresses like Jessie Ware tackle those Lisa Stansfield-ish stylings with showy emotivity, Canada’s Jessy Lanza takes a borderline-shoegazer’s approach to her vocals, filtering ambiguous yearnings and half-confessions through delay and echo until they’re just another instrument in the mix, as stark and percussive as they are ethereal and melodic. Released on the much-fetishized Hyperdub imprint, and produced/co-written by Junior Boys’ Jeremy Greenspan, Lanza’s icy, prickly, spacious debut LP, Pull My Hair Back (2013), updates a flashy throwback genre for introverted, LCD-immersed times, in which the people can’t quite be trusted to say what they mean, or vice versa. This Saturday’s Popscene-curated show marks Lanza’s second-ever West Coast appearance, and might elucidate a persona that, similarly to those of labelmates Hype Williams and Laurel Halo, remains well concealed. (Taylor Kaplan)

With Running in the Fog

9pm, $10


853 Valencia, SF

(415) 970-0012


SF Mr. Transman 2014 Competition

Be a part of San Francisco history as the Elbo Room hosts the city’s first ever Mr. Transman Competition! Six local FTM transmen of diverse backgrounds will compete in the categories of platform, swimsuit, interview, talent, and evening wear for a chance to be crowned the first Mr. Transman San Francisco. Hosted by Murray Hill, the creator of the first Mr. Transman competition in New York in 2011, this vibrant showcase will be judged by a panel of stars, including Shawna Virago, Michelle Tea, Ashley Fink, and Brontez Purnell. The contestants are James Darling, Mason J, Lynne Breedlove, Loren Mattia, Andrew Onthago, and Dawson Montoya. One of them will receive a huge trophy, a cash prize, and a spread in Original Plumbing magazine! (21+). (Kirstie Haruta)

8pm, $15-20

Elbo Room

647 Valencia, SF

(415) 552-7788


Project Agora’s Mother Tongue

When Kara Davis was actively dancing, she seemed to be everywhere, performing (superbly) with choreographers as different as Janice Garret, Margaret Jenkins, Robert Moses, and Kathleen Hermesdorf. Then she started to choreograph not solos and duets like most beginners, but (excellent) company pieces of a dozen dancers more. That’s before she traveled to the Middle East. Now she is working with an international cast of a visual artist, dancers, and musicians to find a common language — both culturally and artistically — with which to create a piece. The largely improvised Mother Tongue was a hit at the Museum of Performance and Design last fall. It’s now back at the same venue on Friday before traveling a couple of blocks South to the Garage for the Saturday performance. (Rita Felciano)

Fri/24: 8pm, $10-15

Museum of Performance and Design

893B, Folsom, SF


Sat/25: 7pm and 8:30pm, $15

The Garage

715 Bryant, SF




While nerds have been picked on and made fun of for generations, with the advent of

the 21stcentury computer age and the mainstream success of all manner of tech-related

products (and even the acceptance of watching sci-fi movies and reading comic books!) we can now proudly come together for a celebration of our collective inner geek! Join

special effects guru/TV host Adam Savage from Mythbusters, singers Paul and Storm and author Pat Rothfuss for a night of comedy, music, readings and much more that embrace geek pride. Turn off that re-run of Big Bang Theory, get off the couch, and nerd out! (Sean McCourt)

1pm, $35

Marines Memorial Theatre

609 Sutter, SF

An Evening with Mike Mills

History, says artist Mike Mills, inspired his three-part Project Los Altos. But the past isn’t all that Mills is getting at — our present and future make up history before they happen, and currently, technology is happening. This Sunday at the Roxie, Mills gives a Q&A on the “future” third of his piece, a documentary entitled A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought Alone: Silicon Valley Project (2013). The film interviews children of tech industry workers about their predictions of the future. It’s dark, even spooky, to hear this envisioned world, which has less intelligence and fewer plants and animals, because ultimately, the children’s imaginations reflect a world we don’t realize we might already be living in. (Kaylen Baker)

7pm, $10 

Roxie Theater

3117 16th St, SF

(415) 863-1087



Noir City

Set in a world of murder, mystery and mayhem, the film noir genre of movies blasted their way across theater screens in the 1940 and 50s, often pitting wrongly accused men against femmes fatales, or gangsters against unscrupulous lawmen. Celebrating these often overlooked Hollywood gems for the 12th year in a row is Noir City, a festival that features both those pictures considered to be classics, along with the long lost, nearly forgotten B-movies that rounded out matinees. Look for a variety of foreign films on this year’s program: Jan. 27 brings us to Germany for The Murderers Are Among Us and Berlin Express, known as “the first German film to directly deal with the wounds of WWII” and the first American film shot on location in Allied-occupied Berlin, respectively. (Sean McCourt)

Times vary, $10 per program, $120 for festival pass

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF



Open Mic Night at Bottom of the Hill

Open mic nights at cafes can be great, but if you’re a musician craving more of a real show experience, don’t miss Bottom of the Hill’s open mic night. For one night only, the popular venue will open its stage to musicians of all genres to play one song – originals and covers both welcome! Worried your setup is too complicated? Fear not! Bottom of the Hill will set you up for a beautiful performance, with the help of sound engineer Dan Foldes and House Drummer Trent. Drum kits are not allowed, but light percussion is fine, and the venue can provide mics, cables, and a keyboard. Sign-ups are first come, first serve, starting at 7pm. Don’t miss out! (21+). (Kirstie Haruta)

7pm, Free

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455


Robert DeLong

How do you gauge the frequently overreaching world of one-man bands, when pushing multitasking to its limit is part of the draw? Seemingly taking compulsive loopster Merrill Garbus’ cue (and facepaint), Robert DeLong is a live-sampling and track-layering singer with an alternative pop bent, as likely to switch over to drums as he is to a modified Wii-mote or Sidewinder joystick in his performances. It’s an approach that puts him at least in distinctive territory: Neither the minimalist and, despite all the effort, not quite a maximalist, DeLong is more likely to get featured in Wired than written up on Pitchfork, and doesn’t quite fit into the EDM arena, where going alone is more ordinary. At the moment he seems to be orbiting in a little world of his own. (Ryan Prendiville) With Mystery Skulls, DJ Aaron Axelsen

8pm, $15

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421