This Week’s Picks: June 18 – 24, 2014

Pub date June 17, 2014

raucous as it is tender




Zara McFarlane

You’ve got to be plenty ballsy to venture a cover of “Police and Thieves,” the immortal 1976 reggae track by Junior Murvin (produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry, no less) and transformed into a rock classic by the Clash on their debut 1977 album. But this fascinating Jamaican-British singer’s version, a hypnotic cabaret-jazz version floated by a voice clear as a bell, earns the praise heaped upon it. Included on McFarlane’s new album, If You Knew Her, “a tribute to women, from the alpha female to the housewife,” puts a feminist spin on the spooky lyrics that decry “scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition, from Genesis to Revelation.” With her classic poise and lucid style (Roberta Flack springs to mind), it’s easy to see why global soul guru Gilles Peterson snagged McFarlane quick for his Brownswood label. (marke B.)

8pm, $18 advance

Yoshi’s SF

1330 Fillmore, SF

(415) 655-5600




Mugwumpin 10

Mugwumpin, San Francisco’s ensemble-driven experimental theater company, celebrates its 10th anniversary season this month with a host of performances by itself and others (including A Host of People, from Detroit) as well as a series of symposia, workshops, and “occurrences.” It’s a big deal for a small company devoted exclusively to devised work and should be full of good things, including two revivals and a work-in-progress production of the company’s latest, Blockbuster Season — a duet of disaster featuring co-founders Joe Estlack and Christopher W. White. Beginning this week, you can whet your appetites and explore them too, as Mugwumpin remounts its 2010 hit, This Is All I Need. (Robert Avila)

‘This Is All I Need’

8pm, $25, $40 Two-show pass

June 19-22, July 2-3, 5-6

ACT Costume Shop Theater

1117 Market, SF




Ten years ago Philadelphia’s experimental post-hardcore outfit mewithoutYou released their sophomore album, Catch For Us the Foxes. Now, a decade and three albums later, Foxes is still a beloved fan favorite and the defining album of mewithoutYou’s lyrically rich and musically unique career. The album, which borrows its name directly from the Song of Songs, tackles the band’s usual themes of spirituality, nature, and literature in their trademarked spoken (well, shouted)-word vocals over beautifully melancholy, churning instrumentals. In honor of the record’s 10th birthday, mewithoutYou will be playing the entire record start to finish, followed by a set taken from the rest of their catalog. (Haley Zaremba)

With The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Dark Rooms

8pm, $16


333 11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333




Fresh Meat Festival

There are probably other LGBT festivals in the county. But — call me a chauvinist if you must — there is none like the gay-friendly Fresh Meat Festival, which focuses on transgender-based performance, the way this homegrown three-day event does. Now in its 13th incarnation, it is as raucous as it is tender, and as political as it is personal. Above all, its artists are impressively professional, with the know-how to present one heck of a show, whether they perform ballroom, hip-hop, Taiko, voguing, disco, circus, or music. Whatever their chosen discipline, they make quality work about who they are — comfortably, honestly, joyously. For many of them, and their audiences, it is a gathering of the tribes. Sean Dorsey, the brain and heart behind the festival, is showing excerpts of his yet to-be-born next piece. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sat/21, 8pm, $15-25

Z Space

450 Florida, SF



Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland

For more than 50 years now, a collection of fine, feathered friends have been greeting and entertaining visitors at Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room, singing up a storm of tropical-themed tunes in a show that was the very first to showcase audio-animatronics. Fans can pretend they’re at the theme park tonight at the Animate Your Night: Choose Your Own Adventureland party, and celebrate the arrival of a “barker bird” addition to the The Walt Disney Family Museum’s collection with a tiki-themed party to welcome it, complete with live music and dancing, cocktails from Smuggler’s Cove, presentations, and a host of other activities. (Sean McCourt)

7-10pm, $12-$30

The Walt Disney Family Museum

104 Montgomery, SF

(415) 345-6800




Dean Wareham

While his sharp tenor has gotten a bit lower and his hair is noticeably grayer than it was during his days fronting Galaxie 500, Dean Wareham has remained astonishingly consistent since his burst onto the burgeoning indie rock scene almost 30 years ago. His eclectic and minimalist guitar work and profoundly detached lyrics are on display once again on his eponymous first solo album, which came out in March. To celebrate the occasion, Wareham has embarked on a tour of intimate venues along with his stellar four-piece band. Wareham’s wife and frequent collaborator Britta Phillips, who was an instrumental creative force in Wareham’s post-Galaxie 500 group Luna and on several duet albums since, will also perform with the group. The Chapel, with a capacity of a few hundred, provides the perfect venue to examine Wareham’s instrumental and emotional subtlety, a set that he has promised will include tracks from throughout his career. (David Kurlander)

9pm, $20

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157





Nightmares on Wax

With a career that now spans two and a half decades, producer George Evelyn (aka DJ E.A.S.E., aka Nightmares on Wax) is credited with being among the first to merge early New York hip-hop

With the British B-boy and graffiti scenes of the ’80s, forming what would come to be known as trip-hop. Work with greats like De La Soul followed, but Evelyn has evolved with the times — he’s still considered a go-to inspiration and dream collaborator for today’s up-and-coming hip-hop, dub, and funk hopefuls. He also just released a two-disc “best of,” N.O.W. Is the Time, so this show should be a good time to time-travel a bit — while dancing your ass off, of course. (Emma Silvers)

With Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist

9pm, $22-$25

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF



Summer Solstice Celebration in the Redwoods

What better way to mark the longest day of the year than by savoring the fruits of summer while strolling among 100-year-old redwoods? And by fruit we mean wine, of course, which is complimentary at this annual celebration thrown by the SF Botanical Garden. Local cheeses will also be available for tasting as you stop to savor natural beauty, exploring the trails of lush wilderness that are at our fingertips right here in the city, in what’s likely to be the prettiest twilight you’ll see all year. No togas or complicated flower headdresses required. (Silvers)

6-8pm, $20-$30

San Francisco Botanical Garden

1199 Ninth Ave, SF






North Beach Bacchanalia

The local record label Name Drop Swamp Records is hosting an all-day music and poetry festival at the Emerald Tablet gallery, a self-described “creativity salon.” Bands include electric chamber folk-rock group Muralismo, the ambient and existential Devotionals, and several more groups with remarkably alluring names — Edwin Valero, named after the legendary Venezuelan boxer who killed his wife and himself in 2010, is sure to be compelling. Poets include Collaborate Arts Insurgency co-founder Charlie Getter and prolific writer and labor activist Paul Corman-Roberts. The Lagunitas Brewing Company sponsorship suggests that the ale will be flowing, while the Beat Museum support ensures snaps aplenty. (Kurlander)

12pm, free

Emerald Tablet

80 Fresno, SF

(415) 500-2323



Waka Flocka Flame

Born in Queens and raised in Atlanta in a musical family, Waka Flocka Flame has been surrounded by hip-hop his entire life. But he never wanted to be an MC. It wasn’t until he was 18 and his mother started managing rapper Gucci Mane (with whom he has been infamously feuding since 2013) that Waka Flocka began experimenting with the mic himself. Now, with three albums, 18 mix tapes, and 111 guest appearances under his belt, Waka Flocka is going hard in da motherfuckin paint and has made a huge mark on the southern trap scene. Aggressive, crisp, and catchy, Waka Flocka’s distinctive beats and rhymes will make for a high-energy show not to be missed. (Haley Zaremba)

With Chanel West Coast, DJ Sean G

9pm, $35


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880





Withered Hand

Jack Kirby aside, I wouldn’t expect to like anything titled New Gods, but the latest album by that name by Slumberland artist Dan Wilson, aka Withered Hand, seems to have a purely grounded worldview. Beauty on the album is of the here-in-the-moment variety; if an afterlife did exist, Wilson seems to wryly propose on the album opener “Horseshoe,” “we could kill our friends, we could sing a song that never ends.” And on “King of Hollywood” there’s a searing bit of self-righteous egotism in the lyric “Some of you guys should get with my God / He hates about everything / Well everything except me / I’m the anomaly.” Now that’s theology anyone can get behind. (Ryan Prendiville)

Opening for Owl John

9pm, $15

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157

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