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Pedaling and feasting

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FEAST: COAST BY BIKE I spent my vacations on my bicycle this summer, pedaling from southern Oregon to San Luis Obispo and looping through the Santa Cruz Mountains on three separate bike tours, covering almost 1,000 miles over three weeks, fully loaded with camping and other gear.

It was as healthy, athletic, and adventurous as it sounds — but it also involved some serious feasting along the way. We were often ravenously hungry when we would stop for meals, eager to splurge on whatever struck our fancy on the menus, or just feel an almost irrational appreciation for simple snacks.

After all, we had earned it. And with hiker-biker campsites costing just $5 per night, we could spend our vacation money on good food and drink to fill our internal fuel tanks and feed our taste for decadent delights.

There’s a certain ethos to eating on a bike tour, as I learned from my friend Jason Henderson (the SF State geography professor who writes the Guardian’s Street Fight column) and other veteran bike tourers along the way. Some young cyclists on long trips go for austerity, eating simple meals out of cans or jars to keep their costs down, but we were going for maximum enjoyment.

We cooked about half our meals, mapping out the last place to shop for fresh food before our camping destination for the night. That sometimes meant schlepping heavy groceries — fruits and vegetables, pasta and sauce, rice and beans, beer and wine — up to 10 miles.

We didn’t always use perfect judgment, such as on the long day’s ride from Humboldt Redwoods State Park to the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area, an otherwise remote site along the Redwood Highway that nonetheless had an awesome restaurant and store, The Peg House, right outside the campground entrance.

In the mornings before breaking camp and hitting the road, usually by 8am, we made coffee and top-quality oatmeal mixed with fresh berries (occasionally picked ourselves from the roadside), brown sugar, and walnuts. This was known as the “first breakfast.”

Two or three hours into the ride, depending on the route, we would stop at some random restaurant for the second breakfast, and it was always such a treat, anything from surprisingly awesome fried chicken from a little market to the best Hangtown Fry (mmm, oysters and eggs!) I’ve ever had.

Later, we’d stop for lunch, usually famished by then, a meal that sometimes included a beer or two if we were close to our destination for the night. Occasionally, there would be a second lunch, and on a few rare occasions when there was a restaurant at the campground, a big, fat dinner feast.

That element of randomness on a slow road trip, when hunger or whims pulled us into some funky little roadside restaurant or store along California’s epic coastline, was one of the great and unexpected joys of my summer bike tours. And while there were many awesome spots we hit along the way, here’s a representative sampling, north-to-south, of a dozen meals that lingered with me:

Fried chicken at Fort Dick Market, Fort Dick
Riding from Harris Beach, Ore. toward Crescent City, that mid-morning hunger pulled us into a little roadside market, and the smell of fried chicken propelled us from there. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw for a second breakfast? Por que no? Well worth it.

Hangtown Fry at Seascape Restaurant, Trinidad
We rolled through beautiful Trinidad on one of our shortest ride days, under 30 miles, so we didn’t mind lingering down by the harbor during a long wait for a table at Seascape Restaurant. And when I put that first bite of my Hangtown Fry in my mouth, the oysters’ vital juice mixing with the cheesy eggs, I believed I reach culinary nirvana.

Sushi room service at Hotel Arcata
My riding partners had traveled all the way from Portland, so they needed a Laundromat and a night in a bed by the time we reached Arcata. The quaint and historic Hotel Arcata was great spot right on the town square, and better yet, it offered room service from Tomo Japanese Restaurant. Fat specialty sushi rolls were a decadent treat after a long ride while my friends washed their skivvies.

BBQ Oysters at The Peg House
Oh, how I wished we had known about this place before we arrived at Standish-Hickey State Park near Leggett. The store was filled with gourmet goodies and a great beer and wine selection, and the adjacent restaurant had a huge outdoor patio, a stage for live music on weekends, and a wonderfully full menu, including some of the most amazing BBQ oysters I’ve ever had, bathed in some secret sauce that I wanted to drink from a pint glass. So that night, I had two dinners.

Ribs at Bones Roadhouse in Gualala
Entering the lovely coastal town of Gualala, past the large dinosaur-shaped topiary on the edge of town, I was immediately charmed. And starving after arriving in our destination town well ahead of my traveling companions. So I hit Bones Roadhouse, a groovy spot with an ocean view and autographed dollar bills covering the walls and ceiling, and ordered a huge plate of smoked pork ribs and two local IPAs on tap. Ah, life is good.

Burger and beers at Pescadero Country Store
After a long day’s ride from San Francisco on Labor Day weekend, with only a few more miles until our Butano State Park campsite under the redwoods, this place not only had awesome gourmet burgers and two fine IPAs on tap, it also had a great little jam band playing on the sunny patio.

Pulled pork sandwich at Big Basin Store
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a beautiful, popular spot that doesn’t seem to have a restaurant, only a little camp store. Ah, but it has recently added a little restaurant in the back, something visitors would hardly notice. And even though the menu is small, it did have some super yummy pulled pork panini sandwiches that hit the spot after a dusty ride on a dirt trail from Butano.

Coffee and Mocha at Surf City Coffee, Moss Landing
Sometime, between our first and second breakfasts, we’d stop for coffee drinks, which I’d drink as I rode from a Contigo cup that fit perfectly in one of my water bottle holders. At this cute and colorful little spot, I got one of the best mochas of the trip and picked up a bag of fresh ground coffee to go with our first breakfasts.

Whole cracked crab at Liberty Fish, Monterey
It was a big ride from Sunset State Beach all the way to Big Sur, more than 70 miles, with Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey the lunch spot at the halfway point. To mark the spot and fuel up for a big afternoon ride, I devoured a whole cracked Dungeness crab and cup of clam chowder. Then I was good to go.

Steak at Big Sur Lodge
Halfway through our first tour from SF to SLO, we decided to spend two nights under the redwoods at beautiful Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which also had a fancy restaurant, Big Sur Lodge, right at the campground. We did some serious feasting both nights, short ribs the first night and a thick, perfectly cooked steak the second. Totally decadent, totally worth it.

Smoked albacore tacos at Ruddell’s Smokehouse, Cayucos
This tiny spot by the beach doesn’t look like much, offering mostly just smoked meat and fish tacos and sandwiches, but that’s all you need. It was so good that we even bought a pound of smoked albacore to go.

Lamb burritos at The Wild Donkey Cafe, San Luis Obispo
Offering the uniquely compelling combination of “Greek and Mexican Cuisine” (as well as a table that allowed us to keep an eye on our loaded bikes, which sometimes influenced our restaurant choices), this was a great little spot with an interesting menu, friendly service, and yummy grilled lamb burritos.

Live shots: Beck christens the new Masonic

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It’s not often that you get to see a new venue on opening night — so yeah, even if Beck hadn’t been part of the deal, we would’ve been stoked to spend Friday evening at the newly refurbished and rebranded Masonic.

While it’s not technically a new venue, it might as well be: After months of construction (and literally years of fighting with Nob Hill neighbors) the historic Masonic temple reopened this weekend with a new sound system, completely revamped stage and seating areas, new bars and concessions, a shmancy new VIP section, you name it.

masonic

The renovations also upped the venue’s capacity to 3,300 — compare that to, say, the Warfield’s 2,300 — which makes it all the more impressive that the jam-packed amphitheater-shaped, with seats on the upper level and standing-room only on the floor — actually felt pretty intimate. Of course, several hundred strangers sweating on you will also do that.

“There’s no opener tonight, so we’re kind of gonna open for ourselves,” Beck told the crowd, to cheers of approval. “And we’ve been playing a lot of festivals. We thought we’d play some of the new album for you first, which we haven’t really gotten to do — this’ll be nice to stretch out a little.”

beck

Accordingly, the first 30 minutes or so were made up of harmony-heavy, melancholy numbers off February’s Morning Phase, which Beck has said was intended as a companion to 2002’s Sea Change, his other (truly masterful) collection of heartbreakingly beautiful songs to take along on a solo post-breakup road trip. “Blue Moon” was as triumphant and warm as it was, well, blue; accompanied by an image of a werewolf-howl-worthy moon on the giant video screen behind him, the song lulled the crowd into a reflective state. The always-welcome “Golden Age” sealed the mood, with our ringleader at the guitar and harmonica.

beck

And then, very abruptly, it was time to dance.

One almost forgets exactly how many hits Beck Hansen has written over the course of his 20-year career, until one sees them performed back-to-back. “Devil’s Haircut,” “Loser,” “Where It’s At” — if you were a young person in the 90s, there’s a good chance these lyrics are wedged permanently into some corner of your brain. A super-heavy “E-Pro” devolved into band members physically crashing into each other and falling down in a pile of guitar reverb, after which Beck, straight-faced, turned it into a crime scene, stretching a piece of yellow caution tape across the stage.

The highlight, though? Devotees of Beck’s live show will know to expect “Debra” — quite likely the best tongue-in-cheek sexytime jam ever written, and certainly the best one about wanting to romance both an intended paramour and her sister — but it doesn’t matter how much you’re anticipating it, or, say, if you saw him do it last year at Treasure Island Music Festival. When he catapults his voice into that falsetto, then busts out the regional specifics (“I’m gonna head to the East Bay, maybe to Emeryville, to the shopping center where you work at the fashion outlet…”), and actually looks like he’s still having fun with it, no matter how long he’s been doing this — well, that shit’s contagious. 

beck

If we have any complaints, it’s that the show was encore-less. But when you open for yourself and play a solid, nearly two-hour set that spans 13 studio albums, with roughly half of the songs involving running around the stage like a madman in a little sport jacket and Amish-looking hat, and don’t seem to have broken a sweat by the end of all of it — we’ll forgive you. Billboard recently called Beck “the coolest weirdo in the room,” which, seeing as this room was in San Francisco, at the start of Folsom Street Fair weekend, that might have been a stretch.

On the other hand, we’ve had this stuck in our heads for the past three days. Keep doing what you do, sir. We’ll probably be in the crowd next time, too.

 

 

Events Listings: sept. 17-23, 2014

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.

WEDNESDAY 17

“Black Widow Pulsars: Vengeful Star Corpses” Randall Museum Theater, 199 Museum Way, SF; www.randallmuseum.org. 7:30pm, free. Stanford University’s Dr. Roger Romani speaks — Gamma rays, black holes, neutron stars! — as part of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers’ 2014 lecture series.

Novella Carpenter Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The author (Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer) reads from her latest memoir, Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild. Carpenter also talks Feral Sat/20, 5pm, Green Arcade, 1680 Market, SF; www.thegreenarcade.com.

THURSDAY 18

“Hardly Strictly Warren Hellman” Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission, SF; www.thecjm.org. Opens Thu/18, 11am-8pm. $5-12. Exhibit runs through Oct 2016 (daily except Wed, 11am-5pm; Thu, 11am-8pm). Celebrating the legacy of banker, philanthropist, musician, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival founder Hellman, who died in 2011. Exhibit contains footage from HSB’s archive of live performances, and personal objects like Hellman’s banjo.

“The Magic City: Treasure Island’s Golden Gate International Exposition” 2 Bryant, Suite 300, SF; www.sfheritage.org. 6pm, $15. San Francisco Heritage hosts this lecture with authors Anne Schnoebelen and Therese Poletti, who will discuss the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, themed “the Pageant of the Pacific,” and for which Treasure Island was constructed.

Jason Segal JCCSF, 3200 California, SF; www.jccsf.org/arts. 7pm. $15. The actor and comedian shares his new book for kids, Nightmares!

FRIDAY 19

“Art/Act: Maya Lin” David Brower Center, 2150 Allston, Berk; www.browercenter.org. Opens Fri/19, 7-9pm. Free. Exhibit runs through Feb 4 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sun, 10am-1pm). The acclaimed sculptor, architectural designer, and environmentalist displays abstract works inspired by the Bay Area’s natural environments, including the interactive What is Missing? project.

Eat Real Festival Jack London Square, Oakl; www.eatrealfest.com. Fri/19, 1-9pm; Sat/20, 10:30am-9pm; Sun/21, 10:30am-5pm. Free. Billed as a combo “state fair, street-food festival, and block party,” this fest offers sustainable, regionally-sourced eats (BBQ, ice cream, curry, and more) costing eight bucks or less.

Oktoberfest by the Bay Pier 48, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com. Fri/19, 5pm-midnight; Sat/20, 11am-5pm and 6pm-midnight; Sun/21, 11am-6pm. $25-75 (Sat/20-Sun/21 day session, kids 13-18, $5; must be accompanied by parent). The Chico Bavarian Band returns to add oompah to your eating and, more importantly, drinking experience. Prost!

“A Taste of Greece” Annunciation Cathedral, 245 Valencia, SF; www.sfgreekfestival.org. Fri/19-Sat/20, noon-10pm; Sun/21, noon-8pm. Free. Greek-food connoisseurs won’t want to miss this annual festival, which rolls out spanakopita, gyros, wine, pastries, and other specialties, plus live music and dancing.

SATURDAY 20

“Among Dreams” LGBT Center, 1800 Market, SF; www.amongdreams.com. Opens Sat/20, 6-9pm. Free. Exhibit runs through Nov 11. Chelsea Rae Klein presents photographic portraits, collages, and other works honoring LGBTQI veterans and active-duty military members, based on archival materials as well as interviews conducted since the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California” Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak, Oakl; www.museumca.org. Opens Sat/20, 10am-6pm. $6-15. Exhibit runs through April 12 (Wed-Thu, 11am-5pm; Fri, 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-6pm). Oakland Museum of California and SFMOMA collaborate on this exhibition, which focuses on local history and social movements that shaped California art. Communities include the artists who worked with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in SF in the 1930s; painters and photographers from the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s and ’50s (Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn); UC Davis students and faculty in the 1960s and ’70s (Wayne Theibaud); and the “new Mission” artists of the 1990s (Barry McGee, Chris Johanson).

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival #58 Old Mill Park, 325 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.mvfaf.org. 10am-5pm, $5-10. Through Sun/21. Over 140 fine artists participate in this fair, which is held in a can’t-be-beat location (hi, majestic redwoods) and also features live music and children’s entertainment.

Sarah Waters Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The award-winning novelist (Tipping the Velvet, Affinity) reads from her latest, The Paying Guests.

SUNDAY 21

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Eighth and 13th Sts, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm, $10 donation requested (donation sticker entitles wearer to $2 off drinks). The leather and fetish fantasia returns with over 200 exhibitor booths, two giant dance floors, public play stations, erotic art, and more.

MONDAY 22

Patrick Hoffman Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The author of The White Van discusses his work with Matt Gonzalez as part of the “New Voices, New Stories” series.

TUESDAY 23

“Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool” Doc’s Lab, 124 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free (tickets required, must be picked up at the front counter of City Lights at 261 Columbus; call 415-362-8193 to inquire about availability). Primus’ Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde, and others discuss Greg Prato’s new book, offering the definitive oral history of the band. *

 

Viracocha is legit! Here are five things from the past five years that we wish we could’ve written about

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As you may have heard by now, Viracocha — everyone’s favorite Never-Never Land of a music venue/spoken word performance space/speakeasy/antiques store/beautiful place to stop and use the bathroom should you find yourself having to pee on Valencia — has gone legit.

After nearly a year of fundraising, inspections, and meetings with the city’s Entertainment Commission, the dreamily lit basement stage that has played host to so many awesome events will now be operating with an official venue permit.

No longer working under the veil of semi-secrecy, the folks who run the space (the tireless founder Jonathan Siegel, with help from new business partner Norah Hoover and a slew of local artists and musician employees) have spent the last six months renovating the space to meet city standards, and will now be free to actually publicize the venue’s shows. They’ll celebrate tonight with a free little gathering/party at Viracocha from 8pm to midnight — open to the public, legally, for the first time. [See a note Siegel sent to supporters early this morning at the end of this post.]

The booking process is also on the up-and-up, so bands, bookers — if you’ve always wanted to play that room but were unsure about the logistics of setting up a show you weren’t allowed to promote? Drop ’em a line.

Now, full disclosure: Roughly half the people I love in the SF arts scene have at one time or another played there, worked there, or lived there. I’ve watched Siegel give jobs to kids who arrived in San Francisco with very little, and then watched those kids make it a home. If employees or event attendees are there late and anyone seems drunk, he’ll order five pizzas. It’s been problematic, it’s seemed improbable, it has at times appeared to almost be a parody of itself and/or San Francisco. There’s a goddamn lending library in the back room that looks like it was built by whimsical 19th century fairies and chipmunks. But I adore Viracocha, and have wanted it to thrive the way you fall for the runt of any litter, the way you root for any underdog.

What this has meant, practically, as a music journalist, is that while the place is very close to my heart, it’s also been exceedingly frustrating to watch awesome shit happen there and not be able to write about it. Especially since the illegality meant that all things were basically equal and welcome — if that tame poetry reading you want to host is illegal, and so is the free workshop on tenants’ rights? Well, there’s nothing really more illegal about an aerial dance performance/dinner party/burlesque show. It was anything goes, and truly, anything went.

In closing: Congrats, Viracocha. And here are five-plus things that may or not have happened there that I really wish I could’ve written about.

1. The week after Amy Winehouse died, a bunch of local cats (many of whom normally command a pretty penny for live shows) got together to throw a last-minute tribute night revue of sorts. Folks dressed up. There was much sad drinking.

2. Jolie Holland played a week-long residency there, living in the tiny attic apartment attached to the store, and playing shows every night, lulling the packed room into a breathless trance.

3. That there video above (which is not great in visual quality I realize…but oh man, that voice) is also from a regular poetry/music/anything-goes revue called You’re Going to Die, started by writer Ned Buskirk, which continues to bring out some of the city’s finest writers and spoken word artists in addition to musicians. See SF writer and Rumpus film editor Anisse Gross reading at another one here:

4. A staged reading of an early, weird, rarely performed play by Louis CK, starring The Coup‘s Boots Riley as a dumb cop.

5. Hella music video shoots, with both local and big-name folks. Below: Wolf Larsen, and  Atmosphere.

6. Porn. (Supposedly.) (Did not see with own eyes.) (Unfortunately do not have video.)

Viracocha’s at 998 Valencia.

See you tonight?

Dear Steadfast Supporters, Family & Friends,

Viracocha is now open to the public, as a live venue in San Francisco!

Through many a trial — months of obstacles, pitfalls, setbacks, missteps, and hard choices — and by the unwavering energy, dedication and resolve of our staff & crew…we finally made it!

Five years ago, Viracocha began as space where creative people and their work could find advocacy. Our contributors arrived from many walks of life and varied circles within the local arts and performing community. That is, until December 2013, when we closed our doors, temporarily, to begin the process of legalizing our venue with the city. We created this underground space, despite the risk, because we felt that San Francisco needed a cultural anchor for its diverse artistic community  a place to gather and express who we are. There is a voice within each of us that yearns to be heard. In a city like ours, it’s easy to feel reduced to a face in a crowd, a point on a graph, a nameless number. We built our venue to become an intimate, welcoming place, where people can feel understood, connect, and feel less alone.

At times, Viracocha seemed to exist beyond the parameters of logic and pragmatism. We’ve had to be discreet when we talk about our space, and at times we’ve been misunderstood, misinterpreted, or misquoted.  When people asked “What is Viracocha, exactly? Who, actually, is behind it?” — the answers were as varied as the items in our shop.  Does secrecy create it’s own allure?  Perhaps so…but now’s the time to put secrets to rest, and open our doors to you! Come and meet the people who call Viracocha home — the poets, artists, and musicians who have worked and played here, laughed and cried, performed and shared. This place was built for you (yes you!) and for all of us — come on by!!

— Jonathan Siegel

Rep Clock: September 10 – 16, 2014

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Schedules are for Wed/10-Tue/16 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ARTISTS’ TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. $7-10. “ATA Lives!”: “Mission Eye & Ear #6,” live music and film, Fri, 8. “Other Cinema,” works by Bryan Boyce, James T. Hong, and Sylvia Schedelbauer, Sat, 8. “Paper Circus,” animation by Luca Dipierro with a live soundtrack, Sun, 8.

BALBOA 3630 Balboa, SF; cinemasf.com/balboa. $10. Duran Duran: Unstaged (Lynch, 2011), Wed, 7:30. “Thursday Night Rock Docs:” Under African Skies (Berlinger, 2012), Thu, 7:30. The 78 Project Movie (Steyermark, 2014), Fri, 10.

CASTRO 429 Castro, SF; (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com. $8.50-11. •If … (Anderson, 1968), Wed, 7, and The Chocolate War (Gordon, 1988), Wed, 9:05. •The Dog (Berg and Keraudren, 2013), Thu, 7, and Dog Day Afternoon (Lumet, 1975), Thu, 8:55. California Independent Film Festival, Fri, 1pm; Sat, 11am. For complete schedule, including screenings in Orinda and Moraga, visit www.caiff.org. Frozen (Buck and Lee, 2013), Sun, 1. Presented sing-along style. •The Fisher King (Gilliam, 1991), Sun, 7, and Good Morning, Vietnam (Levinson, 1987), Sun, 4:45, 9:30. •Alive Inside (Rossato-Bennett, 2014), Tue, 7, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman, 1975), Tue, 8:30.

COURTHOUSE SQUARE 2200 Broadway, Redwood City; www.redwoodcity.org. Free. Spaceballs (Brooks, 1987), Thu, 8:45.

FINNISH KALEVA HALL 1970 Chestnut, Berk; www.paratheatrical.com. $10. Dreambody/Earthbody (Alli, 2012), Thu, 8:30.

GOETHE-INSTITUT SF 530 Bush, SF; www.goethe.de/ins/us/saf/enindex.htm. $5 suggested donation. “100 Years After WWI:” The White Ribbon (Haneke, 2009), Wed, 6:30.

GRAND LAKE 3200 Grand Lake, Oakl; www.sf911truth.org. $15. “9/11 Truth Film Festival,” films and speakers, Thu, 1-11.

MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE 57 Post, SF; milibrary.org/events. $10. “CinemaLit Film Series: Critics’ Choice, Classic and Quirky Americana:” M (Losey, 1951), Fri, 6. With critic David Thomson in person.

NEW PEOPLE CINEMA 1746 Post, SF; http://legacyfilmfestivalonaging.org. $12 (all-fest pass, $50). “Legacy Film Festival on Aging,” shorts, features, and documentaries from around the world that take on “the challenges and triumphs of aging,” Fri-Sun.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE 2575 Bancroft, Berk; (510) 642-5249, bampfa.berkeley.edu. $5.50-9.50. “Alternative Visions:” Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (Silha, Slade, and Logsdon, 2011), Wed, 7. “Activate Yourself: The Free Speech Movement at Fifty:” Berkeley in the Sixties (Kitchell, 1990), Thu, 7. “Jean-Luc Godard: Expect Everything from Cinema:” Sympathy for the Devil (1968), Fri, 7. “James Dean, Restored Classics from Warner Bros.:” Rebel Without a Cause (Ray, 1955), Fri, 9:10. “Eyes Wide: The Films of Stanley Kubrick:” Spartacus (1960), Sat, 7. “Banjo Tales and Musical Holdouts:” Banjo Tales (Aginsky, 2014), Tue, 7:30.

ROXIE 3117 and 3125 16th St, SF; (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $6.50-11. The Longest Week (Glanz, 2014), Wed-Thu, 7, 9. No No: A Dockumentary (Radice, 2014), Wed, 7, 9:15; Thu, 9:45. Forward 13: Waking Up the American Dream (Lovell), Thu, 5. Free screening. Metro Manila (Ellis, 2013), Thu, 7. God Help the Girl (Murdoch, 2014), Sept 12-18, 9:30 (also Fri-Sat and Mon-Tue, 7). Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering (Merola, 2014), Sept 12-18, 7, 8:45 (also Sat-Sun, 3:30, 5:15). All This Mayhem (Martin, 2014), Sun, 7.

SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (415) 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $6.50-$10.75. The Notebook (Szász, 2013), Wed-Thu, call for times. Take Me to the River (Shore, 2014), Sept 12-18, call for times. “Alec Guinness at 100:” Our Man in Havana (Reed, 1959), Sun, 4:30, 7:30.

TEMESCAL ART CENTER 511 48th St, Oakl; www.shapeshifterscinema.com. Free. Works by Tommy Becker, Sun, 8.

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. $8-10. San Francisco Cinematheque presents: “Life is An Opinion: Films by Mary Helena Clark and Karen Yaskinsky,” Sat, 7:30. Filmmakers in person. *

 

Events: September 10 – 16, 2014

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.

WEDNESDAY 10

Lan Cao Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post, SF; www.milibrary.org. 6pm, $15. The author shares her novel, The Lotus and the Storm, about a Vietnamese American family during and after the Vietnam War.

Gillian Conoley City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free. The author discusses Thousand Times Broken, her new translation of three Henri Michaux works, with a presentation of the original art displayed in the book.

James Ellroy Commonwealth Club, 595 Market, SF; www.commonwealthclub.org. 6pm, $7-20. The acclaimed crime novelist (LA Confidential, The Black Dahlia) discusses his long career and latest work, Perfidia.

Carl Russo Green Apple Books, 506 Clement, SF; www.greenapplebooks.com. 7pm, free. The author shares The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide.

THURSDAY 11

Samuel Fromartz Book Passage, 1 Ferry Bldg, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 6pm, free. The journalist-turned-baker discusses his new book, In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey.

FRIDAY 12

Tanya Holland Books Inc, 1344 Park, Alameda; www.booksinc.net. 7pm, free. The chef, Food Network personality, and author launches her new cookbook, Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland.

SATURDAY 13

Bay Area Free Book Exchange’s Fifth Anniversary Free Book Blowout Bay Area Free Book Exchange, 10520 San Pablo, El Cerrito; www.bayareafreecookexchange.com. 9am-6pm, free. Through Sun/14. Celebrate five years of free books at this anniversary party, and take home some new reading material of your own from the Bay Area Free Book Exchange’s shelves. Or, go one more step and bring some old books (as well as CD and DVDs!) to donate and share with others.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Through Sun/14. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors, Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a “Chocolate School” (learn about chocolate-making!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.

Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm. 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (kids 15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).

“Tour de Fat” Lindley Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.newbelgium.com. 10am-5pm, free (beer, $5; donations for nonprofits accepted). “Bikes, beer, and bemusement” highlight this annual outdoor party, with a costumed bike parade, beer-brewing activities, yo-yo performers, a dance contest (winner gets a new cruiser!), and headliner Reggie Watts.

SUNDAY 14

John Jung Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University, Berk; www.asiabookcenter.com. 3pm, free. The author presents two works: Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain and Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants.

Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including breezy, hilly Alamo Square) on foot or bike.

Urban Air Market Hayes Valley, Hayes and Octavia, SF; www.urbanairmarket.com. 11am-6pm, free. Over 130 emerging and established designers share their wares at this outdoor community market. Also: food trucks and live music.

“Writers with Drinks” Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, SF; www.writerswithdrinks.com. 7:30pm, $5-20. With Evan Lepucki, Robin Sloan, Lenelle Moïse, Annelyse Gelman, Cecil Castellucci, and Christina Nichol.

TUESDAY 16

Courtney Moreno Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. As part of the “New Voices, New Stories” series, the author shares her first novel, In Case of Emergency. *

 

Events: September 3 – 9, 2014

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.

WEDNESDAY 3

“99 Poems for the 99 Percent” Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. Contributors read from a new collection that represents “the real America.” Poets include Dean Rader, Gillian Conoley, Barbara Berman, Keith Ekiss, Julie Bruck, and Hiya Swanhuyser.

THURSDAY 4

Rose Caraway Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF; (415) 345-0400. 6:30pm, free. “Everyone’s favorite lusty librarian” reads from The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica, with help from Lily K. Cho, Malin James, and Jade A. Waters.

Vikram Chandra City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus, SF; www.citylights.com. 7pm, free. The author discusses Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code. The Code of Beauty.

Hollye Jacobs Book Passage, 1 Ferry Bldg, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 6pm, free. The author, a nurse and social worker turned patient, discusses The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer.

“Night of the Livermore Dead: A Zombie Pub Crawl” Bothwell Arts Center’s Downtown Art Studios, 62 South L St, Livermore; http://tickets.livermoreperformingarts.org. 6-10:30pm, $20. First, get transformed into a shuffling member of the undead, then enjoy drink specials and deals as you lurch through downtown Livermore. The crawl ends at the Bankhead Theater with a “Thriller” flashmob, followed by a screening of Night of the Living Dead (1968).

FRIDAY 5

“Art Break Day” Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market, SF; www.artbreakday.com. 9am-5pm, free. Check website for locations in Berkeley, Novato, Oakland, San Rafael, and other locations. Art supplies are provided at this free community art-making event.

SATURDAY 6

Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown, SF; www.moonfestival.org. Grand opening ceremony and parade, today, 11am. Festival, 11am-5pm, through Sun/7 (dog costume contest Sun/7, 2:30pm). Free. Cultural performances, an open-air street bazaar, lion dancing, and (new this year!) a dog costume contest highlight this 24th annual celebration of the Asian holiday.

Friends of Duboce Park Tag Sale Duboce between Steiner and Scott, SF; http://friendsofdubocepark.org. 9am-2pm. Community tag sale, with proceeds going toward making improvements to Duboce Park. Check out the website for donation information.

Mountain View Art and Wine Festival Castro between El Camino Real and Evelyn, Mtn View; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-6pm, free. Through Sun/7. With works by over 600 professional craftspeople and artists, plus live music, home and garden exhibits, a young-performers stage, a climbing wall, food and wine, and more.

“Projecting SOMA: Youth and Elders’ VOICES” Sixth St and Market, SF; www.ybca.org. 7pm, free. Also Sept 13, 20, and 27. YBCA in Community, South of Market Community Action Network, and Veterans Equity Center present large-scale, text-based video projections sharing messages and stories from the Filipino community.

SF Mountain Bike Festival McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 20 John F. Shelley, SF; sfurbanriders.org/wordpress/sf-mtb-festival. 9am-5pm, free. Register in advance to compete — or just show up to spectate or test your skills in any of the non-competitive categories. Events include a short-track challenge, a 10-mile urban adventure ride, a cargo bike hill climb, a bike skills challenge for youth and families, and more, plus a box jump demo and a bike raffle.

“Yoga for Change” Grace Cathedral, 1100 California, SF; www.yogaforchangesf.org. 9:30am-noon, $15 and up. Help raise funds for the Community Preschool at this yoga event with live music. All levels and abilities welcome.

SUNDAY 7

Haight Street Music and Merchants Street Festival Haight between Masonic and Stanyan, SF; hsmmsf@gmail.com. Noon-6pm, free. Yep, it’s another street fair on Haight — but this brand-new event has a highly local focus, since it’s sponsored by local merchants. Expect three stages of music, kids’ activities, a skate ramp, and more.

“Home [away from] Home” Eastshore Park, Lake Merritt, MacArthur at Grand, Oakl; www.ybca.org. 10am-8pm, free. Through Sept 11. Experimental art installation highlighting artists in the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities of the Bay Area.

“Seventeen Generations Why” Modern Times Bookstore Collective, 2919 24th St, SF; www.mtbs.com. 5pm, $20 and up. Rebecca Solnit brings together nine decades of San Franciscans (from a woman in her 80s to a seven-year-old) for this “variety show in celebration of Modern Times Bookstore’s last four decades and in support of its next four or so.”

MONDAY 8

Rowen Jacobsen Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California, SF; www.jccsf.org/ 7pm, $15. The James Beard award winner discusses Apples of Uncommon Character. Author event held in conjunction with the JCCSF’s “Apple-Palooza” (5pm), a celebration of all things apple and harvest.

TUESDAY 9

Daisy Hernández Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The author reads from her coming-of-age memoir, A Cup of Water Under My Bed. *

 

Fall fairs and festivals

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Aug. 30

Pilgrim Soul Forge Harvest Fair Pilgrim Soul Forge, 101 West Tower, Alameda; www.grantsforge.com. Noon-6pm, free. Possibly the only fall fair in the Bay Area to offer blacksmithing demonstrations alongside the usual suspects: food trucks, craft vendors, and live music.

Savor Filipino Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero at Market, SF; www.savorfilipino.com. 10am-6pm, free (most workshops $15). Try the best in Filipino cuisine at this gathering of chefs and authors, with a huge menu of tasty eats (check it out online) and workshops on vegan Filipino cooking, modern Filipino desserts, and other tasty topics. Plus: live music and traditional dance performances, and a “Dance That Lumpia Off” audience-participation activity.

 

Aug. 30-31

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival 400 Broadway, Millbrae; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-5pm, free. Downtown Millbrae’s annual Mardi Gras-style celebration, with live music, a juried art show, a classic car show, carnival-style rides, and tons of specialty food and drink vendors.

San Francisco Zine Fest SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.sfzinefest.org. Aug 30, 11am-5pm; Aug 31, 11am-4pm. Free. Support indie writers, artists, and creators at this annual event, with exhibitions, workshops, book signings, and more. Special guests include Ryan Sands (publishing company Youth in Decline), Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD zine), and illustrator and cartoonist Hellen Jo.

 

Aug. 30-31

SF Bay Brazilian Day and Lavagem Festival Casa de Cultura, 1901 San Pablo, Berk; www.brasarte.com. 11am-7pm, free. Celebrate Brazilian Independence Day with a lavagem (blessing) calling for world peace, plus Brazilian music, food, a “Caipirinha lounge,” and more.

 

Aug. 31

Oakland Pride Uptown Oakl; www.oaklandpride.org. Parade starts at 10:30am, Broadway and 14th St; festival, 11am-7pm, Broadway at 20th Sts. Parade free; festival $5-10. It’s the very first year for the Oakland Pride Parade, while Sheila E headlines the fifth annual festival, billed as the second-largest pride event in NorCal.

 

Sept. 6

SF Mountain Bike Festival McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 20 John F. Shelley, SF; sfurbanriders.org/wordpress/sf-mtb-festival. 9am-5pm, free. Register in advance to compete — or just show up to spectate or test your skills in any of the non-competitive categories. Events include a short-track challenge, a 10-mile urban adventure ride, a cargo bike hill climb, a bike skills challenge for youth and families, and more, plus a box jump demo and a bike raffle.

 

Sept. 6-7

Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown, SF; www.moonfestival.org. Grand opening ceremony and parade, Sept 6, 11am; festival, 11am-5pm (dog costume contest, Sept 7, 2:30pm). Free. Cultural performances, an open-air street bazaar, lion dancing, and (new this year!) a dog costume contest highlight this 24th annual celebration of the Asian holiday.

Mountain View Art and Wine Festival Castro between El Camino Real and Evelyn, Mtn View; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-6pm, free. With works by over 600 professional craftspeople and artists, plus live music, home and garden exhibits, a young-performers stage, a climbing wall, food and wine, and more.

 

Sept. 7

Haight Street Music and Merchants Street Festival Haight between Masonic and Stanyan, SF; hsmmsf@gmail.com. Noon-6pm, free. Yep, it’s another street fair on Haight — but this brand-new event has a highly local focus, since it’s sponsored by local merchants. Expect three stages of music, kids’ activities, a skate ramp, and more.

 

Sept. 13

Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm. 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).

 

Sept. 13-14

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors , Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a “Chocolate School” (learn about the chocolate-making process!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.

 

Sept. 14

Comedy Day Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.comedyday.com. Noon-5pm, free. This year’s incarnation of the free, all-day comedy festival is dedicated to the memory of supporter (and frequent unannounced performer) Robin Williams.

Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including Alamo Square) on foot or bike.

 

Sept. 19-21

Eat Real Festival Jack London Square, Oakl; www.eatrealfest.com. Sept 19, 1-9pm; Sept 20, 10:30am-9pm; Sept 21, 10:30am-5pm. Free. Billed as a combo “state fair, street-food festival, and block party,” this fest offers sustainable, regionally-sourced eats (BBQ, ice cream, curry, and more) costing eight bucks or less.

Oktoberfest by the Bay Pier 48, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com. Sept 19, 5pm-midnight; Sept 20, 11am-5pm and 6pm-midnight; Sept 21, 11am-6pm. $25-75 (Sept 20-21 day session, kids 13-18, $5; must be accompanied by parent). The Chico Bavarian Band returns to add oompah to your eating and, more importantly, drinking experience. Prost!

 

Sept. 20-21

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival #58 Old Mill Park, 325 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.mvfaf.org. 10am-5pm, $5-10. Over 140 fine artists participate in this fair, which is held in a can’t-be-beat location (hi, majestic redwoods) and also features live music and children’s entertainment.

 

Sept. 21

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Eighth and 13th Sts, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm, $10 donation requested (donation sticker entitles wearer to $2 off drinks). The leather and fetish fantasia returns with over 200 exhibitor booths, two giant dance floors, public play stations, erotic art, and more.

 

Sept. 27

Bay Area Record Fair Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St, SF; www.theeparkside.com. 11am, $5 early entry (free after noon). Vinyl junkies, take note: over 30 Bay Area indie labels participate at this semi-regular event, which also boasts live music, DJs, raffles, and more.

San Mateo Bacon and Brew Festival Central Park, Fifth Ave and El Camino Real, San Mateo; www.sanmateochamber.org/bbf. 11am-5pm, $15. This fest breaks it down to the essentials. Admission gets you a free beer (or soft drink), while food vendors favor you-know-which crispy pork product.

SuperHero Street Fair 1700 Indiana, SF; www.superherosf.com. 1-11pm, $10. Seven stages and 13 “sound camps” provide the beats for this fifth annual festival celebrating heroes, villains, sidekicks, and everything in between. It goes without saying that costumes are highly encouraged.

 

Sept. 28

“A Day on the Water 2” Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker, Berk; (510) 677-9425. Noon-7pm, free. Outdoor fair and music festival with Manzo Rally, Afrofunk Experience, Crosscut, and more.

Sunday Streets: Excelsior Mission between Theresa/Avalon and Geneva, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Hit the street at this edition of Sunday Streets, which coincides with the sixth annual Tricycle Music Fest at the Excelsior Branch Library (sfpl.org/tricycle for more info).

 

Oct. 4

“Oaktoberfest” Fruitvale at MacArthur, Oakl; www.oaktoberfest.org. 11am-6pm, free. Family-friendly craft beer festival, with over 30 participating local breweries, a Bavarian big band and dancers, German food vendors, and more.

 

Oct. 4-5

Alternative Press Expo Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina, SF; comic-con.org/ape. Check website for updates regarding times and badge prices. APE is back to celebrate alternative and small-press comics in a new venue, with a guest list that includes Bob Fingerman, Faith Erin Hicks, Ed Piskor, Paul Pope, Jason Shiga, and many more.

 

Oct. 5

Castro Street Fair, Castro at Market, SF; www.castrostreetfair.org. 11am-6pm, free (donate at the gate to get $1 off at fair beverage booths). Five different entertainment areas (including a main stage, a “legends” stage, and “Barnaby’s World of Wonderment”) highlight this annual event, which was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Performers were TBD at press time, so check the website closer to the event for updates.

 

Oct. 9

Union Street Wine Walk Union between Gough and Steiner, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 4-8pm, free (sampling tickets, $25). Restaurants and merchants offer wine tasting and small bites at this fifth annual neighborhood event.

 

Oct. 10-18

Litquake Various venues, SF; www.litquake.org. San Francisco’s annual literary festival turns 15 this year, with a week full of live readings, performances, panels, and multimedia events, including tributes to Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Barbary Coast Award will be presented to Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida and their many projects, including 826 Valencia and McSweeney’s.

 

Oct. 11

Woodside Day of the Horse Woodside Town Hall, 2955 Woodside, Woodside; www.whoa94062.org. 10am-2:30pm, free (progressive trail ride, $40). The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA) celebrates Year of the Horse with stagecoach rides, live music, a petting zoo, and more, plus an organized trail ride for experienced riders and their horses to raise money for the organization’s charitable community projects.

 

Oct. 11-12

World Vegetarian Festival SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.worldvegfestival.com. 10:30am-8:45pm, free. The SF Vegetarian Society’s annual event features cooking demos, exhibitors, speakers, an eco-fashion show, entertainment, and samples galore.

 

Oct. 12

Italian Heritage Parade Begins at Jefferson and Stockton, proceeds on Columbus, and ends in Washington Square, SF; www.sfcolumbusday.org. 12:30pm, free. Established in 1868, this North Beach tradition features handmade floats, a costumed Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella, Italian music, a Ferrari display, and more.

 

Oct. 13

World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay; weighoff.miramarevents.com. 7-11am, free. Who will reign supreme at this 41st annual battle of the bulge, dubbed the “Superbowl of Weigh-Offs”? Last year’s champ tipped the scales at 1,985 pounds — that’s a lotta pie!

 

Oct. 18

Noe Valley Harvest Festival 24th St between Sanchez and Church, SF; www.noevalleyharvestfestival.com. 10am-5pm, free. This 10th annual shindig aims to help you get a jump on holiday shopping, with over 50 local artisans showing their creations. Also: two stages of music, costume contests for dogs and kids, a dunk tank, a pumpkin patch, and more.

Potrero Hill Festival 20th St between Wisconsin and Missouri, SF; www.potrerofestival.com. 11am-4pm, free. Now in its 25th year, this neighborhood block party features local food and entertainment — including a kick-off Cajun-style brunch ($5-12) with Dixieland jazz — plus pony rides and a bouncy house for kids.

 

Oct. 18-19

Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival Main between Mill and Spruce, Half Moon Bay; www.miramarevents.com. 9am-5pm, free. They don’t call Half Moon Bay the World Pumpkin Capital for nothing — the coastal town represents at its 44th annual gourd-tastic throwdown with three stages of music, the Great Pumpkin Parade (Oct 18 at noon), a haunted house attraction, expert Jack O’ Lantern carving, and food and drinks galore (pumpkin beer, anyone?)

 

Oct. 19

Sunday Streets: Mission 18th St between Guerrero and Harrison and Valencia between 25th and Duboce, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Sunday Streets returns to the Mission! Check the website after Oct. 3 for updates on planned activities.

 

Oct. 25

San Francisco’s Wharf Fest Fisherman’s Wharf, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 11am-6pm, free. Celebrate SF’s waterfront history at this event, with a chowder competition, chef demos, ship tours, street performers, fireworks, and more.

 

Nov. 2

San Francisco Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars Festival, Garfield Park, 26th St and Harrison, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 6-11pm, free. Procession begins at 22nd St and Bryant, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 7pm, free. Add a personal altar for a loved one who has passed away to the display at Garfield Park (candles must be in glass containers; no open flames allowed), and bring canned food to donate to St. Anthony’s Foundation, in honor of the altar memorializing the deaths of homeless people in SF. The procession, led by Rescue Culture Collective, circles the Mission accompanied by traditional Aztec dancers.

 

Nov. 14-16

Green Festival Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina, SF; www.greenfestivals.org/sf. Nov 14, noon-6pm; Nov 15-16, 10am-6pm. $15-30. Learn how to “work green, play green, and live green” at this expo, an ode to health and sustainability. Featured events include vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, inspirational speakers, and a marketplace with more than 250 eco-friendly businesses. *

 

This Week’s Picks: August 27 – September 2, 2014

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sloppy yet endearing

WEDNESDAY 27

 

Mount Kimbie

Around the time dubstep started making its rounds with American artists and audiences in the late ’00s, a host of Londoners were developing the style into something more experimental. Among the earliest practitioners of this “post-dubstep” style was Mount Kimbie, which dropped its debut, Crooks & Lovers, in 2010 and unwittingly became one of the genre’s most influential practitioners. Though the duo may not skew as pop as its contemporary James Blake, Mount Kimbie has maintained a loyal following among electronic music fans, and it’s esteemed enough to have released its second album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, on the prestigious Warp label. Featuring guest vocals from London pop prodigy King Krule, Cold Spring only bolstered the duo’s reputation after its stripped-down sound had already made a mark on the mainstream. (Daniel Bromfield)

9pm, $20

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 286-2334

www.thechapelsf.com

 

 

El Terrible

Not too many people have seen El Terrible yet. The band announced its arrival quietly at the start of the year with the release of its eponymous debut EP, a murky four-track affair that evokes the guttural vocals of Joy Division and the intricate guitar sounds of My Bloody Valentine. While it may be a new band, the members of El Terrible are all journeymen of the SF music scene. Main writer and singer Terry Ashkinos was formerly the frontman of SXSW veteran Fake Your Own Death, while his live band, made up of locals Scott Eberhardt and Adrian McCullough, has also been on the scene for many years. Get ready to celebrate, as the group will be performing and dropping its new single at this show. Also playing are Rich Girls, the solo project from The Black’s singer Luisa Black, and Katelyn Sullivan’s acoustic Kitten Grenade, which has been performing all over the city and making quite a splash over the last few months. (David Kurlander)

8pm, $5

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782

www.brickandmortarmusic.com

 

THURSDAY 28


Midnites for Maniacs: Popeye and The Wiz

This might appear to be an unlikely double bill of musicals, until you take a look at its stars: Robert Altman’s mile-a-minute 1980 musical Popeye has the recently departed, greatly loved Robin Williams doing his manic thing in the title role, with Shelly Duvall at his side as Olive Oyl, in a performance that makes it hard to imagine any other (live-action) human taking the part on. The Wiz (1978) features another seemingly divinely-inspired talent gone before his time — a 20-year-old Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow to Diana Ross’ Harlem-dwelling Dorothy. Bonus: Richard Pryor as the Wiz. This could count as tearjerker programming, if each of these films wasn’t so likely to make you grin instead. (Emma Silvers)

7:20pm, $12

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6350

www.castrotheatre.com

 

FRIDAY 29

 

Mission of Burma

It’s been 33 years since Boston’s Mission of Burma unleashed its initial volley of sound, an EP and an album, Vs., followed by more than 20 years of silence. While the band unleashed 70 minutes of recorded material before an unfortunate breakup spurred by singer and guitarist Roger Miller’s worsening tinnitus, the group grew in stature for the next two decades. After an unexpected reunion in 2004, Mission of Burma has released four additional critically-acclaimed albums. The most recent, 2012’s Unsound, is full of impossibly fast tempos, odd tape-loops, and complex rhythms — generally the band’s modus operandi, but even more amped up than ever before. Truly ageless and anything but a nostalgia act, the band hasn’t visited the West Coast in upwards of four years. This set should include both stuff from the ’80s as well as newer albums, along with (if we’re lucky) a couple of delightfully dissonant Beatles covers the band’s been known to play on special occasions. (Kurlander)

7pm, $20

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com

 

 

 

 

Dev

If you listened to the radio at any point during 2010, you’ve probably heard Dev’s uncanny-valley croon on Far East Movement’s reference-heavy single “Like A G6.” But she’s since surpassed the shadow of that song, releasing the equally prom-wrecking single “In The Dark.” With her processed vocals and lewd lyrics, Dev is often compared to Ke$ha and her Parisian foil Uffie. However, Dev differentiates herself from those artists with a subdued, detached vocal style and a love of space-age, almost loungey production. Though she may or may not score another pop hit, she’s certainly not going anywhere — she released an excellent and surprisingly experimental EP with producer Nanosaur last month, and she’s currently prepping another EP, Bittersweet July, scheduled to drop Sept. 23. (Bromfield)

9pm, $18

The Mezzanine

444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880

www.mezzaninesf.com

 

 

SATURDAY 30

 

San Francisco Zine Fest

Put down your iPhone, tablet, or other glowing device and stop thinking about zines in the past tense. DIY culture is thriving, and the San Francisco Zine Fest — which returns to Golden Gate Park this year — spotlights indie artists and writers, small presses, and the readers who love them. This year, there’ll be panels on “Race, Gender, and the Future of Zines” and “Creating Feminist Spaces in DIY Culture;” an “Intro to Silkscreen” workshop; and a rather impressive slate of exhibitors and special guests, including Ryan Sands (Youth in Decline), Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD), and illustrator-cartoonist Hellen Jo. (Cheryl Eddy)

Today, 11am-5pm; Sun/31, 11am-4pm, free

SF County Fair Building

1199 Ninth Ave, SF

www.sfzinefest.org

 

 

 

SF Shakespeare Festival’s The Taming of the Shrew

Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has always been one of his most controversial plays, both for its rampant misogyny and its unique framing device — the protagonist, Petruchio, performs the entire play as a diversion for a drunk. The production he puts on is a retelling of the courtship of his wife Katherina, the “shrew” in question, who he eventually manipulates into being a devoted wife. Despite its turbulent reputation, the play is frenetic and funny, replete with sexy (and yes, particularly sexist) banter and a series of subplots involving winning women through feats of athletic and mental strength. The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival presents the play in its original setting, Renaissance-era Padua, and promises to play up the physical comedy, costumes, and clowns that punctuate faithful versions of the text. Cross your fingers that the weather is sunny, bring a picnic blanket, and enjoy the Presidio and the brilliance of the Bard. (Kurlander)

Through Mon/2

2pm, free

Presidio Lawn

Between Graham St and Keyes Ave, SF

(415) 558-0888

www.sfshakes.org

 

 

SUNDAY 31

 

Pookie & the Poodlez

I saw Pookie open this year’s Burger Boogaloo with a toothbrush still in his mouth; the story was that he’d overslept for his slot but luckily lived close enough to Oakland’s Mosswood Park to drive over in 15 minutes. Though I have no idea whether or not there’s any truth to this story, it’s a neat anecdotal summary of Pookie & the Poodlez’ aesthetic — sloppy yet endearing in an almost teen-idol way. Pookie’s pinched, nasal voice isn’t that far removed from that of Seth “Hunx” Bogart, with whom he has a degree of separation through performing with Bogart’s old flame Nobunny. But Pookie is weirder, more stoned, more affable, and less concerned with performance or with subverting pop tropes than he is with banging out minute-and-a-half pop-punk songs with little pretense or pretention. (Bromfield)

8:30pm, $7

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923

www.hemlocktavern.com

 

Oakland Pride Parade and Festival

San Francisco may get all the glory, but Oakland? Oakland’s where Sheila E.’s from, and that, friends, is why Oakland’s annual pride celebration gets the drum queen as a headliner and celebrity grand marshal. The festival, which will take over downtown Oakland until 7pm, features three stages with a stacked bill full of live music, a children’s area, a senior area, and a “wedding pavilion” where couples will be able to tie the knot — there’s a story for the grandkids. And of course, food, booze, and all your favorite LGBT organizations will be out in style. Worth the BART trip? And how. (Emma Silvers)

Parade starts at 10:30am, festival 11am-7pm, $10

Parade: Broadway & 14th St; festival: Broadway & 20th St, Oakl.

(510) 545-6251

www.oaklandpride.org


MONDAY 1


The 12th Annual Cowgirlpalooza

Dust off your best boots and work up an appetite for hooch, because this party on the Mission’s sunniest patio — that’s El Rio’s — will have you cuttin’ a rug to the best country crooners the Bay Area has to offer, including the Patsychords (a Patsy Cline tribute band), Velvetta, Jessica Rose, and more. Enthusiastically encouraged: Boots, checkered shirts, creative belt buckles, lassos, getting there early. This annual shindig, thrown by the bar’s beloved, longtime sound guy Frank Gallagher, fills up in less time than it’d take you to watch City Slickers again. (Silvers)

4pm, $10

El Rio

3158 Mission, SF

(415) 282-3325

www.elriosf.com

 

TUESDAY 2


Gina Arnold

Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series of compact volumes examining popular albums offers a range of both musical styles (Dusty Springfield, ABBA, Jethro Tull, DJ Shadow, Sonic Youth, Van Dyke Parks, Guns N’ Roses, Celine Dion) and authors (John Darnielle, holding forth on Black Sabbath). The 96th entry comes from veteran rock journalist and recent Stanford Ph.D Gina Arnold, whose take on Liz Phair’s 1993 grunge-grrrl thesis Exile in Guyville offers what the New York Times calls “the most curious” entry in the 33 1/3 canon, taking a “free-form” approach rather than simply combing through each of Phair’s lo-fi anthems. Seems kinda perfect, considering Phair’s own unconventional music-biz approach — plus, any excuse to revisit “Fuck and Run” is always welcome. (Eddy)

7:30pm, free

Booksmith

1644 Haight, SF

www.booksmith.com

 

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Fall fairs and fests

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff.

 

Aug. 30

Pilgrim Soul Forge Harvest Fair Pilgrim Soul Forge, 101 West Tower, Alameda; www.grantsforge.com. Noon-6pm, free. Possibly the only fall fair in the Bay Area to offer blacksmithing demonstrations alongside the usual suspects: food trucks, craft vendors, and live music.

Savor Filipino Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero at Market, SF; www.savorfilipino.com. 10am-6pm, free (most workshops $15). Try the best in Filipino cuisine at this gathering of chefs and authors, with a huge menu of tasty eats (check it out online) and workshops on vegan Filipino cooking, modern Filipino desserts, and other tasty topics. Plus: live music and traditional dance performances, and a “Dance That Lumpia Off” audience-participation activity.

 

Aug. 30-31

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival 400 Broadway, Millbrae; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-5pm, free. Downtown Millbrae’s annual Mardi Gras-style celebration, with live music, a juried art show, a classic car show, carnival-style rides, and tons of specialty food and drink vendors.

San Francisco Zine Fest SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.sfzinefest.org. Aug 30, 11am-5pm; Aug 31, 11am-4pm. Free. Support indie writers, artists, and creators at this annual event, with exhibitions, workshops, book signings, and more. Special guests include Ryan Sands (publishing company Youth in Decline), Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD zine), and illustrator and cartoonist Hellen Jo.

 

Aug. 30-31

SF Bay Brazilian Day and Lavagem Festival Casa de Cultura, 1901 San Pablo, Berk; www.brasarte.com. 11am-7pm, free. Celebrate Brazilian Independence Day with a lavagem (blessing) calling for world peace, plus Brazilian music, food, a “Caipirinha lounge,” and more.

 

Aug. 31

Oakland Pride Uptown Oakl; www.oaklandpride.org. Parade starts at 10:30am, Broadway and 14th St; festival, 11am-7pm, Broadway at 20th Sts. Parade free; festival $5-10. It’s the very first year for the Oakland Pride Parade, while Sheila E headlines the fifth annual festival, billed as the second-largest pride event in NorCal.

 

Sept. 6

SF Mountain Bike Festival McLaren Park, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, 20 John F. Shelley, SF; sfurbanriders.org/wordpress/sf-mtb-festival. 9am-5pm, free. Register in advance to compete — or just show up to spectate or test your skills in any of the non-competitive categories. Events include a short-track challenge, a 10-mile urban adventure ride, a cargo bike hill climb, a bike skills challenge for youth and families, and more, plus a box jump demo and a bike raffle.

 

Sept. 6-7

Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown, SF; www.moonfestival.org. Grand opening ceremony and parade, Sept 6, 11am; festival, 11am-5pm (dog costume contest, Sept 7, 2:30pm). Free. Cultural performances, an open-air street bazaar, lion dancing, and (new this year!) a dog costume contest highlight this 24th annual celebration of the Asian holiday.

Mountain View Art and Wine Festival Castro between El Camino Real and Evelyn, Mtn View; www.miramarevents.com. 10am-6pm, free. With works by over 600 professional craftspeople and artists, plus live music, home and garden exhibits, a young-performers stage, a climbing wall, food and wine, and more.

 

Sept. 7

Haight Street Music and Merchants Street Festival Haight between Masonic and Stanyan, SF; hsmmsf@gmail.com. Noon-6pm, free. Yep, it’s another street fair on Haight — but this brand-new event has a highly local focus, since it’s sponsored by local merchants. Expect three stages of music, kids’ activities, a skate ramp, and more.

 

Sept. 13

Sea Music Festival San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Hyde Street Pier, SF; www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/seamusicfestival2014.htm. 9am-5pm; evening chantey sing, 7:30-9:30pm. Outdoor performances free; admission to historic ships $5 (15 and under with adult supervision, free). Learn about maritime history through music at this all-day fest of traditional and contemporary songs, instrumentals, and dances. The Sea Music Concert Series continues aboard the Balclutha Sept 20, Oct 25, and Nov 25 ($12-14 or a season ticket, $36).

 

Sept. 13-14

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point, SF; ghirardelli.com/chocolatefestival. Noon-5pm, $20-40. Help raise money for Project Open Hand and satisfy your sweet tooth at this 19th annual dessert and wine fiesta. In addition to offering samples of gourmet goodies from over 50 vendors , Ghirardelli hosts chef demos, a silent auction, a “Chocolate School” (learn about the chocolate-making process!), and the ever-popular hands-free sundae-eating contest.

 

Sept. 14

Comedy Day Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.comedyday.com. Noon-5pm, free. This year’s incarnation of the free, all-day comedy festival is dedicated to the memory of supporter (and frequent unannounced performer) Robin Williams.

Sunday Streets: Western Addition Fillmore between Geary and Fulton; Fulton between Fillmore and Baker, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. What traffic? Explore the neighborhood (including Alamo Square) on foot or bike.

 

Sept. 19-21

Eat Real Festival Jack London Square, Oakl; www.eatrealfest.com. Sept 19, 1-9pm; Sept 20, 10:30am-9pm; Sept 21, 10:30am-5pm. Free. Billed as a combo “state fair, street-food festival, and block party,” this fest offers sustainable, regionally-sourced eats (BBQ, ice cream, curry, and more) costing eight bucks or less.

Oktoberfest by the Bay Pier 48, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com. Sept 19, 5pm-midnight; Sept 20, 11am-5pm and 6pm-midnight; Sept 21, 11am-6pm. $25-75 (Sept 20-21 day session, kids 13-18, $5; must be accompanied by parent). The Chico Bavarian Band returns to add oompah to your eating and, more importantly, drinking experience. Prost!

 

Sept. 20-21

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival #58 Old Mill Park, 325 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; www.mvfaf.org. 10am-5pm, $5-10. Over 140 fine artists participate in this fair, which is held in a can’t-be-beat location (hi, majestic redwoods) and also features live music and children’s entertainment.

 

Sept. 21

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Eighth and 13th Sts, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm, $10 donation requested (donation sticker entitles wearer to $2 off drinks). The leather and fetish fantasia returns with over 200 exhibitor booths, two giant dance floors, public play stations, erotic art, and more.

 

Sept. 27

Bay Area Record Fair Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St, SF; www.theeparkside.com. 11am, $5 early entry (free after noon). Vinyl junkies, take note: over 30 Bay Area indie labels participate at this semi-regular event, which also boasts live music, DJs, raffles, and more.

San Mateo Bacon and Brew Festival Central Park, Fifth Ave and El Camino Real, San Mateo; www.sanmateochamber.org/bbf. 11am-5pm, $15. This fest breaks it down to the essentials. Admission gets you a free beer (or soft drink), while food vendors favor you-know-which crispy pork product.

SuperHero Street Fair 1700 Indiana, SF; www.superherosf.com. 1-11pm, $10. Seven stages and 13 “sound camps” provide the beats for this fifth annual festival celebrating heroes, villains, sidekicks, and everything in between. It goes without saying that costumes are highly encouraged.

 

Sept. 28

“A Day on the Water 2” Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker, Berk; (510) 677-9425. Noon-7pm, free. Outdoor fair and music festival with Manzo Rally, Afrofunk Experience, Crosscut, and more.

Sunday Streets: Excelsior Mission between Theresa/Avalon and Geneva, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Hit the street at this edition of Sunday Streets, which coincides with the sixth annual Tricycle Music Fest at the Excelsior Branch Library (sfpl.org/tricycle for more info).

 

Oct. 4

“Oaktoberfest” Fruitvale at MacArthur, Oakl; www.oaktoberfest.org. 11am-6pm, free. Family-friendly craft beer festival, with over 30 participating local breweries, a Bavarian big band and dancers, German food vendors, and more.

 

Oct. 4-5

Alternative Press Expo Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina, SF; comic-con.org/ape. Check website for updates regarding times and badge prices. APE is back to celebrate alternative and small-press comics in a new venue, with a guest list that includes Bob Fingerman, Faith Erin Hicks, Ed Piskor, Paul Pope, Jason Shiga, and many more.

 

Oct. 5

Castro Street Fair, Castro at Market, SF; www.castrostreetfair.org. 11am-6pm, free (donate at the gate to get $1 off at fair beverage booths). Five different entertainment areas (including a main stage, a “legends” stage, and “Barnaby’s World of Wonderment”) highlight this annual event, which was founded by Harvey Milk in 1974. Performers were TBD at press time, so check the website closer to the event for updates.

 

Oct. 9

Union Street Wine Walk Union between Gough and Steiner, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 4-8pm, free (sampling tickets, $25). Restaurants and merchants offer wine tasting and small bites at this fifth annual neighborhood event.

 

Oct. 10-18

Litquake Various venues, SF; www.litquake.org. San Francisco’s annual literary festival turns 15 this year, with a week full of live readings, performances, panels, and multimedia events, including tributes to Octavio Paz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The Barbary Coast Award will be presented to Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida and their many projects, including 826 Valencia and McSweeney’s.

 

Oct. 11

Woodside Day of the Horse Woodside Town Hall, 2955 Woodside, Woodside; www.whoa94062.org. 10am-2:30pm, free (progressive trail ride, $40). The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA) celebrates Year of the Horse with stagecoach rides, live music, a petting zoo, and more, plus an organized trail ride for experienced riders and their horses to raise money for the organization’s charitable community projects.

 

Oct. 11-12

World Vegetarian Festival SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF; www.worldvegfestival.com. 10:30am-8:45pm, free. The SF Vegetarian Society’s annual event features cooking demos, exhibitors, speakers, an eco-fashion show, entertainment, and samples galore.

 

Oct. 12

Italian Heritage Parade Begins at Jefferson and Stockton, proceeds on Columbus, and ends in Washington Square, SF; www.sfcolumbusday.org. 12:30pm, free. Established in 1868, this North Beach tradition features handmade floats, a costumed Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella, Italian music, a Ferrari display, and more.

 

Oct. 13

World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay; weighoff.miramarevents.com. 7-11am, free. Who will reign supreme at this 41st annual battle of the bulge, dubbed the “Superbowl of Weigh-Offs”? Last year’s champ tipped the scales at 1,985 pounds — that’s a lotta pie!

 

Oct. 18

Noe Valley Harvest Festival 24th St between Sanchez and Church, SF; www.noevalleyharvestfestival.com. 10am-5pm, free. This 10th annual shindig aims to help you get a jump on holiday shopping, with over 50 local artisans showing their creations. Also: two stages of music, costume contests for dogs and kids, a dunk tank, a pumpkin patch, and more.

Potrero Hill Festival 20th St between Wisconsin and Missouri, SF; www.potrerofestival.com. 11am-4pm, free. Now in its 25th year, this neighborhood block party features local food and entertainment — including a kick-off Cajun-style brunch ($5-12) with Dixieland jazz — plus pony rides and a bouncy house for kids.

 

Oct. 18-19

Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival Main between Mill and Spruce, Half Moon Bay; www.miramarevents.com. 9am-5pm, free. They don’t call Half Moon Bay the World Pumpkin Capital for nothing — the coastal town represents at its 44th annual gourd-tastic throwdown with three stages of music, the Great Pumpkin Parade (Oct 18 at noon), a haunted house attraction, expert Jack O’ Lantern carving, and food and drinks galore (pumpkin beer, anyone?)

 

Oct. 19

Sunday Streets: Mission 18th St between Guerrero and Harrison and Valencia between 25th and Duboce, SF; www.sundaystreetssf.com. 11am-4pm, free. Sunday Streets returns to the Mission! Check the website after Oct. 3 for updates on planned activities.

 

Oct. 25

San Francisco’s Wharf Fest Fisherman’s Wharf, SF; www.sresproductions.com. 11am-6pm, free. Celebrate SF’s waterfront history at this event, with a chowder competition, chef demos, ship tours, street performers, fireworks, and more.

 

Nov. 2

San Francisco Day of the Dead Procession and Festival of Altars Festival, Garfield Park, 26th St and Harrison, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 6-11pm, free. Procession begins at 22nd St and Bryant, SF; www.dayofthedeadsf.org. 7pm, free. Add a personal altar for a loved one who has passed away to the display at Garfield Park (candles must be in glass containers; no open flames allowed), and bring canned food to donate to St. Anthony’s Foundation, in honor of the altar memorializing the deaths of homeless people in SF. The procession, led by Rescue Culture Collective, circles the Mission accompanied by traditional Aztec dancers.

 

Nov. 14-16

Green Festival Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina, SF; www.greenfestivals.org/sf. Nov 14, noon-6pm; Nov 15-16, 10am-6pm. $15-30. Learn how to “work green, play green, and live green” at this expo, an ode to health and sustainability. Featured events include vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, inspirational speakers, and a marketplace with more than 250 eco-friendly businesses. *

 

Not just an Animal Collective side project: Entering the Slasher House with Avery Tare

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In spite of music videos that are more than vaguely reminiscent of the horror film genre — not to mention the band’s name — the “jazz power trio” of Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks are far more than some campy side project.

Comprised of multi-instrumentalist and founding Animal Collective member Avey Tare, Angel Deradoorian (of Dirty Projectors, Deradoorian) on keyboard, and drummer Jeremy Hyman (of Ponytail, Dan Deacon), Slasher Flicks aim to make sounds that “come from a place that’s not human.” Live music fans will be happy to hear that the group used only minimal overdubs while recording their debut album Enter the Slasher House (out this past April), which is somewhat of a rarity amongst many of today’s crispy jams — and also something that’s immediately evident when Slasher Flicks take the stage.

Avey Tare, aka Dave Portner, spoke to the SFBG about one of his favorite places to play, letting each band member’s personality shine through, and creating an experience for the audience where they can synonymously get lost in something and feel like part of a collective. Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks will be playing LA’s FYF fest this weekend before making their second visit to the Great American Music Hall this Sunday the 24th.

San Francisco Bay Guardian You’re clearly a person who likes to stay busy, considering the Slasher Flicks tour and the Animal Collective DJ sets that have been popping up recently. As far as live performances go, do your various projects satisfy different creative needs? I’m thinking about the elaborate stage set up for the Centipede Hz tour, which makes anything else seem minimal, really. Or are the props irrelevant and it’s more about the kind of work you get to produce?

Avey Tare I think the longer I play with Animal Collective or even just make music in the live realm the more interested I become with creating some all encompassing submersible experience. Who knows where this will go next. I’ve reached a point personally and creatively where I want to go beyond just showing up at clubs and playing live. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that my interests are deep in the visual art and film world. That said I have been enjoying the more minimal set up with Slasher Flicks. It’s nice to just set up and jam and have that be that. As long as our fans can get lost in something or feel like they had some unique experience then I’m happy.

SFBG How was it that Jeremy, Angel, and yourself came together to form Slasher Flicks? You’ve been cited as the main songwriter for most of the Animal Collective albums, but for Enter the Slasher House you crafted an outline of sorts for the songs on acoustic guitar, and let Angel create melodic lines to flesh them out.

AT Sort of. All of my songs do start on on a skeletal level.  It really depends on what is needed after that or how I want them to be produced. Each song requires its own place and sounds and atmosphere.  A lot of the melodic lines for Slasher Flicks were actually written by me but when it comes down to playing something with other people, you don’t really know what its going to be like til everyone is playing it. For me it’s crucial that Jeremy’s and Angel’s personality gets to shine through so a lot of the rhythms and melodies are sort of loosely placed and left open for their embellishments or reworking etc. You just sort of know when everything clicks. It’s more of a feeling. That’s what playing music with people is about for me. It’s definitely a collective experience, and when you can make your audience feel a part of that collective, then it’s even more rewarding.

Angel and I have been a couple for awhile now. Because we are around each other in creative situations and so aware of how each of us operate it has always just seemed natural that we would work on something together especially ’cause of the respect we have for each other’s talents. I met Jeremy through Angel, actually, but was immediately into his drumming after seeing him play a bunch over the last few years.  For some reason I just got it in my head that I wanted to do a collection of songs for a three-piece. Once the songs were written it seemed logical to ask Jeremy and Angel to play them. I guess we are lucky in that we melded very easily.

SFBG Last year Slasher Flicks opened up for Deerhunter at the GAMH before Enter the Slasher House was released. Are you looking forward to returning to the venue and headlining this time? I was fortunate enough to attend that first show, but after being able to listen to the album at home I realize all the more how fitting the GAHM is for the music — especially the bouncy, funhouse-feel of “Little Fang.”

AT I love Great American. It’s definitely my favorite place to play in SF and one of my favorite places anywhere. I have great memories from playing shows there. I think this size venue is probably my favorite to play.

SFBG Speaking of “Little Fang,” the video for the song was directed by your sister (Abby Portner) yet it still has that undeniable Animal Collective hallmark — sharing similar aesthetic qualities to ODDSAC (a visual album collaboration between AC and Danny Perez). I know that ODDSAC took over four years to complete. How has the process of marrying the audio and visual changed for you since working on that project?  

AT ODDSAC was unique in that we were trying to write the music and make the sounds as the videos were being created and attempting to piece it together as a whole while we worked. It also took awhile because we were working on other records during the process, as well. It’s always tough putting visuals to my/the groups music because I always have such intense feelings and visuals attached to it that are inside of me.  There is often a moment where I have to just give up the resistance to someone else’s vision of the music. It can be tough, but it’s been really rewarding so far and taught me a lot about what I like and don’t like. 

AVEY TARE’S SLASHER FLICKS

Sun/24, 8pm, $16

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

www.slimspresents.com

This Week’s Picks: August 13 – 19, 2014

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THURSDAY 14

 

Kevin Morby

If you’re enough of an indie rock fan, you might have heard Kevin Morby’s work without knowing it. He’s played bass for Brooklyn psych-folk crew Woods since that band’s 2009 breakthrough Songs of Shame, and he co-fronts The Babies with Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls. But after touring with Real Estate and releasing the solo album Harlem River on Woods’ label Woodsist last year, he’s primed to take the spotlight. A fan of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Morby’s always had a strong Americana streak, from the Western ballads on the Babies’ Our House On The Hill to the New York City love letters on Harlem River. But despite his buzz-band cred, his all-American ethos never seems ironic, and his voice and guitar playing are perfectly suited for his ambitions. (Daniel Bromfield)

7pm, $8

1-2-3-4 Go! Records

420 40th St., Oakland

(510) 985-0325

www.1234gorecords.com

 

 

Sir Sly

There’s no need to call these band members “sir.” But you might’ve had to rely on that as a fallback when the musicians adopted anonymous identities at the beginning of their careers. Though that act was certainly mysterious enough to accompany the band’s gloomy sound (sad indie rock tinged with some hip-hop and electronic influences), Sir Sly deserves recognition for last year’s EP, which is enough to appease fans until this September’s release of its debut full-length. If the title track “You Haunt Me” is anything to go by, then yep, the trio’s polished its melancholy music the first album. (Amy Char)

With Thumpers, Mother

9pm, $15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011

www.rickshawstop.com

 

 

Like Stars We Collide

Playwright Vadenek Ke is ready to unveil his second installment in his “A Series of Collisions.” The enigmatic and elusive playwright, who explores the sexual, cultural, and vocational limitations of relationships, has written three new one acts, titled collectively Like Stars We Collide, that will be performed by his trusty troupe, the Planets Aligned Theatre Company. Known for their quick wit and occasional surreality, Ke’s works are morsels of romantic truth — they certainly don’t attempt to paint idealistic portraits of love, but simultaneously acknowledge the raw beauty and excitement that accompanies the pain. Each of the three works is directed by a different local voice, and features burgeoning SF stars. “Call it Off,” which chronicles a crumbling couple at a theme party, takes on a Rashomon-esque storytelling device to explain the individual experiences of the lovers. The small yet stylish Mojo Theatre provides an evocative locale for Ke’s elegant glimpses into the human condition. (Kurlander)

8pm, $15

Mojo Theatre

2940 16th St. #217, SF

(415) 830-6426

www.mojotheatre.com

 

 

GAYmous

San Francisco queer electro duo GAYmous claim to be motivated by the “power of the synthesizer.” On one level, this has to do with sound — their synths pack plenty of sonic oomph. But the self-declared “slut-step” duo is also motivated by synth-driven music’s ability to unite and empower marginalized groups, from the queer synthpop of the ’80s to the relentlessly empowering pop music of the early ’10s. Following those traditions, GAYmous delivers plenty of raunchy and sexually candid humor but ultimately succeeds on the basis of great pop hooks and melodies. They’ll be performing at the Uptown Oakland alongside multimedia drag performance group Daddies Plastik and the amazing Fatty Cakes & The Puff Pastries, an ensemble consisting of multiple vocalists and centered around a dizzying glockenspiel-snare drum-organ setup.

9pm, $8

Uptown Nightclub

1928 Telegraph, Oakland

(510) 451-8100

www.uptownnightclub.com

 

FRIDAY 15

 

 

Joshua Cook and the Key of Now

Joshua Cook made his name as the lead guitarist and sometime-singer of the Soft White Sixties, a local soul-heavy rock outfit that has made a huge splash at festivals (particularly an electric SXSW set) inthe last year. Cook has now formed his own outfit, a bluesier crew called Joshua Cook and the Key of Now. Their debut single, 2013’s “All Bad Things,” has a lick that sounds decidedly Jimmy Page-esque and cynical, frustrated lyrics about romantic near-misses and economic woes. FCC Free Radio, the six year-old internet radio station that champions local artists and opinion, takes over the DNA Lounge to present Cook’s new sound alongside Kitten Grenade, Survival Guide, and I Am Animal. Kitten Grenade, singer Katelyn Sullivan and instrumentalist Ben Manning’s ukelele and drum group, has been churning out sweet yet edgy folk-rock for the last two years and looks to be a nice counter to Cook’s heavier jams. (Kurlander)

8pm, $10

DNA Lounge

375 11th St, SF

(415) 626-1409

www.dnalounge.com

 

 

Deadfest

Non-metalheads may not recognize any of the names at the Oakland Metro’s two-day Deadfest. But with four stages and 46 bands from the Bay Area and beyond (including Impaled, Bell Witch, and Negative Standards), Deadfest should have something for anyone even remotely interested in heavy music. Spearheaded by DIY promoter Gregg “Deadface” Paiva, Deadfest also features a food bar with delicious-sounding gourmet tacos, featuring absurdly Bay Area-sounding accoutrements like “key lime crema” and “heritage pepper confit.” The event is only $20 per day, meaning an average of less than a buck per band. If you have even a passing interest in thrash metal, doom metal, hard core, crust punk or any of the other various forms of loud, overdriven, fancy logo-encouraging music that will be on display at Deadfest, there’s no reason not to go. (Bromfield)

7pm, $20 per day

Oakland Metro

630 3rd St., Oakland

(510) 763-1146

www.oaklandmetro.org

 

SATURDAY 16

 

 

 

The Muppet Movie 35th Anniversary

Muppet fans! It’s time to get “Movin’ Right Along” down to the Castro Theatre to catch a 35th anniversary screening of The Muppet Movie, the feature film that started the big screen careers of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and the rest of their beloved gang. Presented by SF Sketchfest, today’s event is extra special — Dave Goelz, the voice and puppeteer of The Great Gonzo will be appearing for a talk and Q&A — and he is bringing a real Gonzo Muppet with him! Don’t miss your chance to make a “Rainbow Connection” with the legendary performer (who also worked on The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and Emmett Otter) and his iconic, chicken-loving creation. (Sean McCourt)

11am, $10

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

www.sfsketchfest.com

 

 

 

Civil War Living History Day

The band called the Civil Wars may have broken up, but the dream of the 1860s is alive in San Francisco. No need to adopt the fashion trends of years past for this American Civil War enactment. (Just dress appropriately for the city’s August weather and be glad you don’t have to deal with the South’s humidity.) In a condensed jump back into time, the day offers regular infantry drills and artillery discussions throughout the day and plenty of demonstrations of soldier and civilian life way back when. Highlights include historical music (characterized by heavy reliance on the drums) and medical treatment (which may not be up to snuff to deal with Ebola). (Amy Char)

10am – 5pm, free

Fort Point National Historic Site

999 Marine, SF

(415) 556-1693

www.nps.gov/fopo

 


SUNDAY 17

 

Name Drop Swamp Records + Quiet Lightning

This new collaboration between independent SF record label Name Drop Swamp Records (Fox & Woman, Split Screens) and the long-running lit and spoken word series Quiet Lightning brings together live music, poetry, and performance for an evening that’s sure to draw a crowd full of all kinds of artists — in addition to those being featured on stage. Featured performer Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba is someone you won’t get to see in a small room for too much longer, thanks to her unique, rich vocals and skilled storytelling through song. The door is sliding scale and the aim is for this evening to be the first in a bimonthly series at the Emerald Tablet (sorry, “Em Tab,”) so get in before it blows up. (Emma Silvers)

5 – 9pm, $10-20; no one turned away for lack of funds

The Emerald Tablet

80 Fresno, SF

(415) 500-2323

www.emtab.org

 

MONDAY 18

 

Built To Spill

Boise’s Built To Spill has been churning out heartbreakingly lovely indie rock songs for over 20 years. Doug Martsch, formerly of Treepeople, formed the group in 1992. Since then, the band has gone through a whirlwind of lineup changes with Martsch as the only constant, but have managed to create seven equally beautiful, reverb-heavy studio albums. Martsch’s music has been cited as a major inspiration by such indie rock royalty as Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. Though it’s been five years since they’ve released an album, Built To Spill’s live show hasn’t declined a bit. This three-night run at Slim’s is a very special event, and certainly not to be missed. (Haley Zaremba)

With Slam Dunk, The Warm Hair

8pm, $28

Slim’s 333

11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333

www.slimspresents.com


TUESDAY 19


Fucked Up

Toronto’s Fucked Up might be the most ambitious punk band on the planet. This six-piece hardcore band has been releasing more and more epic and boldly experimental records since their explosive entrance to the scene in 2001. The group has even been recognized by the Canadian government, winning the prestigious Polaris Prize in 2009 for its incredible, sprawling punk-rock opera The Chemistry of Common Life. Their most recent effort, Glass Boys, maintains their hardcore edge while finding more rock depth, borrowing simultaneously from Dinosaur Jr. and Negative Approach. The record asks questions about what it means to be an aging and successful punk band. Known and notorious for their tempestuous relationship and wildly unpredictable live shows, Fucked Up is one of the best hardcore bands and certainly one of the best live acts on the road. (Zaremba)

Tijuana Panthers, The She’s

8pm, $20

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.independentsf.com

The Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, a brief description of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only isn’t sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, and admission costs. Send information to Listings, the Guardian, 835 Market Street, Suite 550, SF, CA 94103; or e-mail (paste press release into e-mail body — no attachments, please) to listings@sfbg.com. Digital photos may be submitted in jpeg format; the image must be at least 240 dpi and four inches by six inches in size. We regret we cannot accept listings over the phone.

Outside Lands 2014: It’s Yeezy season

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Were you there? Were you among the approximately 200,000 human bodies smashed together for warmth at Golden Gate Park this past weekend, because you somehow couldn’t stand the idea of wearing anything but your midriff-baring tube top with your whimsical animal hat and/or flower crown?

Whether you’re recuperating today from 72 hours of partying at Outside Lands or patting yourself on the back from steering clear of the whole thing — here’s our critic’s take on the weekend’s best five sets…and the rest. Check this week’s paper (on stands Wednesday) for more live shots.

 5. Mikal Cronin

mc
Local boy Mikal Cronin. Photo by Brittany Powell.

If 28-year-old Mikal Cronin had signed a recording contract three decades ago, his breakthrough LP, MCII, just might have coexisted peacefully with Kiss’ Alive in “Freaks & Geeks”-y record crates across America. Arguably the greatest contributor to California’s recent wave of late-’70s power-pop revivalism, Cronin assuredly challenges 2014’s largely tongue-in-cheek fascination with the “me decade,” recalling arena bombast and dank basement charm with great conviction. Lead guitarist Chad Ubovich’s high-flying, joyously unironic guitar theatrics sealed the deal at the Panhandle stage on Friday afternoon, as Cronin and his three-piece backing band delivered the festival’s most wholesome slice of straightforward rock.

4. Jonathan Wilson

Saddled with the unenviable noon opening slot at the Sutro stage on Sunday, LA’s Jonathan Wilson treated a criminally small audience to another set of California rock revivalism with great strength of purpose. Evoking something in between late-’60s acid idealism and early-’70s comedown disillusionment, Wilson and his four-piece backing ensemble delivered a quietly confident, elegantly restrained set of swirly, jam-based rock headiness, devoid of the excessive noodling and uptight baroqueness that plagues so much of the competition. It takes serious talent to make such complex musical interplay sound so natural and relaxed. My favorite new discovery of 2014’s Outside Lands.

3. Haim

haim
Two of three sisters Haim. Photo by Matthew Reamer.

If there’s one complaint to level at Haim’s live show, it’s that the Phoenix-y Botox-pop production of last year’s Days Are Gone is so immaculate and superhuman that replicating those songs onstage, in their recorded form, is damn near impossible. However, the sisterly trio has come a long way after a year of touring, and as Saturday’s main stage appearance triumphantly showed, Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim’s live approach is closer than ever to reproducing these Fleetwood Mac-indebted pop gems with the glossy sheen intact. From “The Wire,” to “If I Could Change Your Mind,” to ” My Song 5,” Haim delivered an hour-long hit parade, and a masterclass in guitar rock via R&B viscosity. Bonus points to Este’s rabble-rousing stage banter and uninhibited rubber-face while plucking the strings, and the generous thump supplied by Alana’s freestanding bass drum.

2. Jagwar Ma

Given the sheer amount of music-circa-2014 that exists in the gaps between genres, and electric/acoustic/electronic approaches, one might expect a zeitgeist-y festival like Outside Lands to reflect this sense of fusion onstage. For the most part, though, we were given the same old binary of traditionally outfitted rock bands on one hand, and laptop-driven hip-hop and electronica on the other. Australia’s Jagwar Ma, however, bucked that trend by supplying the biggest patch of middle-ground at the entire festival. Indebted to the Ecstacy-addled dance-rock hybridization of Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, and other mainstays of the UK’s Madchester scene, the three-piece’s Saturday afternoon set at the Twin Peaks stage perfectly combined guitars, synths, and other gadgets to reflect the sugary hookiness of ’60s psychedelia and the four-on-the-floor thump of acid house, without the slightest hint of awkwardness or contrivance. Performing sequencer-based music onstage, that’s also tactile and involving, is arguably the great challenge of modern live music, and Jagwar Ma effortlessly rose to the occasion.

1. Kanye West

kanye
Kanye, who wouldn’t let photographers shoot from anywhere but the sound booth, and who performed as a silhouette for a good chunk of the set, because he is Kanye. Photo by Matthew Reamer. 

Whether you think of him as a mad-truth-speaking shepherd of pop culture, a vapid, window-dressing egomaniac, a bizarro performance artist, or a world-class troll, no one in the Grammy/VMA tier of the music world thrives on the ambiguity of their persona like Kanye West. In a landscape of major-label artists with carefully maintained PR images, delivering live shows akin to a federally regulated product, there’s a sense of uncertainty and precariousness about a Kanye performance that makes every moment captivating. Whether he was instructing the audience to “make circles!” and mosh during one of three playthroughs of “Blood on the Leaves,” freestyle-autotuning for 10 minutes over a bare piano track with video of a waterfall in the background, slipping his Robocop helmet/mirrorball mask on and off, or stopping midway through “Clique” for an impromptu rant aimed at the media that scrutinizes his every move, one couldn’t shake the palpable feeling that this train just might derail at any moment. Both tightly curated, and seemingly hanging by a thread, Friday night’s headlining set was bewildering and exhilarating in equal measure. In other words: pure, unfiltered Kanye.

“This ain’t no radio shit. This ain’t no shit made to please motherfuckers. This ain’t no concierge, maitre d’ music and shit trying to sound smooth as possible,” West declared during one of numerous manifesto-ish rants between songs, presumably referring to the lean, grating electro-thrash of last year’s hugely divisive Yeezus. That record made its mark with renditions of “Black Skinhead,” “New Slaves,” and “Bound 2,” and largely defined the show’s aesthetic, to the chagrin of many a festival-bro pining for “that 2007 shit” circa Graduation. Crowd-pleasers like “Good Life,” “Jesus Walks,” and “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” acted as a welcome counterweight to Yeezus’ radical aggression while putting that album’s adventurousness in perspective. As suggested by the solid, monumental blocks of color on the projection screens, Kanye’s presence was commanding and singular when the fragility of his ego didn’t get the best of him.

Explaining the reasoning behind his continued use of autotune, Kanye declared, “Same thing as Andy Warhol said: it’s easier.” Much like Warhol, or punk rock, the cultural import of Kanye’s current output lies more in the values and attitudes it represents, and the debate it generates, than its actual content. His set certainly wasn’t the festival’s most competent, nor its strongest on purely musical terms. But as pure spectacle, and as a launching pad for contemplation and discussion about the value of “art” and where it’s going, Kanye’s set reigned supreme. “It’s Yeezy season,” whether you like it or not.

*****

Honorable mentions

flaming
Flaming Lips. Photo by Brittany Powell.

Despite recent rumors of intra-member infighting, and allegations of Wayne Coyne being a racist asshole in the midst of a druggy midlife crisis, the Flaming Lips put on a stellar, perfectly charming show. Their signature, jerry-rigged stage theatrics were as gloriously gimmicky as ever, and their musicianship onstage has rarely been tighter. Their closing cover of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” brought out SF’s fearlessly freaky vibes like nothing else at the festival.

petty
Petty, bein’ Petty. Photo by Brittany Powell.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers delivered two hours of faithful takes on 40-ish years worth of rock anthems. So faithful, in fact, that the whole set seemed weirdly copied and pasted from an FM station at some dad’s backyard barbecue. A solid set, nothing more or less; lthough, the high standard set in years past by headliners like Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder left a bit of star-power to be desired in the headlining slot.

disclosure
Disclosure. Photo by Matthew Reamer.

Disclosure, the UK house revivalists whose hugely successful debut, Settle, can be heard over intercoms in Apple stores and Uniqlo franchises across America, drew an uncommonly huge crowd to the main stage for a Friday afternoon. Despite the undeniable quality of anthems like “When a Fire Starts to Burn” and “Help Me Lose My Mind,” the lack of live vocals and the inherent dullness of watching two dudes mess with laptops made for a slightly underwhelming set.

freedia
The Queen of Bounce herself, Big Freedia. Photo by Matthew Reamer.

Big Freedia lent her party-rap talents to the GastroMagic stage, while Brenda’s French Soul Food made beignets for a handful of hungry, twerking audience members. A low-key but surreal collaboration that resembled a wacko “happening” more than a standard festival show, hinting at the new food-centric stage’s full potential.

Stray observations:

Described as a “gourmet” festival like no other, Outside Lands had some shockingly tasty food options to offer this year. Wise Sons’ Deli’s “Pastrami Cheese Fries” and Michelin-starred AQ’s “Highbrow Spaghetti Sloppy Joes” were prime examples of smartly, expertly crafted dishes that still felt unpretentious and festival-ready.

Beer, beer, and more beer! Given the Bay Area’s distinction as one of the world’s epicenters of quality and invention in craft beer, the polo field’s Beer Lands station rose to the occasion admirably. A good selection of highly drinkable, floral “session IPAs” (from Sierra Nevada, Firestone Walker, and Stone), robust porters and stouts (most notably High Water’s s’mores-flavored Campfire Stout), and even barrel-aged brews (Fort Point’s Westfalia, a complexly funky take on an amber ale) presented just a few of many options.

after
Outside Lands detritus, after the storm. Photo by Matthew Reamer.

Too bad Ireland’s CHVRCHES had to C@NC€L after getting stuck at customs in Vancouver. I was excited to see what all the fuss was about.

One of Kanye’s many rants touched on the poison of negative criticism, and the press’ fixation on identifying the flaws in well-intentioned art. Going into Outside Lands, I promised myself to focus on the positive, to give each and every band the benefit of the doubt. However, the Killers gave me no choice but to break that rule.

What is this, 2004? What business do the Killers (a band that’s spent over a decade coasting on the fumes of its debut LP) have headlining a festival that prides itself on the relevancy of its lineup? We don’t see the Pitchfork Festival giving its premier slot to the likes of Interpol anymore. Also, how has this band (surely Las Vegas’ least hedonistic export) earned headlining power with its brand of aggressively “inspirational” secular Christian rock with no undertow of mischief, adventure, or much of anything? They couldn’t even cover Creedence’s “Bad Moon Rising” without giving off a big whiff of American Idol sterility. Sure, the synthesizers in the background make for some nicely textured rock music, but U2, even Coldplay, deliver the same goods far more substantially.

If the Killers were the “best choice” for Sunday night’s headliner, either 100 more worthy bands were busy, or the Outside Lands booking department could use some fresh blood. It’s 2014. There are bigger, fresher fish to fry.

crowd
Photo by Matthew Reamer.

Disagree? Have at us in the comments. We didn’t mean to insult your whimsical animal hat.

Here are some shows that have nothing to do with Outside Lands

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What’s that you say? VIP wristbands for $600, special-issue high-end ice cream, and tiny cups of organic sulfite-free wine aren’t exactly your thing? 

We’re headed to the park momentarily to support some of our favorite local bands who are doing their thing at OSL this year, but if you have a strong desire to stay far, far away from it all — well, let’s just say we understand that too.

For you live music lovers looking for something a little more low-key this weekend, here are your best bets. Most of them pair well with Tecate in a can.

FRI/8

Crocodiles and the Tweens: One of the key figures in the noisy San Diego rock scene, Crocodiles have come a long way from their Jesus and Mary Chain-aping early days, with four albums and a feud with notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio under their belt. The band has released an album every year since 2009 (except 2011, but they put out an extra EP in 2010 to make up for it) and are showing no signs of slowing down, gigging relentlessly with a variety of bands. A live Crocodiles show tends to sound like a sockhop in a sheet-metal factory, with rock ‘n’ roll riffs and yelps bouncing around a nightmarish industrial landscape. This is their second time at the Chapel. — Daniel Bromfield. $15, 9pm, The Chapel, www.thechapelsf.com

Freestyle Fellowship with Aceyalone, Myka 9, more: Independent West Coast hip-hop at its finest. $15, 9pm, The New Parish, www.thenewparish.com

Those Darlins and Diarrhea Planet: This Nashville rock ‘n’ roll two-fer pairs a couple of bands that will almost certainly be playing much bigger stages next time they’re in town. Diarrhea Planet, in particular, is known for a pretty explosive (sorry) live show. $12, 8pm, Leo’s Music Club, www.clubleos.com

SAT/9

Woods: Mix Best Coast with mid-’70s Eno and you’re left with Woods, the lo-fi Brooklyn outfit that has released a prolific seven albums over seven years. The band’s most recent, With Light and With Love, is their most melodic work yet — generally known for their rampant experimentation and unpredictability, the group isn’t entirely eschewing their eccentricity, but are making their work more accessible. Lead singer Jeremy Earl, whose nasal vocals don’t exactly scream pop, is surprisingly adept at more smooth and singable melodies. The group will likely still be high from their annual Woodsist Festival in Big Sur, which features their friends and occasional collaborators Foxygen and Real Estate. Steve Gunn, the former guitarist in Kurt Vile’s The Violators, will open with cuts off of his acoustic and meditative 2013 release Time Off — David Kurlander. 10pm, $15, Brick & Mortar Music Hall, www.brickandmortarmusic.com

Gold Panda: Gold Panda hit post-Dilla paydirt five years ago with “Quitter’s Raga,” a brief, volatile single that remains one of the most fascinating works of 21st-century producer music. Since then, he’s established himself as one of the most singular and intriguing producers in the electronic world, merging pristine minimal techno with loping hip-hop rhythms and influences from South and East Asian music. His debut, Lucky Shiner,  remains a high-water mark of the last half-decade of electronic music, featuring the absolutely devastating lead single “You” and a host of other speaker-ready songs. Though last year’s Half Of Where You Live found him taking a more Spartan approach to his craft, it’s still comfort-food music, accessible across a wide spectrum of genres, demographics, and consumed substances. — Daniel Bromfield 10pm, $20, www.mezzaninesf.com

Forrest Day: A little bit funk, a little bit punk, a little bit hip-hop, a little bit all over the place — the East Bay native (and singer/sax player) for which this band is named is known for a rather captivating stage show that keeps you guessing and, most likely, dancing. 9pm, $12, Bottom of the Hill, www.bottomofthehill.com

SUN/10

Darlene Love: Just in case you weren’t already in love with the unsung ’60s girl group singer — who repeatedly got the shaft from producer Phil Spector when she tried to launch a solo career as opposed to singing backup for very little money and even less glory (Spector actually released her work under a different girl group’s name) — last year’s award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom  likely did the trick. Her voice sounds strong and joyful as ever, and the warmth and effusiveness that pour from her live performances are undeniable. If the masses at Outside Lands aren’t quite your thing, this free show should bring out a different kind of mass, indeed. 2pm, free, Stern Grove, www.sterngrove.org

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x78Et7Cv24

Apogee Sound Club: Pure punk ethos with just enough pop in their hooks to keep your head bobbing. These local kids are gearing up for big things with a brnad-new LP in the second half of the year — catch ’em on home turf and you can say you knew them when. Violence Creeps will make for a nice, noisy appetizer. 8:30pm, $6, Hemlock Tavern, www.hemlocktavern.com

Capitalism, performance art, and a whole lot of ass-shaking: Notes from a Beyoncé and Jay Z show

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First off: To review a Beyoncé and Jay Z show, in the traditional way that music writers generally review live music — assessing and critiquing the sonic experience, the songs performed, the technical skill and effort put into reimagining and translating studio albums into an engaging performer-audience interaction — is totally missing the point.

Yes, they performed songs. More of hers than his, which is how it should be, since her self-titled album that dropped last December like a shiny, extremely well-produced and overtly sexual early Christmas present is roughly nine times better than Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail, which came out five months earlier to a resounding critical chorus of “meh.” Taking turns onstage for most of the night (exceptions: “Drunk In Love,” Jay-Z’s timeless chinchilla-themed verse on “Crazy In Love”) before coming together for “Forever Young” and a couple other moments near the end of the two-plus hour show, the duo didn’t exactly perform one song and then another so as much as they led musical theater-style medleys of songs. The pace from start to finish was a full sprint, which is even more impressive considering Bey’s 45 costume changes (maybe a slight exaggeration).

bey

There were few suprises, aside from a sweet cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor.” They mainly did the biggest, showiest parts of the biggest, showiest songs. If you are a person who likes to hear the full version of a song, who relishes the fact of two complete verses before the chorus, who enjoys the quiet build-up, just for example, on Beyoncé’s album-opener “Pretty Hurts,” which is the thing that makes the triumphant chorus on that song really punch in the particular itch-scratching way that makes for a damn good triumphant pop chorus, you might have been a little annoyed at the constant rush. 

Yes, the sound was terrible. Did you know? AT&T Park was not designed with intimate musical performances in mind. The overdriven, speaker-shaking bass drowned out two-thirds of everything else, two-thirds of the time. I probably lost several frequencies from my hearing range last night. Apparently you could hear the show loud and clear (probably clearer than it sounded in the 26th row) for about a mile in every direction. 

This is all beside the point. 

j

Even if you do not give two shits about Beyoncé and Jay Z, even if you only listen to NPR and don’t own a television, even if you’re a survivalist living somewhere in the middle of Montana with no Internet and several guns, you have probably, against your will, heard that there are rumors about their marriage being on the rocks. This is how it works these days; the knowledge enters your consciousness without you even having to read or click on the headlines. Tabloid osmosis. Will they make it to the end of the On The Run tour? Is Jay Z sleeping with Rihanna? Are they all secretly members of a demonic cult that drinks the blood of the young to stay beautiful and also controls the media and/or US government? What does their friend Michelle Obama think? What could this cryptic Instagram picture of them sitting on the beach and laughing with their child possibly mean?

I am fairly certain, after last night’s Beyoncé and Jay Z show, that said rumors did not just coincidentally surface as pop culture’s wealthiest power couple hit the road for an international tour. There is a narrative here, and no matter what you think, they own it and they run it. The text on the screen behind them at the show’s opening read “This is not real life,” and made way for spastic black and white video montages that were interspersed between songs (J and B smoking, J and B wearing masks, riding horses, looking cool, shooting guns, doing some kind of film noir homage, doing some kind of Bonnie & Clyde homage, Bey crying in a wedding dress that kind of turns into a stripper outfit, oh look J’s smoking again).

b

By the show’s end, after songs about anger and sex and distrust and single ladies (yesss), they performed “Halo,” and on the screen behind them was footage from home movies, in color. There’s J and B holding hands jumping off a boat together. There’s Blue Ivy climbing on Jay Z like he’s just a normal dad. There’s B laughing for real, and actually not voguing for a minute. As the show came to a close (Jay: “Ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Carter,” Bey: “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Carter,” bow, hug, walk off stage with arms around each other), the screen read “This is real life.” 

You know what happens when two consummate performers forge a partnership? One hell of a performance. The phrase “Beyoncé and Jay Z show” is redundant. Beyoncé and Jay Z are a show at all times — a walking, talking, completely filtered, directed and produced reality show that is making a lot of people a lot of money (as of this writing, the tour’s grossed around $100 million). And we — everyone in that sold-out ballpark last night — we’re all complicit. “Some Andy Kaufman shit,” mused my friend on the tipsy, ear-ringing walk home, as we discussed how the Carters stand in for our royal family. (Sorry, Pippa Middleton, I’ll take Solange all day, every day.)

jb

You don’t have to give them that much credit in the subversivity department. But you do have to acknowledge that they’re an amazing business — an industry, really — and you are paying attention, whether you like it or not. If Madonna brought performance art to mainstream pop music, turned it into a capitalist transaction? The Beyoncé and Jay Z show has taken the American cult of celebrity, our obsession with reality television, our hunger for knowledge of what famous people are “really like,” and smushed it all together into a product, into capitalism as performance art. At roughly $385 a ticket, plus fees.

I’d go again tonight, if I could.

Random notes: 

— Beyoncé’s body is insane. It is a force of goddamn nature, and she was putting it to work in every way possible last night, in heels, in a thong, with a mass of hair around her shoulders, without a touch of makeup out of place, for two straight hours. It was something to behold. If we are lucky, she signals an evolutionary step forward, as in, in the future, all humans will hopefully look like Beyoncé.

— Relatedly: As fun as it was to hear “99 Problems” and “Hova,” you kind of had the feeling every time Jay Z was on stage by himself that everybody was just waiting for Bey (and her team of super-hot and also mega-talented dancers) to come back out.

— Beyoncé also has an all-female band and most of the members have afros and they looked and sounded fuckin’ great

Jay Z did score some Bay Area points with a brief cover of Too $hort’s “Blow the Whistle,” which he also did last time he was in town, with Justin Timberlake. (Someone should get him on some E-40.)

— There are a lot of rich teenagers in this city. 

NUDE BEACHES 2014

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culture@sfbg.com

NUDE BEACHES 2014 Well, it’s been 40 years since I turned over on my side and asked a totally naked woman at Red Rock nude beach, near Stinson Beach, if she knew of any other clothing-optional beaches in Northern California.

Don’t worry, she didn’t slap me. Jane and I were on our third date — we’d met at a bus stop in downtown Berkeley — which she had casually suggested take place at the beach. “Sure, where’d you like to go?” I asked. “How about Red Rock?” she replied. “Red Rock?” I asked. “I’ve never heard of it.” “It’s a nude beach,” responded Jane.

I didn’t want to sound like a wuss, so, I immediately agreed — and about an hour later, we were walking down a long, moderately steep trail that led us to a beautiful cove. When we arrived, I couldn’t believe what I saw: dozens of people clothed only in their birthday suits. They acted as if being stark naked was no big deal. And so did Jane. She threw down a towel, immediately stripped down, and asked if I would put some sun tan lotion on her back. 

It was a beautiful summer day. People were enjoying themselves. Some were reading, while others were sunning, walking, wading in the chilly but invigorating surf, playing Frisbee, or socializing with friends. Pretty soon, I took off my swimsuit too. Around 30 minutes later, when my eyeballs began to recede back into their sockets, I started wondering how many other nude beaches were in the Bay Area. Jane knew of a half dozen and suggested I speak with her roommates. “They probably know about four or five more,” she said.

And that’s how the annual Bay Guardian Nude Beach Guide was born. From covering a dozen or so beaches, lakes, ponds, skinny-dipping holes, and other clothing-optional spots in 1975, we’ve soared to 130 today, when you include our complete online listings. They include places where you can camp nude (North Garberville, in Humboldt County), take off your clothes at a waterfall (Alamere Falls, near Bolinas), soak in hot springs (Sykes, near Big Sur, and Steep Ravine, in Marin County), play bare-bottom volleyball (San Francisco’s North Baker Beach), or sunbathe naked at a state park (Gray Whale Cove, in San Mateo County).

Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be able to get everything from sundaes to massages on a nude beach, like those offered at sprawling Haulover Nude Beach, just north of Miami, Fla., which I checked out in June. It draws up to 7,000 visitors a day. The site is part of a park that also has a non-nude beach and even a separate dog play area.

In the meantime, we’ve got plenty of clothing-optional recreation choices right here, especially with the reopening of the nude section of Muir Beach, which, along with the main part of the beach, was closed most of last summer and part of the fall. Want to hike naked through the East Bay hills, guided by a member of the Bay Area Naturists group? America’s only “Full Moon Hikes” will continue this season with a walk starting in Castro Valley on Aug. 10 (see our listing below for Las Trampas under Contra Costa County for details). In Lake Tahoe, at Secret Harbor Creek Beach (also in the Internet version of our guide), you can take part in an “only wear a hat” day Aug. 17. And on Sept. 20, fans of Santa Cruz’s popular Bonny Doon Beach will be getting together to help remove trash from the sand.

Speaking of help, to help beachgoers and naturists, please send me your new beach discoveries, trip reports, and improved directions (especially road milepost numbers), along with your phone number to garhan@aol.com or Gary Hanauer, c/o San Francisco Bay Guardian, 835 Market, Suite 550, San Francisco, CA 94103.

Our ratings: “A” stands for a beach that is large or well-established and where the crowd is mostly nude; “B” signifies a spot where fewer than half the visitors are nude; “C” indicates a small or emerging nude area; and “D” depicts places that are in use, but not recommended.

 

SAN FRANCISCO

NORTH BAKER BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO

RATING: A

Complete with nude volleyball that’s open to anyone, driftwood “art trees” (last year’s was called Sea Hag), and occasional live music performed by beachgoers — mostly guitar and drums — almost anything goes on the north end of Baker, where the atmosphere is playful and increasingly social. Over the winter, storms washed away a chunk of the sand (which is starting to return) and all the wooden objects. But Baker’s regular visitors, led by the local street fair organizer who prefers to be called Santosh, have erected a new tree. If you join in a game on the sand, don’t expect the rules to necessarily be the same ones you followed as a kid. For example, it’s considered fair and in play if a ball touches one of the site’s driftwood poles. Of course, you don’t need to do anything at Baker — it’s a great place to relax and be yourself. Or you could go exploring! For a treat, wait until low tide and try finding the beach’s “secret” tidepools by walking around the big rocks at the far north side of the beach. One thing that’s not tolerated at Baker: gawkers. “People let them know we don’t like it,” says Santosh. “We want to keep things mellow.”

Directions: Take the 29 Sunset bus or go north on 25th Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard. Turn right and take the second left onto Bowley Street. Follow Bowley to Gibson Road, turn right, and follow Gibson to the east parking lot. At the beach, head right to the nude area, which starts at the brown and yellow “Hazardous surf, undertow, swim at your own risk” sign. Some motorcycles in the lot have been vandalized, possibly by car owners angered by bikers parking in car spaces; to avoid trouble, motorcyclists should park in the motorcycle area near the cyclone fence. Parking at Lincoln’s 100 or more nearby parking spaces is limited to two hours.

 

LANDS END BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO

RATING: A

Want to star in your own picture-perfect postcard? Lands End’s lovely vistas are just the start of an outing you may wish to call Swim Suit’s End. Law enforcers seldom visit the cove off Geary Boulevard, where some visitors doff their togs, often to the surprise of tourists who walk down the beach path, hoping for some good photo opportunities. The site is super small, so on summer weekends, try to stake out a claim to some towel space by late morning. For the best sand, use one of the unoccupied rock-lined windbreaks traditionally made by previous visitors or look for a dab of soft soil further away from the beach entrance. Bring a sweatshirt for sudden fog or wind.

Directions: Follow Geary Boulevard to the end, then park in the dirt lot up the road from the Cliff House. Take the trail at the far end of the lot. About 100 yards past a bench and some trash cans, the path narrows and bends, then rises and falls, eventually becoming the width of a road. Don’t take the road to the right, which leads to a golf course. Just past another bench, as the trail turns right, go left toward a group of dead trees where you will see a stairway and a “Dogs must be leashed” sign. Descend and head left to another stairway, which leads to a 100-foot walk to the cove. Or, instead, take the service road below the El Camino del Mar parking lot 1/4 mile until you reach a bench, then follow the trail there. It’s eroded in a few places. At the end, you’ll have to scramble over some rocks. Turn left (west) and walk until you find a good place to put down your towel.

 

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO

RATING: A

On hot summer days, Golden Gate Bridge Beach’s mix of rocks and sand swarms with dozens or even hundreds of gay males. You can also find others here too, either sunbathing or enjoying dips in the usually cold surf. If you’re brave enough to swim here, please use caution: the area’s known for its riptides. Three side-by-side coves line the somewhat rocky shoreline, so if you want to do a little exploring, feel free. And don’t forget to look up and soak in a view of the glistening edifice for which the beach is named.

Directions: From the toll booth area of Highway 101/1, take Lincoln Boulevard west about a half mile to Langdon Court. Turn right (west) on Langdon and look for space in the parking lots, across Lincoln from Fort Winfield Scott. Park and then take the beach trail, starting just west of the end of Langdon, down its more than 200 steps to Golden Gate Bridge Beach, also known as Marshall’s Beach. Despite recent improvements, the trail to the beach can still be slippery, especially in the spring and winter.

 

FORT FUNSTON BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO

RATING: C

Barely a bare beach, we include “Fort Fun,” as some naturists call it, in our listings because a few diehard suitless sunbathers can occasionally be found on the shore, hidden between some of the dunes. You’ll likely be busted or given a warning, though, if a ranger spots your naked body or if somebody uses their cell phone to call in a complaint. Weekdays are the best times to avoid hassles from authorities, but you should still be prepared to suit up fast. Did we mention the dogs? If you like them, then be prepared for a nice bonus: The cliffs above the beach attract a never-ending parade of pooches and their human companions.

Directions: From San Francisco, go west to Ocean Beach, then south on the Great Highway. After Sloat Boulevard, the road heads uphill. From there, curve right onto Skyline Boulevard, go past one stoplight, and look for signs for Funston on the right. Turn into the public lot and find a space near the west side. At the southwest end, take the sandy steps to the beach, turn right, and walk to the dunes. Find a spot as far as possible from the parking lot.

 

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

LAS TRAMPAS REGIONAL WILDERNESS, CASTRO VALLEY

RATING: C

Have you ever been on a naked hike — at night? Now’s your chance to sign something off your Bucket List that you probably never knew should be on it: taking a guided walk by the light of the silvery moon — and your flashlight — along a somewhat challenging, but, participants say, “doable” East Bay ridge just after sunset and then returning for a dip in the hot tub of the Sequoians Naturist Club, in Castro Valley. These “Full Moon Hikes” usually take place in July, August, and September (next one is Aug. 10) with a potluck held at the club before Dave Smith, of the Bay Area Naturists group, takes fully clothed walkers up a trail just as darkness begins to fall. When the moon rises, the hikers come back down the path — usually naked, with their duds stored in their backpacks, after what some trekkers describe as an epic, almost spiritual adventure.

Directions: Contact the Sequoians (www.sequoians.com) or the Bay Area Naturists (www.bayareanaturists.org) for details on how to join a walk. Meet at the Sequoians. To get there, take Highway 580 east to the Crow Canyon Road exit. Or follow 580 west to the first Castro Valley off-ramp. Take Crow Canyon Road toward San Ramon 0.75 mile to Cull Canyon Road. Then follow Cull Canyon Road around 6.5 miles to the end of the paved road. Take the dirt road on the right until the “Y” in the road and keep left. Shortly after, you’ll see The Sequoians sign. Proceed ahead for about another 0.75 mile to The Sequoians front gate.

 

SAN MATEO COUNTY

DEVIL’S SLIDE, MONTARA

RATING: A

A state park that tolerates nude sunbathing? It’s not officially designated that way, but officials in charge of Gray Whale Cove remain steadfast in their toleration of nudies, some of whom have been coming here for decades, as long as complaints are not received. Even if phoned-in objections were received, it’s doubtful whether rangers, who are seldom present, could reach the sand in time to catch an offender. Over the last few years, GWC, more commonly known as Devil’s Slide, has been attracting so many visitors to its 100-yard long seashore that park staff recently added a second parking lot. But only one in every two or three dozen people go nude on the north end of the stunning shoreline, which draws tourists from around the world. You’ll usually find plenty of space here, even on a hot summer day.

Directions: Driving from San Francisco, take Highway 1 south through Pacifica. Three miles south of the Denny’s restaurant in Linda Mar, at 500 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica, and just past and south of the Tom Lantos Tunnels, turn left (inland or east) on an unmarked road, which takes you to the beach’s parking lots on the east and west sides of the highway and to a 146-step staircase that leads to the sand. Coming from the south on Highway 1, look for a road on the right (east), 1.2 miles north of the old Chart House restaurant in Montara. Most naturists use the north end of the beach, which is separated by rocks from the rest of the shore. Wait until low tide to make the crossing to the nude area. Otherwise, you may face waves crashing against you, which could cause you to slip and lose your footing.

 

SAN GREGORIO NUDE BEACH, SAN GREGORIO

RATING: A

Nearly 50 years old, the USA’s longest-operating clothing optional beach is located next to, but remains distinctly different from San Gregorio State Beach. For a view of conditions, check out its web cam at www.freewebs.com/sangregoriobeach. Skinny-dippers started flocking here by 1966 after a “Committee For Free Beaches” was formed by a San Francisco State College student who, along with a few pals, distributed fliers at colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area announcing the start of a “free beach,” as they called it. Soon, up to 500 persons were showing up on the sand on weekends. A court case to try to stop the venture failed, but that hasn’t stopped the private operation from remaining controversial. The main rub: Not everyone likes the driftwood structures on the slope leading down to the beach (a T-shirt hanging from a pole means the site is occupied), where open sex often occurs. Catering to mostly gay visitors, both nude and nonnude straight couples, singles, and families also visit the huge beach.

Directions: From San Francisco, drive south on Highway 1, past Half Moon Bay, and, between mileposts 18 and 19, look on the right side of the road for telephone call box number SM 001 0195, at the intersection of Highway 1 and Stage Road, and near an iron gate with trees on either side. From there, expect a drive of 1.1 miles to the entrance. At the Junction 84 highway sign, the beach’s driveway is just .1 mile away. Turn into a gravel driveway, passing through the iron gate mentioned above, which says 119429 on the gatepost. Drive past a grassy field to the parking lot, where you’ll be asked to pay an entrance fee. Take the long path from the lot to the sand; everything north of the trail’s end is clothing-optional (families and swimsuit-using visitors tend to stay on the south end of the beach). The beach is also accessible from the San Gregorio State Beach parking area to the south; from there, hike about a half-mile north. Take the dirt road past the big white gate with the Toll Road sign to the parking lot.

 

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

GARDEN OF EDEN, FELTON

RATING: C

Nude spelled backwards is Edun, so it’s little wonder that California’s Garden of Eden would attract scads of clothing-optional users. It’s located on the San Lorenzo River between San Jose and Santa Cruz. Nudity is technically illegal in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, where this creekside skinnydipper’s delight is nestled. Not everyone likes the nudists, who often shock the many swimsuit-wearing visitors who like to take a dip here on hot days. Other bummers include slippery, poison oak-lined trails and surprise visits by rangers. To discover your own personal Eden and several other nude swimming holes, as you drive north along Highway 9 near Fulton look for cars pulled over on the side of the road. Directions: From Santa Cruz, drive north on Highway 9 and look for turnouts on the right side of the road, where cars are pulled over. The first, a wide turnout with a tree in the middle, is just north of Santa Cruz. Rincon Fire Trail starts about where the tree is, according to reader Robert Carlsen, of Sacramento. The many forks in the trail all lead to the river, down toward Big Rock Hole and Frisbee Beach; Carlsen says the best area off this turnout can be reached by bearing left until the end of the trail. Farther up the highway, 1.3 miles south of the park entrance, is the second and bigger pullout, called the Ox Trail Turnout, leading to Garden of Eden. Park in the turnout and follow the dirt fire road downhill and across some railroad tracks. Head south, following the tracks, for around 0.5 miles. Look for a “Pack Your Trash” sign with park rules and hours and then proceed down the Eden Trail. Or, about three miles south of the park entrance, look for a dirt parking lot, park there, and take the path from there to some beaches that attract fewer people than the Garden.

 

BONNY DOON NUDE BEACH, BONNY DOON

RATING: A

Fans of this beautiful cove were pleased to learn last year that state officials plan to allow nudity, unless there are complaints, to continue on the north end of the beach, despite warning signs that were erected but taken down just a few weeks later. A big rock separates the clothing-optional side of the shore from the area traditionally used by families and other clothed visitors to the south. While some visitors joke on social media message boards about the increase in gray-haired beachgoers on the sand (a Redwood City woman recently told Yelp the beach needs “some hot dudes” and a female from San Jose compared the women there to those on the “Golden Girls” tv show), others have posted more serious remarks about the gawkers and rude males who occasionally show up. Most visitors, though, relish the tranquil, almost idyllic atmosphere they encounter. Directions: From San Francisco, go south on Highway 1 to the Bonny Doon parking lot at milepost 27.6 on the west side of the road, 2.4 miles north of Red, White, and Blue Beach, and some 11 miles north of Santa Cruz. From Santa Cruz, head north on Highway 1 until you see Bonny Doon Road, which veers off sharply to the right just south of Davenport. The beach is just off the intersection. Park in the paved lot to the west of Highway 1; don’t park on Bonny Doon Road or the shoulder of Highway 1. If the lot is full, drive north on Highway 1, park at the next beach lot, and walk back to the first lot. Or take Santa Cruz Metro Transit District bus route 40 to the lot; it leaves the Metro Center three times a day on Saturdays and takes about 20 minutes. To get to the beach, climb the berm next to the railroad tracks adjacent to the Bonny Doon lot, cross the tracks, descend, and take a recently improved, sign-marked trail to the sand. Walk north past most of the beach to the nude cove on the north end. Alternately, Dusty suggests parking as far north as possible, taking the northern entrance, and, with good shoes, following a “rocky and steep” — and less desirable — walk down to the sand. It can be slippery, so wear good shoes.

 

PANTHER BEACH, SANTA CRUZ

RATING: B

“This is my all time favorite spot,” reported a Redwood City resident after a visit this April. This “is (also) a nude beach,” added Taylen, on Yelp, who’s even seen naked people fishing at this modestly sized but gorgeous beach, some 10 miles north of Santa Cruz. Bring a beach umbrella, a windbreaker in case the weather changes, and sturdy walking shoes for the path to the sand. Pick from such activities as reading, sunbathing, rock climbing, swimming, exploring the shore, picnicking, birding, whale watching, or doing absolutely nothing at all.

Directions: Panther Beach is between mileposts 26.86 and 26.4 on Highway 1, some 10.6 miles north of the junction of Highway 1 and 17 in Santa Cruz and 40.7 miles south of the intersection of Highways 1 and 92 in Half Moon Bay. Drive slowly so you can make a sharp right turn onto a small dirt road on the west side of the highway, which is difficult to see when approaching from the north. The road leads to a rutted parking area that lies on a ridge between the highway and some railroad tracks. From the north end of the lot, cross the tracks and, while watching for poison oak, follow the steep, sloping, somewhat crumbly path about five minutes to the sand. Visitors this season suggest holding onto rocks or ledges along the trail’s more slippery spots for extra support.

 

2222 BEACH, SANTA CRUZ

RATING: A

Delightful but difficult to reach, 2222 takes its name from the address of the nearest house on West Cliff Drive, just north of Santa Cruz’s popular wharf and Boardwalk areas. It’s also one of the smallest clothing-optional beaches. You’ll be lucky to encounter more than a half dozen persons in the cove — often you’ll be alone — which mainly attracts nearby residents and local college students. A bonus is that walkers on the road above can’t see the beach from there. Yup, a visit here is like having your own private nude beach, unless you count the juggler who likes to practice on the sand. But the beach path is only suitable for people who are agile enough to handle a scary-looking, very steep slope. Leave children and anything that doesn’t fit in a backpack at home.

Directions: The beach is a few blocks west of Natural Bridges State Beach and about 2.5 miles north of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. From either north or south of Santa Cruz, take Highway 1 to Swift Street. Drive .8 miles to the sea, then turn right on West Cliff Drive. 2222 is five blocks away. Past Auburn Avenue, look for 2222 West Cliff on the inland side of the street. Park in the pullout with eight parking spaces next to the cliff, on the west side of the road. If it’s full, continue straight and park along Chico Avenue. Bay Area Naturists leader Rich Pasco suggests visitors use care and then follow the path on the side of the beach closest to downtown Santa Cruz and the Municipal Wharf.

 

PRIVATES BEACH, SANTA CRUZ

RATING: A

One of Northern California’s best nude beaches, Privates (yes that’s the name) gets almost a unanimous thumbs up from visitors for its clean sand, shelter from the wind, and friendly vibes. New this year: During the summer, the gate to the beach is only open until 7 or 8pm. And dogs are no longer always allowed: They’re banned on weekends 10am-5pm and must always be leashed. Most users pay a fee of $50–$100 (depending on if you live in the neighborhood) to buy a gate key that allows entrance, past a security guard at the top of the beach stairs, through May 31. But we list three ways to go for free below under “Directions.” Nudists, families, and local residents love the cove, which is divided into two parts — clad and unclad. Surfers, in particular, can be found by the dozens on the sand or paddling out. Want to play nude Frisbee? At the end of the staircase to the sand, turn left and keep walking until you come to the clothing-optional area.

Directions: 1) Some visitors walk north from Capitola Pier in low tide (not a good idea since at least four people have needed to be rescued). 2) Others reach it in low tide via the stairs at the end of 41st Avenue, which lead to a surf spot called the Hook at the south end of a rocky shore known as Pleasure Point. 3) Surfers paddle on boards for a few minutes to Privates from Capitola or the Hook. 4) Most visitors buy a key to the beach gate for $100 a year at Freeline (821 41st Ave., Santa Cruz, 831-476-2950) 1.5 blocks west of the beach. Others go with someone with a key or wait outside the gate until a person with a key goes in, provided a security guard is not present (they often are there). “Most people will gladly hold the gate open for someone behind them whose hands are full,” says Bay Area Naturists leader Rich Pasco. The nude zone starts to the left of the bottom of the stairs.

 

MARIN COUNTY

BASS LAKE, BOLINAS

RATING: B

Although it is not visited by as many nudists as a decade ago, skinny-dippers still inspire some visitors in what’s usually a mostly clothed crowd to join in the fun at Bass Lake, which true to its name, has lots of bass. Natalie, of San Francisco, described a day here as “unreal” on Yelp last summer. “The hike is super mellow.” She brought floaters, but found others left in the water. Another summer visitor, Julia, borrowed floaties from some women at the site. “It was so relaxing,” she says. San Leandro’s Dave Smith, who usually even walks naked to the lake — expect a nearly hourlong, fairly easy, 2.8 mile hike — says he “loves” spending time in Bass’ clear, refreshing waters. Rangers once halted and ticketed a clad man who had an unleashed dog, but let a group of nude walkers continue. On hot days the trailhead’s parking lot fills quickly, so come early — by 9:30 a.m., according to Steve, of Newark, who used the trail this June, or possibly as late as 10:30 a.m., reported by another June visitor, Addi, of El Cerrito.

Directions: Allow about an hour for the drive from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. From Stinson Beach, go north on Highway 1. Just north of Bolinas Lagoon, turn left on the often-unmarked exit to Bolinas. Follow the road as it curves along the lagoon and eventually ends at Olema-Bolinas Road. Continue along Olema-Bolinas Road to the stop sign at Mesa Road. Turn right on Mesa and drive four miles until it becomes a gravel road and ends at the Palomarin parking lot. Arrive as early as possible. Says Smith: “We once saw hundreds of cars.” A sign at the trailhead next to the lot will guide you down scenic Palomarin Trail to the lake. For directions to incredibly beautiful Alamere Falls, 1.5 miles past Bass Lake, which empties onto a beach at the sea, please see “Elsewhere In Marin” in our online listings.

 

RED ROCK BEACH, STINSTON BEACH

RATING: A

The Bay Area’s most popular nude beach is in good shape this year. “It’s in great condition,” says frequent visitor Fred Jaggi. “Winter storms didn’t knock down the terraces (above the beach). And the sand is really nice this season.” Warmer than usual weather has been sending crowds of up to 100 persons to the picturesque cove, up from 80 last year, but about the same number as 2012. If you arrive too late in the day to find space on the sand, try visiting on a Monday to join a small group of regular visitors for what they call “Club Day.” If possible, bring a folding beach chair. Save about 10-15 minutes to take a moderately steep but three-to-five-foot-wide trail to the beach, which is usually kept in great shape by volunteers. Even so, the last few feet of the path may sometimes be a bit slippery.

Directions: Go north on Highway 1 from Mill Valley, following the signs to Stinson Beach. At the long line of mailboxes next to the Muir Beach cutoff point, start checking your odometer. Look for a dirt lot full of cars to the left (west) of the highway 5.6 miles north of Muir and a smaller one on east side of the road. The lots are at milepost 11.3, one mile south of Stinson Beach. Limited parking is also available 150 yards to the south on the west side of Highway 1. Or from Mill Valley, take the West Marin/Bolinas Stage toward Stinson Beach and Bolinas. Get off at the intersection of Panoramic Highway and Highway 1. Then walk south 0.6 mile to the Red Rock lots. Take the path to the beach that starts near the Dumpster next to the main parking lot.

 

MUIR NUDE BEACH, MUIR BEACH

RATING: A

After being closed to the public most of last summer and fall, Muir Beach has reopened with improvements galore, including a relocated parking lot (it’s now parallel with the beach road, called Pacific Way), new restrooms, and a new, 400-foot long walkway to the sand. Most important of all, access to the gorgeous, clothing-optional cove just north of the main beach has also been reopened. “The walk takes a little longer,” says recent visitor Michael Velkoff, of Lucas Valley. “But the beach was fine.” Known for its peace and quiet, Muir is a less social beach than nearby Red Rock. It’s also less crowded (even on warm summer days, you’re more apt to see 30-40 people instead of hundreds) and far easier to reach, without any trail to take or any poison oak to ruin your day: You park at the main Muir lot, walk north along the water, cross over some rocks (in very low tide, try to cross closer to the water), and you’re there. Women, in particular, seem to like the vibes of Muir, which attracts fewer gawkers — often none — than most sites.

Directions: From San Francisco, take Highway 1 north to Muir Beach, to milepost 5.7. Turn left on Pacific Way and park in the Muir lot (to avoid tickets, don’t park on Pacific, even if other vehicles are parked there). Or park on the street off Highway 1 across from Pacific and about 100 yards north. From the Muir lot, follow a path and boardwalk to the sand. Then walk north to a pile of rocks between the cliffs and the sea. You’ll need good hiking or walking shoes to cross; in very low tide, try to cross closer to the water. The nude area starts north of it.

 

RCA BEACH, BOLINAS

RATING: A

Are you looking for a place to restore your sanity and recharge you from the stress of everyday life? Then you may want to visit RCA Beach, which is never crowded and averages just 5-20 visitors per day. Plus they’re usually spread out along the milelong shoreline, which gives the site an almost deserted feeling. “It’s a quiet place,” says one regular user. “And most people there are nude.” The site is somewhat exposed, so some regulars usually look for sunbathing nooks that are a little protected from the wind or even build windbreaks from driftwood they find on the sand. There are two beach trails from which to pick: one that’s long and steep or a shorter path that’s less steep but crumbling and slippery.

Directions: From Stinson Beach, take Highway 1 (Shoreline Highway) north toward Calle Del Mar for 4.5 miles. Turn left onto Olema Bolinas Road and follow it 1.8 miles to Mesa Road in Bolinas. Turn right and stay on Mesa until you see cars parked past some old transmission towers. Park and walk 0.25 miles to the end of the pavement. Go left through the gap in the fence. The trail leads to a gravel road. Follow it until you see a path on your right, leading through a gate. Take it along the cliff top until it veers down to the beach. Or continue along Mesa until you come to a grove of eucalyptus trees. Enter through the gate here, then hike 0.5 miles through a cow pasture on a path that will also bring you through thick brush. The second route is slippery and eroding, but less steep. “It’s shorter, but toward the end there’s a rope for you to hold onto going down the cliff,” tells the veteran visitor.

 

LIMANTOUR BEACH, OLEMA

RATING: B

Want to know a secret about Point Reyes National Seashore? Rangers usually won’t issue citations for nude sunbathing unless you’re close to a clothed visitor or someone complains. “You shouldn’t rip your clothes off right after you’ve left your car and then walk nude through a picnic area on the way to the beach,” former Point Reyes district Ranger Marc Yeston told us. “Usually, nobody hassles you,” says Marin County resident Michael Velkoff. “I knew it was going to be hot, so I went to Limantour. It’s a really mellow place. I just love the open space.” The more than two miles of shoreline are perfect for walking, birding, or whale and seal-watching. Dogs are okay on the south end of the beach. Naturists suggest walking at least 10 minutes away from the parking lot and more than 300 feet away from fellow beachgoers before even considering disrobing. Others prefer the sand dunes on the north side.

Directions: From San Francisco, take Highway 101 north to the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard exit, then follow Sir Francis through San Anselmo and Lagunitas to Olema. At the intersection with Highway 1, turn right onto 1. Just north of Olema, go left on Bear Valley Road. A mile after the turnoff for the Bear Valley Visitor Center, turn left (at the Limantour Beach sign) on Limantour Road and follow it 11 miles to the parking lot at the end. Walk north a half-mile until you see some dunes about 50 yards east of the shore. Nudists usually prefer the valleys between the dunes for sunbathing.

 

MENDOCINO COUNTY

LILIES BEACH, MENDOCINO

RATING: A

If you’re visiting the town of Mendocino, a stopover at Lilies can be a real treat. Even with lower water than usual this year, the clothing-optional swimming hole here is simply delightful. “I like it because it keeps getting sunlight late into the day and has a nice gravel sand bar,” says Jeanne Coleman, education director of the Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association, which offers great group camping facilities just a few minutes from this Big River treasure. Best times to visit are summer or early fall. Even when it’s foggy in downtown Mendo, temperatures may be in the 80s at Lilies, where there’s usually a mix of men and women and up to 50 percent of them nude. “I often see people stop off who have been mountain biking,” adds Coleman.

Directions: Take Highway 1 north to Mendocino, then turn right on Little Lake Road, the first right turn past the main Mendocino turnoff sign. Drive four or five miles east on Little Lake until you see a sign for Mendocino Woodlands. Follow the dirt road that starts there for about three miles. When you see the Woodlands retreat, go right about 0.3 miles, until the dirt road ends next to Big River. Park just off the road, where you see other cars pulled over. Follow the trail that begins there a quarter mile to the beach. Or, to save 1.5 miles, from Mendocino drive 3.5 miles east on Little Lake until you spot a dirt road with a yellow Forest Service gate. Follow the road to a second yellow gate. Just past the gate, at the juncture of several roads, turn right and take the dirt road to the parking area. The walk from the Woodlands only takes about 20 minutes.

 

HUMBOLDT COUNTY

NORTH GARBERVILLE NUDE BEACH, GARBERVILLE

RATING: C

A nude beach where you can camp near a river or enjoy an afternoon of reading, tanning or swimming? Just five miles from Garberville, off Highway 101 at Exit 645 (Avenue Of The Giants), there’s a beach on the south fork of the Eel River that’s so secluded some visitors stay overnight. Its existence was kept secret by users until we unveiled directions to it in 2011. “It’s an awesome place,” says a recent visitor. “This sandy beach has become a local hangout.” “The beach is excellent for tents,” says reader Dave. “It’s really private and fun.” Nestled among some shade trees, the beach can’t be seen from the road. Some visitors bring tubes or floaties. The skinny-dipping hole measures about 100 feet across, with both deep and shallow swimming areas.

Directions: Go north on Highway 101. About five miles north of Garberville, take Exit 645 (Avenue Of The Giants), turn left, and head south a half mile on the river frontage road there to the spot mentioned below. Or from the north, take Highway 101 south to Exit 645. Take the exit to Hooker Creek Road and continue straight for about 100 feet, where you will see the frontage/service road. You can only go one way onto the service road. Follow it in front of the old Sylvandale Gardens store less than a half mile south along the river. Then park at the orange arrow on the pavement or where you see cars pulled over along the street. Look for a path there (recently marked by a rainbow streamer) and follow it as it curves to the right and takes you about 30 yards to the beach. Local nudies and campers tend to stay on the far right end of the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the buzz: a report from CoffeeCon San Francisco

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Whether your caffeinated allegiances lie with Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, or a non-coffee drink, CoffeeCon San Francisco offered something to appeal to everyone’s cravings on July 26. Venturing out of Chicago for the first time, the consumer coffee festival boasted a multitude of roasters — many of them local and therefore well-acquainted with using glorious Hetch Hetchy water in the brewing process — and a wide variety of presentations to intrigue both casual coffee drinkers and connoisseurs. Plus, unlimited coffee samples!

One of CoffeeCon’s immediate strengths was its venue. A far cry from a sterilized, gray environment, the event took place at Terra Gallery & Event Venue, a SOMA art gallery. Paintings and coffee naturally complement each other, and within minutes, it felt like a laid-back Saturday morning, where I admired colorful, contemporary paintings while sipping rich, appropriately bitter coffee. The only way for the event organizers to improve future venues is to recreate the feelings of a cozy coffee shop, which it seems like they made a crack at with the abundant comfy couches. However, I was a little disappointed to see that the live music, which was promised on CoffeeCon’s website to “add atmosphere,” was absent, although I suppose that gives it something to improve on next year.

While I was impressed by the roundup of some of SF’s more recognizable coffee brands and enjoyed their samples, I gravitated more toward more unconventional participants — ones that technically didn’t even sell coffee. Drawn in by the wafels and the company’s clever name, my first stop was Rip van Wafels. Stroopwafels are heavenly, although I’ve always been too impatient and scarfed them down before I could pair them with coffee. There are two main strategies to tackle the combo: you can either one, place the wafel on the edge of the coffee cup, let the steam from the drink infuse the wafel’s caramel flavor, and eat it once the wafel droops or two, say “fuck it” and just dunk the wafel in the coffee. 

In addition to Rip van Wafels, I was a big fan of Project Juice and Torani — all three of which are local companies. I did a double take when I walked past Project Juice’s booth; it seemed just a little out of place at a coffee festival. My hesitation quickly waned. The company sells organic, cold-pressed drinks, including a tasty, healthy coffee alternative: Get Up and Go-Go (claiming to be 67 percent less acidic than normal coffee), which is incidentally made with another one of its drinks, Almond Mylk. The other drinks were just as delicious, although I didn’t expect the ginger to pack such a punch. Torani was a breath of fresh air on the unusually hot SF summer day. The booth served iced coffee with liberal additions of its flavored syrups — vanilla is a popular, traditional favorite, but the s’mores syrup is a tempting flavor that recalls childhood summers.

Though the upper level of the gallery was a perfect setup for the booths, the lower level was much less suited to handle the presentations. Essentially, the lower level is divided into two rooms of similar size. A handful of presentations simultaneously went on in the first room, which was divided into curtained subsections. It was a cacophony; I’d strain to hear my speaker over the presentations happening mere feet away and the louder speaker in the other room, who had the privilege of using a microphone. 

Still, I managed to clearly hear one poignant comment Helen Russell, co-founder and CEO of Equator Coffee & Teas, made: “It’s more than just what’s in the bag.” Russell spoke about social and economic responsibility, telling a heartwarming story about a little girl with a debilitating leg infection she met on a Panama coffee farm. She invested in the girl’s medical treatment and education, and even bought her a horse named Barista (because why not?) Maybe there’s more to coffee than just being a life-restoring elixir in the morning.

Happy Hour: The week in music

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Happy Friday, friends, and welcome to August. We’re only about a month away from summer weather!

As happy hour draws closer, here’s a look back at the best music and music news we heard and saw this past week:

Sharon Van Etten shone in a free, intimate (though packed-to-the-gills), Pandora-presented evening at The Chapel on Tuesday night [July 29]. “I wrote this song while living in my parents’ basement…I was 26,” she said with a laugh in her voice. “How many of you have ever tried to move back in with your parents’ when you were in your twenties?” [Loud whooping from most of the room.]

“I think that just usually means you’re trying to figure out who you are, that you’re still finding your path, you know?” she continued. “I mean, if you really knew who you were by the time you were 20, fuck you. No, sorry, that’s great. Anyway, this song is about trying to get your shit together.” Millennial anthem for the ages?

— New for this year at Outside Lands: an entire stage devoted to food events, called “GastroMagic.” Some of said events are paired somewhat hilariously with accompanying musical acts, like the “Beignets & Bounce Brunch with Big Freedia and Brenda’s French Soul Food,” in which audience members who answer the Queen of Bounce’s call to twerk will be “awarded with beignets.” No word on the distribution method, exactly, but we pictured t-shirt cannons?

freedia

This NPR piece on why band photos look the way they do is relevant to our interests. Specifically, if any banjo-laden alt-country/Americana band ever sends us an EPK that includes a photo shoot in an alley full of burning crash cans, we will run it.

Speaking of Americana: This is a fun piece from the Bay Bridged about the boys of Goodnight, Texas, who make it work despite being in what amounts to a four-way long-distance relationship. Are there Cosmo tips for that yet? Get with it, lady mags. Anyway, GN,TX’s new album Uncle John Farquhar drops Aug. 5, and it’s rather good.

Here’s a smart essay at Ebony about the shitstorm that ensued this week from Nicki Minaj’s new album, um, art for Anaconda.

Like much of the music-related Internet, we too got obsessed with a little-known Canadian singer-songwriter named Tobias Jesso Jr., who by all appearances is a young reincarnation of Harry Nilsson mixed with shades of Joe Jackson and who hasn’t even put out an album yet, but damn does he need to hurry up (quick, while Stereogum, Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, your local PTA president, etc., are addicted to this song):

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass keeps dropping hints about this year’s lineup. Listen here and tell us your guesses.

Andrew Bird is a self-deprecating sweetheart in addition to being very good at songwriting and whistling, as you can see in this SFist interview, and he’s playing Stern Grove for free this Sunday at 2pm.

Mastodong.

Events: July 30 – August 5, 2014

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Listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.

WEDNESDAY 30

“We are CA: Yosemite Stories with Latino Outdoors” California Historical Society, 678 Mission, SF; www.californiahistoricalsociety.org. 6:15pm, $5. Panel discussion featuring Latino Outdoors founder Jose Gonzalez and others sharing stories about Yosemite and other national parks.

THURSDAY 31

“Pretty in Ink: The Trina Robbins Collection” Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission, SF; www.cartoonart.org. 6-8pm, free. Reception for the exhibit with a curator-led tour, featuring highlights from the personal archives of comics “herstorian” Trina Robbins. The focus is on North American woman cartoonists from the early 20th century.

FRIDAY 1

“Jack’s Night Market” Webster Plaza, Jack London Square, Broadway at Embarcadero, Oakl; www.jacklondonsquare.com. 6-10pm, free. Outdoor bazaar with street performers celebrating Oakland artists, music, and food. All beer and wine sales benefit the Sustainable Business Alliance and Oakland Grown.

SATURDAY 2

Art + Soul Oakland Downtown Oakland (adjacent to the 12th St/City Center BART station); www.artandsouloakland.com. Noon-6pm, free. Through Sun/3. Live music is Art + Soul’s main draw, but a new event — the Oaktown Throwdown BBQ competition — will surely be a popular addition.

Bay Area Aloha Festival San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga, San Mateo; www.pica-org.org. 10am-5pm, free. Through Sun/3. The Pacific Islanders’ Cultural Association showcases Polynesian dance and island cuisine at its annual event.

“Baycation Day” Classic Cars West, 411 26th St, Oakl; http://oaklandartmurmur.org/events/baycation-day. 1-5pm, free. Oakland Art Murmur and Broke-Ass Stuart present this afternoon of beer garden-ing, with arts and crafts by local artists, photo workshops, a display of classic cars, and food and drink, followed by the Saturday Stroll Art Walk at nearby galleries.

“Carnival of Stars” Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond; www.carnivalofstars.com. 10am-10pm (also Sun/3, 10am-8pm), $6-15. Family-friendly fantasy festival with classic horror films, belly dancing, magicians, live music, comics, and more.

Nihonmachi Street Fair Post between Laguna and Fillmore, SF; www.nihonmachistreetfair.org. 11am, free. Through Sun/3. This long-running community event celebrates Asian-Pacific American life with performances, food, activities for kids, and more. Plus: the crowd-pleasing dog pageant and accompanying parade.

“19th Annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals — Bay Area Regionals” Santa Clara County Fair, 344 Tully, San Jose; http://wwnraces.com. Noon (check-in); 2:30pm (prelims); 4pm (finals). Free for participants (fair admission, $5-8; parking, $5). Dachshunds waddle their way to the finish in the hopes of being crowned “Bay Area’s Top Dog.” The winning wiener gets a trip to the 2014 Wiener National Finals in San Diego.

SUNDAY 3

“Cupcakes and Muffintops v6.0” Humanist Hall, 390 27th St, Oakl; cupcakesandmuffintops.wordpress.com. Noon-4pm, $10 suggested donation (no one turned away). Dance company Big Moves, “fat queer community” NOLOSE, and the FatFriendlyFunders co-host this benefit sale of gender-inclusive clothing — with an emphasis on “size large and up, up, and up” — and baked goods. Bargains galore!

Jerry Day Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McLaren Park, 45 John F. Shelley, SF; www.jerryday.org. 11:30am, free (donate for reserved seating). Live music (with Melvin Seals and JGB, Stu Allen and Mars Hotel, Tea Leaf Trio, and more) honors the legacy of the Grateful Dead star, who grew up on nearby Harrington Street in the Excelsior.

“Poetry Unbound #15” Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck, Berk; http://berkeleyarthouse.wordpress.com. 5pm, $5 (no one turned away). Poetry reading with Daniel Yaryan, Hollie Hardie, and Gary Turchin, plus open mic.

MONDAY 4

“From Ignorance to Acceptance: How the LGBTQ Movement Has Evolved in a Lifetime” Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St, Second Flr, SF; www.commonwealthclub.com. 6pm, $7-20. Political activist and author James Hormel discusses how LGBTQ Americans have gained visibility since 1945.

TUESDAY 5

“Litquake’s Epicenter” Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter, SF; www.litquake.org. 7pm, $5-15. Literary event hosting the launch of Edan Lepucki’s new novel, California. *