Events Listings: sept. 17-23, 2014


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.


“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.


“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!


“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.


“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.


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.


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.


“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. *


Guardian Intelligence: September 3 – 9, 2014



If your favorite thing about seeing movies at the historic Castro Theatre is hearing the score for that Charlie Chaplin short played on the instrument that would’ve been used when the film actually came out — well, get thee to the movies, and fast. The Castro Theatre’s famous Wurlitzer organ is being sold by its current owner, and will be replaced early next year with an elaborate, one-of-a-kind digital console, with seven keyboards and more than 800 stops, designed by acclaimed organ creator Allen Harrah — pro bono. One trade-off: We’re guessing this will be better for scoring alien movies than its analog counterpart?


It’s a drag to have your car stolen. But if the vehicle is recovered, the high fees you may fork over to get it back only add insult to injury. In San Francisco, police give the owner of a recovered stolen vehicle 20 minutes to retrieve it before sending the car to impound. That’s where the costs add up. Worst-case scenario? The fees rise above the value of the car, and it gets auctioned off. Sup. Scott Wiener has called for a hearing to review the city’s towing policies with respect to stolen cars. The company that operates the city’s impound lot, AutoReturn, is due for contract renewal next year.


The neighborhood some call “upper Safeway” has gotten some negative attention lately, but the Friends of Duboce Park Tag Sale — back for its 17th year — is perfectly timed to recharge the area’s community spirit. Last year’s event was hit with an unexpected deluge, so hope for sunny skies Sat/6 and head to the ‘hood’s collective backyard from 9am-2pm for shopping (bargains galore on household items, clothes, sports equipment, books, and more!) and hob-nobbing, with all proceeds going toward improvements to Duboce Park, including its playground. www.friendsofdubocepark.org


Former SF clubkid (now renowned LA artist) Jason Mecier is famed for his celebrity portraits done with junk food and trash — and his tribute to Robin Williams is gaining attention. “It’s Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire, with a Patch Adams nose and a Flubber green background,” Mecier says. “This portrait took over 30 hours to make and is comprised of thousands of candy pieces including Red Vines, Black Licorice, gum balls, Jelly Bellies, Jelly Beans, Tic-Tacs,Gum Drops, Gummy Bears, Sixlets, Mike and Ike’s, Hot Tamales and others. I’ve always wanted to do a portrait of him combining all of his most popular roles. Unfortunately, now was the time to do it.” www.jasonmecier.com


San Francisco-style cycletracks — bike lanes physically separated from automobile traffic — could proliferate in cities throughout California under a bill approved today [Fri/29] by the Legislature, provided Gov. Jerry Brown decides to sign it. Assembly Bill 1193, the Protected Bikeways Act, by San Francisco Democrat Phil Ting, was approved today by the Assembly on a 53-15 vote after clearing the Senate on Monday, 29-5. The bill incorporates cycletrack design standards into state transportation regulations, which had previously stated that such designs weren’t allowed. In other bike news, the SF Bicycle Coalition announced that a plan was approved to bring a raised bikeway to Valencia between Cesar Chaves and Duncan Streets next year, creating a buffer between drivers and cyclists.


Proposed legislation to shed light on who’s bankrolling political campaign ads has been stalled for now. The DISCLOSE Act — which stands for “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections” — needed a two-thirds vote to pass both houses of the California Legislature, but lacked support. It would have required funders of TV, print, and radio ads, and robocalls, to be clearly identified by closing a loophole that allows them to be disguised by ambiguous committee names. Sen. Mark Leno and other cosponsors vowed to continue the fight next year.


On Aug. 26, the SF Zoo welcomed rare newborn twin male giraffes — unfortunately one was too weak to survive, but the other little fellow is doing fine at 100 pounds and 5’6″ tall. The calf’s mother is 11-year-old Bititi, who was born at the Oakland Zoo and made the journey across the bay to live at the San Francisco Zoo in 2005. The father is 12-year-old Floyd, who was born in Albuquerque at the Rio Grande Zoo. We’re looking forward to the naming contest. www.sfzoo.org


One of our favorite picnic singalongs (and “try-to-singalongs”) is coming, as SF Opera’s Opera in the Park hits Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park, Sun/7 at 1:30pm. On the menu? Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture, Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” from Turandot, and Leoncavallo “Vesti la giubba” from Pagliacci. (You may not know the titles but you’ll recognize the tunes.) Pack a flask of wine and pray for sunshine. www.sfopera.org.


The Asian Arts Museum’s “Gorgeous” show (through Sept. 14) is a sugar rush of centuries’ worth of crowd-pleasing art hits, including everything from Jeff Koons’ infamous porcelain portrait of Michael Jackson and pet monkey Bubbles to breathtaking ancient Chinese paintings. The show, produced in partnership with SFMOMA, provides a great introduction to art history for our ADD age; more experienced types will appreciate the chance to linger before Mark Rothko’s “No. 14, 1960” alongside works from artisans of other eras. www.asianart.org


Gorgeousness unbound



THEATER If you were milling around the Asian Art Museum last Thursday evening, you might have seen a woman tumble — ever so slowly — down the Beaux-Arts building’s elegant flight of central stairs. Ringed by a crowd of onlookers and the second floor’s imposing colonnade, her limber form caressed the marble steps luxuriously as she cascaded beneath the elegant arched ceiling, entirely at her own pace, leaving behind her the unraveling, impossibly long train of her white and lavender gown.

Bystanders ruminated silently or chatted quietly, sipping cocktails, for the duration of Fauxnique’s 20-minute high-art pratfall, Beautility, as house music reverberated from DJ Hoku Mama Swamp’s station in the nearby lobby. Passing through the lobby, you would have seen mercurial artist Dia Dear offering free makeovers, while members of TopCoat Nail Art Studio applied lacquer to willing hands, in designs inspired by pieces in the museum’s current show, Gorgeous, built from the permanent collections of both the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Having at last landed on the first floor, in front of the shiny red and white speed demon parked there — German designer Hartmut Esslinger’s Prototype for Frog 750 motorcycle (1985), from the SFMOMA collection — Fauxnique (aka Monique Jenkinson) gathered up her enormous train and rushed up the stairs and out of sight.

Back in the lobby, you might also have caught sight of Nude Laughing, a peripatetic work by La Chica Boom (Xandra Ibarra), and followed the nude figure as she went by, dragging behind her a large nylon stocking filled with what appears to be hair and plastic breasts. You’d have ended up in an alcove on the first floor between several incongruent sculptures — including British artist Tracey Emin’s hot pink neon phrase-sculpture, Fantastic to Feel Beautiful Again (1997); a voluptuous, powerful, and headless stone torso of a female deity from southern India (1400–1600); and American Dan Flavin’s horizontal row of fluorescent colored beams, untitled (in honor of Leo at the 50th anniversary of his gallery) (1987).

In the company of these disparate pieces, the performer slips inside the giant nylon pouch — a Marilyn Monroe wig over her dark hair and atop her painted face, fake furs and sundry toy boobs pressed against her brown body — as she stretches the sheer fabric enveloping her, writhing in coquettish spasms, emitting artificial squeals of pleasure. A puissant abstraction, seriously unsettling and completely mesmerizing in her vaguely menacing flirtation with her audience, the figure eventually sheds her gauzy cocoon and, with a confident stride, disappears down a hallway, leaving behind some flotsam of costume pearls, wigs, and fur.

Headlining this promiscuous night of performance making — part of the museum’s seasonal Thursday night programming, which also featured work from queer punk drag artist Phatima Rude and drag duo Mona G. Hawd and VivvyAnne ForeverMORE — was art-band collective Nicole Kidman Is Fucking Gorgeous (John Foster Cartwright, Maryam Rostami, and Mica Sigourney). At about 8pm, NKIFG took over the regal upstairs chamber with its show, Fuck Gorgeous, a 45-minute incantation, exultation, and rumination on the elusive properties of art, celebrity, fashion, and existence — Nicole Kidman, for short — by three Goth punks with microphones and boundless insouciance.

With enormous projections of full moons looming over a small stage, John, Mike, and Mary engaged in welcoming speeches, banter among themselves, victory laps with streamers, occasional howling, extended ferocious lip-synched roaring, and worshipful mouthing of one truly insipid Oscar acceptance speech. Sound rose and fell, a cacophony of noise gave way to mumbled quips, focus blurred and shifted, bodies went slack, writhed on the dance floor, or bounded around the room. At one point, Mike’s address from the podium slipped from a kind of self-actualization seminar into an outright stab at mass hypnosis as he charged us all to “be Nicole!”

Nicole Kidman, their vessel, “both everything and nothing,” was not quite an object and not quite a projection. Like the other performances enlivening the spaces of the museum and the strange harmony of the artworks on display, Fuck Gorgeous was deeply ambivalent but committed to being in-between, both a come-on and a refusal. *


Through Sept. 14, $10-$15

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin, SF



Gorgeousness unbound



THEATER If you were milling around the Asian Art Museum last Thursday evening, you might have seen a woman tumble — ever so slowly — down the Beaux-Arts building’s elegant flight of central stairs. Ringed by a crowd of onlookers and the second floor’s imposing colonnade, her limber form caressed the marble steps luxuriously as she cascaded beneath the elegant arched ceiling, entirely at her own pace, leaving behind her the unraveling, impossibly long train of her white and lavender gown.

Bystanders ruminated silently or chatted quietly, sipping cocktails, for the duration of Fauxnique’s 20-minute high-art pratfall, Beautility, as house music reverberated from DJ Hoku Mama Swamp’s station in the nearby lobby. Passing through the lobby, you would have seen mercurial artist Dia Dear offering free makeovers, while members of TopCoat Nail Art Studio applied lacquer to willing hands, in designs inspired by pieces in the museum’s current show, Gorgeous, built from the permanent collections of both the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Having at last landed on the first floor, in front of the shiny red and white speed demon parked there — German designer Hartmut Esslinger’s Prototype for Frog 750 motorcycle (1985), from the SFMOMA collection — Fauxnique (aka Monique Jenkinson) gathered up her enormous train and rushed up the stairs and out of sight.

Back in the lobby, you might also have caught sight of Nude Laughing, a peripatetic work by La Chica Boom (Xandra Ibarra), and followed the nude figure as she went by, dragging behind her a large nylon stocking filled with what appears to be hair and plastic breasts. You’d have ended up in an alcove on the first floor between several incongruent sculptures — including British artist Tracey Emin’s hot pink neon phrase-sculpture, Fantastic to Feel Beautiful Again (1997); a voluptuous, powerful, and headless stone torso of a female deity from southern India (1400–1600); and American Dan Flavin’s horizontal row of fluorescent colored beams, untitled (in honor of Leo at the 50th anniversary of his gallery) (1987).

In the company of these disparate pieces, the performer slips inside the giant nylon pouch — a Marilyn Monroe wig over her dark hair and atop her painted face, fake furs and sundry toy boobs pressed against her brown body — as she stretches the sheer fabric enveloping her, writhing in coquettish spasms, emitting artificial squeals of pleasure. A puissant abstraction, seriously unsettling and completely mesmerizing in her vaguely menacing flirtation with her audience, the figure eventually sheds her gauzy cocoon and, with a confident stride, disappears down a hallway, leaving behind some flotsam of costume pearls, wigs, and fur.

Headlining this promiscuous night of performance making — part of the museum’s seasonal Thursday night programming, which also featured work from queer punk drag artist Phatima Rude and drag duo Mona G. Hawd and VivvyAnne ForeverMORE — was art-band collective Nicole Kidman Is Fucking Gorgeous (John Foster Cartwright, Maryam Rostami, and Mica Sigourney). At about 8pm, NKIFG took over the regal upstairs chamber with its show, Fuck Gorgeous, a 45-minute incantation, exultation, and rumination on the elusive properties of art, celebrity, fashion, and existence — Nicole Kidman, for short — by three Goth punks with microphones and boundless insouciance.

With enormous projections of full moons looming over a small stage, John, Mike, and Mary engaged in welcoming speeches, banter among themselves, victory laps with streamers, occasional howling, extended ferocious lip-synched roaring, and worshipful mouthing of one truly insipid Oscar acceptance speech. Sound rose and fell, a cacophony of noise gave way to mumbled quips, focus blurred and shifted, bodies went slack, writhed on the dance floor, or bounded around the room. At one point, Mike’s address from the podium slipped from a kind of self-actualization seminar into an outright stab at mass hypnosis as he charged us all to “be Nicole!”

Nicole Kidman, their vessel, “both everything and nothing,” was not quite an object and not quite a projection. Like the other performances enlivening the spaces of the museum and the strange harmony of the artworks on display, Fuck Gorgeous was deeply ambivalent but committed to being in-between, both a come-on and a refusal. *


Through Sept. 14, $10-$15

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin, SF



Alerts: March 12 – 18, 2014



San Francisco Neighborhoods on the Brink Bird and Beckett Books and Records, 653 Chenery, SF. www.birdbeckett.com. 7pm, free. A panel discussion on displacement, gentrification, rising rents, and the loss of affordable housing. Join us to discuss the dilemma facing longtime residents and renters of modest means — and the gutting and gentrification of San Francisco — as real-estate speculation and a quickly widening income gap drive rents to dizzying heights while the rental supply dwindles. Ellis Act evictions are buffeting many of our neighbors, and the lack of affordable housing affects us all.




Screening: Terms and Conditions May Apply Unitarian Universalists Hall, 1924 Cedar, Berk. www.bfuu.org. 7pm, $5-10 donation, no one turned away for lack of funds. Have you ever read the “Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies” connected to every website you visit, phone call you make, or app you use? Of course you haven’t. But those agreements allow corporations to do things with your personal information you could never even imagine. What are you really agreeing to when you click “I accept”? Find out in this disquieting exposé.




Visual Activism Symposium Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St., SF. www.sfmoma.com/events. 9am-7pm, free with pre-registration. Join us for a symposium exploring the relationship between visual culture and activist practices. Art can take the form of political and social activism, and activism often takes on specific, and sometimes surprising, visual forms. How is our broader visual culture shaped by activist practices that circulate in public space? Scholars, artists, and activists address these and related questions in a series of presentations, performances, workshops, and interactive projects.


International Day Against Police Brutality Arroyo Park, 7701 Krause, Oak. www.march15oak.noblogs.org. 12pm, free. March 15th has been designated as International Day Against Police Brutality since 1997, as an initiative by radical groups in Montréal and Sweden. Police brutality is nothing new to Oakland, and for the second year in a row we will observe the International Day Against Police Brutality with a demonstration beginning at Arroyo Park in east Oakland. A rally will start at noon, followed by a march starting at 1pm.


Anonymous Internet Communication Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library, 6501 Telegraph, Oak. cuyleruyle@mac.com. 10:30am-12:30pm, free. It’s no secret that the NSA was and is secretly spying on people here at home and around the globe. The justification given for this activity is that it can prevent terrorism and crime. While we wait for Congress or the courts to do something, we can right now actively protect our individual privacy, using freely available technical tools and best practices. Keith Davis will discuss the motivations for Internet Anonymity and the different levels of privacy that can be obtained. He also will provide caveats and warnings associated with the use of privacy tools and practices.

This Week’s Picks: February 19 – 25, 2014



Delivery (SFIndieFest)

Remember 1999, before reality TV exploded all over our pop culture consciousness? Before you found yourself wondering “Why do I know what Kim Kardashian ate for breakfast?” That year, The Blair Witch Project broke new ground by scaring our pants off using found footage; by the time the fifth installment of Paranormal Activity rolled around, it seemed there were several nails in that genre’s coffin. Not so fast: Delivery takes on our obsession with reality shows with a nod to Rosemary’s Baby (1968), following a young couple who, in trying to have their first child, get selected for a reality show. All’s well, until a series of events portrayed through “un-aired reality footage” leads mom to believe her unborn child is possessed by something angry. Bonus: If you’re not ready for kids, this film can serve as a great reminder to use protection. (Emma Silvers)

7pm, $12

New Parkway

474 24th St., Oakl.



The Thermals

Most artists shun pigeonholing and categorization of their work, but the Thermals are a self-described post-pop-punk band out of Portland (pre-Portlandia Portland, they’d like to note). Though the trio has existed for over 10 years, released six studio albums (the first of which was recorded for a whopping $60), and bounced around an amazing roster of highly respected indie labels (Sub Pop, Kill Rock Stars, and now Saddle Creek), the Thermals are still charmingly under-the-radar. Their disarming lo-fi sound, Northwestern flannel fuzz, and hooky sensibility are deserving of a larger audience, so there’s something very fortunate about getting to see them in such an intimate setting as the Chapel. (Haley Zaremba)

With Colleen Green

9pm, $17


777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157




New York metal pioneers Manowar have been blasting stages since 1980, making a name for themselves with over-the-top volume levels — the Guinness Book of World Records recognized the band for having the loudest live performance on record in the mid-1980s — and sweeping musical epics that feature lyrics with sword and sorcery themes. Adding to the grand scale and image of the band, it was among the first metal groups to record with an orchestra and choir, and has even had the occasional guest narrator tell tales over its music, including legendary actors Orson Welles and Christopher Lee. Mere mortals may want to bring their earplugs for these “Sons of Odin”! (Sean McCourt)

8 pm, $75-$100

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF




If you’re still laboring under the illusion that men are always funnier than women, get ready for a big slap in the face. Once a month, the city’s funniest ladies come together for a night of stand-up at the Mission holdout Esta Noche. Bay Area comics Eloisa Bravo and Kimberly Rose Wendt started Bitchslap! about a year ago, in protest of the stereotype that women aren’t funny. Since then, Bitchslap! has gained both male and female fans, creating a nonsexist environment for women performers. Bravo hosts the show and Rose Wendt performs alongside the all-female lineup. (Laura B. Childs)

8pm, free

Esta Noche Nightclub

3079 16th St, SF




Smuin Ballet’s XXperiments Choreography Showcase

In modern/postmodern companies the collaborative process has become pretty much the norm. That’s why, in the programs, choreographers often acknowledge that “the work was created in collaboration with the dancers.” Ballet companies, for the most part, are a different breed: The choreographer brings the material to the studio and the dancers learn it. Yet many ballet dancers also want to choreograph. How will they learn? At Smuin Ballet, they do. XXperiments Choreography Showcase offers an evening of premieres by Smuin dancers set to music, lighting design, and more by their colleagues. The company has 17 dancers; 10 of them will be part of this program: Darrin Anderson, Erica Chipp, Aidan DeYoung, Jonathan Dummar, Nicole Haskins, Weston Krukow, Ben Needham-Wood, Jane Rehm, Susan Roemer, and Christian Squires. (Rita Felciano)

7:30pm, $30

ODC Theater

3153 17th St., SF




SF Bay Guardian’s 25th Annual Goldies Awards

Whoever first said that “all that glitters isn’t gold” clearly hadn’t been to a Bay Guardian party. We’re going big — and sparkly — for this awards ceremony, which celebrates our hometown movers and shakers in music, visual art, performance, and more (the gold in Goldies stands for Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery). And, much like the Vanity Fair party after the Oscars, the real fun begins after the last award has been awarded, with music from DJs Primo Pitino and Wam Bam Ashleyanne and all-you-can-drink Lagunitas beer — all in the name of raising money for the worthy arts organization CounterPULSE. Don’t forget to wear your glitteriest gold attire: Under the Golden Gate will be snapping photos on the (actual) red carpet. Our fashion critics are kinder than Joan Rivers, we promise. (Emma Silvers)

8pm, $10

Folsom Street Foundry

1425 Folsom, SF



Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa

If Nelson Mandela and mind-numbing Vuvuzelas are your only points of reference when it comes to South Africa, head over to the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts for a little education. The museum’s newest exhibit explores interpersonal relationships, encounters, and exchange in South Africa through the eyes of 25 contemporary artists. In collaboration with SFMOMA, YBCA presents an expansive collection of mixed-media projects, including photography, painting, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, and performance. Coinciding with South Africa’s 20th anniversary of democracy, Public Intimacy promises to reveal an unexpected perspective of everyday life in the Rainbow Nation. (Childs)

Opening reception 8pm, $12

Through June 28

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF




We Were Promised Jetpacks

Scotland’s We Were Promised Jetpacks may have an impossibly cute backstory — their first concert was at their school’s battle of the bands — but the group’s music refuses to be taken lightly. Marked by cymbal crashes, epic builds, serious brogue, and some Ian Curtis-level melancholy, the band’s two records provide a visceral listening experience. We Were Promised Jetpacks has matured a bit since their powerful debut record, These Four Walls, which they recorded in just eight days. For their follow-up, the band traveled to Iceland to record in Sigur Rós’ studio, and the result is an accordingly aching and beautiful record. The catharsis of the band’s recorded material is not lost in its notoriously powerful live presence. (Zaremba)

With Honeyblood

9pm, $20

Bimbo’s 365

1025 Columbus, SF

(415) 474-0365



Hidden Cities

Think you know everything about San Francisco? Think again. The newest exhibition at SOMArts will have you completely rethinking the urban space you call home. Hidden Cities features 26 interactive images and installations that unearth forgotten or unseen social, environmental, and racial justice issues in the city. Many projects focus on human waste, like Christian Cerrito’s animatronic, belching metal trashcans and Yulia Pinksevich’s LED light display made from salvaged materials from San Francisco’s Recology landfill. You won’t want to miss the exhibit’s opening reception for two reasons: 1) An energetic parkour demonstration, featuring practitioners interacting with the city’s architecture, and 2) a chocolate cake with printed locations of sewage plants designed by one of the activist-artists will be served. Yum, chocolate sewers! (Laura)

6pm, free


934 Brannan, SF




Tom Mallon Memorial

Beginning in the mid-1970s, Tom Mallon had a huge influence and incredibly important impact on the independent San Francisco music scene, both as a performer — he played with American Music Club and Toiling Midgets, among others — and as a producer and engineer. Providing low-cost studio time and guidance, Mallon helped document the work of countless artists, ranging from Chris Isaak to Chuck Prophet. Unfortunately, Mallon passed away last month due to complications from a brain tumor. But his legacy lives on, and at this memorial a variety of people he worked with will come together to play a special show in tribute to him. (Sean McCourt)

4pm, free

Make Out Room

3225 22nd St, SF

(415) 647-2888




Courtney Barnett

Somewhere in drunkenly rocking Dylan-esque narrative of “History Eraser” — among deserving references to the Stones, Ezra Pound, and (I think) Tenacious D — there’s a reminder “that nothing really ever is exactly as it seems.” That’s good advice coming from Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett, on her collection The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas. The songwriter has a knack for recounting relatable situations and even mundane experiences as extraordinary songs. Take the psychedlic-guitar fueled “Avant Gardener,” in which an asthma attack has the gravity of a bad acid-cum-hospital trip, leaving the singer feeling like “Uma Thurman post over-dosing kick-start.” The result is an album that has all the playful wit of The Moldy Peaches with the earnestness of Sharon Van Etten. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Fever the Ghost, KINS, Rich Girls

8pm, $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011




Noise Pop Opening Night Party

It just keeps on growin’. The Noise Pop music festival, now in its 21st year, is one of the Bay Area’s most beloved live music traditions, featuring a reliably excellent lineup of both local and national buzz-worthy bands. New this year: a festival headquarters — a physical center for all things Noise Poppy — and that’s where the week’s rocking will be kicked off, with “Punk Rock Fancy,” featuring DJ sets by local treasure, punk icon, and Noise Pop godfather Bob Mould, West Coast punk godfather Jello Biafra, and artist-activist Shepard Fairey. For a Tuesday show timed for happy hour, you could do a lot worse. And judging by the lines at last year’s parties, you’ll be in good (or at least very party-ready) company. (Silvers)

5:30pm, free


1999 Bryant, SF


Rep Clock: January 22 – 28, 2014


Schedules are for Wed/22-Tue/28 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ARTISTS’ TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. $7-10. Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (Stryker and Silverman, 2005), Sat, 8. With filmmaker Susan Stryker in person.

BALBOA THEATRE 3630 Balboa, SF; cinemasf.com/balboa. $10. “Popcorn Palace:” Kung Fu Panda (Osborne and Stevenson, 2008), Sat, 10am. Matinee for kids.

CASTRO 429 Castro, SF; (415) 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com. $8.50-12. •Chinatown (Polanski, 1974), Wed, 7, and The Fortune (Nichols, 1975), Wed, 5:10, 9:25. SF Sketchfest: Napoleon Dynamite (Hess, 2004), 10-year anniversary celebration with Jon Heder and other stars in person, Thu, 7; “Tribute to Tenacious D: An Evening of Conversation, Clips, and Songs with Jack Black and Kyle Gass,” Thu, 9:30. Tickets ($25) and more program details at www.sfsketchfest.com. “Noir City:” •Journey Into Fear (Foster and Welles, 1943), Fri, 7:30, and The Third Man (Reed, 1949), Fri, 9; •Border Incident (Mann, 1949) Sat, noon, In the Palm of Your Hand (Gavaldón, 1951), Sat, 2, and Victims of Sin (Fernandez, 1951), Sat, 4; •Too Late for Tears (Haskin, 1949), Sat, 7:30, and The Hitch-Hiker (Lupino, 1953), Sat, 9:30; •Drunken Angel (Kurosawa, 1948), Sun, 1:15, 6, and Stray Dog (Kurosawa, 1949), Sun, 3:30, 8:15; •The Murderers Are Among Us (Staudte, 1946), Mon, 7:15, and Berlin Express (Tourneur, 1948), Mon, 9; •Death of a Cyclist (Bardem, 1955), Tue, 7:15, and Death is a Caress (Carlmar, 1949), Tue, 9. Advance tickets ($10) and more program details at www.noircity.com.

CHRISTOPHER B. SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (415) 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $6.50-$10.75. The Girls in the Band (Chaikin, 2011), call for dates and times. The Past (Farhadi, 2013), call for dates and times. A Touch of Sin (Jia, 2013), call for dates and times.

CLAY 2261 Fillmore, SF; www.landmarktheatres.com. $10. “Midnight Movies:” The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Sharman, 1975), Sat, midnight. With the Bawdy Caste performing live.

COBB’S COMEDY CLUB 915 Columbus, SF; www.sfsketchfest.com. $15. “Say Hello To My Little Funny: A Night of Short Films Made By Stand-Up Comedians,” Tue, 8. Part of SF Sketchfest.

EXPLORATORIUM Pier 15, SF; www.exploratorium.edu. Free with museum admission ($19-25). “Saturday Cinema: Experimental Films for Kids,” Sat, 1, 2, and 3.

KAISER CENTER 300 Lakeside #206, Oakl; documented.eventbrite.com. $15-20. Documented (Vargas, 2013), with filmmaker and Pulitzer-winner journalist Jose Antonio Vargas in person, Tue, 7:30.

KANBAR HALL JCCSF, 3200 California, SF; www.jccsf.org. $25. “Mark Cantor’s Giants of Jazz: Treasures from the Archives,” Sat, 8.

MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE 57 Post, SF; milibrary.org/events. $10. “CinemaLit Film Series: Over the Top: Precode Hollywood:” Skyscraper Souls (Selwyn, 1932), Fri, 6.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE 2575 Bancroft, Berk; (510) 642-5249, bampfa.berkeley.edu. $5.50-9.50. “Film 50: History of Cinema:” “Introduction to Film Language plus Avant-Garde Shorts,” Wed, 3:10. “Funny Ha-Ha: The Genius of American Comedy, 1930-1959:” It Happened One Night (Capra, 1934), Wed, 7; The Bank Dick (Cline, 1940), Fri, 7; His Girl Friday (Hawks, 1940), Fri, 8:40. “The Brilliance of Satyajit Ray:” The Bicycle Thief (De Sica, 1948), Thu, 7; The Music Room (Ray, 1958), Sat, 6:30; Ray: Life and Work of Satyajit (Ghose, 1999), Sun, 3; The River (Renoir, 1950), Sun, 5:10. “African Film Festival 2014:” Mother of George (Dosunmu, 2012), Sat, 8:30; Le Président (Bekolo, 2013), Tue, 7.

ROXIE 3117 and 3125 16th St, SF; (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $6.50-11. The Square (Noujaim, 2013), Wed-Thu, 6:45, 8:45. “Sundance Short Films,” Wed, 7. A Touch of Sin (Jia, 2013), Wed, 9. “Ruth’s Table Benefit:” Ruth Asawa, Roots of an Artist (Toy), with “Hearing Voices: The Ruth’s Table Story” (Butnaru), Thu, 7. This event, $30. “Roxie’s Future Filmmakers Program: SFFS Youth Filmmaker Showcase,” Sat, noon. SF Sketchfest film screenings with artists in person, Sat-Sun and Feb 1. Visit www.sfsketchfest.com for program details. “SFMOMA on the Go: An Evening with Mike Mills,” Sun, 7.

TANNERY 708 Gilman, Berk; berkeleyundergroundfilms.blogspot.com. Donations accepted. “Berkeley Underground Film Society:” “LOOP Presents: Cartoon Carnival #3,” short films, Sat, 7:30; Breathless (Godard, 1960), Sun, 7:30.

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS 701 Mission, SF; www.ybca.org. $8-10. “Ravishing, Radical, and Restored: The Films of Jack Smith:” No President (1967-70) with “I Was a Male Yvonne DeCarlo” (1967-70), Thu, 7:30; •Ray Cohn/Jack Smith (Godmilow, 1995), Sun, 2, and “Shorts and Ephemera,” Sun, 3:45. *


Where the art is



FALL ARTS If advance schedules and press releases are any indication, this fall we’ll see a resurgence of nuanced, informed abstract painting in galleries around the Bay Area. Thoughtful formalist and abstract painting is always percolating somewhere beneath the flashier strata of the art world, and I’m heartened to see the number of galleries prepping shows that allow it some spotlight.

Another welcome development is the migration of four solid programs from downtown locations to within a block of each other in Potrero. Epicenter shift? Maybe not. But the Brian Gross, Catharine Clark, Jack Fischer, and George Lawson galleries — along with Hosfelt gallery — definitely give you a reason to add Potrero to your gallery route.


Christopher Burch, Aggregate Space

Christopher Burch offers darkly skewed takes on Song of the South allegories. His installation puts familiar and invented characters into terse psychological situations, recasting and heightening blues music lyrics in ways familiar to fans of Kara Walker. Through Sept. 21. 801 West Grand, Oakl; www.aggregatespace.com.


Alice Cattaneo, Romer Young

The Milanese sculptor starts with fairly modest materials — cardboard, felt, wire — to make precise, fragile assemblages in precise, contradictory ways that recall both Richard Tuttle and Fred Sandback. She’ll be in residency at Romer Young during September creating site-specific work for the Potrero space. Sept. 5—30, 1240 22nd St, SF; www.romeryounggallery.com.


Sandy Kim, Ever Gold

Sandy Kim’s hot, post-Vice photographs mine the now-familiar tropes of confessional, in-your-face documentary much better than most. Her flashy work communicates an immediacy and offhand confidence along with great attention to color and texture. Sept. 5—Oct. 5, 441 O’Farrell, SF; www.evergoldgallery.com.


Linda Geary, Steven Wolf Fine Arts

Linda Geary’s intuitive formalist paintings strike an assured balance of rigor and looseness, clarity and experimentation. Accompanying her paintings will be the group show “Hotbox Forever,” which she curated to include abstract painters Wendy White, Lecia Del-Rios, Jeffrey Gibson, and Maria Weatherford. Sept. 7—Oct. 19, 2747 19th St, Ste A, SF; www.stevenwolffinearts.com.


Erin Lawlor, George Lawson (Potrero gallery)

Parisian Erin Lawlor’s lush, nuanced abstract oil paintings evoke both Baroque dynamism and a cool, contemporary repose, all within a focused manner of execution and fairly subdued color palette. This show inaugurates George Lawson’s expansion into a second SF gallery in Potrero, a very welcome development for fans of abstract painting, as Lawson has a honed eye and a pretty deep stable. Sept. 7—Oct. 5, 315 Potrero, SF; www.georgelawsongallery.com.


Ward Schumaker, Jack Fischer

Ward Schumaker makes loose, gestural, mixed-media paintings, sculpture, and collage that tend to mix formal and narrative concerns by way of text, brushwork, and color field painting. His moody, ruminative compositions display a sure hand and questioning but unfussy approach. Sept. 7—Oct. 12, 311 Potrero, SF; www.jackfischergallery.com.


2012 SECA Art Award: Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, David Wilson

With its building under construction, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is setting up four different site-specific projects to highlight its 2012 SECA Art Award winners, bestowed biennially on the Bay Area’s breakout artists. Zarouhie Abdalian will install programmed bells to ring in front of City Hall in Oakland; Josh Faught will create new woven sculptures for the Neptune Society Columbarium; David Wilson will create multidimensional experiences along walking routes at six outdoor locations; and Jonn Herschend will premiere a short film on the museum’s rooftop taking the building’s closure as a point of departure. Sept. 14—Nov. 17, various locations; www.sfmoma.org.  

Edward Burtynsky, Rena Bransten

Burtynsky is famous for his arresting landscape photography which, like Richard Misrach, interrogates the way humans have irrevocably interrupted natural processes. His Rena Bransten show will feature aerials and large format shots related to water consumption and control in nine countries. Oct. 24—Dec. 14, 77 Geary, SF; www.renabranstengallery.com.  

“David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition,” de Young Museum

Hockney is one of those artists that on paper ought to be talked about more: prolific, likable, a pioneer in his day, author of a mildly controversial art history book, and all that. His large-scale landscapes from the last decade get the retrospective treatment here, hopefully reminding us why at one point he was one of the world’s most famous living artists. Oct. 26—Jan. 20, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., SF; deyoung.famsf.org.  

Chris Fraser, Highlight

Chris Fraser uses splintered and filtered beams of light in installations that recast space in terms of mathematical rigor, reworked scale, and pregnant narrative. Nov. 28—Jan. 18, 17 Kearny, SF; www.highlightgallery.com.

Clock ticks, ground breaks: SFMOMA kicks off its two years of renovations with 24-hour party, glitter bomb


The students from SoMa’s Bessie Carmichael Elementary, against my better judgement, were to ones to push down the level detonating… whatever was going to mark the groundbreak of SFMOMA’s planned two-and-a-half years of closure for massive renovations expansions this morning.

When glitter cannons took the place of the further obliteration of the building behind Supervisor Jane Kim and the museum trustees with their hard hats and decorative shovels, I breathed a sigh of relief. I should have known any cultural institution with the foresight to build a DIY graffiti wall made of cookies wouldn’t allow minors to be injured. 

You’ll probably want to say hasta luego to the Bay Area’s premier contemporary art museum by attending the Countdown Days celebration, which’ll bring ecosexual performance artists Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, dancer-force Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Homobiles, TCHO Chocolate, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, one-canvas docent explorations, and much more, culminating in a 24-hour extravaganza, to the soon-to-be-shuttered atriums and galleries Thu/30-Sun/2.

Dry your eyes though kitty-cat, when the museum returns, it’ll be free to visitors under 18 and larger by 225,000 square feet at an estimated cost of $610 million. 41,000 square feet of free-access public space has been promised, in addition to a new seventh floor outdoor terrace and massive vertical gardens.

While we wait for 2016 to arrive, art fans are invited to enjoy special roaming installations, like the Mark di Suvero sculptures already gracing Crissy Field.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Asian Art Museum, and other venues will be hosting special SFMOMA collaborations. 

Here’s what we have to look forward to with the new design, courtesy its creators, Norway’s Snøhetta architecture firm.

Turn around girl… 

… There it is.

Today’s groundbreaking included aforementioned cookie wall, accompanied by some sadly impotent spray cans of edible spray paint. Groundbreakers were encouraged to spray, then walk off with a souvenir “brick” baker by Blue Bottle Coffee pastry chef Caitlin Freeman. I ate mine when it feel apart in my hands: a delicious impermanence, sonly slightly troubling in that the cookie wall was meant to mimick Snøhetta’s architectural style. 

Delicious cookie wall

I’m sure it will be fine. Here are the little ones charged with ushering the SF arts scene into the future. 

And Supervisor Kim, in a chain metal scarf-necklace that topped off the single best outfit I’ve seen a city politician sport. 

Museum trustees and officials praised the city’s “universal support” towards getting the renovations funded, which was also supported by private donors, including $5 million from anonymous sources. An estimated 1,400 construction jobs wil be created by the project, say museum PR materials. 

Swing through for one last look at the current facilities, and check out the future if you’re so inclined. Download this app by Brooklyn’s Will Pappenheimer and John Craig Freeman and pull out your phone at 10 points throughout the SFMOMA to view: 

Artist-created motifs that riff on features of the museum—such as plants from the new vertical garden and fragments from the current building—merge with iconic images from the Bay Area’s natural and tech environments to create a circling vortex of animation through and around the building, as well as floating off into space. 

SFMOMA Countdown Celebration

Thu/30-Fri/31, 10am-9:45pm; open continuously Sat/1, 10am-Sun/2, 5:45pm


151 Third St., SF


Bye bye Briski



SUPER EGO It’s been half a minute since I poked my stilettos through an extra-large Target bag and pulled it up to make an evening gown for hitting the town. I only have one sinus left over from the ’90s, so I have to pace my nightlife, ha AS IF. But lately sometimes it’s all like, “where’d everybody go?” when I go out. SF is definitely undergoing another of its periodic freak drains (although much wild unicorn magik still remains, as the Odyssey party proved last weekend).

In 1999 everyone was moving to NYC, in 2003 it was Portland, in 2007 it was Berlin, and now everyone’s either moving to Oakland or LA or beyond. Soon as I manage to turn around without falling down, someone’s gone: beloved DJ bear Claude VonStroke, party maniac Sleazemore, phantasmagoric art star boychild, radical queer activist Michael Lorin Friedman, future Ms. Drag Mess Universe Ambrosia Salad, almost all my tricks I didn’t want to leave…

Yes, it’s the economy, rising rents, influx of drones, lack of jobs or diversity or artistic opportunity, the outrageous wish to not live in a pantry with five other crazies. Also some people seem to think they want professional careers? What is this, “Star Search”?

Well, here’s another story of a beloved someone moving on — but unlike many others, this one’s a happy one (although it may reflect on just how high you can go in this town when it comes to dance music). “No, I’m not really afraid that once I move out of SF I won’t be able to afford moving back,” As You Like It crew resident and sweetest person ever DJ Briski, a.k.a. Brian Bejarano told me over the phone. “Someone will have a floor for me to crash on, and I’ve got family in Pacifica.” That’s where Briski grew up, but he spent a formative period raving in the UK in 2006, which cemented his transition from a psychedelic rock and punk fan to a deeper house sound. Minimal techno was breaking hard back then, but Briski cut his rave teeth at Back to Basics, the infamously gonzo darker-funk night in Leeds (now the longest running weekly in the world).

His signature groove is deep and somewhat tense, almost playfully post-punk — he’s great at ’80s rarities, too — and very consciously indebted to Bay psychedelic house legends the Wicked crew. In fact, his last gig here will be playing back to back with Wicked’s Jenö at the next As You Like It party, Fri/17 at Mighty.

Briski’s off to become the tour manager for one of tech-house’s biggies, Maceo Plex, who has basically achieved pop star status in Europe, and is now based in Barcelona. Briski met the Cuban-born Maceo in Dallas a few years ago, and grew close. “My girlfriend Mariesa [Stevens, also moving], became Maceo’s agent a few years back and we’ve been like a little rave family ever since. Our musical styles are very different, but I’ll be opening for him in some places, and have access to his studio and record label to continue developing my music.”

The only fear Briski has, really, is the fact that he doesn’t know Spanish (despite his family’s Nicaraguan roots). “I grew up here, and I know San Francisco will always be San Francisco, despite whatever changes come. You can still make the life you want here, and go as far as you can go with it. The dance scene is all about family and support — not just my crew, but everyone involved. It’s the true spirit of the city, and that will never die.”

AS YOU LIKE IT w/ Wagon Repair’s Mathew Johnson and Konrad Black, plus Briski B2B Jenö. Fri/17, 9pm-5am, $10–$20. Mighty, 119 Utah, SF. www.ayli-sf.com



Christian Marclay’s incredible round-the-clock collage of realtime film moments is one of the hottest nightlife events going — it plays 24-hours at the SF MOMA on Saturdays. You’ll need to get there two-and-a-half hours early to catch midnight, but the wait dies down for 4am, so maybe go then.

Saturdays through June 1, 10am until 5:45om on Sunday, $18. SF MOMA, 151 Third Street, SF. www.sfmoma.org



The SF-based major player on the moody, post-dubstep R&B-sample scene has knocked up an impressive array of hits and a big following. I was more impressed by his recent classic two-step mix, which showed he really knew his sound’s historical progression. With xxxy, Clicks & Whistles, Matrixxman.


Thu/16, $16–$18, doors 8:30pm, show at 9pm. The Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. www.theindependentsf.com




Oh look, it’s goofball bass papa Claude VonStroke back in town to play with his wily gang of bass-keteers, including Justin Martin, Leroy Peppers (a.k.a. Christian Martin), and one of my favorites J. Phlip, who just returned from Berlin.

Fri/17, 9pm, $5 before 11pm, $20 after. mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. www.mezzaninesf.com



Sonic sculpting with premium put on a dark bass edge from this Berlin-via-Britain dub minimalist: “expansive banging” is a term that comes up alot, which sounds just fine. With Gerd Jansen and the Icee Hot crew.

Sat/18, 10pm-3am, $10. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com



Very cool. New “San Francisco Album Project” — made up of a gaggle of fabbies like DJ Chicken, Trixxie Carr, Nikki Six Mile, Elijah Minelli, Dia Dear, and Precious Moments is performing this classic album from beginning to end, with added dialogue, gender clown zazz, and visual treats. Dragons, the policeman knew, were supposed to breathe fire.

Sun/19, 7pm, $15 advance. The Chapel, 777 Valencia, SF. www.chapelsf.com


The Performant: The dame, the dick, and the dismembered torso


Extreme adventures in storytelling

 In noir, it’s the clichés that play best: the hardboiled Private Eyes with sharp reflexes and the hardhearted women with secrets to keep. Archetypes, almost, they stand in for something larger than themselves, larger than us, extravagantly idealized Everypersons colored with just enough of the mundane to seem believable, each tawdry crime scene standing in for a twisted version of the American Dream gone horribly awry.

In Dan Harder’s “A Killer Story,” playing at the Berkeley Marsh through May 18, the detective, Rick (Ryan O’Donnell) cuts a familiar figure in a shabby suit, wise-cracking his way through seemingly endless interrogations of his clients, the dame and the duped business partner, both of whom have cause to suspect the other of treachery. Throw in a missing man, a ground-breaking scientific discovery, and an undercurrent of sexual licentiousness, and stir them together with a swizzle stick, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a martini of “Killer” suspense.

The dame, a ferociously icy Madeline H.D. Brown, and the dupe, a furiously twitchy Robert Parsons, flank O’Donnell from opposite sides of the moodily-lit stage (lighting courtesy of Erich Blazeski). He plays the suspicions of each against the other, waiting for one to break, inadvertently setting them both up for a far greater fall from grace than even he can predict. Harder’s grasp of the tough talk of classic noir juxtaposes nicely with his humorous references to present-day markers such as email and anti-smoking regulations. A bit less successfully rendered are the experimental sections of “zippered” dialogue—overlapping lines of cleverly complementary phrases—which call attention to themselves every time they’re trotted out and do little to propel the momentum of the piece. But there’s a wicked pleasure in a crime story that holds not just human nature but the art of the tale culpable for murder, a juicy twist tastier than any lemon rind.

 In the usually hushed galleries of SF MOMA, the stories one typically encounters are of a quieter kind: didactic curator statements of the various artworks on display and biographical information of the artists plus the viewer’s own internal interpretations of what they see. That these interpretations might take fanciful flight into a realm of random association and spontaneous fiction is an undeniable yet under-acknowledged part of the museum experience. It’s this silent side of art appreciation the experimental Storytelling in the Galleries program attempted to give voice to, with some heady results.

Four local solo performers — Victoria Doggett, Sharon Eberhardt, Mia Pashal, and WL Dherin — each wrote and performed a story inspired by a quartet of unique art works. Doggett’s tongue-in-cheek love letter to the untitled, undefended Robert Gober torso crafted from beeswax and human hair was the first story on deck, followed by Eberhardt’s odyssey of an art student enraptured by the muted palette of Philip Guston. Pashal passionately dissected the concept of the artist’s muse while positioned before Jim Dine’s textured canvas of a giant heart bloating around a c-clamp while Dherin narrated a tale as witty and wondrous as the Fred Tomaselli work that inspired it. It wasn’t immediately clear what the effect of these articulated fantasies had on the museum-going public at large, but they certainly added a fascinatingly interactive layer to the typically hands-off gallery experience.

“A Killer Story”

runs through May 18

The Berkeley Marsh

2120 Allston Way


(415) 282-3055


Three for the road



VISUAL ART Traveling juggernaut Christian Marclay: The Clock touches down at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this week for the latest stop along its endless summer tour of major world museums.

Marclay’s sprawling, oh-shit-inducing video work collages 24 hours worth of clips taken from both obscure and popular films, during each minute of which the correct time is shown on screen. Nominally, the artwork is about the representation of time in film, but it also manages to address some pretty heady concerns, including both the legacy of sweeping Victorian Age attempts to organize every last thing, and also the postmodern, now-seamless interchangeability of simulacrum with reality, making The Clock possibly the perfectly appropriate artwork for the era of Big Data. For the art wonk set, it caps conceptual investigations about indexes and taxonomies that stretch back at least as far as the 1970s, serving as the new-media, zero-degree equivalent of Ad Reinhardt’s all-black paintings. But more than that, it’s something unnervingly similar to Jorge Luis Borges’ fictional map of the world that is the same size as the world, an eerie herald of the age of Orwellian mindfuck as art.

You’re going to see it. Of course you are; it’s the most talked-about work of art since Damien Hirst dropped a preserved shark into a vitrine. But that said, you’re very unlikely to see all of it, unless you do so in May during one of SFMOMA’s scheduled 24-hour viewings.

And if you should give the entire viewing a go, you’ll be participating in what I suspect is the subversive heart of the The Clock, one that makes the entire concept of real time a kind of flimsy absurdism. Actually sitting in the museum in front of a single piece of work for a full day becomes a kind of performance, observing not just the comings and goings on screen, but also in the theater, engaging and disengaging in real life in equal, contesting proportion.

Marclay’s exhibition completes a crescendo at the museum, peaking just before the building closes for expansion, and the exhibits hit the road for various area temporary sites over the next couple years. Together with the current shows dedicated to photographer Garry Winogrand and architect Lebbeus Woods, The Clock is the third in SFMOMA’s trilogy on prolonged, meticulous fascination executed with utmost competence.

And about that Garry Winogrand retrospective, which in its way is even more overwhelming than the Marclay show: the thing you can’t escape while hopping, transfixed, from image to image, is that not only have half of these 300 photographs — many of them stunning — never been shown before, but that it was assembled from a massive archive including some 250,000 images that have never been seen, promising that Winogrand’s posthumous career will stretch on for quite a while.

And good thing, too, since these photographs, while rooted in the mid-late 20th century, are timelessly contemporary. We immediately recognize in them the same mix of unease, willful optimism, and absurdity that mark the post-9/11 world, realizing that disjointedness to be both a continuous thread and defining characteristic of American social fabric.

On the continuum of photographers, Winogrand is somewhere between Weegee’s operatic flair and Walker Evans’ incisive and empathic eye. There are definitely theatrical liberties taken with composition, but at heart Winogrand is a humanist. His particular knack inverts spectacles and intimacies, and his off-kilter shots deliver their actors amid a slippery, complicated search for the American dream.

His famous quote, that “there is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described,” speaks to both the allure and the central lie of his (and indeed all) photography. Although he began his career as a photojournalist, his main contribution was visual poetry over raw documentation. The tone of Winogrand’s later work, during which he focused on taking rather than developing or reviewing his photographs, is shot through with distress and disillusionment, as if the world imploded and dissolved completely somewhere around 1977. That late work, long ignored and incompletely catalogued, is featured here, and feels increasingly familiar and prescient.

On the second floor of the museum, the Lebbeus Woods retrospective offers a tonal break from the intense scrutiny of human interaction exhibited by the Marclay and Winogrand shows, but is no less sweeping or meticulous. Woods was a visionary architect of the possible, and although only one of his large scale projects was ever constructed, his psychologically-charged, intellectually-overloaded vision continues to reverberate throughout architecture and design worlds.

The show of 175 works, including models, drawings, and prints, is framed roughly by the Woods quote, “Maybe I can show what could happen if we lived by a different set of rules.” In the Woods universe, those rules bend physics and gravity for the sake of a complete reimagining of human-built structures. Part sci-fi, part utopian thought-experiment, the carefully and expertly drafted renderings of Woods’ theoretical architectural systems are as dizzyingly hypnotic as they are confounding to normal, run-of-the mill concepts of what a building is or should be.



April 6-June 2



Through June 2

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third St, SF www.sfmoma.org

Our Weekly Picks: March 27-April 2, 2013



“The Secret History of Love”

It’s only four guys, but the quartet manages to call up a whole period in the cultural history of the LGBT community which, until Sean Dorsey put his considerable intellectual and artistic resources into this project, was little known even to its members, not to speak of the community at large. Dorsey, who found his way in a round about manner to dance through theater, has developed a personal language in which words and movement are irrevocably fused, each drawing its energy and expressive power from the other. These performances are a send-off for “The Secret History of Love” which is about to embark on its second national tour. Good to see what these very different dancers bring to this project. They are Dorsey, Juan De La Rosa, Brian Fisher, and Nol Simonse. (Rita Felciano)

Through March 31

8pm, Sat/Sun, 4pm; $15–$25

Dance Mission Theater

3316 24th St., S.F.




Fresh off celebrating its 30th anniversary, iconic metal titan Anthrax is back with a new covers EP, Anthems (released last week), paying tribute to some of the songs that influenced it when the band was first starting out. Searing versions of tunes by artists such as AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, and Rush help shed light on the formative recipe that would eventually lead Anthrax to being considered one of “The Big 4” of thrash metal. Scott Ian and company will perform their classic 1987 album Among The Living in its entirety during their headlining slot tonight on the brutal “Metal Alliance Tour,” which also features Exodus, High On Fire, Municipal Waste, and Holy Grail. (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $29.99–$32

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF



“Overturning the Artifice” closing reception

What do shoe shining and art have in common? Very much, according to Jack Leamy, curator of SOMArts’ show, “Overturning the Artifice,” which closes in style Friday evening with free shoe-shining by artist Rachel Leamy. When one shines another person’s shoes, the act is reflective and forms an intimate human connection that uplifts the soul. Art, the curator says, has the same uplifting effect; it raises consciousness “out of the doldrums.” That is an upbeat way to speak about a show that deals with the struggles of being human, but then again, art can act as a powerfully positive force. Come to the show while you still can, to be uplifted — or just to get shinier shoes. (Laura Kerry)

6pm, free

SOMArts Main Gallery

934 Brannan, SF

(415) 863-1414



“KUSF-In-Exile’s Blown-Out, Blowout Benefit II”

Benefit is an often overused term, but this one applies for the sake of preserving San Francisco Community Radio (SFCR). As the group Save KUSF transitions into SFCR (its nonprofit identity) the costly legal quest continues with an FCC-level appeal of 90.3 FM’s sale still waiting to be ruled on. So what’s a group of rogue DJs to do when their sojourn on the web waves appears as if it’s becoming permanent? They throw another springtime blowout of mind-melting music to raise cash for their cause. Carlton Melton delivers the psychedelic, stoner-drone, Disappearing People emerges out of Oakland with experimental punk, and from the same neck of the woods, the one and only Yogurt Brain rides in with some catchy jangle and an occasional monster riff thrown in. (Andre Torrez)

With Carlton Melton, Disappearing People, Yogurt Brain, and KUSF-in-Exile DJs

8pm, $5–$10


2948 16th St., SF




Texas is the Reason

In 1994 Texas is the Reason released a three-song EP that would initially be heard by very few and go on to influence a great many. The band’s only full-length Do You Know Who You Are? remains a touchstone album in the post-hardcore canon and is considered to be one of the primary kick-starters of the ’90s emo movement. Just as the band was about to burst from underground notoriety to a mainstream record label, however, it collapsed due to internal tensions. After just three years of existence and one beloved album, Texas is the Reason was done. Other than a two-show reunion in 2006, this year marks the band’s first and only tour since its disintegration a decade and a half back. This spring, the band unveiled two new songs and a brief tour — its last ever. While it may be cruel to give us hope and a taste of what could have been before disappearing again, I’m not complaining. After nearly 15 years of waiting, I’ll take what I can get. (Haley Zaremba)

With the Jealous Sound

9pm, $20

Bimbo’s 365

1025 Columbus, SF

(415) 474-0365



Mano Le Tough

Having proved himself a more than capable in long form (popping up on this year’s Resident Advisor Top 100 poll and a recent Boiler Room set) and short (contributing remixes for Midnight Magic, Roisin Murphy, and Aloe Blacc) Ireland’s Mano Le Tough needed only to release a solid album to complete the producer trifecta. With Changing Days, he’s done just that, and it’s an assured, spaced out collection of deep house and future disco, organic, airy sounds alternating at times with ray-gun zaps. Throughout, Mano expands on the calmly emotive vocal style earlier heard on “In My Arms” and the glistening Stories EP. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Bells and Whistles, Joey Alaniz

9pm, $8–$15


101 Sixth St., SF

(415) 284-9774



Lynne Hershman Leeson’s “The Agent Ruby Files”

The story of the humanoid and the human goes way back — Pinocchio, that relationship between Skywalker and his robot companions. Now, we can add Lyne Hershman Leeson’s Agent Ruby, an online platform in the shape of Ruby, a character based on the artist’s 2002 film, Teknolust, that invites its visitors to converse with it. Over the past 12 years, Ruby has learned, improving her responses as the database has expanded. In a show on view from March 30 to June 2, SFMOMA will present a look at the growth of Ruby. Exhibiting collections of user conversations on topics such as dreams and sexuality, we can expect to see something very human reflected in the non-human. (Kerry)

Through June 2



151 Third St., SF

(415) 357-4170



Jonny Fritz

Nashville’s Jonny Fritz has been writing, recording, and touring for the better part of a decade, and looks to be breaking into his own this year after recent stints opening for the likes of Alabama Shakes, Shooter Jennings, and Wanda Jackson. Recently dropping his long-time moniker of “Jonny Corndawg” in favor of his real name, Fritz (who opens for Heartless Bastards tonight) is releasing his new album, Dad Country on ATO Records in April, a collection of slice-of-life tales, sweet vocals, and great lyrics that blend the sounds of his native city with California country and a wide swath of points in between. (McCourt)

9pm, $23

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750



Colette and DJ Heather

Around 16 years ago, four young female DJs united to form the formidable quartet known as the SuperJane Collective. Feeding off Chicago’s potent house music scene, DJ Heather, Colette, Lady D, and Dayhota laid claim to being the first all-female electronic DJ group. The groundbreaking foursome have since separated, both musically and geographically, but they are scheduled for a Sweet Sixteen reunion in Chicago in June. In the meantime, Colette and DJ Heather are coming in hot off their appearance at Austin’s SXSW. Expect deep grooves, funkiness, and improvisational live vocals from Colette. (Kevin Lee)

With Pink Mammoth

10pm, $15–$20


119 Utah, SF

(415) 762-0151



Dolores Park Easter Celebration with Hunky Jesus Contest

Once you’re done sleeping through the church hours, the best thing to wake up to would be the annual Easter celebration in Dolores Park. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are hosting their 34th birthday party once again at the park, and the “Under the Big Top” theme this year will be sure to charm the inner bunny out of you. The day will start out with family-friendly children’s Easter happenings at 11am, but just after noon the party really gets started. There will be circus tricks, an Easter Bonnet Contest, performances by the likes of our own Honey Mahogany (recently seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race), Sparkle Ponies, and Jane Wiedlin, along with the beloved Hunky Jesus Contest. The Sisters suggest you “bring a picnic blanket, some nosh and, of course, a little libation.” (Taylor Hynes)

11am-4pm, free

Dolores Park

18th and Dolores, SF




Eudora Welty once said, “Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else.” It is no surprise then that Widowspeak recorded its second album, Almanac, in a 100-year-old barn in the Hudson River Valley. Setting creeps in, the soft singing of frontperson Molly Hamilton ringing like a ghostly whisper from a rural past, which sits in beautiful tension with the sometimes jangly rock instrumentals that seem reflective of the band’s Brooklyn base. At the Chapel show, though, it might be more apt to say that the atmospheric folk-pop of the band creates a setting of its own. (Kerry)


9pm, $12


777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157




“The Willy Wonka of music.” That’s how one clever Internet commentator labeled LA beats producer Alfred Darlington, a.k.a Daedelus. It’s a fitting moniker — the dapper Darlington (often sporting colorful, wide-lapel suit jackets) ushers unsuspecting listeners into his music factory, laden with delicious and dangerous drums. Lick a sample here, taste a vocal there, and suddenly you’re swimming in a bass-filled reimagining of a video game villain’s theme music or hip-hop hacked to pieces and sped up to 130 BPM. All the while, Darlington goes all mad scientist, mashing away at a 256-button device known as a monome from which he can summon all sorts of sweet and sinister sounds. Overindulge at your own peril. (Lee)

With Two Fresh, Ryan Hemsworth, Samo Sound

8pm, $18


628 Divisadero

(415) 771-1421


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, 225 Bush, 17th Flr., SF, CA 94105; 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.

Mike Shine’s “Flotsam’s Harvest” at White Walls


By Molly Champlain

A promise that all our ailments will disappear and our wildest dreams will come true … for a small price. Or for the price of your soul? Dr. Flotsam and his self-described “crew of carny bastards,” sprung from the wild mind of San Francisco artist Mike Shine, ask us the worth of that exchange. The question is scattered through the paintings, performance, and graphic novel of his show, “Flotsam’s Harvest,” up now through April 6 at White Walls.

According to the show’s press release:

“‘Flotsam’s Harvest’ will be a sweeping installation of street art, paintings, films, a medicine show performance and the launching of Shine’s graphic novella. Each aspect of the show will provide different coded tips and hints, offered to help viewers solve the dark ‘World Riddle’ posed by Friedrich Nietzsche in his book, Thus Spake Zarathustra.”

Intrigued? The opening at White Walls Sat/16 had enough stimulation to dissolve even the hardest anti-consumerist into clapping, grinning, and Irish drinking-song singing. But the mystical “Hell Brew” the medicine show promoted wasn’t for sale. Whether it was ploy to sell the art or vice versa is still up for debate.

Shine’s devilish paintings of animals and figures fuse illustration and graffiti styles. Their rustic colors are blockish and thickly lined like cartoons, while the dripping paint, stray marks, collaged tickets, and spray paint give an urban art feel. These hip but simple paintings are enhanced by frames carved with animal figures and hung on walls painted with radiating text that’s as inscrutable as gang tags. Similar murals are also painted around in the city with Banksy-esque portraits of the “carny bastards.” But despite how cool they are, the artworks were not the selling point for me.

Shine’s opening night performance (similar to those he has done at Outside Lands and SFMOMA), was equally as rich and cryptic. It began in some form of Gaelic or Old English with subtitles on cards and continued with Dr. Flotsam selling his mystical tonic in a thick, comical accent. We all knew the audience volunteer selected to test the brew was a plant (in the form of YouTube dance star takesomecrime): he hobbled on stage but was “cured” after swigging from Dr. Flotsam’s flask, and began shuffling to electro swing by Skewiff.

This wildly entertaining evening can’t be isolated as the meat of what Shine has made either, but it began to make sense of what was going on. The sense of irony was ripe when Dr. Flotsam noted that the government doesn’t permit medicine shows because they “lie to you.” (This sense of danger in the promise was deepened in his disclaimer that you can have your widest dreams come true, if you’re willing to part with your soul.)

A similar theme emerges in the accompanying graphic novel, in which Dr. Flotsam intervenes in the lives of people who have notably impacted history, like the caveman who made fire, Jesus, or the inventor of penicillin. But each one pays a heavy price for the advice they receive. The conflation of good and bad creates a wild sense of anarchy which gives reason for, and holds the key to, the intense and scattered information Shine draws upon for his work.

In a culture where added dimension in art and immersive stimulation in film are often confused with creative quality, Shine has created a show which uses both to convey his meaning. But after the whole experience puzzling out the riddle, I was left wanting. The entertaining trail of information ended in a simple answer, but opened up a number of new questions: was it about merging the body and soul by processing his art in order to gain a stronger sense of identity? Or about how commodities are sold with flair and gusto, but in their mass production fail to truly appeal to the individual? Or is Shine just trying to fuck with people? Maybe you should take a look at the riddle and figure it out for yourself.

Mike Shine, “Flotsam’s Harvest”

Through April 6

White Walls Gallery

886 Geary, SF


On the Cheap listings


Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.


1960’s Go-Go Groove Make-out Room, 3225 22nd St., SF. www.1960sgo-go.com. 7pm, free. Bust out those white go-go boots and learn some standard ’60s dance moves like the twist, jerk, pony, watusi, hully gully — even the tighten up! If you’re in need of some liquid courage before you shake it, head over to the Make-out Room at 6pm for some sweet happy hour deals.


“Bold Local NightLife” California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse, SF. www.calacademy.org. 6-10pm, $12. Art and science converge as the Bold Italic website takes over this week’s Nightlife at the Academy of Sciences. Meet the local merchants, designers, artists, and producers from the ‘hoods we know and love. Folks from Misdirections Magic Shop, bakery co-op Arizmendi, wine delivery service Rewinery, and more will all have tables alongside the alligators, jellyfish, and penguins.

“Growing Pains, The Business of Cannabis in San Francisco” San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, 654 Mission, second floor, SF. www.visityerbabuena.org/events 6:30-7:30pm, free. RSVP suggested. SF Appeal editor Eve Batey and writers Heather Donahue and Chris Roberts will explore the state of marijuana in SF, and possible impacts of proposed cannabis legislative reforms. If you have a specific topic or question you would like addressed, email growingpains@sfappeal.com before tonight’s talk.


“Dance Anywhere” Various locations throughout the Bay Area. www.danceanywhere.org. Noon, free. Why wait until tonight to get your groove on? In this global event — offshoots are taking place in major cities around the globe — participants are encouraged to stop whatever they’re doing when the clock strikes 12, and bust a move. Performances by professional dancers will take place at the SFMOMA, City Hall, and Yerba Buena Center.

“PhotographsPlus” Dogpatch Café and Art Gallery, 2295 Third St., SF. www.dogpatchcafe.com. Through May 10. Opening reception 6-8pm, free. This exhibit features local artist Shawn Ray Harris includes three distinct series of works created over the last 15 years. Endowed with a whimsical charm, Harris’ work offers a look into urban landscapes and the creatures that inhabit them.

“Game On” 1AM Gallery, 1000 Howard, SF. www.1amsf.com. Through April 20. Opening reception: 6:30-9:30pm, free. We need not remind you that nerds are the new cool kids. Instead, we’ll let the new show at street art-centric 1AM Gallery lend more evidence to prove the point. Its new group show highlights videogame characters rendered in vinyl doll and canvas by graf artists like Vogue TDK, Estria, and Mike “Bam” Tyau.


Easter egg hunt for dogs Golden Gate Park, Marx Meadow, SF. www.waghotels.com. Noon-2pm, $15. Purchase tickets online. Help your pup sniff out some of the 2,000-plus plastic eggs containing treats and prizes at dog and cat resort, Wag Hotel’s fourth annual fundraiser benefiting local animal rescue organizations. Attendees will also enjoy complimentary hor d’oeuvres and beverages, have a chance to see how their doggie bud feels about the Easter Bunny.

Art Explosion spring open studio Art Explosion Studios, 2425 17th St., SF. www.artexplosionstudios.com. 7-11pm, free. Also Sun/24, noon-5pm. One of San Francisco’s largest art collectives will be holding its 13th annual spring open studio this weekend. Check out work from over 140 artist, painters, photographers, fashion designers, jewelers, and textile designers from around the city.


Backyard Foraging book signing Omnivore Books, 3885A Cesar Chavez, SF. www.omnivorebooks.com. 3-4pm, free. You don’t need to trek into the forest to forage edible plants. Ideal for first-time foragers, Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat by Ellen Zachos features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods. Head over to Omnivore Books today to meet Zachos, listen to her speak about her book, and get a signed copy.

SF Mixtape Society exchange The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., SF. www.sfmixtapesociety.com. 4-6pm, free. The San Francisco Mixtape Society is dedicated to the art of making and exchanging music mixes. Attendees are invited to assemble a mix according to the theme (this month is “anchors and sails”) in cassette, CD, or USB form. Come ready for newness: a magically random raffle will send you home with someone else’s mix at the end of the night. Record yours in cassette form and score yourself a free drink.


Izzies Awards Ceremony Z Space, 450 Florida, SF. www.zspace.org. 6-8pm, free. The Oscars may be over but award season has not come to a close just yet. The 27th Annual Izzies awards will take place tonight, honoring outstanding achievements in dance across the Bay Area. Hosting the ceremony is AileyCamp director David McCauley, and CounterPULSE executive and artistic director Jessica Robinson. After the ceremony, mingle with some dance big shots over dessert and coffee.


French cinema class Alliance Française, 1345 Bush, SF. alliance-francaise-sf.weebly.com. 6:45pm, $5. To help non-French speakers discover French cinema, the Alliance Française of San Francisco is offering this weekly Tuesday night class, which includes a French film screening followed by a discussion. The class will take place in the Alliance Française’s intimate theatre where free wine, refreshments, popcorn (and English subtitles) will be provided.

“Remnants of San Francisco: Pieces of the Bygone City” St. Philip’s Catholic Church, 725 Diamond, SF. www.sanfranciscohistory.org. 7:30pm, $5. San Francisco’s architecture is decorative, meticulous, and often begs the question of passers-by: “what is the story here?” Get that tale tonight as historian Christopher Pollock will present before and after photos of significant architecture around the city, explaining the buildings’ significance and why they were built the way they were.


Our Weekly Picks: March 6-12



Sixth Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show

These days, every smartphone-toting amateur can create his or her own hazy vignette to remind us of those groovy days before digital photography. But Instagram and its peers always stop short in their quest for that special quality that only real lo-fi technology — cameras constructed of plastic and the occasional piece of tape — can achieve. In its sixth Plastic Camera Show, RayKo Photo center will exhibit the best 90 photos chosen from thousands of international submissions, with a special focus on Los Angeles-based Thomas Alleman’s black-and-white images that his plastic camera manages to render in a mood that is both cinematic and sordid. Instagram has nothing on these photos. (Laura Kerry) Through April 22 6-8pm opening, free RayKo Photo Center

428 Third St., SF

(415) 495-3773



University Dance Theatre

Student recitals are just one of a number of campus spring rituals. The University Dance Theatre’s at SF State University is no exception. This year’s program, besides showing new works by alumni, faculty, and advanced students, is very much worth trip out into the fog belt. KT Nelson, Co-Artistic Director of ODC/Dance, with whom State has an ongoing relationship, is setting her Transit on student performers. Transit is witty, wistful, and wondrous; sort of a love letter to harried urban lives. Max Chen’s fantastical, multipurpose bikes also pay tribute to the City’s favorite mode of transportation. Nelson knows that spectacular props can steal a show; she didn’t let it happen. Transit focuses its lively energy on where it belongs — the dancing. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sat/9, 8pm, $8–$15

San Francisco State University

Creative Arts Building

1600 Holloway Ave.

(415) 338-2467



San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival

To celebrate its 10th year, the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival is assembling the following: a Cousteau (Jean-Michel, son of Jacques, who will be a special guest at the opening-night gala); a documentary about the first lady of surfing (Brian Gillogly’s Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget); and a shark-themed program highlighted by Steve Dilaridan’s adorably-titled animated short I’m Going to Bite Someone. And that ain’t even taking into account the rest of the over 50 ocean-themed films from some 14 countries. Dive in! (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sun/10, most films $8–$14 (opening gala, $150)

Bay Theater

Aquarium of the Bay

Pier 39, SF



The Hush Sound

Chicago’s the Hush Sound was “discovered” in 2005 by Pete Wentz via Panic! At the Disco’s Ryan Ross, but don’t hold that against it. The group’s simple boy-girl harmonies and catchy melodies are at once sincere and whimsical, creating a timeless, folk-tinged pop sound. When the band formed, core songwriters Greta Salpeter and Bob Morris were essentially still children, going to school and lifeguarding, respectively. In the years and three albums that followed, the band mercifully never lost its youthful nature. Now, after a five-year hiatus, the Hush Sound is finally back with a new album in the works — and its ready to relive its youth. (Haley Zaremba)

With the Last Royals, Sydney Wayser

8pm, $15

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell

(415) 885-0750




A Youtube comment on the song “Blackout” from Pickwick’s record, Myths Vol. 3, reads “these fucking albums are nowhere to be found.” Though one should usually ignore Youtube comments, in this case we say, Kamelbutiken, you have a point. For the past year, the band has sold out shows in its native Seattle and earned spots in notable festivals, gaining hype only through the release of a series of seven-inch vinyl records and online videos. It’s hard to believe that with all the recognition they’ve earned, March 12 marks the release of the band’s official debut album. While the soul-and-folk-infused rock the band makes is still nowhere to be found, find Pickwick live at the Independent. (Kerry)

With Radiation City, Sandy’s

9pm, $15


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421



Melt! with Machinedrum

Futuristic beats producer Travis Stewart, a.k.a. Machinedrum, takes cues as much from hip-hop and jungle rhythms as from the current dubstep/wobble craze. The American-born Berlin resident has produced for rising Harlem star Azealia Banks and counts rhymesayer Theophilus London and UK-based dream-techno star Lone as collaborators. Machinedrum keeps his productions quick and tightly-woven, typically floating catchy melodies and some sonorous vocal samples alongside shuffling beats. The multi-faceted Stewart has also earned respect for his recent reinterpretations of giants in their respective genres, Scottish electronic duo Boards of Canada and psychedelic jazzist Sun Ra. (Kevin Lee)

With French Fries, Dark Sky, and more

10pm, $17.50–$20

1015 Folsom, SF

(415) 431-1200



San Francisco Bulgarian Film Festival

With directors like Cristi Puiu (2005’s The Death of Mr. Lazarescu) and Cristian Mungiu (whose latest, Beyond the Hills, opens March 15) leading the charge, the Romanian New Wave is a well-established phenomenon. So it stands to reason that next-door neighbor Bulgaria would also be eager to come into its own, cinematically speaking — and the inaugural San Francisco Bulgarian Film Festival is here to share some of the country’s recent triumphs with local audiences. Included in the two-day fest are Bulgaria’s 2011 Oscar submission, Tilt, about friends who dream of opening a bar amid the country’s tumultuous early 1990s; and contemporary drama Love.Net, a hit at the 2011 Bulgarian National Film Festival. (Eddy)

Through Sun/10, $12

Brava Theater Center

2781 24th St, SF



Garry Winogrand retrospective

Legend has it that Garry Winogrand would shoot an entire roll of film in a single block, barely pausing or taking his eye away from his Leica camera’s viewfinder until he reached the end. As a result, his body of work presents barely mediated views of daily life in postwar America. And it presents a lot of them. Winogrand produced so many rolls of film that he never saw an estimated 250,000 images contained on them before his untimely death in 1984. In a retrospective that will travel the globe after leaving San Francisco, SFMOMA will display about 100 of these never-before-seen prints, adding to an already prolific and important collection. We’re lucky to get to see so many streets through Winogrand’s eyes. (Kerry)

Through June 2



151 Third St., SF

(415) 357-4000



Flogging Molly

Don’t let Flogging Molly fool you: everything about the band may seem wonderfully drunk and Irish, but like any other illusion, it actually hails from Los Angeles. Vocalist Dave King, however, is a bona fide Irishman, and his thick brogue is the perfect addition to Flogging Molly’s Celtic-flavored punk madness. Whether or not you want to listen to songs about drunken pirates and whiskey in your free time, its live show is a spectacle that anyone could and should enjoy. Though the band has been together and touring since the ’90s, it hasn’t slowed down one iota. That x-factor that makes some live shows over-the-top fun simply can’t be spoken for. Grab a bottle of Jameson and go see for yourself. You can thank me later. (Zaremba)

With Mariach El Bronx, Donots

7:30pm, $32.50

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakland

(510) 302-2250



Efterklang The Danish band Efterklang first gained international plaudits with its soaring 2007 LP Parades on the Leaf Label Ltd and such triumphant, symphonic battle cries as “Mirador” and “Caravan.” Since switching labels to 4AD Ltd., Efterklang has (somewhat regrettably) corralled that bright energy and fostered a more direct, intimate sound. Legend has it that the Danish trio wandered through an abandoned Norwegian coal mining settlement near the North Pole formerly operated by the Soviet Union. The band’s journey and field recordings became source material for last year’s Piramida, in which frontperson Clasper Clausen drops his voice an octave and embarks on mysterious stories of exploration and melancholy. (Lee)

With Nightlands

8pm, $15

Great American Music Hall

859 O’Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750



San Francisco Moth StorySLAM: Secrets

The Moth: “True Stories Told Live.” Where else could we listen to strangers, alone on a stage with their words, telling fantastical-but-true personal stories of Jewish mobster uncles, family embezzlement, Montgomery Clift’s wishes from beyond the grave, the whiskey-soaked life of a rookie reporter, the cult of Radical Honesty, and sexual awakenings during midlife crises? The NY-born series — in which reading from notes is a major no-no — has been going strong since 1997, with monthly StorySLAMs (open mics) in LA, Chicago, Louisville, and Seattle, among other cities. The San Francisco Moth StorySLAM launches today at the Rickshaw Stop and will continue on the second Monday of every month. The first round’s theme is “secrets” so come prepared to divulge the dirt. And as podcast host Dan Kennedy always notes, “we hope you have a story-worthy week.” (Full of secrets you’re willing to share.) (Emily Savage)

7pm, $8

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011


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, 225 Bush, 17th Flr., SF, CA 94105; 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.

SFMOMA reveals new look, it is sexy


We were a bag of mixed artfan emotions when SFMOMA sent us a peek at what the museum will look like in early 2016, when the renovations that will shutter its doors in June are complete. The bad: our city’s preeminent modern art museum will be sorely missed — after all, who else would have let us bring Boychild, Lil Miss Hot Mess, and Lady Bear to run amok in the upstairs cafe on a Thursday night? (Memories.) But, the good: there is a lot of good. Read on for the highlights of what we can expect from the museum’s new incarnation, and what’s going to be happening while we wait.

– In the new building, designed by Oslo-NYC firm Snøhetta, gallery capacity expanded by 130,000 square feet. 

– That number up there includes a 15,000 ground floor that won’t have to pay to access, but which is nonetheless packed with exhibitions. For when the admisison price just isn’t stoking your creative fires.

– SF’s largest public native plant vertical garden, located on a brand-new seventh-floor outdoor terrace. The perfect place for checking out the expressive skyline that exists in those parts of downtown — two floors higher than the sculpture garden, two floors of view, baby. 

– A new all-white performance space that’ll be the spot for dance, sound, etc. in addition to the Phyllis Wattis Theater, which is also getting a facelift.

– More space designated for education — that means the amount of schoolchildren benefiting from programming will go up to 55,000 from 18,000. 

– “SFMOMA is more than just a building,” said SFMOMA director Neal Benezra in the press release. “We’re a set of intersecting cultural communities.” That’s good for us — it means the museum’s collections won’t be moldering in a basement somewhere (entirely) during the two-and-a-half years of renovations. First up: “100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art,” a multi-denominational show that opens June 27 that examines art inspired by faith, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. 2014 offerings will include a multimedia meditation on intimacy during apartheid in South Africa at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and a look at what “gorgeous” means by divergent art pairings at the Asian Art Museum.

– Other things to look forward to include a Chrissy Field site-specific installation of Mark di Suvero sculptures, the largest exhibition of the work of that artist, who moved to SF from Shanghai and was constantly inspired by the same Golden Gate Bridge that’ll look over the exhibition, which’ll set up shop in June through May 2014. That’s the first of many SFMOMA outdoor exhibitions that’ll take place in Los Altos and elsewhere.

More details on the renovations available here and here

Our Weekly Picks: February 13-19, 2013



Dirty Looks Road Show

How Do I Look? asks a seminal weighty tome addressing queer film and video theory from 1991. “Dirty!” I always wanted to shout back to my dusty bookshelf when it caught my eye. Well, hey — 22 years later along comes NYC’s Dirty Looks collective, which showcases queer experimental film and video with startling freshness. The edgy gems on offer in its two-night visit to SF may have slipped through your Youtube crack. Thu/14’s “Yesterday Once More” at SFMOMA, www.sfmoma.org, gives you contemporary coolness from Matt Wolf, Zachary Drucker, Mariah Garnett, and Chris E. Vargas. Then check out Fri/15’s “Pickle Surprise! The Eyes of Tom Rubnitz” at Artists Television Access, www.atasite.org, which has me jumping for joy — this ’80s underground clubkid, filmmaker, and musician caught the spirit of one of our civilizations most vividly glorious times before he died of AIDS. Legendary drag queens and trashy foodstuffs galore! (Marke B.)

“Yesterday Once More”: Thu/14, 7-9pm, $10

Phyllis Watts Theater, SF MOMA

151 Third St., SF

“Pickle Surprise”: Fri/15, 8pm, $6

992 Valencia, SF



Comedy! Comedy!

As the name subtlety implies, this event will showcase humor. Hosted by the sardonic upstart comic Cameron Vannini, this event, billed as a standup show for comics and by comics, will be the first ever comedic event at the nascent Chapel, signaling more standup shows in its future. Going up to bat tonight will be an all-local slate featuring Kevin O’Shea, Clare O’Kane, Jules Posner, Sean Keane, Brendan Lynch, and Kevin Camia. O’Shea, O’Kane, Posner, Keane, and Vannini will all be coming fresh off recent gigs at Sketchfest. The blunt and jabbing Camia, whose record Kindness was voted among the top 10 best comedy albums on iTunes in 2010, is a stalwart of the local scene and recently has been rumored to be making “the move” down to LA. A night like this should be the perfect respite for those still pining for Sketchfest. (George McIntire)

9pm, $15


777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157



Stone Foxes

Remember rock’n’roll? You know, that dynamic and gritty music before the age of synthesizers? The Stone Foxes show at the New Parish might jog your memory. Launching into experimentation from strong roots in blues, the band plays a range from the catchy interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe’s gothic, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” (“Everybody Knows”) to the elegy in minor, “Battles, Blades and Bones,” which repeats, “We need someone to sing/’Cause we’ve turned everything/To battles, blades, and bones.” In their third album, Little Fires (which came out Feb. 12), collaboration with Girls’ producer Doug Boehm proves that polish doesn’t mean sterility, that good production doesn’t mean overproduction, and that good old rock’n’roll lives on. (Laura Kerry)

With Mahgeetah, Black Cobra Vipers

9pm, free

New Parish

579 18th St., Oakl.

(510) 444-7474



“The Algorithm of Love”

Sam Yagan might be as qualified as anyone to decipher the formula for love. Yagan and his three Harvard classmates founded the online dating site OKCupid as a spin off from the Spark Notes study guides they created at the turn of the millennium. Since then, Internet matchmaking has become a booming business, and Yagan and Co. capitalized in 2011 by selling OKCupid to rival Match.com. Yagan, now Match.com’s CEO, uses data from 8 million users to quantify the unquantifiable, to dissect what exactly goes into fuzzy feelings and unexplainable attractions. Bay Area matchmaker Joy Nordenstrom and SFGate blogger Beth Spotswood will be on hand to help translate the love equation. (Kevin Lee)

6:30pm, $7–$20

Commonwealth Club

595 Market, SF



The Wooster Group/New York City Players: Early Plays

However it pans out as a performance, this has to be one of the theatrical events of the year: A rare Bay Area appearance by the famed Wooster Group in collaboration with another NY-based contemporary experimental theater company of renown, Richard Maxwell’s New York City Players. Maxwell directs members of both companies in a trio of “Early Plays” by Eugene O’Neill —three one-acts also known as the Glencairn plays, after the ship on which work the men of Moon of the Caribbees, Bound East for Cardiff, and The Long Voyage Home. Each unfolds in the director’s emblematic affectless style, which seeks out the unfamiliar beneath layers of received theatricality and, in the case of these young yet also experimental plays, lingering melodrama. (Robert Avila)

Through Sat/16, 8pm, $20–$30 ($10 Thu/14)

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

750 Folsom, SF

(415) 978-2787



Feed Me with Teeth

Britain’s Jon Gooch has many alter egos. He’s a producer and a DJ, he’s Spor and he’s Feed Me. No matter what the role or the moniker, however, Gooch remains constant and consistent in his creation of unrelentingly catchy electro and yes, dubstep. Teeth, Gooch’s newest creation, is the element that pushes Feed Me’s act over the line from just another EDM act and into the realm of a truly spectacular performance that’s going to keep you talking about it for quite a while. The Teeth are comprised of 20 jagged LED screens that create a huge, crooked grin that flashes and pulses in sync with Feed Me’s expert mixing. Dancing shoes required, party provided. (Haley Zaremba)

With Mord Fustang

9pm, $38

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF



Body Cartography: Symptom

Last time Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad’s Body Cartography Project performed locally downtown, it was difficult to tell the dancers apart from the mingling pedestrians. Shortly after that the company left its home turf of SF for greener pastures, Minneapolis, as it turned out. From there Body Cartography has taken its expanded investigations of physicality — both geographically and the mediums within which it works — around the globe. For its return engagement as part of CounterPULSE’s Queer Series (running through March), Body Cartography is bringing a relatively small group, Ramstad with sibling Emmett. One is a dancer, the other a visual artist. They look very much alike; they are even dressed alike. They have called what they do Symptom, a work they say is “sculpture, drawing, movement and text.” (Rita Felciano)

8pm, $20-30

Also Feb. 15-17


1310 Mission, SF

(877) 297-6805



“Engulfing the Elusory”

Here are some of the themes that the sculptures of Rachel Mica Weiss undertake: human vulnerability, large-scale disasters, self-inflicted limitations. Does an image come to mind? I’m guessing that it does not resemble Weiss’s black net installations. But when you see the twisted rope, the rough stones, and the tarnished wood that comprise Weiss’s previous work, idea and object click. The artist condenses so much conceptual work into physical pieces of inexplicable poignancy. Let’s throw a few more themes in: boundaries, environmental change, cultural constructs. All of it will be on view in the windows of the Arts Commission Gallery. (Kerry)

Through April 27

6pm, free

SF Arts Commission Gallery

401 Van Ness, SF

(415) 554-6080




Every Time I Die

The metal life isn’t for everyone. Constant touring, an over-crowded industry, and headbang whiplash causes many bands to give up their brutal dream early into their career. Buffalo, NY’s Every Time I Die isn’t one of those bands. ETID has been churning out its distinctive Southern-tinged hardcore since 1998. Six studio albums, a billion bassists, and a tour with Steve-O later, the Buckley brothers are still going strong. Incredibly, their high-energy live show has shown no signs of fatigue in well over a decade, and their reputation for intensity continues to be well-earned. Come for the snarky lyrics and clever songwriting, stay for the circle pit. (Zaremba)

With the Acacia Strain, Vanna, Hundreth, No Bragging Rights

8pm, $17

Oakland Metro Operahouse

630 Third St, Oakl.

(510) 763-1146


“Hip-Hop Beyond Gender”

My first compact disc was Salt ‘N Pepa’s masterful ode to minding one’s business, safe sex, and superlative/godawful male companions, 1993’s Very Necessary. Imagine my confusion, then, upon my discovery that the rest of the hip-hop world was hardly as empowering for females as that power-sass had led me to believe. But hip-hop has always been a site of subversion, where societal rules are flipped, and so it makes perfect since that some day, its lovers would take back the form from the silly misogynists on the Billboard charts. So, yay: tonight, nu-world griots Aya De Leon, Raquel Gutierrez, Chinaka Hodge, Carrie Leilam Love, Dawn Robinson, and Kity Yan examine hip-hop’s queer-feminist revolutionary potential through spoken word. It’s the first of five La Peña events in 2013 focused on breaking down hip-hop’s gender barriers. (Caitlin Donohue)

8pm, $15–$18

La Peña Cultural Center

3105 Shattuck, Berk.



Ott and the All-Seeing I

If you’re into dub, electronic, Middle Eastern, and psychedelic sounds, you must meet Ott. Ott — a veteran electronic British musician-producer who has worked with big names like Sinéad O’Connor, Brian Eno, and Simon Posford (Shpongle) — makes rich, ambient, trancey electronic dub jams under the moniker Ott and the All-Seeing I. “Owl Stretching Time,” one of the band’s signature tracks, could just as easily be the anthem to a Jamaican surf trip as the soundtrack to a night out in Berlin. Ott handles electronics alongside Naked Nick (guitars, synths, percussion), bassist Chris Barker, and drummer Matt White. (Mia Sullivan)

With KiloWatts, Desert Dwellers, Outersect

10pm, $15

1015 Folsom, SF

(415) 264-1015



Buke and Gase

Before we begin, let’s establish a few definitions. Buke: an altered six-string baritone banjo. Gase: a blend of a guitar and bass. Surely, a band that carries its own invented glossary approaches music differently. Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez, the duo that with its homemade instruments manages to sound more like an offbeat orchestra, alters language, genre, and the overall assumptions of the listener. The driving cacophony in the recently released General Dome shouldn’t make sense. Somehow, though, with Dyer’s expressive singing, the building repetition of sounds, and the band’s confidence in its own inventiveness, it all comes together. See Dyer and Sanchez create their own rules at Café Du Nord. (Kerry)

With Aleuchatistas, Yassou Benedict

9pm, $10

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016 


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, 225 Bush, 17th Flr., SF, CA 94105; 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.

Framing devices


VISUAL ART Several recent, notable group exhibitions have me thinking a bit more actively about the roles curators play as artists in the shows they assemble. As much as DJs or editors, curators are present in their shows as artists, sometimes demurely, sometimes not.

As curator of the “Disrupt” two-person show at Highlight Gallery, Kelly Huang has shrewdly assembled a pair of artists whose work reinforces each other. Seen together, the paper-based works of London’s Marine Hugonnier and Cairo’s Taha Belal, create a kind of duet of interrelated working styles. Both artists use silkscreen to recast newspaper and magazine pages with intricate designs and blocks of color. Hugonnier tends to work in series, appropriating several consecutive days worth of front pages from the same newspaper during the course of pivotal political events, then blocking out images with bright primary colors in a way that recalls both Ellsworth Kelly and Piet Mondrian. Belal prefers delicate tiled pattern work overlaid on full color ads, applied in a way that confuses, heightens, and twists the intended message on the page. Through Sat/2, Highlight Gallery, 17 Kearny, SF; www.highlightgallery.com.

When a gallery with considerable reach decides to mount a thematic exhibition, it can be both impressive and almost unruly, as with Fraenkel Gallery’s sprawling “The Unphotographable” show, featuring images by Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray, Richard Misrach, Glenn Ligon, Wolfgang Tillmans, Diane Arbus, and many others. Truthfully, there’s probably too much here, but there are several gems in the gallery, lightly organized to highlight attempted photographic captures of the sublime, the disembodied, the transcendent, and the elusive. The most potent works in the show — among them Gerhard Richter’s September, an image of his 2005 painting, itself a conceptual model for abstract representation — counteract their own assertions of verisimilitude in favor of something more circumspect and self-aware. Through March 23, Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary, SF; www.fraenkelgallery.com.

For logistical and practical reasons, it’s fairly uncommon to hear of curators commissioning works for a gallery show, but the results can be intoxicating, as with “Remembering is Everything” at Alter Space. Bean Gilsdorf and A. Will Brown got six artists to contribute a work based on his or her own remembering of the same original video, which was destroyed after viewing. Befitting the premise, the works in the show contribute to a general field of reverberating feedback, each one in this context providing you incomplete points of view on an unknown experience.

Themes of recursion, repetition, and fugue recur, as in Stephen Slappe and Kate Nartker’s looped video works that both posit unresolved narrative chords, and Nancy Nowacek’s performance Circuit (As I Caught), in which mysterious packages filled with objects recalled from the video appear at the gallery each day of the exhibition. The effect is like an enacted Haruki Murakami dream sequence, and you’re immediately drawn into the activity of fabricating and assembling the show’s affects and objects into a kind of tenuous, vague, and poignant gestalt. Through Feb. 23, Alter Space, 1158 Howard, SF; www.alterspace.co.

Sometimes, the curatorial conceit is basically an excuse, as with “While We Were Away” at 941 Geary, which the press release says is “composed entirely of artists [curator Tova] Lobatz has become aware of while traveling.” Despite the throwaway premise, some of the work — especially by Sten Lex — is impressive. Sten Lex, the Italian stencil duo, makes arresting op-art flavored stencil portraits usually on grand scale on the sides of buildings; here on panels. What differs from the street-art norm in their work, aside from the precise Ben-Day rendering, is the not-really-offhand way they leave the painted stencil affixed to the substrate to let it peel or erode over time, a swerve that makes the painting’s correlation to the original photo more precise as it ages. Their four untitled works in the gallery demonstrate various points in that progression. Through March 2, 941 Geary, SF; www.941geary.com.


For “Silence,” curators Toby Kamps (Menil Collection) and Steve Seid (BAM/PFA) dig deep to assemble almost everybody you can think of — Beuys, Duchamp, Klein, Magritte, Warhol, Broodthaers, Manders, Marclay, Roden, Salcedo, others — to address the representation of silence using John Cage’s 4’33” as a point of departure. Jan. 30-April 28, UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft, Berk; bampfa.berkeley.edu.

A new series of muralist group shows launches with work by Apex, Casey Gray, René Garcia Jr., and others. Erotic, anaglyphic 3D glitter wallpaper? Sign me up. Feb. 7-July 1, Project One, 251 Rhode Island, SF; www.p1sf.com.

Kehinde Wiley’s flashy, uber-hip portraits have made him the international go-to darling of both the upmarket and Juxtapoz crowds. Expect high craftsmanship and an eye for drama. “The World Stage: Israel,” Feb. 14-May 27, Jewish Contemporary Museum, 736 Mission, SF; www.thecjm.org.

The word “visionary” is perhaps overused in the world of architecture, but the jarring, psychologically charged work of Lebbeus Woods warrants the use. The recently deceased architect’s work will be represented by 175 drawings, renderings, and models in this career survey. Feb.16-June 2, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., SF; www.sfmoma.org.

Our Weekly Picks: January 30-February 5




Bay Area thrash metal legend Testament has been unleashing its sonic assault, and inspiring untold legions of fans, for nearly 30 years now. Propelled by the powerful lead single “Native Blood,” which draws from singer Chuck Billy’s Native American roots and experiences, the band’s newest album, Dark Roots of Earth (Nuclear Blast) was released last summer, and features the band’s signature frenzied formula for pit-inducing anthems. With longtime members Eric Peterson, Greg Christian, and Alex Skolnick joined by former Death drummer Gene Hoglan, don’t miss the band as it kicks off a new titanic tour right here in the city. (Sean McCourt)

With Overkill, 4Arm, the Butlers

6:45pm, $32.50


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000



Local Natives

Local Natives stole our collective hearts in 2009 with their self-funded debut Gorilla Manor, an irresistible slice of unearthly folk rock, before cruelly fading into the background. Finally, four years later, they’ve resurfaced with a sophomore effort, Hummingbird. Though the Orange Country-bred group recorded the album in Brooklyn, the California sunshine still shines through its meandering, ethereal soundscapes. The band’s songs draw heavily from indie peers Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes, but manage to add a refreshing, summery glow to the reverb-heavy pop murk. The album, which was produced by Aaron Dessner of the National, promises to translate well to a live format, keeping the band’s trademarked harmonies in place while also allowing vocalist Kelcey Ayer’s dreamy falsetto to soar. (Haley Zaremba)

With Superhumanoids

8pm, $25

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakland

(510) 302-2250



“The Eyes: San Francisco Beat Film” If you’ve already read Dharma Bums, had a drink at Vesuvio’s, or paid homage to Beat culture in the number of other ways available in San Francisco, here’s something different. Beat artists such as Bruce Conner, Wallace Berman, and ruth weiss made movies that captured the living, breathing world of their generation. Complementing the Jay DeFeo retrospective (on view until February 2), the five short films that SFMOMA will screen tonight are intriguing not only as historical documents, but also as an expansion of the artistic vocabulary of dislocation and spontaneity that contribute to the Beat Generation’s continuing allure. (Laura Kerry)

7pm, $10

SFMOMA, Phyllis Wattis Theater

151 Third St., SF

(415) 357-4000




As a fiercely dedicated San Franciscan, I often feel obligated to rep local acts and tout their worth over artists from, say, Los Angeles. Out of all our hometown heroes, however, few deserve my praise as much as the wonderfully spaced-out indie outfit Geographer. The trio combines digital, analog, and a bit of experimentation to create gorgeous, lush pop songs that break the mold while still managing to stick in your head. Though Geographer has racked up a fair amount of buzz both locally and nationally over five years, it somehow continues to be one of the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets. So throw on your Niners jersey, pedal your fixie to the Fillmore, and show your SF pride by shoegazing your heart out. (Zaremba)

With Midi Matilda, ON AN ON

8pm, $20


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000



“Ice Cream Girl”

It’ll be like a Lisa Frank trapper-keeper, come to life. Paint Pens in Purses, an all-female urban art collective, will present its newest collection this weekend: “Ice Cream Girl” — a blend of “urban, contemporary, and low-brow artwork” created by lady-artists from across the country. There will be Lauren Max’s photography, works by Tofusquirrel, who brings vibrant, cartoonish ice cream critters (with cheeky names like Mr. Pattymint Cone, and Sherby Sprinkles); and colorful drawings by curator Shayna Yasuhara, among works by other artists. Oh, and Paint Pens in Purses will raffle off four of Dayna Gilbert and Yasuhara’s two-foot-tall ice cream buddies. Plush! Plus, this thing has free drinks. (Emily Savage)

8pm, free


520 Haight, SF




Don’t go to see Killers if you want a smoothly polished performance. Do go to observe two deeply-thinking artists, Jesse Hewit and Laura Arrington, work on finding a vehicle to tackle questions as fundamental as living and dying. The performance is likely to be rough, messy, and fierce. Don’t be surprised if some of it also looks fragile, that’s the nature of living — and performing. Hewit and Arrington —calling themselves Jarry for this project — have worked alongside one another, but separately for several years. Now their energies are flowing together for what at this point is a two-act creation: first a funeral, than a killing. Originally, they had called the project Adult — perhaps not very sexy, but accurately describing the two of them and what they do. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sun/3, 8pm


1310 Mission St., SF




Life and Death Label Showcase

I spent a couple weeks of the new year coveting Mexico’s BPM festival; not just the beaches of Playa del Carmen, but some talent-packed, label-centric showcases. Particularly the one from Italy’s Life and Death, an upstart label that’s forging a deep-dug sound somewhere between the soulful, well-paced grooves of NYC’s Wolf+Lamb collective, and the smart, deep tech of Germany’s Kompakt. Luckily, label founder DJ Tennis is taking a scenic trip back to Rome, stopping in town for a stacked lineup that includes ever-playful Thugfucker, Berlin’s rising duo Tale of Us, and SF’s own PillowTalk. With each act individually known for putting its own spin on the party, expectations here are high. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Jimmy Edgar, Adnan Sharif

9pm, $15


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880




Geeks were picked on for generations. With the advent of the 21st century computer age and mainstream successes of all manner of tech-related products, and even the acceptance of watching sci-fi and reading comic books, we can now proudly come together for a celebration of our collective nerdiness! Join Adam Savage from Mythbusters, Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and singers Paul and Storm for a night of comedy, music, readings, and much more — all embracing geek pride. Be sure to think of clever cover band names and prepare for double-entendre sing-alongs about sailors, because when it comes to being one of the funniest groups of geeks around, they sure ARRGHH! (McCourt)

7pm, $35.

Marines Memorial Theatre

609 Sutter, Second Floor, SF



Driss Ouadah

In Fences IV, Algerian artist Driss Ouadahi depicts a hazy sky with pink-tinted clouds behind the delicate geometry of a fence. Sounds picturesque, right? But the chain-links expand to the borders of the canvas, trapping and disorienting the viewer. In “Trans-Location,” the artist’s latest show largely comprised of cityscape paintings, Ouadahi builds on this tension between promise and enclosure. The gridded and abstracted architectural spaces invite the viewer in but ultimately fail to allow them passage or clarity. Viewable from the comparatively accessible architectural space of Hosfelt Gallery, the works enacts an elegant commentary on modernity’s failure to deliver its political and social promises. And the paintings look cool too. (Kerry)

Through Mar. 23

Reception 4-6pm, free

Hosfelt Gallery

260 Utah, SF

(415) 495-5454



Adam Green and Binki Shapiro

Opposites do attract. Adam Green is a so-called “anti-folk” Manhattanite with an extensive catalog of foul-mouthed, tongue-in-cheek ballads and admirably humble beginnings as Kimya Dawson’s counterpart in the Moldy Peaches. Binki Shapiro hails from LA, is a retro fashion icon and former member of Brazilian-American supergroup Little Joy, along with her ex-boyfriend and Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti. The duo’s vastly different backgrounds and musical leanings don’t seem compatible at first glance, but in practice they blend beautifully. During the writing of the record, both Green and Shapiro were going through romantic rough patches, which ultimately pushed the musicians to help write each other’s breakup albums, creating a finished product rife with earnestness and vulnerability. (Zaremba)

With the Range of Light Wilderness

9pm, $18

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157



Vieux Farka Toure

It should be enough to say that Vieux Farka Touré follows the footsteps of his father, the late, Grammy-winning Ali, or that he’s known as “the Hendrix of the Sahara.” But not quite. In “Gido (featuring John Scofield)” — yes, of jazz-rock fame — an acoustic guitar expertly noodles in a Malian scale, a bend on an electric cues bass and drums, then the two guitars continue to converse. It’s tempting to fashion this into some metaphor about the melding of African music and Western rock, and though this wouldn’t be misplaced, the main takeaway from “Gido” and the whole album, The Secret (2011), is that it sounds great. As Yoshi’s will prove, Touré creates his own breed of music, and he does it well. (Kerry)

With Markus James

7pm, $25


1330 Fillmore, SF

(415) 655-5600


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, 225 Bush, 17th Flr., SF, CA 94105; 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.

The Haight Street Banksy rat is looking for a good home


Kerfuffle attended the publication of my Street Seen column on the reappropriated Banksy street art that popped up at Context art fair during Art Basel week in Miami last month.

Hamptons gallerist Stephen Keszler wrote to tell me that my account of him taking two of the pieces from Palestine and affixing $400,000 price tags to the them was so boring that it made him fall asleep in the bathtub (probably just part of growing old, darling.)

But I also received an interesting communique from a man who claimed responsibility for getting the Banksy rat originally painted on Haight Street’s Red Victorian hotel and cafe to Miami. He says it needs a home.

Brian Greif wanted to clarify that the San Francisco rat was not under control of Keszler or Robin Barton of London’s Bankrobber gallery, Keszler’s partner in the Banksy scheme (Keszler and his staff had neglected to mention this fact in our back-and-forths.) Greif actually wants to donate the rat to a museum, but the process is proving a little complicated.

“I hate to see something important, beautfiul, something I think should be preserved painted over a day later, a month later, a year later,” Greif told me in a phone interview. Greif, who is general manager at KRON and self-described artist active in the SF creative community, had been considering making a documentary on street art when Banksy came to town in April 2010 for his spree of SF stencil art. (Now largely removed by thieving art merchants or painted over, the trip’s sole remaining piece is the bird and tree design on Public Works. The nightclub’s integrated the design into a multi-artist collage mural.)

Greif decided that the process of saving a Banksy piece from obliteration would make for the perfect documentary plot. But it took months to get clearance to remove the rat from the Red Vic. Owner Sami Sunchild was incensed when Banksy “vandalised” her building, as she described it to me when I contacted her to find out how the rat wound up in Miami. (She declined to comment about the rat’s fate.) Greif says the rat was scheduled to be painted over when he finally got permission to remove it intact in December 2010.

But then he couldn’t figure out what to do with the thing. Museums, you see, require authentication from the artist or estate to display a work, and Banksy won’t authenticate street pieces past sporadically putting them on his website for as long as they exist IRL.

A deal with SFMOMA fell through, Greif says. Enter Keszler, who Greif and his documentary team originally interviewed in the role of “bad guy” after the gallerist relocated pieces that the artist had completed on his trip to the West Bank. When Keszler found out about Greif’s rat, he asked to show it alongside his own Banksys at Context. 

“At first I wasn’t sure about that,” says Greif. Banksy’s representative agency Pest Control has condemned Keszler for his reappropriation of the Bethlehem murals. “My partner in the documentary and I discussed. We thought it could be a good part for the documentary.” He consulted street artist friends about the morality of the situation and they told him to go for it as long as he intended the piece to wind up in a museum and not a private collection. Last month, the rat was reassembled for the first time since being removed from its original wall in Miami. Conde Nast named the rat one of the hottest draws of the Art Basel season.

Though he hoped to find a museum interested in displaying the piece through the Miami exposure, Greif was instead deluged with private buyers untroubled by the lack of authentication. The highest offer he received, he says, was $500,000.

But financial gain from once-public art wasn’t the goal when he fought to safely remove the rat. “I think street art is one of the most important movements ever,” Greif told me. He wants the piece to be seen. And now he’s saddled with an incredibly valuable piece of wall. 

Anyone know of a worthy venue for the rodent? Contact Greif at bjgreif@gmail.com.