Our weekly picks - Page 3

What to do Nov. 11-17, 2009


With Growing and Chen Santa Maria

10 p.m., $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455




Mountain Goats

Before the new Mountain Goats album dropped, John Darnielle wrote on his Web site that the new album consisted of "12 hard lessons the Bible taught me, kind of." Indeed, The Life of the World to Come (4AD) does consist of 12 Bible verses that trigger Darnielle's memory of Midwestern skies before rainfall, glances between lovers, dying family members, and old houses creaking beneath the weight of one's hesitation to enter. Not one to suffer without hope, Darnielle comes close to finding salvation with King James' heavy hand. In "Isaiah 45:23" he sings "And I won't get better, but someday I'll be free / 'cuz I am not this body that imprisons me." In Chapter 45, God appoints Cyrus as the restorer of Jerusalem. In Darnielle's verse, he calls for an existence without bodies. "1 John 14:16" sounds like a Jon Brion score from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Darnielle considers his own "counselor" in that verse, as a source of love despite the beasts that too often surround him. (Long)

With Final Fantasy

9 p.m., $25


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000




Erased James Franco

With roles including James Dean and Harvey Milk's boyfriend, Scott Smith, it's clear why James Franco is hovering around gay icon status. Is it any surprise, then, that he'll be appearing in person at the Castro Theatre? Maybe not, but it's still exciting. True Franco fans can catch a double-dose of the eclectic actor, who will also be introducing episodes of Freaks and Geeks at SFMOMA earlier in the day. Sure, you've seen them 80 times already, but can you ever really have too much Daniel Desario? The Castro event is equally intriguing: Franco appears alongside artist Carter and SFMOMA associate curator Frank Smigiel for a screening of Erased James Franco. The film presents Franco stripped to the status of art object as he discusses his past performances. One word of caution: "stripped" is merely a euphemism. For actual James Franco nudity, you'll have to use your imagination. (Louis Peitzman)

3 p.m., $10

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third St., SF


8 p.m., $10

Castro Theatre

429 Castro St, SF



Young Widows

Young Widows are redemptive heroes for a once-burgeoning post-hardcore scene. Seemingly everyone's friend, they have unleashed a veritable tidal wave of split 7-inches in recent years, along with two full-lengths of their own. Alloying plutonium-heavy guitar tones with squalling, unpredictable lead-work, the trio produce a distinctive brand of sleazy, noisy hardcore, with anthemic gang-vocals and the occasional rusty hook layered on top. The band's Louisville, Ky., roots grant them membership in a growing class of talented, idiosyncratic Southern headbangers. (Ben Richardson)

With Russian Circles and Helms Alee

9 p.m., $13

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 621-4455



SkirtChaser 5K

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!