Our weekly picks - Page 4

What to do Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2009

At a glance, what I really like are the vast differences between Dean Dempsey's colorful backlit image of himself times five post-racketball in a locker room; Richard Bluecloud Cataneda's black-and-white vision of himself times nine in street, ceremonial, and clown guises; and Susan Wu's 10 card-size drawings that render her face, disembodied, as masks of a sort. These contrasts demonstrate the breadth and potential of contemporary self-portraiture rather than its narcissistic pitfalls. (Huston)

Noon–6 p.m., free

The Peanut Gallery

855 Folsom, #108, SF

(415) 341-0074




Conspiracy of Beards

Few beards exist in the 30-man a capella choir Conspiracy of Beards. This is not surprising, considering they sing the songs of Leonard Cohen, who seems to prefer the scrape of a razor to any soft cushion. If you were rich (or desperate) enough to pay the $90 ticket fee to see Mr. Cohen back in April at the Paramount in Oakland, then you know it was for the words. A poet dressed in a musician's clothing, Cohen is most potent when his lyrics do all the songs' work, which they usually do. The a capella setup of Conspiracy of Beards proves to be genius when you hear 30 men singing "Giving me head on the unmade bed." Cohen's signature synthpop sound is delivered courtesy of the bass vocals on songs like "First We Take Manhattan" and "Tower of Song." And "Famous Blue Raincoat" is more ominous than sad. Don't be surprised if the Cafe Du Nord suddenly becomes a cathedral. (Lorian Long)

With StitchCraft, King City

8:30 p.m., $10

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016

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