Our Weekly Picks
"Dig This! Local Only Live Showcase": C U Next Weekend
A kick flip here and a hip-hop, indie combo there, C U Next Weekend is hands down the Oakland version of the corporate-backed, top 40 favorite Gym Class Heroes that hit the radio a few years back. The pack of adorable Berkeley boys rock hard and fit into their skate shoes as the perfect party band. Pirate Cat Radio presents "Dig This! Locals Only Live Showcase" at the Uptown every Wednesday. Along with C U Next Weekend, this week's show includes the ambient, soothing sounds of the Blind plus Black Balloon's electric rock. (Amber Schadewald)
9 p.m., free
Uptown Night Club
1928 Telegraph Avenue, Oakl.
"Freaks, Punks, Skanks, and Cranks: Target Video Presents"
Kick-starting this five-part film series on weirdos and wackos is a look-see into Target Video's vast collection of live shows by and interviews with late 1970s and early '80s underground hardcore, punk, and art bands. Launched in 1977 by SF's own Joe Rees, these pre-MTV VHS documents offer a much-needed source of inspiration and revitalization for today's defused and confused punk scenes. But if the distant sounds and visions of Devo, Throbbing Gristle, Mutants, and the Screamers don't whet your nerves, then surely Rees — a veteran who understands effective affects from defective redux — who'll be appearing live, in the flesh, will. (Spencer Young)
6, 8 and 10 p.m., $8–$10
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission, SF
"The High School of Cello Playing" sounds like a weird mashup of Vivaldi and the Ramones, but it's actually a suite of 40 lively, adventurous etudes by overlooked Bohemian composer David Popper (1843-1913). Hot-hot 26-year-old cello sensation Joshua Roman is currently updating the piece for a digital age, using his laptop to record himself performing each etude at random spots on the globe. He'll be joining the SF Symphony to play Haydn's bracing Cello Concerto No. 1. (Beethoven's fab Eroica is also on the menu.) But if you hear some expert fingering in one of the bathroom stalls afterward, don't be alarmed. It's art. (Marke B.)
2 p.m., $15–$145 (also Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.)
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness, SF
Fans of funk, soul, and new directions in hip-hop can take a trip into the BASSment, largely inspired by the innovative Soulive band and its counterpart, Lettuce. Kevin Wong, the leader of this talented quartet, holds down the keys and Hammond sounds with his right hand while his left picks up the bass lines. Guitarist Nate Mercereau adds insight with tasteful nuances and nasty solos. On the drum set, Clarence Lewis IV has his pockets full of funk. Also on the bill is Daniel Casares, tenor saxophonist from SF's Jazz Mafia. Enjoy an evening of classic Italian cuisine and music that will have you dancing. (Lilan Kane)
8 p.m.-midnight, no cover (reservations encouraged)
504 Broadway, SF
A hip-hop artist, poet, and former medical writer, Dessa (a.k.a. Maggie Wander) is the sole female member of Doomtree, the Minneapolis, punk-inspired collective with a thick hometown following. The pen is her sword, lover, and an extension of her analytical soul. Her first album, A Badly Broken Code (Doomtree), dropped earlier this month, bringing dark ideas and dissected theories wrapped in rust-bitten beats. Fellow Doomtree crew member P.O.S. closes the show. (Schadewald)
8:30 p.m., $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF
Founded by Ohio brothers Roger and Lester Troutman in 1978, Zapp soon signed to George Clinton's Uncle Jam Records. In 1980, they released their first single, "More Bounce to the Ounce." Coproduced by Bootsy Collins, that song put them on the map, peaking in the top 20 of Billboard's pop chart and No. 2 on the soul charts. Zapp has had a considerable impact on the G-funk era — Roger Troutman's imaginative use of the talk box and hand-clapped drumbeats make "More Bounce to the Ounce" one of the most sampled songs in hip-hop. "Computer Love" and "Cutie Pie" are still popular staples in dance clubs for a reason. (Kane)
8 and 10 p.m. (also Fri/18–Sat/19), $18–$30
1330 Fillmore, SF
"L@te Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA: Skank Bloc Bologna"
It isn't every night you can see a Scritti Politti cover band. If you love pop music at its smartest and most melodic, you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't heard them, tonight is your chance, since they figure in the DJ list, and local artists Cliff Hengst, Scott Hewicker, and Karla Milosevich are performing Scritti songs. If that's not enough, the evening also includes fencing, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Derek Jarman. (Johnny Ray Huston)
7:30 p.m., $5
Berkeley Art Museum
2626 Bancroft, Berk.
"Renée Green: Endless Dreams and Time-Based Streams"
Renée Green's art has traveled the world, the past two decades engaging with feminism, history, and the subject of travel itself in the process. This show is a homecoming of sorts for the artist, who lives in SF. It's her first major U.S. exhibition in 15 years. Wear a blue shirt, dress, or costume to the opening night, which includes live music by Oakland's Colossal Yes and L.A.'s Wounded Lion. (Huston)
8 p.m., $12–$15
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission, SF
An Evening of Indian Music: From the Classical to Bollywood with Robin Sukhadia
Undeniably the most successful film in Bollywood history, Sholay (1975) follows two small-time criminals hired by a bounty hunter to capture a reckless dacoit. With a soundtrack composed by RD Burman fusing Latin and Afro-Cuban sounds with classical Indian music, it's no wonder this film became a national sensation. Tonight local tabla musician Robin Sukhadia delves into the work of Burman and discusses how his music made this Western–style flick come to life. A performance of entrancing rhythms and beats on the tablas by Sukhadia and Jason Parmar follows the lecture. (Elise-Marie Brown)
6:30 p.m., free
3030 20th St, SF
French musician Vitalic, a.k.a. Pascal Arbez, is no longer as enigmatic as certain French electronic acts. Nonetheless, a scarcity of output lends his releases an air of mystery. Like peers Justice and Daft Punk, he's known for his use of distortion, coming off a bit more like rock than trance. But in order to remain relevant among Ed Bangers and DFAs, one has to adapt. In his first studio album since 2005, Flashmob (Different/PIAS), Arbez sidestep-tackles a new genre — disco. Not post-Saturday Night Fever cheese, but groovy Moroder-esque rhythms as subtle as they are heavy. Arbez has proven that his selective output is mirrored by his choosiness about playing live, so if you miss him now, be prepared for a long wait. (Peter Galvin)
With Sleazemore and Nisus
9 p.m., $13
444 Jessie, SF
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester take the songs, styles, and instrumentation of the Weimar era into the 21st century. Performing with a clever, coolly detached demeanor, Raabe wows the listener with his vocal abilities, then forces laughter with deadpan jokes between songs. The elegant 14-piece orchestra plays traditional German pieces and classics such as "Singin' In The Rain," as well as tongue-in-cheek covers of more contemporary pop tunes. Britney Spears' "Oops! ...I Did It Again," Tom Jones' "Sex Bomb," and Queen's "We Will Rock You" will get a jazzy makeover. (Sean McCourt)
8 p.m., $25–$75
2025 Broadway, Oakl.
Ragga Muffin Festival: Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaac
Barrington Levy is a reggae legend, having established his distinct brand of dancehall music during the Jamaican industry's 1970s boom. Despite his sweet sounding vocals and trademark almost scatting, Levy's workhorse-like output never earned him the U.S. success of other reggae icons like Bob Marley. An unpredictable crooner able to convey romance and rage, he performs at the 29th annual Ragga Muffin Festival, along with a man every bit his equal, the talented Gregory Isaacs. Come prepared to stay Irie. (Galvin)
With Capleton, Cocoa Tea, Tarrus Riley, Sister I-Live
6 p.m., $39.50
1807 Telegraph, Oakl.
Ever since French-Canadian choreographer Sonya Delwaide hit the Bay Area in 1996, her work — often seen on AXIS Dance Company — has been striking for its skill and breadth of imagination. This double bill is a welcome opportunity to see what's going on these days in Delwaide's head. The two-part Je me Souviens (I Remember) explores personal and collective memories. She choreographed it on Peiling Kao and former ODC dancers Andrea Basile, Brandon Freeman, and Yukie Fujimoto. Delwaide is joined in this concert by L.A.-based, South Korea-born Holly Johnston, whose Politics of Intimacy — for six dancers — examines personal and societal norms. (Felciano)
8 p.m. (also Sun/21), $15–$18
Also Sun. Feb.. 21
ODC Dance Commons
351 Shotwell, SF
TRY! Magazine Fundraiser
In publishing TRY! Magazine every other week for an extended period of time, David Brazil and Sara Larsen didn't just try to do it, they did it — it being they united an ever-growing bunch of great writers from the Bay Area and beyond in print. TRY! is ready to make a next step into the future, but to do so, a fundraiser is more than in order. It's hard to think of a local DIY publication that deserves it more, and this should be a hell of a party. (Huston)
6 p.m., $10
416 25th St., Oakl.
For many bands, downtime consists of playing video games, staying out all night, or sleeping the day away. For Fanfarlo, discussing the works of Henry David Thoreau is an ideal way to spend free time. After three years of limited edition singles, these indie darlings from across the pond finally released their debut album, Reservoir (Atlantic/WEA), in late 2009. Reminiscent of Beirut, its blend of mandolins, trumpets, melodicas, and accordions can be astonishing. You might find yourself singing their hypnotic harmonies in your sleep for weeks to come. (Brown)
With April Smith and the Great Picture Show
8 p.m., $16
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF
"Four by Nathaniel Dorsky"
Two years ago, the late, great critic Paul Arthur praised Nathaniel Dorsky as "a formalist with a brimming, elegiac soul." In the new film Compline, this extends to emulsion itself — it's Dorsky's last film in Kodachrome, the stock having been discontinued last summer. His evocations of night — pooling dark, skimming auroras — dazzle. Dorsky has called over a late addition to this program, his first in-color negative, Aubade. Philip Larkin wrote a poem of the same name, and though quite different in spirit from Dorsky's work, one passage matches my picture of the San Francisco filmmaker: "Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare/ In time the curtain-edges will grow light." (Max Goldberg)
7:30 p.m., $9.50
Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft, Berkeley
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