Our Weekly Picks





Ben Levy

Folk and social dancing exert a pull on the imagination because they allow for participation even if you have two left feet. Ben Levy's Intimate Visibilitypart of Dancers Group's ONSITE program, which sponsors free public performances in primarily outdoor locations — is a contemporary version of the informal dances at family gatherings. Instead of making friends on Facebook, Levy suggests trying it on the street. He designed the piece for video installation, dancers, and a flash mob. Unlike ONSITE's first participant, Patrick Makuakane, who put his "Hit and Run" Hula dancers on a city bus and performed, more or less randomly, at 10 different locations on a single day, Levy is traveling his intimate show for hundreds through March 26. (Rita Felciano)

8 p.m., free

Washington Square, SF

9 p.m., free

Union Square, SF





Filthy Thieving Bastards

Prepare yourself for a punk rock Paddy's Day with an all-star lineup that'll do Brendan Behan proud. Counting members of the Swingin' Utters among their rank, the Filthy Thieving Bastards combine the influences of their independent upbringing with the sounds of the legendary Pogues and other folk-fueled rockers. The band's material runs from stripped down working-class ballads to raucous tunes. Special guests include Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves, Zander Schloss of the Circle Jerks, and Sean Wheeler of Throwrag. (Sean McCourt)

8 p.m., $10

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St., SF

(415) 252-1330





After winning the Mercury Music Prize for its debut album Bring It On (Hut/Virgin) in 1998, Gomez didn't bask in its newfound success. Instead, it headed back to the studio, created another album, and hasn't looked back since. Twelve years later, the "How We Operate" rockers from across the pond are on the brink of their sixth studio album, A New Tide (ATO). Opening acts for its three-night stint include Buddy, One eskimO, and the Little Ones. (Elise-Marie Brown)

9 p.m. (through Fri/19), $28

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750





Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

It was only a matter of time before the swirling, seductive sounds of West Africa made significant inroads into American indie music, and the past couple years have finally seen that come to a rightful fruition. A case in point is Sub Pop's launch of its world music offshoot Next Ambiance, whose first release I Speak Fula by Mali's Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba is an intoxicating brew of soaring griot sing-song and near-mystical finger-picking on Kouyate's native ngoni lute. (Brady Welch)

With DJ Said

8 p.m., $20–$25


333 11th St., SF

(415) 255-0333




Shout at the Devil Karaoke

I go to my share of live shows, but some of my best 2010 musical experiences have been courtesy of Shout at the Devil Karaoke. Traveling KJ Nathan is gradually accumulating a song list that'll please or at least appease those with a taste for metal, and there are other odd delights (Strawberry Switchblade's "Since Yesterday," anyone?) mixed in with the standards. For some reason, I'm drawn to Foreigner lately. Maybe it's my double vision. But my ears have enjoyed Genevieve's note- and look-perfect update of Olivia Newton John's "Magic," and the way anyone can walk in off the street and blow everyone away. (Johnny Ray Huston)

9 p.m., free

Pissed Off Pete's

4528 Mission, SF

(415) 584-5122




Monsturd and Retardead Double Feature

San Francisco schlockmeisters Rick Popko and Dan West are hard at work on a brand-new bad-taste should-be classic (the concept in five words or less: Satanists in wine country). But there'll be no shortage of fake blood and goofy jokes at a night highlighting their previous efforts: 2008's lower-education zombie epic Retardead, and their greatest contribution to cinema to date, 2003's Monsturd. The prison escapee-turned-monster is made of poop, people! POOP! You can't run! You can't hide! You can't even take a shit in peace! Thrillville's Will the Thrill oversees the fecal festivities, while Meshugga Beach Party strums live surf jams. (Cheryl Eddy)

7:30 p.m., $10

Four Star

2200 Clement, SF

(415) 666-3488




Groove Armada

London-based electronic smoothies Groove Armada live on the same knife's edge of popular dance music favored by mega-acts like Crystal Method and Sasha and Digweed. Underground snobs (ahem) love to hate them because, while the music of these go-to stadium-fillers can evoke moody atmospherics and fractured hipbones in equal measure, it never quite pushes into intellectually interesting territory. Plus, like, my mom's really into them. But we also hate to love them — no matter how many forests of Glo-sticks we have to mow down, we'll still try to make it to the speakers at their live shows. The new Black Light (OM) has shaky vocal moments, but the beat keeps knockin'. Wear your shades to the Fillmore, though, because the light show's the real star. (Marke B.)

8 p.m. (also Fri/19), $30

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000





"Zigaboogaloo: A Celebration of Legendary Funk Drummer Zigaboo Modeliste with an All-Star New Orleans Funk Revue"

Zigaboo Modeliste, best known from his work with the Meters, is one of the best drummers and percussionists in the American funk scene. He's in the Bay for a three-night run, joined by New Orleans natives Dr. John (keys), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Donald Harrison (sax) and others for an all-star funk revue. A prolific songwriter as well, Ziggy has written more than 200 tunes. The "godfather of groove," his music has been featured in movies like 1997's Jackie Brown and has been sampled by Queen Latifah, Run DMC, NWA, Ice Cube, and other hip-hop icons. (Lilan Kane)

8 and 10 p.m. (also Sun/21, 2 and 7 p.m.), $5–$35


510 Embarcadero West, Oakl.

(510) 238-9200




Harlem Gospel Choir

The beat of the tambourine, uplifting cries of the soprano section, and echoing reverberations of the organ merge to create the colossal sound that is gospel music. From the historically rich jazz neighborhood in New York, the world-renowned Harlem Gospel Choir brings soul-enriching hymns to the Jewish Community Center. Be prepared to spend the evening clapping your hands and stomping your feet. (Brown)

8 p.m., $45

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

3200 California, SF

(415) 292-1200




Sunshine Anderson

Under the management of Macy Gray, Sunshine Anderson debuted with her 2001 album Your Woman (Atlantic Records). Her hit single "Heard It All Before" reached No. 3 on the R&B charts. With songs everyone can relate to and a husky, sexy voice everyone wants to hear, Sunshine now records and performs with Matthew Knowles' label. Tonight she's joined by East Bay soul singers FEMI and Viveca Hawkins. Three voices in one night — treat yourself to a triple threat. (Kane)

9 p.m., $16,

Shattuck Down Low

2284 Shattuck, Berk.

(510) 705-1151




Mandolin Magic with Avi Avital

Oh, the mandolin, a miniature relative of the guitar. I've always admired musicians who could master playing chords on such a small neck while plucking on the tiny strings, and Avi Avital is no exception. The multifaceted Israeli musician attended Padua Conservatory. Tonight he plays live renditions of Bach's Concerto in A Minor, Golijov's "Last Round," and Beethoven's Andante con Variazioni, accompanied by a double string quartet. (Brown)

8 p.m., free

Herbst Theatre

401 Van Ness, SF

(415) 248-1640





Ub Iwerks

Before he was 007, Sean Connery played a small-town Irishman in the 1959 Disney favorite Darby O'Gill and the Little People. The role helped get the attention of Bond producers, but the real star of the movie was the Nodal Point Camera. By creating the correct scale between actors portraying humans and short, mythical creatures, the new technology helped give life to the film's story of an old man's run-ins with the king of the leprechauns. This afternoon, Don Iwerks discusses how his father, the legendary Ub Iwerks (who also helped animate the first Mickey Mouse cartoons and contributed to special effects for Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 The Birds) created the camera. (McCourt)

3 p.m., $10

Walt Disney Family Museum Theater

104 Montgomery, SF

(415) 345-6800




Chitresh Das Dance Company

Dancers in their 30s often know that a career change is imminent. So what is 65-year-old Chitresh Das doing dancing with Jason Samuels Smith, who is more than 30 years his junior? Setting the floorboards afire with percussive dancing that is virtuosic. Just to keep it "simple," two of the four feet on stage are barefoot, with 25 pounds of bells attached to them. If you haven't seen these two master practitioners — kathak for Das, tap for Smith — this is the time. The show has an early curtain because a gala dinner follows (separate tickets required). (Felciano)

6 p.m., $35–$75

Palace of Fine Arts

3601 Lyon, SF

(415) 392-4400





Monday Soul Series presents Jamillions

You may have heard Jamillions on Wild 94.9 or 106 KMEL or seen his name on the back of someone's album — the man has recorded with major players including Traxamillion, Too Short, and Clyde Carson. With either a microphone or a pen in his hand, he breaks the current mold in a world of auto-tuning and ghostwriting. He's busy recording his debut album and is ready to give a little live preview. Gracious, talented, and driven, Jamillions just might find himself in the same ranks as Ne-Yo and Usher one day. (Kane)

10 p.m., free

Air Lounge

492 Ninth Street, Oakl.

(510) 444-2377






Imelda May

Mainstream American audiences got their first glimpse of Irish chanteuse Imelda May at this year's Grammy Awards, where she sang with Jeff Beck in tribute to the late Les Paul. But the dervish from Dublin has been rocking stages for more than a decade in the U.K.. Taking the sounds of traditional rockabilly and giving them an injection of her own infectious energy and style, May can make listeners swoon at a ballad like "Falling In Love With You Again" or jump to attention on searing rockers like "Johnny Got A Boom Boom." She's opening for Jamie Cullum, but you can be sure the next time she's stateside she'll be the well-deserving headliner. (McCourt)

8 p.m., $35


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 371-5500




Devendra Banhart and the Grogs

The first time I saw Devendra Banhart perform, he refused to begin playing until someone in the audience supplied him with drugs. It's difficult to say how much he was playing into his role as the forerunner of "freak-folk," but both his musical and social experiments indicate that he is unpredictable. Ridiculously prolific and sometimes experimental to a fault, Banhart has spent the last decade mining psychedelic pop, Laurel Canyon folk balladry and R&B, often singing in Spanish. On his Warner Bros. debut What Will Be, his sound remains as schizophrenic as ever but shows a bit more restraint. Perhaps the slippery white whale of a style Banhart's been seeking all these years is finally within reach. (Peter Galvin)

With Dorothy and the Originals

8 p.m., $25

Warfield Theatre

982 Market, SF

(415) 775-7722 www.thewarfieldtheatre.com The Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, a brief description of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only isn't sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, and admission costs. Send information to Listings, the Guardian Building, 135 Mississippi St., SF, CA 94107; fax to (415) 487-2506; or e-mail (paste press release into e-mail body — no text attachments, please) to listings@sfbg.com. We cannot guarantee the return of photos, but enclosing an SASE helps. 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.