Our Weekly Picks




Fishtank Ensemble

It takes more than a swift set of strings or a Balkan backbeat to be able to stake a claim on the Gypsy music bandwagon, but the Bay Area's Fishtank Ensemble slides smartly into what basically amounts to an ephemeral category by embracing its wider implications. From sinuous, sepia-toned swing to muscular gitano Flamenco to Serbian drinking standards, Fishtank Ensemble's new CD Woman in Sin highlights their flexible musicality. Its tightly-knit collaborative compositions evoke both the roving influences of the Roma, and their far-flung connectivity. Skillfully balancing the talents of an operatic saw-playing chanteuse, Romani-trained violinist, slap-happy Serbian bassist, and Andalusian-inspired ax man, their endless variety leads to sublime cohesion. (Nicole Gluckstern)

8 p.m., $18.50–$19.50

Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse

2020 Addison, Berk.

(510) 548-1761




A Fundraiser for the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair

Bands will battle, cars will crash, people will rage — tonight is not for the faint of heart. Join five Bay Area bands as they duke it out on stage to win the headlining slot at the 33rd annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. The contestants are the Jugtown Pirates, the Tell-Tale Heartbreakers, Project Pimento, Franco Nero, and the Swamees. All proceeds benefit the street fair, a cultural celebration for San Francisco that spotlights emerging and established bands and artists. The night concludes with a crash-up derby contest. (Lilan Kane)

9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), $7

Paradise Lounge

1501 Folsom, SF

(415) 252-5017




The Big Surf Weekend

Despite the fact that the ocean in these parts scares the shit out of me, I harbor a dreamy fondness for surfing. Tan boys with nice upper backs, VW vans — oh, and the zen of riding the waves, obviously. Viz Cinema's surfing film festival provides an excellent reason to paddle out to Japantown — they'll be showing a double header of the first two Endless Summers, and a unique triple feature of Japanese shorts. It includes the daredevil beach bums of Monster Wave in Cape Ashizuri, and Glacier Diary, which is not about surfing, but as the Viz Cinema website assures us, employs "similar filming techniques used to capture waves." Pretty sure they mean the film crew pulled a wake and bake, and used "brah" as endearment while filming. (Caitlin Donohue)

Various show times (through Sat/15), $10

Viz Cinema @ New People

1746 Post, SF

(415) 525-8000




Tejiendo Justicia en Chiapas

Chiapas, Mexico is home to some of the most badass populist activists the world has ever seen. Merely witness the Zapatistas 1994 takeover of San Cristobol de las Casas City Hall when NAFTA took effect (you can, too — the Zapatistas' skilled use of media marked them as early freedom fighters of the information age). But resistance takes less combative forms in the state, also. This free bilingual presentation highlights the efforts of Tzotzil and Tseltal indigenous women who have formed an artisan co-operative in their villages to autonomously improve their economic circumstances, preserve artistic heritage, and remain independent from domestic servitude and forced matrimony. Co-founder Celia Santiz-Ruiz is ready to teach. ¡Viva la lucha! (Donohue)

2 p.m. and 4 p.m., free

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

2868 Mission, SF

(415) 821-1155



Kevin Simmonds' MASS (Making All St. Sebastian)

Next to a crucified Christ, the most prolific image of Christian martyrdom is St. Sebastian. Sebastian was led by soldiers to a stake in a field, whereupon they "shot at [him] till he was as full of arrows as an urchin." For artist Kevin Simmonds, Sebastian's arrow-laden body — which healed completely, hence the saintliness — is a sex symbol and a reason for "celebrating and recasting male sexuality." Simmonds has gathered over 25 men and had them pose as the hapless holy and hole-y figure in MASS (Making All St. Sebastian), a multimedia work that updates the martyr and culminates with a quasi Catholic mass. That's good blasphemy right there. (Miller)

7–8:30 p.m., free

Good Vibrations

1620 Polk, SF

(415) 345-0500



Naked Girls Reading: The Wild Party

The Wild Party by Joseph M. March is a narrative poem that has to be read to be believed. Banned in 1928, the story captured the decadent age of prohibition and has called forth the wild and wicked natures of readers for nearly 100 years. William Burroughs claimed it as "the book that made me want to be a writer." Could there be anything more alluring than an all-female cast reading this smoky, gin-soaked homage to lust, kink, and betrayal? How about if they're naked? Founded one year ago in Chicago by burlesque queen Michelle L'Amour, Naked Girls Reading has inspired franchises all over the world, including this inaugural event in San Francisco organized by "Queen of the Fire Tassels," Lady Monster. The regular readers on board tonight are Dottie Lux, Isis Starr, Kimberlee Cline, Lady Monster, Ruby Vixen and special guest Carol Queen. See you there. (Paula Connelly and D. Scot Miller)

7 p.m., $15 ($20 for the front row)

Center for Sex and Culture

1519 Mission, SF



SF Vintage Paper Fair

Encompassing a vast array of what was at one time considered disposable paper products — now beloved as archival gems by those in the know — the ever-growing ephemera market places great value on artifacts. Revealing a sizable portion of our culture's history, a treasure trove of these goods will be available at this weekend's annual Vintage Paper Fair, be they original pin-up calendars by artists such as Alberto Vargas, historic post cards of places long gone, timetables of discontinued railways, or posters for classic films. Discerning collectors and amateur hobbyists alike are bound to find a priceless paper gem. (Sean McCourt)

10–6 p.m. (also Sun./16), free

Hall of Flowers, SF County Fair Building

Ninth Ave. and Lincoln, SF

(415) 668-1636



Hip-Hop 4 Hope Dance Competition

If you like America's Next Best Dance Crew, then tune in to this event. The Asian American Donor Program (AADP) is presenting the first Hip-Hop 4 Hope Dance Competition, a showcase for Bay Area dance crews with special guest judges. The crews include Soulidified Project, For the Cause, FUSION, FMC, VIP Vallejo, Alliance Streetdance, Eight Count, and Hydef. They'll compete for a chance to win a $1,000 grand prize, while the rest of the proceeds will benefit AADP. You can purchase combo tickets for the after party at Suite 181 online. (Lilan Kane)

7 p.m., $15

Palace of Fine Arts

3301 Lyon , SF

(415) 567-6642



SF Oysterfest

Oysters have long been associated with stout — when the dark beer was first emerging in the 1700s, the tasty bivalves were common food in pubs. Presented by O'Reilly's, one of the city's favorite Irish pubs, the 11th annual Oysterfest brings great food — there are plenty of other options besides the briny treats of the sea — and voluminous drink together, once again. Along for the ride is this year's impressive live music lineup, including Cake and the Raveonettes. There will be cooking demos. (McCourt)

11 a.m., $30 (14 and under free)

Great Meadow at Fort Mason Center

Laguna and Bay, SF




Forbidden Island's Luau

If you can't make it to Hawaii this year, you can still get leied by a native on the exotic island of Alameda, during Forbidden Island's third annual Luau. Tiki lovers have suffered some setbacks lately with the closing of the San Francisco Trader Vic's, and the rumored closing of the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel to make way for some (gag) condos. But local tiki culture is far from dead: there's a hot new tiki bar in Hayes Valley called Smuggler's Cove, and Forbidden Island continues to celebrate the tiki spirit, with a straw thatched interior, giant statues, and a long cocktail menu of scorpion bowls, flaming drinks, and other rum-based, fresh-squeezed fruity surprises. So don your best Hawaiian shirt and haole smile and head to the, um, island for some live hula and fire dancing, Hawaiian BBQ, and live surf music by the Faux Hawaiians and Drifting Sand. (Connelly)

2 p.m.–10 p.m., free

Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

1304 Lincoln, Alameda

(510) 749-0332



SF Food Wars: Amuse Brunch (Brunch in a Bite)

Food culture in San Francisco is always changing. Whether it involves downing tasty treats from the Crème Brulée Cart, eating $50 truffle hamburgers, or spending $11 on a cocktail from Bourbon and Branch, foodies are on the scene. So whenever SF Food Wars has a new event around the corner, tickets sell out — fast. With past installments revolving around mini cupcakes, gourmet macaron and cheese, and chocolate cookies, the savory food competition has built a reputation. This time, competitors are crafting up unique brunch dishes capable of bringing your grandma's frittata recipe to its knees. Warning: this event is not for tiny appetites. (Elise-Marie Brown)

12 p.m., $15

Thirsty Bear Brewery

661 Howard

(415) 974-0905



Bay to Breakers 2010

It's been a long time since 1912, the year the first Bay to Breakers took place, raising the city's morale after the big quake in 1906. Ninety-eight years later, the tradition lives on, as drunken debauchery specialists, nudists, and people in eccentric costumes all strive forward with one goal in mind — making it from one end of the peninsula to the other without passing out. So pull up that gorilla suit, pump the keg, and lace up those Asics, because running outside with your San Francisco brothers

and sisters beats a boring day inside watching reruns of Entourage. (Brown)

8:00 a.m., $39–$50

Steuart and Howard, SF

(415) 359-2800




Shout Out Louds

In 2005, the world was introduced to Stockholm quintet the Shout Out Louds, thanks to their upbeat debut album Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. After worldwide success, tours and two successful records, these indie darlings decided to hide away and record their third album Work in a barn on the outskirts of Seattle. The results, as ever, are melodious and danceable and worthy of praise. (Brown)

8 p.m., $17

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750


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