Our Weekly Picks: June 2-8, 2010





Listening to Yoni Wolf's lyrics can sometimes feel kind of icky — not so much because he explicitly recalls masturbating at an art exhibit or watching two men copulate on a basketball court in Berlin (though if that turns you off you can call it quits now). WHY? creates discomfort because Wolf uses his songs as an aural journal. His frank words are morbidly fascinating and brave, giving the impression that he has a personal stake in these songs beyond creating catchy jams that you can bump in your car. An amalgam of hip-hop and indie, WHY? thankfully keeps its distance from backpack rap acts, its collage-like formations rightfully earning the band's place on Oakland's avant-garde Anticon label. (Peter Galvin)

With Donkeys, Josiah Wolf

8 p.m., $16

New Parish

579 18th St., Oakl.

(510) 444-7474





"I sing in synths," U.K. dubstep sensation Ikonika told Pitchfork in March. If so, her voice is blippier than Twiki, wobblier than Jah, and as seductive as a dripping-wet siren. A Hyperdub labelmate of legends Kode9 and Burial, she gets a lot of creative mileage out of simple things: melting melodies, clanging percussion, and a few well-placed tempo changes. Latest album, Contact, Want, Love, Have belongs to a handful of releases that have helped change the dubstep game by focusing more on synth sounds (absorbing the lessons of the latest synth wave revival) while backing slightly off from the endless, deafening boom. That's a great thing when it leads to slices like "The Idiot," which sounds like a traditional English morris dance gone cosmically batty. "To me, that's the whole point: Making these machines express their emotions, just like WALL-E ," she continued. Beam us down, sister. (Marke B.)

10 p.m., $5–$7

Paradise Lounge

1501 Folsom, SF



"Matcha: The Shanghai Dress Fashion Show"

Some people consider fashion to be the vile heart of a multibillion dollar industry fueled by the single goal of growing consumerism. And you know what? They might be right. But fashion, at its core, is about expressing a certain artistic individuality with the clothing you wear. Shanghai mega-designer Jane Zhu has spent most of her career mastering the art of the qipao pattern-making, an endeavor that has landed her in Vogue, Newsweek, Elle China, and more. Tonight Zhu shares her work and discusses the historical craftsmanship that inspired her pieces. (Elise-Marie Brown)

5 p.m., $10

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin, SF

(415) 581-3500



Golden Girls

Truly, one hasn't lived until one has experienced a drag episode of Golden Girls — live and in person. Heklina and her gang of merry players (Cookie Dough, Pollo Del Mar, and Matthew Martin) have returned just in time for Pride month to regale us with their geriatric-themed barbs and snipes. The tight set-up onstage at Mama Calizio's is perfect for the fixed-view sitcom look, and recordings of ads from the era play during the breaks for costume changes. One gets the sense that for this cast of kooky queens, the Girls deserve all the acting prowess worthy of say, Pinter, or Tennessee Williams. Their love for the form is contagious. Get your tickets before they go. (Caitlin Donohue)

Through June 25

Thurs.–Sat., 7 and 9 p.m., $20

Mama Calizo's Voice Factory

1519 Mission, SF

(415) 504-2432



"Hipster Apocalypse"

Hipsters are an interesting and continuously morphing breed. The goal is simple: discover the newest forms of fashion, listen to as many talentless bands as possible, and remain ironic while doing so. Although many hipsters feel they are unique — with their tastes for Pabst Blue Ribbon, mustaches, and flannel — in the end, they all look the same. In the 1950s, we had the beatniks with their poetry and theories on society. Today we have Web-obsessed, fixed-gear bike-riding foodies prolonging the path to their inevitable corporate jobs and suburban tract homes. This group art installation, pointedly titled "Hipster Apocalypse," chronicles the rise of hipsterdom and the beast it has become. (Brown)

Through June 27

8 p.m. (reception), free

Cafe Royale

800 Post, SF

(415) 441-4099




"If Only"

"If Only," a solo installation by Norway-born artist Rune Olsen, is tragicomedy at its simplest and finest. Involving tethered sculptures of zombie children connected criss-cross throughout the gallery space, "If Only" begs a few important — if ridiculous — questions. Are children actually pets? Can they be trusted? And, should we train them like we do dogs and horses? Also of particular import to San Francisco (where pets outnumber children), a reverse phenomenon occurs where pets are treated like children: doggies get designer haircuts and custom Air Jordans, and cats get fine food and strollers. If only our pets could graduate college and help us retire. (Spencer Young)

Through July 17

5–8 p.m. (reception), free

Johansson Projects

2300 Telegraph, Oakl.

(510) 444-9140




San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

One wonders what would happen were we to kick out Obama, Cameron, Jintao, and Ahmadinejad tomorrow and install in their places the most accomplished dancer in each country. Would their swirls, toe points, and hip thrusts communicate with more eloquence than current G20 summits and United Nation convergences do today? One can only dream. At this festival, though, we can see the cultures of the world uniting for a month-long celebration of that physical language spoken by most cultures from the onset of culture itself. Featured this year (the fest's 32nd) are Bay Area groups presenting dances from Uzbekistan to the Congo and back again. Shake a leg to the performances for some truly stunning art as well as some cross-cultural contrasts and compliments. (Caitlin Donohue)

Through June 27

Sat.–Sun., 2 p.m. (also Sat, 8 p.m.), $22–$44

Palace of Fine Arts

3301 Lyon, SF

(415) 474-3914



Matt and Kim

A guy on keys and a girl on drums, singing catchy pop songs, Matt and Kim are poster-children for keepin' it simple. Famously putting on shows that resemble chummy block parties more than performances, the Brooklyn duo of Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino may have slowed down their aggressively DIY pop-punk a notch for their second LP, Grand, but the change in tempo hasn't slowed the band's knack for irresistible sing-alongs. Why brave the Sunday crowds at Shoreline Amphitheater (see Hole pick, below) when you can get that intimate experience from Live 105's BFD pre-party right here in the city? Also acceptable: going to both. (Galvin)

With Golden Filer, Soft Pack

9 p.m., $20


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880



The Glorious World Cup party

Forget the fuckin' Super Bowl — the only sporting event involving football and a true world champion is the World Cup. The 2010 installment gets underway June 11 in host country South Africa; Team USA plays its first match (vs. Team England — it's gonna be revolutionary!) the following day. Get yourself even more pumped for a solid month of footy fiending (and those 4:30 a.m. games, thanks to the time difference between Calif. and S.A.) at the extremely timely book launch for Alan Black and David Henry Sterry's The Glorious World Cup, subtitled A Fanatic's Guide. Events include a contest to see who can scream "GOOOOOAAAALLLL!" with the most roof-rattling excitement. Consider it a warm-up for many exciting GOOOOOAAAALLLLs to come. (Cheryl Eddy)

8 p.m., free

Edinburgh Castle Pub

950 Geary, SF

(415) 885-4074





For nearly 20 years, Courtney Love has been a polarizing figure in alternative rock, first with her band Hole, then through her well-documented relationship with Kurt Cobain, on through to her various transgressions in the media. Tabloid headlines aside, Love is someone you can't take your eyes off of. Whether you compare her voyages to watching a train wreck or consider her a talented yet troubled performer, she remains a fascinating study. But the 45-year-old seems to have put her notorious habits to bed, at least for now, as evidenced in her calm and collected visits on several talk shows lately, even putting in an appearance on The View, where she recounted living in San Francisco in the 1980s. But don't assume the coherent and sober Love has abandoned all of her ferocity. With the freshly resurrected Hole and a new album Nobody's Daughter, her searing vocals can cut through distorted guitars as sharply as they did circa 1994. (Sean McCourt)

Live 105's BFD

Noon, $32.50

Shoreline Amphitheater

One Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mtn. View



Jaguar Love

I guess it was silly to think that the break-up of hardcore band the Blood Brothers in 2007 would mean the end of Johnny Whitney. While his less-screamy former partner, Jordan Blilie, was last seen singing within the lines as Past Lives, Whitney has consistently taken a more bombastic approach, first infusing his side-project Neon Blonde with electro-clash and now packing his full-time band Jaguar Love with dance cues. Jaguar Love continues to spotlight Whitney's infamous vocals but follows more traditional song structures that make the hooks a co-headliner. The actual co-headliner of the "Coin-Toss Tour" is Japanther, and the two bands will share gear and flip a coin before each show to see who plays first. (Galvin)

With Japanther

9:00 p.m., $14

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750




Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

It's been a long time since "Tha Crossroads" hit the airwaves back in the '90's. Only a group as smooth and poetic as Bone Thugs-n-Harmony could write a rap song about the afterlife and make it a No. 1 hit. The Grammy-winning hip-hop group from Glenville, Ohio, has worked with the (now-deceased) likes of Eazy-E, Notorious B.I.G., and Tupac Shakur, and has still managed to stay in the game. Come out and raise a glass, or a 40, as they introduce some songs from their upcoming album, Uni-5: The World's Enemy. (Brown)

7:30 p.m., $30


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421




Henry Rollins

Having made a name for himself in the early hardcore punk scene with his muscular delivery as singer for Black Flag from 1981-86, and later with his own eponymous band, Henry Rollins has again turned his attention to spoken word performances. He approaches the medium as intensely as he does a musical performance, energetically sharing his political and social viewpoints, stories from his life, and tales from his experiences on the road. On this stop of his "Frequent Flyer" tour, expect a barrage of entertaining and enlightening anecdotes presented as only Rollins can do. It will be three hours of nonstop talking, but it will be over before you know it, with the feeling that you just experienced a concert, comedy show, current affairs lecture, and cathartic confessional all rolled into one exhilarating time. (McCourt)

8 p.m., $25

Herbst Theatre

401 Van Ness, SF


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