Our Weekly picks: June 23-29, 2010



"Double Feature: The Facebook Effect and Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
Cloud cover is pretty fierce these days. No, I'm not bitching about that early summer haze — it's all about the cloud computing movement, which takes every byte of data you type into your keyboard and saves it to the Internet hive IQ. The cloud — and the long tail, a related concept — are entities that are coming to define life in the Information Age, and if you're not schooled in their ramifications, you might want to study up. Enter the Commonwealth Club's upcoming lecture, in which some of the leading authors in the Internet game elucidate us on the behemoth hive minds of Facebook and Google. (Caitlin Donohue)
6 p.m., $14–$45
Commonwealth Club Office
595 Market, Second Floor, SF
(415) 597-6700

"Old School" reading
The National Queer Arts Festival brings the final cycle of "Old School: Writers Unearth and Reimagine the Lives and Legacies of Queers Gone By" to the San Francisco Public Library. This week, four of San Francisco's juiciest writers and artists-in-residence — Justin Chin, Cyd Nova, Ali Liebegott, and Len Plass — interpret living gay back in the proverbial day. Google their names and you'll see they are small-scale local celebrities, especially Nova for his appearance in Original Plumbing, a magazine for FTM trans men whose name needs no explanation. In becoming socially-conscious literary performers, these four harbingers of Bay Area queerdom not only subvert what it means to belong to a group, but also what it means to belong to a genre. (Ryan Lattanzio)
6 p.m., free
Koret Auditorium
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin, SF
(415) 557-4400


Much Ado About Lebrowski
Get ready for a Coen brothers classic reinterpreted in the parlance of Elizabethan times, courtesy of Primitive Screwheads, SF's premier camp-cult-horror live theater company. Much Ado About Lebrowski tells the story of Sir Geoffrey of Lebrowski, presumably a premodern layabout of epic proportions. After all, The Big Lebowski (1998) has more in common than you might have realized with Shakespeare's wildly implausible comedies of errors; in fact, they've been combined before (see: the off-off-Broadway show Two Gentlemen of Lebrowski). CellSpace will be serving White Russians in accordance with Lebowski tradition, and if you need it, I'm sure they can get you a toe. The play also runs in July at the Off-Market Theater. (Sam Stander)
Thurs/24-Sun/27 and July 24, 8 p.m., $20
2050 Bryant, SF
(415) 820-3907


"The Dresses/Objects Project"
Even if you're not into clothes — particularly if you're not — Erin Mei-Ling Stuart's fashion shows, presented in conjunction with the opening of Katrina Rodabaugh's "The Dresses/Objects Project," will get your head going. The dancer-models will be wearing "objects" inspired by Gertrude Stein's process of stripping language of its baggage. Although she died in 1946, Stein may well have been the first deconstructionist. So perhaps it's no surprise that her work still fascinates artists like Rodabaugh, who invited some 30 colleagues in a variety of disciplines to join her in creating objects that reflect Stein's innovative thinking. To start, Rodabaugh gave the women fabric hand-printed with excerpts from Stein's "Objects" section of her Tender Button poems. The resulting exhibit runs until July 18. (Rita Felciano)
Through Sat/26
7:30-9 p.m., free
Z Space at Theater Artaud
450 Florida, SF

"Wizards, Lizards, and Broads"
Vaughn Bode is probably the most influential artist you've never heard of. A central figure in Manhattan's late 1960s alternative comics scene, Bode created a stock of imagery and characters that continues to be a staple of underground visual media. Those potbellied, sleepy-eyed lizards that are the emblems of so many street artists and ambitious taggers? They're all based on recurring characters from Bode's work. The absurdly proportioned women — their cartoonish curves rendered in sharp primary colors — which seem to adorn every other concert flyer or rave promo? Bode's as well. The 1AM Gallery's retrospective will include heretofore unseen pieces from the Bode archives, as well as pieces by Mark Bode — Vaughn's son and a respected cartoonist in his own right. (Zach Ritter)
Through July 31
Opening reception 7–10 p.m., free
First Amendment Gallery
1000 Howard, SF
(415) 861-5089


Zoroaster rose to metal prominence from the deepest underground, winning staunch allies with its crushing riffs and psychedelic, otherworldly excursions. The Atlanta band is releasing its second album Matador (E1 Music) on July 13, and the audience at its upcoming Parkside gig can be expect to be pummeled into oblivion by an array of thunderous new tunes. Those without an appetite for extreme fuzziness should stay away. Suffice to say, Zoroaster is really heavy, though no one puts it more eloquently than the band itself, when it claims to sound "like a dinosaur taking a shit." (Ben Richardson)
With Black Tusk, Dark Castle, Serpent Crown
9 p.m., $12
Thee Parkside
1600 17th St., SF
(415) 252-1330

"Sherman's Lagoon: Finning Isn't Funny"
Artist Jim Toomey has been a longtime advocate for the marine environment, exploring a variety of issues in his popular comic strip Sherman's Lagoon, which follows the adventures of a lovable shark and his friends. Opening today is "Finning Isn't Funny," an exhibit featuring a series of strips that rallied against the horrific practice of shark finning, which needlessly kills or maims millions of sharks each year to fill demand for shark fin soup, a delicacy in several parts of the world. Toomey will be on hand to lead special cartooning classes and sign books for fans to celebrate the exhibit, which also contains an action station for people to send postcards to the National Marine Fisheries Service to express their feelings on the subject. (Sean McCourt)
Cartooning classes, 2 and 3 p.m.; book signing, 4 p.m.
free–$10 with aquarium admission ($8–$16.95)
Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, SF
(415) 623-5300

Concrete Blonde
Well, fuck me. Concrete Blonde's Bloodletting is 20. But when I hear the incomparable tempered steel and raw earth vocals of Johnette Napolitano, the elegiac swoop of James Mankey's guitars, and the disarming poetry of lines such as "don't bring tomorrow to justify tonight," I'm not instantly transported back to my junior year of high school, but am struck by how immutably timeless it all still sounds. Undead, perhaps, because of those vampire references, but when have vampires ever gone out of style? Vampires, lovers, junkies, God, and other immortals will all have their moment when Concrete Blonde takes the stage to play Bloodletting in its entirety — and with any luck their whole damn discography with it. (Nicole Gluckstern)
With Flametal
9 p.m., $32
Regency Ballroom
1290 Sutter, SF

Kunst-Stoff/arts fest 2010
Come summertime San Francisco's prominent dance companies usually take a hiatus. SF Ballet wrapped up its 2010 season in May and Lines Ballet is off on an international tour. So what's a dance enthusiast to do? Rest assured, balletomanes, the summer months offer less well-known, but equally impressive, dance companies a chance to shine. Yannis Adoniou, founder and artistic director of Kunst-Stoff, is kicking off the summer by bringing a diverse group of dance artists, from the Bay Area and beyond, to one stage for four consecutive weekends. The first weekend of Kunst-Stoff/arts fest 2010 features Yannis Adoniou himself with Prum Ok, Mary Carbonara, and Janine Cayla Trinidad. (Katie Gaydos)
Through July 18
Sat.–Sun., 8:30 p.m., $15
Kunst-Stoff Arts
929 Market, Suite 500, SF
(415) 777-0172


Saint Vitus
Legendary L.A. doomsters Saint Vitus return to the DNA Lounge, a venue they packed to the gills last time around in late January. Few genres of music benefit more from hard-won, hard-bitten experience, and though the untamed hair onstage has long gone gray, singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich and guitarist Dave Chandler form the engine room of an unstoppable rock battleship. Their songs may bemoan being "Born Too Late," but as a new generation of headbangers forms rank alongside a core of grizzled die-hards, Vitus' timing seems pretty impeccable. (Richardson)
With Hammers of Misfortune, Walken, Stone Axe
7:30 p.m., $20
DNA Lounge
375 11th St., SF
(415) 626-1409

Max Weinberg Big Band
Veteran drummer Max Weinberg has pounded the skins for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, been Conan O'Brien's musical sidekick since 1993, and played with a who's who of showbiz legends, including Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and more. Now that the Boss is taking a break from touring and O'Brien has been forced off the air until fall, Weinberg isn't content to rest on his laurels — he's convened a 15 piece big band fashioned in the sound and spirit of the classic era of swing. Jump up on the dance floor and travel back in time for a true night out on the town. (McCourt)
5 and 7 p.m., $5–$25
Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore, SF
(415) 655-5600


CocoRosie escapes label pressures and fan pandering by being consistently weird. Sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady's musical approach is like an amazing Technicolor dreamcoat, leapfrogging from freak folk to hip-hop in an avant-garde style that recalls classic torch singers as much as it does Disney. Such a grab bag of influences increases the sisters' chances of alienating listeners, but they don't seem to mind being relegated to the indie periphery as long as there are more than enough of us weirdos to make those records profitable. Sporting what is easily the worst cover art of the year, their latest LP Grey Oceans is as soft and beautiful as it is predictably impenetrable. Expect the live show to be more performance art than performance, and probably a good people-watchin' spot. (Peter Galvin)
With Cibelle
8 p.m., $21
Regency Ballroom
1290 Sutter, SF


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