Our Weekly Picks: July 7-13, 2010

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WEDNESDAY 7

EVENT

The Butterfly Mosque reading

Journalist and author G. Willow Wilson is familiar to comics fans for her Vertigo-published modern fantasy series Air and graphic novel Cairo, both with artist M.K. Perker, as well as her work on various superhero properties. A woman in mainstream comics is unusual enough, but Wilson is also a Muslim. Her new prose memoir, The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam, treats the experiences that led her from her home in Denver through Boston University to time spent teaching in Cairo. Much of her comics work deals with the collision of the West with the Middle East, often in fictionalized political contexts, and this reading and Q & A should include plenty of her uniquely positioned insights on this cultural dynamic. (Sam Stander)

7:30 p.m., free

Booksmith

1644 Haight, SF

(415) 863-8688

www.booksmith.com

 

DANCE

The Foundry

When words fail, a turn of a cheek or small shift in stance can signify a world of meaning. Choreographer, dancer, and director of the Foundry Alex Ketley is hyperconscious of the subtle secrets our bodies both hide and reveal. This consciousness allows him to deconstruct and reconstruct movement in such a way as to capture the emotional unknown that lies beyond words. Enlisting a cast of captivating dancers and former Ballet Frankfurt media artist Les Stuck, Ketley's newest project, Please Love Me, explores how we relate to others and investigates the contradictory nature of love and relationships. (Katie Gaydos)

8 p.m., $20

Z Space at Theater Artaud

450 Florida, SF

www.conservatoryofdance.org

 

THURSDAY 8

FILM

Mulholland Dr.

Lucid dreams, fever dreams, wet dreams — what's the difference in Mulholland Dr., David Lynch's 2001 apocalyptic vision of Hollywood? Above all else, the film is a love story doomed from the very start as Rita (Laura Herring) stumbles out of a car wreck and into the arms of Betty (Naomi Watts, in a performance somewhere between Pollyanna and Patty Hearst). What follows is a Pandora's box — and Rita's got the key to a blue one of those you definitely shouldn't open — of Bergmanesque female trouble, and some surrealist hell to boot: the jitterbug, Roy Orbison, and bite-size geriatrics, to name a few. In every dread-drenched scene, Lynch has our undivided attention even when we have no idea what the hell is going on. (Ryan Lattanzio)

2 and 7 p.m., $7.50–$10

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120

www.castrotheatre.com

 

COMEDY

David Alan Grier

Although he got his start in acting by tackling serious roles and earning a master's at the Yale School of Drama, David Alan Grier got his first taste of mainstream exposure and success as a cast member on the classic 1990s TV show In Living Color, where he brought to life hilarious characters such as Antoine from "Men on Film" and the crazy blues singer Calhoun Tubbs. In the years since, Grier has lent his considerable talents to several other projects, more recently Comedy Central's show Chocolate News and his 2009 book Barack Like Me: The Chocolate Covered Truth. Here's your chance to check out Grier live, uncensored, raw, and on stage. (Sean McCourt)

Through Sun/11

8 p.m. (also Fri/9-Sat/10, 10:15 p.m.)

$22.50–$23.50

Cobb's Comedy Club

915 Columbus, SF

(415) 928-4320

www.cobbscomedyclub.com

 

EVENT

Cybernet Expo

It would seem like a no-brainer, filling a webmaster job at an adult Internet company. Geeks love porn, right? True as that may be, they still need a conference to link them up to the pervy, techie job of their dreams. Never fear, Cybernet Expo is here! The trade show has been linking sticky palms since 1997, and offers seminars, panel discussions, networking opportunities — and a convention-closing get down among the chains and whips of the SF Armory. "Oh yeah, it's gonna be a fun party," says Terry Mundell, business development manager of Kink.com, who will be organizing Saturday night's after hours good times. Even better than a night on his website? (Caitlin Donohue)

Through Sat/10, $199

Golden Gateway Hotel (most events)

1500 Van Ness, SF

www.cybernetexpo.com

 

FRIDAY 9

DANCE

"Symbiosis: A Celebration of Dance and Music"

Kara Davis seems to be able to do it all. A trained ballet dancer, she has danced for the last 14 years with who's who of modern dance in San Francisco. No matter the style and the challenge, she eats it up. Now she is also developing a strong, independent voice as a choreographer for her project agora company. This program, presented as part of Dance Mission Theater's "Down and Dirty Series," is half dance and half music. It reprises Davis' two substantial ensemble pieces, A Softened Law and one Tuesday afternoon, first seen at ODC in December, and the gorgeous 2006 duet, Exit Wound, choreographed for herself and Nol Simonse. Exit's music was written by Sarah Jo Zaharako, whose Gojogo quartet, in the evening's second half, will play more of Zaharako's compositions. The lineup culminates in a premiere, Symbiosis, which features — no surprise here — Davis as a solo dancer. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sun/11

8 p.m., $20

Dance Mission Theater

3316 24th St., SF

www.dancemission.com

 

EVENT

Pantheon

The Temple is Burning Man's sacred space. And this year, the Temple of Flux is really something special, among other reasons for its massive collaboration of various Bay Area tribes to build the biggest and most unusual and ambitious temple in the event's long history (something I know from embedding myself with the project for an upcoming Guardian cover story). But to pull this off, the Temple crew has embarked on an equally aggressive and unprecedented fundraising campaign, the centerpiece of which is Pantheon, featuring Elite Force, Soul of Man, 21 of SF's best DJs, transformative décor, and a slew of sexy gods and goddesses roaming the temple grounds. So don a toga or other Greek or Roman attire and join this bacchanalian celebration. (Steven T. Jones)

9 p.m.–5 a.m., $20–$25

103 Harriett, SF

www.pantheonsf.eventbrite.com

www.temple2010.org

 

SATURDAY 10

VISUAL ART

"Alien/ation"

A showcase of illustrators whose work has appeared in Hyphen magazine, "Alien/ation: An Illustration Show" will open at SPACE Gallery in SF with DJ sets by B-Haul and Gordon Gartrell and live painting from participating artists, in what is billed as "an art riot extravaganza." Currently on its 20th issue, Hyphen is a San Francisco-based publication focusing on Asian American culture, and the crossover of its featured art into a gallery setting is a welcome development. Magazine illustration is generally frequented by talented cartoonists and fine artists, and the artists featured here are excellent and stylistically diverse enough to keep things interesting. Particularly exciting is the inclusion of oddball cartoonist Rob Sato, lush illustrator Kim Herbst, and distinctive portraitist Jon Stich. (Stander)

7 p.m. (artists' reception, 5:30 p.m.), $5

SPACE Gallery

1141 Polk, SF

(415) 377-3325

www.spacegallerysf.com

 

SUNDAY 11

MUSIC

"Simcha! The Jewish Music Festival's 25th Anniversary Party"

Rabbi Nachman, a 14th century Chassidic scholar, counted in his teachings the importance of displaying simcha (Hebrew for joy), like, all day every day so that you could effectively carry out God's commandments. The translation for all you pagan sinners remains salient: you gotta be loose to enjoy the flow. Take simcha as your mantra when you head to the Jewish Music Festival's 25th anniversary party, where tunes from Glenn Hartman and the Klezmer Playboys, the Red Hot Chacklas, Eprhyme, and oh so much more will trip happily through the Yerba Buena Gardens. Duck next door to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Sculpture Court (Third Street at Mission) to check out Jewlia Eisenberg and Charming Hostess' "The Bowls Project: Secrets of the Apocalyptic Intimate," an odd blending of sustainable architecture, the domestic sacred, and haunting evocations of secrets held and shared. (Donohue)

Noon–5 p.m., free

Yerba Buena Gardens

Mission at Fourth St., SF

(510) 848-0237, ext. 119

www.jewishmusicfestival.org

 

MUSIC

Gipsy Kings

It might seem ridiculous to argue that the Gipsy Kings are underrated, but bear with me. Sure, they've sold millions and millions of albums worldwide, and sure, they contributed a key cut to the iconic Big Lebowski (1998) soundtrack (their music is also featured in Toy Story 3). Despite this, or perhaps because of it, they still don't seem to get much respect. The Gipsy Kings aren't anyone's favorite band. People rarely argue about the extent of their cultural influence or whether they're "important." This is a shame, really, because their covers reveal an unexpectedly sly, parodic impulse, while their standard flamenco tracks are actually relatively innovative in their merging of traditional Spanish dance with more modern pop influences. (Zach Ritter)

8 p.m., $85

Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-3000

www.thefillmore.com

 

MUSIC

Weed Diamond

Though Weed Diamond hails from Denver, its conspicuous name alone suggests a sentiment we San Franciscans can relate to. Despite an insistently lo-fi, reverb-soaked gamut — like putting a beautiful indie rock seashell to the ears — these guys aren't afraid of an infectious chorus. They also aren't afraid of paying due respect to their influences, especially in the trippy shoegaze and heavy-on-the-feedback noise pop elements. Now on tour with Dash Jacket and Tan Dollar, Weed Diamond evolved from the solo project of Tim Perry to a full five-piece band and has since played SXSW and up and down the West. It's like a psychoactive bonbon: delicious yet intoxicating. (Lattanzio)

With Tan Dollar and Dash Jacket

4 p.m., free

Milk Bar

1840 Haight, SF

www.milksf.com

 

MONDAY 12

 

PERFORMANCE

"What's Cookin' With Josh Kornbluth"

Monday special at the Contemporary Jewish Museum café: Josh Kornbluth on wry. Popular monologist Kornbluth, fresh from his latest solo flight, Andy Warhol: Good For the Jews?, is once again hanging out on the border of fine art and cultural critique, only this time there's matzo ball soup and a Cobb salad option. It's also more interactive. From noon to 2 p.m. (each Monday over the next five weeks) Kornbluth will be offering conversation to museum patrons bold or clueless enough to enter his well-appointed lair. It's as simple as that. But then, if you know Kornbluth, nothing is ever that simple. (Robert Avila)

Through Aug. 9

Mondays, noon-2 p.m., free (museum admission not included)

Contemporary Jewish Museum

736 Mission, SF

(415) 655-7800

www.thecjm.org 

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