Our Weekly Picks: October 13-19





Vader's history stretches back almost 30 years. Borrowing Darth's moniker might not have been the world's most original idea, but they were likely among the first to have done it. The Polish death metal stalwarts formed in 1983 in Olstzyn, deep behind the Iron Curtain. Successful demo recordings got them hooked with Earache Records, and the band has been pillaging the world's stages ever since. Guitarist-singer Piotr Wiwczarek is the only original member left in the fold, but the band's anthemic music is as potent as ever, mixing impossibly thick blast beats with heavy slabs of neoclassical melody. Their upcoming album Return to the Morbid Reich is a nod to the 1990 demo that made their name; this tour, they're inviting you along for the ride. (Ben Richardson)

With Immolation, Abigail Williams, Lecherous Nocturne, and Pathology

6:30 p.m., $22

DNA Lounge

375 11th St., SF

(415) 626-1409





Lines Ballet

The story of Scheherazade and her 1,001 nights of tales to postpone her beheading by the Persian king has intrigued and captivated audiences for ages. Choreographer Alonzo King's dance adaptation Scheherazade delves beyond the story to explore themes ranging from the symbolism of abused women to the transformative power imbued in the tales. The company of chiseled titans dance alongside tabla master Zakir Hussain's score, which incorporates traditional Persian instrumentation into the original classical composition by Rimsky-Korsakov. The piece premiered in Monaco last December; San Franciscans can now experience King's artistic rendering of Scheherazade's classic tale for themselves. (Emmaly Wiederholt)

Through Oct. 24

Thurs/14, 7 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 8 p.m.;

Sun., 5 p.m.; Oct. 20–21, 7:30 p.m., $25–$75

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Novellus Theater

700 Howard, SF

(415) 978-2787




"Jim Henson and Friends: Inside the Sesame Street Vault"

Consider the Muppet. Made of foam and googly eyes, set atop spindly legs under a mop of primary-color hair, these brave figures have become our children's teachers on a level unparalleled in the world of infotainment. We're talking street, of course — Sesame Street, which since its 1969 debut has won 97 Emmy awards, more than any other show. Yerba Buena Center for the Art is running a series of Sesame clip collections, and today's viewing pays homage to the contributions of the show's early creative team, with a special furry hug to creator Jim Henson, and little-seen guest appearances from the show's early days. (Caitlin Donohue)

7:30 p.m. (also Sat/16, 2 p.m.), $6–$8

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF

(415) 978-2787




"CounterPULSE's Performing Diaspora: Sri Susilowati"

Stripping world dance of its trappings is quite the rage these days. But few have done it so radically as Indonesian classical dancer did Sri Susilowati at last year's Performing Diaspora festival. Yet this was the same artist who, only a few months before at the Ethnic Dance Festival, had performed an exquisite, contemporary Javanese mourning dance. Now she is back, having been invited to expand on her 2009 piece. Susilowati may look one of those ethereal dance creatures whose bodies are so stylized that it's difficult to think of them having earthly passions. Yet they do. Hint on Susilowati: food. Another Indonesian dancer, Prumsodun Ok, opens the show for her. (Rita Felciano)

Thurs/14–Sat/16, 8 p.m.; Sun/17, 3 p.m., $24


1310 Mission St./SF

(415) 626-2060




Fresh and Onlys and Kelley Stoltz

San Francisco-based artists the Fresh and Onlys and Kelley Stoltz will both have new albums on hand at this double CD release blowout. The new Fresh and Onlys disc, Play It Strange, showcases the band's garage-rocky spin on 1960s pop, and was recorded for the first time outside of a DIY studio setup with Comets on Fire producer Tim Green. Stoltz releases his newest batch of throwbacks to the Beatles' and Beach Boys' style of sunny pop with To Dreamers. This is a perfect night to come out and support local music. (Landon Moblad)

With Carletta Sue Kay

9:30 p.m., $12

Café Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016





Dandelion Dancetheater

Known for its loud, provocative works merging dance, drama, and music, Dandelion Dancetheater turns its attention to motherhood in MamaLOVE: Seeds of Winter. The seven-women cast explores mom-related themes by diffusing fairy tales, myths, and lullabies to discover the context and relevance of the cultural archetypes and stereotypes surrounding motherhood. Each evening brings a rotating roster of guest mama-choreographers: Mary Carbonara, Tammy Cheney, Laura Elaine Ellis, Suzanne Gallo, Dana Lawton, Laura Renaud-Wilson, and Chingchi Yu. Directed by Kimiko Guthrie, the show promises to be haunting, hilarious, and not to be missed as the mom-artists address the complexities of love, loss, connection, and independence. (Wiederholt)

Though Oct. 24

Fri-Sat, 8 p.m.; Sun, 7 p.m. (also Oct. 24, 3 p.m.), $12-15

Shawl Anderson Dance Center

2704 Alcatraz, Berk.

(510) 654-5921





"Longplayer San Francisco: 1,000 Years in Three Simultaneous Acts"

As a founding member of legendary rabble-rousers the Pogues, Jem Finer helped the band deconstruct traditional Irish music and create a new musical creature out of its varied influences. Taking this willingness to experiment with different sounds and ideas and bringing it to another level, Finer composed Longplayer, a piece designed to last 1,000 years and played on instruments such as Tibetan bowl gongs. Today's special performance will be a 1,000-minute excerpt performed by 18 musicians on a custom-built, 60-foot-wide circular "instrument" — so slow down and take some time to absorb some art that goes against today's faster-is-better mentality. (Sean McCourt)

7 a.m.–11:40 p.m., $25–$28

Yerba Buena Center For The Arts Forum

701 Mission, SF

(415) 978-2787




"ODC Theater's JumpstART"

Several years and millions of bucks in the making, ODC is at last ready to unveil its new state-of-the-art "cultural campus" in the Mission in a celebratory free day of "dance, theater, performance, and community." With more than 20 performers and organizations participating, there will be something for everybody — yes, even clogging — at this one-of-a-kind public offering. A glance at the roster includes such names as Scott Wells and Dancers, Robert Moses' Kin, Killing My Lobster, Youth Speaks, and of course ODC/Dance, all curated by ODC Theater director Rob Bailis in collaboration with the likes of choreographer Joe Goode, world music expert Lilly Kharrazi, and playwright-director Mark Jackson. (Robert Avila)

Noon–11 p.m., free (tickets available one hour prior to each performance)

ODC Theater

3153 17th St, SF

(415) 863-9834




Trolley Dances

I still wish they'd call them Street Car Dances instead of Trolley Dances, because that's what they are, but the name is a registered trademark and has its origins in San Diego (where they actually have trolleys). However, there is nothing else I would change on these annual easy-rider events. They are pure fun, and curator Kim Epifano always comes up with an intriguing lineup of entertainers. This year you'll see, among others, dancers from Joe Goode Performance Group, Sara Shelton Mann, Ensohza Minyoshu (traditional Japanese folk music and dance), and Sunset Chinese Folk Dance Group. And do look out for a special treat on Ninth Ave for our animal friends, courtesy of brilliant maskmaker Mike Stasiuk. Boarding takes place at Duboce Park. (Felciano)

Through Sun/17

11 a.m. (runs every 45 minutes until 2:45 p.m.), free with Muni fare ($2)

Duboce at Scott, SF

(415) 226-1139




ArtSpan Open Studios

Do you ever want to stroll into other people's homes simply from sweet curiosity? Perhaps you covet thy neighbor's art, or maybe just appreciate light and shadow and like talking with the peeps who represent it? Do all three at the largest and oldest open studios event in the country. The self-guided art tour is ongoing through October, but this weekend doors will open in the artsy northern and eastern neighborhoods. From the nude drawings of Derriere Guard (ahem, Beavis) to the ultraviolet photos of South African succulents, it's the best opportunity to get to know your local artists. And maybe take home a derriere or two. (Kat Renz)

Through Oct. 31

Sat.–Sun., 11 a.m.–-6 p.m., free

Bayview, Excelsior, Financial District, North Beach, Potrero, Russian Hill, SoMa,Tenderloin

(415) 861-9838






Featuring two of the founding architects of punk rock — guitarists Sylvain Sylvain from the New York Dolls and Cheetah Chrome from the Dead Boys — Batusis already has its street cred and headliner status firmly in place. Taking its name from the groovy dance that Adam West performed in the campy 1960s Batman TV show, the band came together and released a new self-titled EP earlier this year that's steeped in the sounds that earned these six string slingers their place in the punk pantheon in the first place. This dynamic duo may not be so young anymore, but they're sure as hell just as loud and snotty. (McCourt)

With Re-Volts

8 p.m., $12–$15

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St., SF

(415) 252-1330




David Bazan

Previously known for fronting the popular indie-rock project Pedro the Lion, David Bazan has returned to working under his own name. His most recent solo album, Curse Your Branches, covers some religious-themed lyrical ground that fans should be familiar with by now, like the tales of sinners losing their way and Bazan grappling with his own faith. But it also presents itself in a much more upbeat, poppier setting than we're used to, often at odds with the reflective and sometimes dark themes of the songs. Moody, country-tinged Baltimore duo Wye Oak opens. (Moblad)

8 p.m., $15


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421


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