Our Weekly Picks: November 3-9, 2010




"The Neighborhood"

Audyssey, an L.A.-based audio laboratory, must have a thing for San Francisco. First it marketed its iPhone docking station as the South of Market, and now it's calibrating the music scene by launching a monthly music showcase at 111 Minna: "Multiple genres. Local talent. The Neighborhood." With live performances by Maus Haus, My First Earthquake, Shortkut, Trackademicks, Ghosts On Tape, DLRN, and Electric Sunset, and DJs King Most, Prince Aries, and A-Ron, the lineup is enough to make you forget the whole synergistic marketing thing (it's free, yo). That many diverse acts and the promise of local food carts to keep you fed? (Food not free.) Half the fun should be seeing if it all come together under one roof. (Ryan Prendiville)
9 p.m., free
111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna, SF
(415) 974-1719



Michael Ian Black

First gaining widespread fame for his work on Stella, The State, Viva Variety and other TV shows, comedian Michael Ian Black has honed his sarcastic commentary on pop culture to a fine, surgical-quality blade, quite literally stealing the show on every appearance he has made on VH1's I Love The ... series. For those who just can't get enough of his wit and witticisms from the short, seconds-long snippets that make it on the air, here's the chance to experience a full-on onslaught of hilarious, side-splitting observations from one of the best funnymen on the circuit today. (Sean McCourt)
Thurs.–Sun., 8 p.m. (also Fri.–Sat., 10:15 p.m.), $22.50–$23.50.
Cobb's Comedy Club
915 Columbus, SF
(415) 928-4320


Marnie Stern

Kill Rock Stars artist Marnie Stern brings her whirlwind brand of finger-tap guitar shredding to Oakland. With influences ranging from math-rock godfathers Don Cabellero to punk and classic-rock staples, Stern and her band create quite the interesting racket. Equally impressive as Stern herself is her drummer, Zach Hill (of Hella), who matches her yelping vocal style and hyperactive arena rock solos with a frenetic creativity all his own. Stern's new self-titled album brings the "noise for the sake of noise" level down just a tad and offers a more melodic and direct approach to her songwriting. (Landon Moblad)
8 p.m., $12
New Parish
579 18th St., Oakl.



"I Live Here: SF"

It goes without saying that we live in a pretty diverse city, but since February 2009 photographer Julie Michelle has been capturing the people and stories that make SF great in her "I Live Here: SF" portrait series. The end result includes more than 170 images of SF residents, complete with their personal stories and accounts of their connection to this lovely, crazy, and exciting city of ours. Her subjects cut across races, classes, ages, and neighborhoods; you might just be surprised by the SF microcelebrities who pop up in them. I guarantee you'll recognize someone photographed for the exhibit — or at least have seen one walking by you on the street. (Ben Hopfer)
6-9 p.m., free
934 Brannan, SF
(415) 552-1770


"Shared Space 4"

This is the fourth "Shared Space" season for Todd Eckert and Nol Simonse, two dancers who couldn't be more different from each other. Yet as choreographers they find common ground. At least for this season, they are both diving into the past for their world premieres. The intricate meters of a medieval poetic form and the music of J.S. Bach inspired Eckert's new Sinfonia. Continuing his interest in Greek mythology, Simonse is reaching even farther back. Demeter, the goddess of harvest and generosity, became the springboard for Greater Than. With Dancer for Hire, however, he hits a painful, up-to-date note: how to keep dancing in these parlous times. (Rita Felciano)
Fri/5-Sat/6, 8 p.m.; Sun/7, 7 p.m., $20
Dance Mission Theater
3316 24th St., SF
(415) 273-4633


Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers

A recent project bringing together two luminaries of the 1960s and ’70s California rock ’n' roll scene, the collaboration between legendary Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek and blues guitarist par excellence Roy Rogers has produced an eclectic exploration of musical styles, including reimaginings of Doors classics, along with other blues and jazz tracks. Tonight's show is being billed as "An Evening of Rock ’n' Roll Tales and Music" since the duo promise to share stories about their long and fruitful careers between songs — fans won't want to miss this rare opportunity to hear them straight from the still-rocking source. (McCourt)
8 and 10 p.m., $18–$25
Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore St., SF
(415) 655-5600


AXIS Dance Company and inkBoat

Known for its mix of disabled and able-bodied dancers, AXIS Dance Company has joined forces with Shinichi Iova-Koga and his company inkBoat to create ODD, a piece inspired by the work of Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum. With cellist Joan Jeanrenaud performing a live original composition, ODD delves into themes found in Nerdrum's paintings, including loneliness, fear, sexuality, and degradation. Iova-Koga's choreography is mesmerizing to say the least and exactly how he will fuse two companies, a musician, and an artist's work into an evening show is the source of much anticipation. (Emmaly Wiederholt)
Fri/5–Sat/6, 8 p.m., Sun/7, 3 p.m., $15–$18
ODC Theater
3153 17th St, SF
Also Nov. 12–14, $10–$22
Malonga Theater
1428 Alice, Oakl.



San Francisco Symphony Día de los Muertos family concert

One hundred years ago as the Mexican Revolution kicked into high gear, could Emiliano Zapatista or Pancho Villa have anticipated the havoc that has their country in a stranglehold today? We hear so much about the Mexican drug wars (and bankroll them on the weekend) that it's easy to forget our southerly neighbor's beauty and culture. This makes it a particularly salient year for the symphony's annual celebration of Chicano heritage, underwritten by an homage to the centennial celebration of the Revolution. Papel picado, sugar skulls, and steaming cups of Mexican chocolate precede the musical program, which itself features kid-friendly works from accomplished Latino composers. (Caitlin Donohue)
2 p.m., $15–$68
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness, SF
(415) 864-6000


Burning Libraries: Stories from the New Ellis Island
Arts and Literacy in Children's Education (ALICE) is a grassroots organization composed of artists from multiple genres committed to bringing arts education to economically disadvantaged schools. Born out of a project encouraging children to learn their oral histories is Burning Libraries: Stories from the New Ellis Island, a new piece by ALICE Presents, the professional performing arm of ALICE. Encapsulating 30 stories from people in minority and immigrant communities, this theatrical piece fuses dance, music, video, puppetry, and aerial arts to explore what it truly means to be American. (Wiederholt)
Through Nov. 14
Thurs/4 and Fri.–Sat., 8 p.m.;
Sun, 3 p.m., $15–$30
ZSpace at Theater Artaud
450 Florida, SF
Also Dec. 3–-5,
Laney College Theater
900 Fallon, Oakl.



WestWave Dance Festival

If you are counting live performances, this is program three of this year's WestWave Dance Festival. If you like your dance on screen as well as on stage, this is program four, since officially Nov. 7's "Dance on Film Nite" is program three. Enough bean counting. It's good to see that Monday night dance has caught on. Audiences apparently appreciate not having to squeeze all their dance fixes into the weekend. Of course, it helps to program stuff people want to see; tonight's event is a good mix of well-, fairly-well, and little-known choreographers: Lisa Townsend, Brittany Brown Ceres, Erika Tsimbrovsky, Robert Dekkers, and Andrew Skeels. (Felciano)
8 p.m., $25
Cowell Theater
Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF
(415) 345-7575



The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

With a name like the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, you'd be justified in taking these guys for some sappy, Bright Eyes wannabes. Luckily, this isn't the case. Based out of New York City (who isn't these days?), the band makes lovely little indie-pop tunes that couple boy-girl harmonies with Jesus and Mary Chain-style distortion. Check out the absolutely infectious track "Young Adult Friction" from the 2009 self-titled album for a taste. (Moblad)
With Weekend and Grave Babies
8 p.m., $15
628 Divisadero, SF
(415) 771-1421


Kurt Vile and the Violators and Soft Pack

If sneering "I hope I die before I get old" epitomized a generation, what's the significance of Matt Lamkin singing "I know I'm gonna die before I see my prime" on Letterman? Rock ’n' roll is now collecting Social Security and emerging acts are hoping for a YouTube apotheosis. Musical appreciation amounts to identifying a band's influences and then immediately writing them off. With the driving beat of Lamkin's L.A.-based Soft Pack or the writing-from-the-bottom-of-a-well style of Philadelphia's Kurt Vile and the Violators, this would be a disservice. The sounds familiar, but moves forward, and as Vile reminds, "I've got a freeway mind, let go of my head." (Prendiville)
With Purling Hiss
8 p.m., $14
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell, SF
(415) 861-2011