Our Weekly Picks: November 17-23, 2010





Half the fun of black metal is trying to figure out how serious a particular band is about its evilness. Evaluate: album covers; the amount of makeup and sinister props deployed during live shows; song lyrics; official band bios. I wish I'd written the phrase "Watain crawled out from Satan's cunt in 1998," but I can't take credit for that, or for "out of the infernal depths their voices do not cry to the Heavens." Fortunately, Watain (actually from Sweden) backs up all the unholy-terror promises by playing top-shelf black metal (fourth album, Lawless Darkness, came out earlier this year). Extremists won't want to miss what's sure to be a delightful night of headbanging with the Beast. (Cheryl Eddy)

With Goatwhore, Black Anvil, Necrite, and Pale Chalice

7:30 p.m., $20

DNA Lounge

373 11th St, SF

(415) 626-1409




Josh Klipp and Jenni Bregman

AIRspace and RAW (Resident Artist Workshop) present a split bill featuring artists Josh Klipp and Jenni Bregman. Klipp, a local vocalist and choreographer, is a jazz singer in his work Chet & Ella: music and dance celebrating the voices of Chet Baker and Ella FitzgeraldThe piece also incorporates performances by Freeplay Dance Crew, Sarah Bush Dance Project, Funk4Soul, and Dylan Martin. Jenni Bregman's contemporary dance work Intimate City takes a look at crowded urban spaces and the subsequent intimate transactions that can transpire between people. Bregman offers a glimpse at how friends and strangers alike share their minds, hearts, and personal space in the close quarters of urbanity. (Emmaly Wiederholt)

Wed/17–Thurs/18, 8 p.m., $10–$20


975 Howard, SF





Bear Hands

Your album's out. The blogosphere is blowing up around you. You're opening for scene bands like Passion Pit, MGMT, and the XX. Feels good, but you've got to keep a cool head. Sure, they dig your sound, which gets compared to Modest Mouse and Berkeley's WHY?; Spin magazine calls your band "a pitch-perfect pairing of post-punk and indie rock." But they said that about the last band from New York City. Remember what really matters: the Justin Timberlake shout-out. He's "fallen in love" with your "choppy but dreamy indie-rock stylings." Oh, his paid blogger wrote that? That's still really close. (Ryan Prendiville)

With LoveLikeFire and Safe

8 p.m., $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011





Don't fret, little thanatophile — Halloween's not officially over until at least Thanksgiving. And to prove it, HurlyBurly Productions premiers its original adaptation Caligari in a nontraditional venue that simply begs the curious to attend: the playspace above leather apparel shop Mr. S. ("Lots of rigging," I'm told happily, by the design team.) Exploring the minds of a murderous duo through the perspective of a pair of endangered lovers, Caligari promises shadowplay, Expressionist theatrics, fetish gear, and the subtle dissolution of the fourth wall. With the enigmatic Fennel Skellyman as Cesare, and HurlyBurly's own Rik Lopes as the titular lead. (Nicole Gluckstern)


also Dec 2–3, 9–10, 8 p.m., $10–$30

Studio 385

385A Eighth St., SF




The Success of Failure (Or, the Failure of Success)

Having earlier this year caught Cynthia Hopkins' The Truth: A Tragedy at New York's Soho Rep, I wouldn't want to miss anything this playful, vaguely pixie-ish singer-songwriter-musician-performer is ever up to again. That includes her pomo rock band, Gloria Deluxe, and definitely the pure and intoxicatingly sure theater she creates in her deceptively homespun, hyper-talented fashion. The theater is on display this weekend in her "live sc-fi movie," The Success of Failure (Or, the Failure of Success), a beguiling theater-music-dance rumination on the happy-horrific astronomical catastrophes responsible for our fragile existence. Wear your gravity boots: her curiosity is contagious, her instincts unflappable, and her oddball, doll-like, sweetly deranged persona simply magnetic. (Robert Avila)

Thurs/18–Sat/20, 8 p.m., $25

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Novellus Theatre, 700 Howard, SF

(415) 978-2787





Miniature Tigers

The Brooklyn by way of Phoenix indie-rock group Miniature Tigers seem to revel in the darkly skewed, shadowy corners of the pop world. That its new album Fortress (fantastically produced by the Morning Benders' Chris Chu) was inspired by a band viewing of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) and includes song titles like "Mansion of Misery" and "Dark Tower" says nothing to describe the catchy, fun, and warped Beatles-esque pop it contains. This is what you might get if Animal Collective had its way with The White Album. (Landon Moblad)

With Freelance Whales

8:30 p.m., $12–$15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011




Every Time I Die

Between the timing of their rise to prominence and their dubious moniker, the five rabble-rousers in Every Time I Die have often been unfairly ghettoized. But while many assume the band plays generic, early-aughts screamo, the music instead takes the form of squalling, infectious hardcore, with singer Keith Buckley — boasting one of the most unpredictable, expressive voices in the genre — caterwauling over top. The sheer weightiness of the instrumentation is what gives him such free reign, and guitarists Andrew Williams and Jordan Buckley seem to be chiseling their riffs out of quarried stone. Head out to Oakland tonight, and this band'll lob those rock rocks your way. (Ben Richardson)

With Trap Them and Howl

8 p.m., $13

Oakland Metro

630 Third St., Oakl.

(510) 763-1146





First a best-selling book, then an Oscar-nominated stop-motion film, and now a musical, Coraline is the story of a restless girl whose curiosity gets the better of her. Title character Coraline discovers a secret door that takes her into the perfect world of the ever-loving and kindly Other Mother and Father. However she soon finds that perhaps the Other world isn't so perfect after all. Adapted from Neil Gaiman's children's book, with music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields and book by David Greenspan, madness and mayhem transpire as Coraline navigates the path between the deceptive Other world and her own. (Wiederholt)

Through Jan. 15 (check website for schedule)

Opens tonight, 8 p.m., $30–$50

SF Playhouse

533 Sutter, SF

(415) 677-9596





Clutch has long built a reputation on its unique music, which blends hardcore, metal, blues, and funk to create an inimitable mix. This ability to combine multiple genres enables the band to attract a diverse array of fans, which in turn has resulted in some truly head-scratching touring partners. This trip through SF, the Germantown, Md., quartet will be sharing the stage with neoclassical shred-metallers Children of Bodom, plus Black Label Society, a knuckle-dragging biker metal outfit fronted by former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde (né Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt). Despite the stylistic confusion this will entail, come early for a set full of hard-grooving Southern Gothic weirdness, courtesy of the hardest-working hardcore-funk-blues band in show business. (Richardson)

With Black Label Society, Children of Bodom, and 2 Cents

7:30 p.m., $42


982 Market, SF





Ballet Afsaneh

If you think that globalization is a 21st century invention, talk to the people living along the Silk Road — that land and cultural bridge between the Mediterranean and China — that has been traveled for well over 2,000 years. Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan among others, are in the news all the time, mostly for the wrong reasons. The Ballet Afsaneh Art and Culture Society has made it its mission to preserve and reinterpret the music and dance from this multiethnic part of the world. With Encounters: New Moon on the Silk Road, a project in the making for more than a year, Antonia Minnecola, Sharlya Sawyer, Moses Sedler, and their dancers and musicians invite audiences to take in the delicious rhythms and flowing gestures of that still-mysterious region between East and West. (Rita Felciano)

Sat/20, 8 p.m.; Sun/21, 3 p.m., $21–$25

Cowell Theater

Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF

(415) 345-7575






Sexcuse me! You remember Gwar, right? You know, the guys who dressed up in outrageous costumes, er, I mean those deranged aliens who came to our planet in the mid-1980s and released records like Scumdogs of the Universe and This Toilet Earth? Well, the space gang is back in all its unholy glory with a new album, The Bloody Pit of Horror (Metal Blade), celebrating the band's 25th anniversary. Propelled by the first sleazy single, "Zombies, March!" Oderus Urungus and his cohorts have returned in fine beastly form, ready to spread their love — by which of course I mean spray audiences with all manner of fake blood, bodily fluids, and God knows what else! (Sean McCourt)

With Casualties, Infernaeon, and Mobile Death Camp

7:30 p.m., $25

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF






Booker T.

One of the legendary organ players in music history, Booker T. Jones and his Hammond B-3 are touring to support his first solo album in over two decades. Jones led Stax Records house band Booker T. and the MGs throughout the 1960s and cowrote the still-cool-after-50-years classic "Green Onions." His newest Grammy-winning album, Potato Hole, features backup work from the Drive-By Truckers and Neil Young, and includes a cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya" for good measure. (Moblad)

8 and 10 p.m., $20–$30

Yoshi's San Francisco

1330 Fillmore, SF

(415) 655-5600



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