Our Weekly Picks: December 1-7

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WEDNESDAY 1

MUSIC

Good for the Jews

The last time this parodic-Hebraic duo made it to this city, they were greeted by a protesting Nazi who had posted up in front of their show. "He felt that we were representative of the Jewish-owned media. But I want to know: if we're representing Zionist power, why am I staying at a Holiday Inn?" says group member Rob Tannenbaum. Honestly, the two (the other member is David Fagin) could probably care less about the crazies. Their Xmas alternative songs, which include "Reuben the Hook-Nosed Reindeer," poke fun at the schmaltz of Christianity and Judaism — secular, and less so — alike, a perfect side dish for your holiday Chinese takeout. (Caitlin Donohue)

8 p.m., $15

Café Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016

www.cafedunord.com

 

THURSDAY 2

FILM

The Passion of Joan of Arc

One of the great meteors of film history, Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent elegy literalizes the adage that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) charges religious iconography with the erotic fluency of moving images, paving the way for subsequent generations of film transcendentalists who have sought the sacred in the profane. Once you've witnessed Maria Falconetti's Joan, your sense of what's possible in film acting is forever marked. Seeing the movie at the Paramount accompanied by an orchestral performance of Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light score promises to be an awesome treat — the cinematic equivalent of a purification ritual. (Max Goldberg)

7:30 p.m., $25

Paramount Theatre

2025 Broadway, Oakl.

(510) 642-5249

www.bampfa.berkeley.edu


THEATER

"San Francisco's Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes"

Picture it: San Francisco, 2010. Overcome by their affection for The Golden Girls and a tidal wave of holiday spirit, a quartet of drag superstars (Heklina, Cookie Dough, Matthew Martin, and Pollo Del Mar), plus one legendary rocker (Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's), join forces to present two full-length episodes of the immortal sitcom live on stage. (For GG experts, because I know you're out there, the eps are "Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Long Day's Journey Into Marinara.") Heklina and company earned raves for The Golden Girls: The Play, and this jolly twist offers an ideal, cheesecake-fueled opportunity to greet the season. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Dec. 23

Thurs.–Sat., 7 and 9 p.m., $25

CounterPULSE

1310 Mission, SF

www.ticketfly.com

 

MUSIC

Mister Heavenly

Mister Heavenly is the result of a long-rumored collaboration between top-flight indie rock songwriters Nick Thorburn (Islands, Unicorns) and Honus Honus of Man Man. Originally slated to be little more than a tossed-off sidestep, the project picked up steam with the addition of drummer Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, Shins). No recordings have surfaced yet, so it's tough to tell what Mister Heavenly is actually gonna sound like. But with Thorburn on record describing it as a low frequency, slowed down version of doo-wop — appropriately dubbed "doom-wop" — I think it's at least safe to bank on it being awesomely strange. (Landon Moblad)

9 p.m., $12

Café Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016

www.cafedunord.com EVENT

 

EVENT

Left Coast Leaning Festival

Pin it on whatever factor you like, but the fact remains that the Best Coast whoops that other coast's ass, wraps it up nicely, and drops it in the mail marked "Return to Sender." For reals, it's nice out here. You already knew that, and so do the wonderful young-person spoken word artists at Youth Speaks, who along with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts are putting together this homage to the Wild West's cultural diversity and its many happy mutations of hip-hop culture. Tonight alone you can check out the modern fusion dance stylings of Adia Tamar Whitaker and a dreamy, beautiful animated piece by Los Angeles' Miwa Matreyek. (Donohue)

Thurs/2–Sat/4, 8 p.m., $20

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF

(415) 978-2787

www.ybca.org

 

FRIDAY 3

DANCE

Liss Fain Dance

Choreographer Liss Fain presents The False and True are One, which plays with the notion of how an event can be perceived differently by various people. Fain breaks up the common proscenium presentation of dance by creating a series of galleries on the stage that audience members can meander through at their leisure. Fain's talented dancers (Jennifer Beamer Fernandez, Private Freeman, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Alec Lytton, and Bethany Mitchell) will perform throughout Matthew Antaky's architecturally designed performance space while actor Jeri-Lynn Cohen enacts short stories by Lydia Davis. The result will be many different perceptions and viewings of the same performance. (Emmaly Wiederholt)

Fri/3–Sat/4, 8 p.m., $25

Z Space

450 Florida, SF

www.lissfaindance.org

 

VISUAL ART

"Stella Luminosa"

Electric Works' new group show "Stella Luminosa" is like a much-needed shot of bourbon to steady oneself against the already advancing avalanche of holiday-themed treacle. Brining together such guiding lights as Dave Eggers, Matt Furie, Ian Huebert, Jason Jägel, Keegan McHargue, Clare Rojas, and Gina Tuzzi, "Stella Luminosa" presents these artists' highly idiosyncratic winter wonderlands (with extra emphasis on "wonder") and the odd ducks who inhabit them. Why settle for good cheer when there is plenty of weird cheer to go around? (Matt Sussman)

Through Dec. 24

Reception tonight, 6–8 p.m.

Electric Works

130 Eighth St., SF

www.sfelectricworks.com

 

MUSIC

Mr. Oizo

Who is the elusive Mr. Oizo? Here's what we know for sure: French. Reportedly born Quentin Dupleux, although it's specious. Electro DJ and producer. On the notorious Ed Banger record label with Justice, SebastiAn, and Cassius. Frequent collaborator with additional label-mate and proto Ke$ha, Uffie. Double identity as a film director. The subject of most recent film, Rubber, involves a homicidal tire with psychic powers. First infiltrated the U.S. in 1999 with seemingly harmless yet ubiquitous "Flat Eric" Levi's ad campaign, the soundtrack from which may have been used to indoctrinate domestic sleeper agents. Current developments in sound are more nefarious and possibly deadly. Further surveillance required. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Boyz IV Men

10 p.m., $19.50

103 Harriet

103 Harriet, SF

(415) 431-1200

www.1015.com

 

DANCE

Human Creature and Jessica Damon

Human Creature shares the bill with Jessica Damon and Dancers in this performance presented by Resident Artist Workshop (RAW). With four new works choreographed by codirectors Derek Harris and Meegan Hertensteiner and music by composer Mark Hertensteiner, Human Creature's witty and dark subject matter includes sleep, a postapocalyptic beginning, and the subconscious. Choreographer Jessica Damon's piece Coated investigates how it must feel to be coated in oil and addresses the environmental problems associated with innovation and the unconsidered costs of technological growth. Stick around for beer and wine at the post-show party in the basement with DJ K-Real. (Wiederholt)

Fri/3–Sat/4, 8 p.m., $10–$20

Garage

975 Howard, SF

(415) 518-1517

www.975howard.com

 

SATURDAY 4

DANCE

"Pilot 57: Pilot Light"

Twenty years and 27 programs later, ODC's Pilot series one reason young dancers continue flocking to the Bay Area, cost of living be damned. Pilot participants are not beginners; they have a professional, though usually small, track record. What they want and get from Pilot are 11 weeks of working with equal-minded colleagues in a supportive environment that provides feedback. Practical advice on how to make it in a competitive field is thrown in. Artists Nathan Cottam, Amy Foley, Daria Kaufman, Elizabeth McSurdy, Raisa Punkki, and Charles Slender bring wide perspective to their projects, which should make for appealing shows — and probably had sparks flying during the working sessions. (Rita Felciano)

Sat/4–Sun/5, 8 p.m., $12

ODC Theater

3153 17th St., SF

(415) 863-9834

www.odctheater.org

 

SUNDAY 5

MUSIC

Jonathan Richman

Some know him as the leader of 1970s pre-punk trailblazers, the Modern Lovers. Others recognize him as the wide-eyed crooner known to pop up in Farrelly brothers comedies. But it's the 30 years' worth of quirky solo albums that have made Jonathan Richman one of the finest cult singer-songwriters of his era. Combining early rock 'n' roll songwriting strummed out on a clean Telecaster; a surplus of world music influences; and sparse, tasteful accompaniment from his longtime drummer Tommy Larkins, Richman is a hilarious and charming performer whose live show is not to be missed. (Moblad)

With Gail Davies

8 p.m., $15

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.gamh.com

 

DANCE

Mary Sano Dance Collaborations

Mary Sano is a passionate advocate for the work of Isadora Duncan. In Japan she was a modern dancer until she encountered the work of the great California dance pioneer. Her programs usually feature Duncan and Duncan-style dances, but she often brings in actors, musicians, and poets for intriguing salon-type evenings. For Ship of Dreams: Kanrin Maru 150 Years of Hope, Struggle and Friendship, her first evening-length piece, she dipped into all of these resources. Everybody has heard of Commodore Perry, who is credited-blamed for "opening" Japan to wonders of Western civilization in 1851. But does anybody know the story of the Kanrin Maru, which — against incredible odds — carried the first Japanese emissaries to the U.S. in 1860, landing of course in San Francisco? Sano "recreates" this journey with four dancers, seven actors, and five musicians, including Native American singer Dennis Banks. (Felciano)

7 p.m., $28

Brava Theater

2781 24th St., SF

(415) 647-2822

www.brava.org

 

MUSIC

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Is it possible that Owen Ashworth has cheered up? For more than a decade Casiotone for the Painfully Alone has been an appropriately descriptive title for his brand of subdued, introspective, keyboard-infused indie pop. But now it's over. He announced in suitably emo fashion (via LiveJournal): "After nearly 13 years of being the dude from Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, I'm ready for a fresh start and a new challenge. So, after Dec. 5, 2010 (the 13-year anniversary of my first show), I'm throwing out the old songs and I'm trying something new." Expect this show to be especially bittersweet. (Prendiville)

With Donkeys and Ian Fays

9 p.m., $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com 


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