Our Weekly Picks: July 27-August 2, 2011




"Marker XC: Three Times Thirty"

Chris Marker is a little older than his nouvelle vague contemporaries, though you wouldn't know it from his fugitive art. His work is not a career but a universe, one that continues to expand like our own cosmos; at 90, the cat is still grinning. A few minutes of homework on the Internet turns up some of his latest illuminations, but this special birthday tribute focuses on three short films made in years sandwiching 1968, a revolutionary epoch Marker has spent a lifetime observing in quicksilver pasts and futures. Following Marker's lead, the screening is free. (Max Goldberg)

7:30 p.m., free

McBean Theatre


3601 Lyon, SF





Fresh Greens

They don't play Equipto and Mike Marshall's new booze banger "I Drink Fernet" in SF bars enough. C'mon city — the hook's stuck in our gray matter all day and when we're ready to order a beer and a shot of the herbal stuff, we wanna hear our jam. This is not going to be a problem at this week's installation of Fresh Greens, Showdown's hip-hop and bass night with DJs Mr. Lucky and Doc Fu. The duo has invited DJ Pause, progenitor of said Fernet anthem, to spin that night — and they've coordinated with Fernet Branca to the end that there will be drink giveaways galore. (Caitlin Donohue)

10 p.m.–2 a.m., free


10 Sixth St., SF

(415) 503-0684





Steve Arrington

In one of those head-scratching retro confluences that have been popping up on dance floors lately, two quite different soul-stomping records featuring Steve Arrington — his Wonder-full 1985 "Dancing in the Key of Life" solo release and the 1979 "Just a Touch of Love," recorded with his classic disco-funk outfit Slave — have become local club hits again. Arrington's in the air: the smooth-voiced Ohioan is working on a new album with steamy L.A. squelch-funk revivalist Dâm-Funk. And now here he comes live, helping to celebrate the third anniversary of retro-fun and "contemporary boogie" party Sweaterfunk. Sweat or funk? You'll do both. (Marke B.)

9 p.m.–3 a.m., $15


2925 16th St., SF




"Playback: AudioBus"

Every few years, the Soundwave festival inundates the Bay Area with adventurous sonic experiences, like watching tiny solar-powered speakers bloom like flowers on Civic Center trees, or hearing a concrete bunker in Marin reverberate with waves of bass. Missed last year's Soundwave? The Playback series is giving your experiment-hungry ears another chance. This week, hop aboard the double-decker AudioBus (equipped with state-of-the-art Sennheiser headphones) and explore live music scores "routed to the scenery around you." Music plus motion equals magic. Bay Area scratch guitarist the Genie guides you audibly through the Mission on Friday; Christopher Willets, who creates "patterns of vibrations with sound and light" takes over Saturday with a trip through Golden Gate Park. (Marke B.)

Fri/29–Sat/30, 7 p.m., $20–$200

Various locations, SF




Mean Jeans

"This song is about the economy. It's called: what the fuck is a 401(k)?!?!" The members of Mean Jeans wax philosophical about lots of things, but mostly they stick to partying and its many and varied intricacies. If you think punk has gotten too cerebral over the years and/or are able to argue with authority and aplomb the ups and downs of the different beers you can buy with pocket change, then Mean Jeans is the band for you. They're the Ramones on speed, a raging house party manifest as a three piece from Portland, Ore. Pogo to your hearts content, just don't tell them or the crowd to chill out and take it easy. It's a punk show, you wimp — have some fun. (Cooper Berkmoyer)

With Black Jaspers, Guantanamo Baywatch, and Teutonics

9 p.m., $10

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St., SF

(415) 252-1330




"Work MORE!"

Eleven drag queens, 165 costume changes, 60 minutes: put it all together and what do you get? One hell of a rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody." Kidding! (Kinda.) You get one of the most ambitious hours of deconstructed gender illusionism you're likely to see in a while. "Work MORE!," the brainchild of local firebrand VivvyAnne ForeverMORE!, has been a thrilling series of performances that dramatizes the art of drag by blending performance, storytelling, set design, music, and various challenges reminiscent of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Drag World. This installment, running for two nights, calls on 11 performers to direct each other in interchangeable performance numbers — a kaleidoscope of queens engendering an evening-long mosaic of mimicry. And it might go on tour! (Marke B.)

Fri/29–Sat/30, 8 p.m., $20


1319 Mission, SF

(415) 626-2060





MK at Icee Hot

One of the most astonishing production runs in dance music — or any music, really — occurred when young Detroit producer Marc Kinchen discovered he had a flair for combining cyber-melancholic Detroit techno beats with a soulful New York City garage house vibe. On the strength of his early, driving records, MK soon became one of techno's first big-time remixers: his genius for chopping up a song's vocals into completely different, in most cases more appealing, melodies filled floors from 1991-95. Since then, he's moved on to producing Pitbull and Willow Smith, but he's back to reap underground propers in the retro-1990's house craze, DJing with equally famous brother Scott and fellow virtuoso vocal-hacker Todd Edwards at the monthly Icee Hot party. (Marke B.)

With Scottie Deep and Todd Edwards

10 p.m., $10

Public Works

161 Erie, SF




"Livin' La Vida Lambada"

When I first started writing about Burning Man for the Guardian in 2004 — a process that this year culminated in the release of my book The Tribes of Burning Man — the two crews that I most deeply embedded myself with were Opulent Temple and the Flaming Lotus Girls. They each work out of the Box Shop on Hunters Point and were just beginning their meteoric rises to become the event's premier fire arts collective (FLG) and more enduring large sound camp (OT). Now, as the FLGs work toward completion of its latest ridiculously ambitious project — Tympani Lambada, a representation of the inner ear translated into a massive sculpture of sound, fire, and light — the OT DJs, the burner artists of NIMBY, and others are pitching in to help their hermanas del fuego reach their goal. So come shake your asses and help bring an amazing artwork to life on the playa next month. (Steven T. Jones)

8 p.m.–2 a.m., $20

NIMBY Warehouse

8410 Amelia, Oakl.




Treasure Island Flea Market

Hey, you in the horn-rimmed glasses. You can't really consider yourself a Bay Area vintage freak without making pilgrimages to all the area's flea markets — Candlestick, Alameda, Alemany all rev up our barter skills — and as of Memorial Day this year there's a new kid on the clothing rack-covered asphalt block: the Treasure Island Flea Market, where somewhere among the grassy aisle and hundreds of vendor booths, you are virtually assured of finding something with history and pizzazz. Gadabout spectator shoes, barely-used vintage road bicycles, rusty old bird cages for making garden lanterns — just make sure you can schlep it on the 108 Treasure Island Muni going home. (Donohue)

Through Sun/31

9 a.m.–4 p.m., free

(415) 898-0245





Mattachine Dance Party

Around 2004, when celebrating gay history became all the rage in dance clubs, DJs naturally turned to previously buried disco sounds to accompany the onrush of post-AIDS-era curiosity. But of course gays existed before the 1970s — as recently discovered fossilized size-14 stripper heels and catty hieroglyphics about Top Chef judge selection have proved. Young, queer parties have noticed: our own Hard French reaches back to the 1950s for soul inspiration, while New York City's Mattachine Dance Party adds 1960s rock and other queer-eared genres to the mix. Now filmmaker and sexual provocateur John Cameron Mitchell is bringing his buoyant Mattachine affair, named for the U.S.'s first gay rights organization, to El Rio for a special daytime installment that will resurrect the hot-pink spirits of yesteryear. (Marke B.)

3–8 p.m., $5

El Rio

3158 Mission, SF

(415) 282-3325





Maria Bamford

One-quarter of the dream team Comedians of Comedy tour in 2004 (alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, and Brian Posehn), Maria Bamford is about as unique a comedic personality as they come. She subscribes to the darker, more surrealist side of stand-up, forgoing traditional punch lines to put all her anxieties and neuroses on full-display through self-deprecation, twisted inner monologues, and a ton of barbed vocal impressions that send up her Minnesota-based family and friends. Yet for all her eccentricities, Bamford never delves into novelty or shtick. Her material is always smart, perfectly nuanced, and balanced with enough of her natural Midwest charm to make even the strangest moments relatable. (Landon Moblad)

With Robert Mac and Nato Green

Through Aug. 3

8 p.m., $22.50

Punch Line Comedy Club

444 Battery, SF

(415) 397-7573





Real Estate

The un-Google-able band name. Is it creative combativeness or audacity in the face of technology's encroaching hand that led four like-minded musicians from New Jersey to name themselves Real Estate? Search engines aside, Real Estate isn't an easy band to pin down. Reverb-heavy surf guitar with some folk mixed in begin to paint the picture, but it isn't simply the sum of its parts. It sounds the way a drive to the beach looks: the stucco strip malls race past in a beige blur and soon recede as the scenery grows increasingly lush. Everyone else in the car is talking, but you're too busy staring out the open window to notice. Real Estate is surf rock for city folks. (Berkmoyer)

With Dominant Legs and Melted Toys

8 p.m., $15


628 Divisadero, SF (415) 771-1421 www.theindependentsf.com 


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