Our Weekly Picks: August 24-30




Tim Cohen's Magic Trick

Tim Cohen may just be the hardest working man in rock 'n' roll. He pours time and energy into singer-songwriting the Fresh & Onlys, guest musicianing friends' bands, and masterminding his own side project, Magic Trick. He released a Magic Trick album in February and he recently released another, just half a year later. The LP, The Glad Birth of Love, is a piece of musical achievement: four lengthy rock ballads and guest spots from members of Thee Oh Sees, the Sandwitches, and Citay. It saw a limited release on July 19 (Cohen's birthday) but was wide-released yesterday, Aug. 23. Tonight, Cohen will be feted with an album release show at the Rickshaw Stop that includes the last show ever for fellow SF rockers Magic Bullets. (Emily Savage)

With Magic Bullets, PreTeen, and Tambo Rays

8 p.m., $8

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(510) 861-2011





It's been described as "scum-pop," "cock rock," and "creep-rock," but all you really need to know is this: Vaz is loud as fuck. The hard-hitting Brooklyn trio rose from the ashes of '90s band Hammerhead in the early aughts and somehow managed to make an even noisier sound in the years that followed. Vaz has also label-jumped in said years, putting out albums, tapes, and splits on Gold Standard Laboratories, Damage Rituals, Narnack, and Load Records, among others. Wherever the band's outputs land, vocalist-guitarist Paul Erickson continues to wail on post-metal, rapid-paced cuts and drummer Jeff Moordian looks and sounds as though he's having a convulsive, orgasmic meltdown behind the set (a good thing). (Savage)

With Pygmy Shrews, Unstoppable Death Machine, and Dead

9 p.m., $8.

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923





"Dinosaur Nightlife"

Though they died out 65 million years ago, Dinosaurs continue to fascinate us, stoking our imaginations, piquing our curiosities, and sometimes even stalking through our nightmares. If you're yearning to unleash your inner 8-year-old pretend paleontologist and celebrate your love of these "terrible lizards," then head over to the California Academy of Sciences for tonight's Dinosaurs! Nightlife event, part of a weekly series of after-hours science-themed parties for the 21 and over portion of visitors. Tonight's prehistoric party will feature a fossil show and tell, a special planetarium show, live music, drinks, and even a "Dino Burlesque" show. (Sean McCourt)

6-10 p.m., $10–$12

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse, SF

(415) 379-8000




The Soft Moon

The Soft Moon is back! After touring America in support of its debut album, San Francisco's most promising new band has finally returned. The band plays the coldest cold wave to come out of the bay in . . . forever? Seriously, it's like 70 degrees outside and I feel like I have to put on a sweater every time I listen to a song. It's unsettling. Frenchmen with angular haircuts and vows of silence make this kind of music, not Californians. The Soft Moon isn't just playing at being the most ice cool band in the bay, though. The music is terse and cinematic; sparse vocals and guitar hover delicately above driving rhythm as lights and images dance across the stage completing the performance. Brrr. (Cooper Berkmoyer)

With Craft Spells

9 p.m., $10

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011




Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside

It's easy to see how Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside has so quickly risen the ranks of the Portland music scene. The band's breezy blend of rockabilly, jumpy jazz, and 1950s rock 'n' roll is contagiously effective, punctuated with walking stand-up bass lines, lively percussion, and just the right amount of rebellious energy. But it's Ford herself that steals the show and lends the group its most compelling element. Channeling the yelping spirit of 1920s and 1930s-era blues singers such as Bessie Smith and Ida Cox, the wildly unhinged and raw passion in her voice has quickly won the band scores of fans, including the Avett Brothers, which the band accompanied for several shows throughout the West Coast and Colorado in 2009. (Landon Moblad)

With il gato

9 p.m., $12 Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016




White Mystery

Goddamn can Alex White sing. On guitar and vocals, Alex is half of Chicago, Ill. brother-sister duo White Mystery. Her brother Francis White, on drums, is the other half of this stripped down rock 'n' roll combo. The Bikini Kill comparisons are perhaps inescapable thanks to her powerful pipes and punchy riffs, but White Mystery is a different beast, one with two full heads of red hair that fly back and forth with each drum strike. The songs are simple and energetic: even as a two-piece, White Mystery sounds full with attitude that demands your attention. "I have an idea," says Alex at the beginning of its song "Party:" "let's have a party!" Yes, let's. (Berkmoyer)

With Burnt Ones

9 p.m., $7

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923





Edgar Wright

Gaining American mainstream exposure with 2004's zombie smash hit Shaun Of The Dead, continuing with the 2007 action farce Hot Fuzz, and most recently with last year's comic adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, writer and director Edgar Wright has brought us some of the most darkly hilarious and entertaining movies in recent memory. The British filmmaker visits the Castro Theatre tonight for a special "Midnights For Maniacs" event that will feature screenings of all three previously mentioned films, an assortment of shorts including the Grindhouse faux trailer Don't, plus a live onstage interview in conversation with host Jesse Hawthorne Ficks. (McCourt)

7 p.m., $15

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF.

(415) 621-6120




Traditional Fools

Snotty, sloppy and drunken, the Traditional Fools is everything garage rock should be. Notes crash into each other and vocals are kind of slurred over the consequent blur of fuzz, but something holds it all together for a few minutes until one song ends and another starts. "1-2-3-4!" It's a party in three pieces: Andrew, David, and Ty (of eponymous Ty Segall fame) are heir to the Mummies' budget rock sound with a twist of their own. If John Waters ever made a skate video (don't ask me, I don't know why he would, but if he did) the Traditional Fools would play in every scene. Does that make any sense? I'm not sure it does. (Berkmoyer)

With Outdoorsmen, Uzi Rash, and Shrouds

9 p.m., $10

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St., SF

(415) 252-1330




J-Pop Summit Festival

Any day of the year you can stop by New People — that glowing white box/contemporary mall in the heart of Japantown — for a brief, colorful dose of j-pop. But if you really want to do it right, and get maximum exposure to the current pop culture trends of Japan, the yearly J-Pop Summit Festival is your best bet. The festival, which is hosted by New People this year, takes place on Post Street from Webster to Laguna, encompassing both the mall and the Peace Plaza of Japantown. There will be live music by Danceroid, Layla Lane, K-ON!, SpacEKrafT, the Patsychords, and teen duo the Bayonettes (which formed at the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp) along with DJs spinning modern j-pop. The fest also includes film screenings and avant-garde Elegant Gothic Lolita-style fashion by h. Naoto, so you can dress the part as well. (Savage)

Through Sun/28

11 a.m.-6 p.m., free

New People

1746 Post, SF

(415) 525-8630




"Showgirls: The Peaches Christ Experience"

It's hard to believe anyone (ahem, director Paul Verhoeven and writer Joe Eszterhas) thought for two seconds that 1995's Showgirls would be received as anything other than extreme high camp to the zillionth power. Faster than you can say "I like your nails," however, Showgirls' true destiny — as audience participation classic — was embraced, and one of its fiercest champions has been our very own Peaches Christ. Surely San Francisco's hunger for the on-screen antics of Nomi Malone and Peaches' accompanying hijinks (including a "Volcanic Goddess" pre-show and an army of 100 lap dancers) can barely be contained by any four walls, but among all possible venues, the Castro Theatre seems equipped for the challenge. Thrust it! (Cheryl Eddy)

8 p.m., $25–$45

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF





Sway Machinery

For those not of the Jewish faith, cantorial music is basically synagogue tunage. If Brooklyn-based, edged-out cantorial-meets-blues music isn't your thing, try it tangled up with West African drumming and Malian vocals. At some point, Sway Machinery will get your attention. The band went to Mali, recorded two full albums with musicians there including local superstar Khaira Arby, then tread a bumpy road back to the States. Dynamic singer-songwriter-guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood often leads the Sway Machinery in Hebrew, though on the group's most recent, inextricably Mali-influenced records, he takes two steps away from the traditional, and experiments with different vocal stylings. It's true that the bloggers have made it clear they're sick of indie-afro-pop, but this is an exception to that rule, it's an old-world away from appropriation. (Savage)

8 p.m., $12


314 11th St., SF





Butthole Surfers

Boasting one of the most infamous monikers in music history and a harried reputation for wild antics that more than matched, the Butthole Surfers have been attacking stages and ear drums for the past 30 years. Still led by the core trio of Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary, and King Koffey, the band may have flirted with some mainstream success back in the 90s with tunes such as "Who Was In My Room Last Night?" and "Pepper," but they still continue to mix a crazy concoction of underground punk, psychedelic rock, and noise that may confound the casual listener, while the hardcore fans go rabid at its shows. (McCourt)

With 400 Blows.

8 p.m., $30

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF



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