Our Weekly Picks: September 21-27



Veronica Falls CANCELLED

Apparently, this UK indie rock band found its relaxed retro pop sound right from the get-go. Singles "Found Love in a Graveyard" and "Beachy Head" combined jangly, propulsive rhythms with light, morbid lyrics for a result that could easily find an anachronistic home in the recent remake of Brighton Rock (and not just because every video for the band looks like it was ran through a Hipstamatic app.) Now with a self-titled debut album on Slumberland Records, Veronica Falls is scheduled to tour in support of the Drums and Dum Dum Girls next month. This will be their West Coast record release show. (Ryan Prendiville)

With The Mantles, Brilliant Colors

9 p.m., $13

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782




Teengirl Fantasy at Icee Hot

They put something in the water over at Oberlin. Beach House, Blondes, Teengirl Fantasy. Now at work in the real world, which includes opening for Crystal Castles, Teengirl Fantasy has found a style that's just as likely to draw from the pop charts as it is from their academic pedigree. A little Lil Jon on one track, a little Raymond Scott on the next. With cooled, slo-mo beats and hyped up MCs turned down, the result is an aural muscle relaxant, allowing you to focus on making bedroom eyes across the dance floor. Teengirl Fantasy comes our way to play monthly party Icee Hot. (Prendiville)

With Total Freedom, Magic Touch (Damon Palermo), Shawn Reynaldo, and Rollie Fingers

10 p.m., $5-10

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955




Smuin Ballet

The late Michael Smuin was not one of my favorite choreographers. But he left behind a substantial inheritance that had gained him respectable audiences. Smuin choreographed one his most serious pieces, "Stabat Mater" — Dvorak's response to the death of his infant daughter — in the aftermath of 9/11. He also loved to play with pop eroticism; "The Eternal Idol" — you can see its inspiration at the Legion of Honor — and "Tango Palace" showcase that propensity. Amy Seiwert premieres what she calls her "most "Smuinesque" piece yet — to Patsy Cline. Not the least of the company's attractions these days is the quality of its dancers. Parking around the Palace — because of the Doyle Drive reconstruction — is somewhat restricted, so plan for extra time. Muni 43 goes there as well. (Rita Felciano)



Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

(415) 556-5000




"Hong Kong Cinema"

Though this is the San Francisco Film Society's first-ever Hong Kong Cinema mini-fest, there's no shortage of HK film fanatics in this town, what with the SF International Asian American Film Festival, the programming at Frank Lee's Four Star Theatre, and even the occasional HK flick that arrives via Hollywood. If you dug Benny Chan's now-at-the-Four-Star Shaolin, you won't want to miss his City Under Siege, about bank-robbing, superpowered circus performers. Also on tap: another superhero action comedy, Vincent Kok's (Pixar-inspired?) Mr. and Mrs. Incredible; Clement Chan and Yan Yan Mak's multigenerational drama Merry-Go-Round; All About Love, from Ann Hui (her latest, A Simple Life, has been tearing up the international fest circuit); Law Wing-cheong's kidnap thriller Punished (starring Anthony Wong, always full of win); Alex Law's coming-of-age drama Echoes of the Rainbow; and rom-com Don't Go Breaking My Heart, a genre departure for action man Johnnie To. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sun/25, $13–$20

San Francisco Film Society New People Cinema

1746 Post, SF



SF Cocktail Week: Barbary Coast Bazaar

San Franciscans have long enjoyed a romance with alcohol — from the debauchery of the Barbary Coast era, to the modern renaissance of the artisan cocktail, the city knows how to knock 'em back. Celebrate this high-proof history with SF Cocktail Week, which features a variety of tastings, dinners, seminars, and parties, including "Barbary Coast Bazaar," a huge fete inside the Old Mint. Expect a roaring 1920s themed party, with vintage circus acts such as stilt walkers, jugglers, contortionists, magicians, and carnival games, along with food, and of course, a wide variety of tasty cocktails. (Sean McCourt)

SF Cocktail Week events run through 9/25, pricing varies

Barbary Coast Bazaar, 9/23

8-11 p.m., $85–$95

The Old Mint

88 5th St., SF



Moving Planet Worldwide Rally Day

You can make yourself sick thinking about it: what are you going to tell your kids (or — hey sexy single! — the neighbor's kids) when they ask you what you did to stop climate change back when we still had a chance and the Bayview-Sunset commute didn't call for a rowboat? Are we creeping you out? Then let us recommend Moving Planet Day. A worldwide rally for sustainability, it's sponsored by 350.org and will include Sept. 24 actions from Buenos Aires to Nairobi. In SF, a march of self-propelled peoples on foot, bike, and skate will trek from Justin Herman Plaza to the Civic Center, where an afternoon of speakers, music, and other events awaits. (Caitlin Donohue)

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

March starts at Justin Herman Plaza, SF

Afternoon activities at Civic Center Plaza, SF


Hank 3

The grandson of country music royalty, Hank Williams III, or as he's now known, Hank 3, continues to hone his own brand of diverse music, releasing not one, but four brand new albums this month: Ghost to a Ghost/Guttertown, a double record in a country vein, Attention Deficient Domination, with more of a "hellbilly" feeling, and Cattle Callin, which is more on the metal side of things. The modern torch bearer of outlaw country is promising that this tour will touch on all of them, which he released through his own label, Hank 3 Records, and that fans can expect a two-and-a-half to thee-hour set at each barn burning show. (McCourt)

8:30 p.m., $26

The Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF



Celsius 7

The superchill but often splendidly goofy Bay rapper, a former member of the Psychokinetics crew, hails from one of the golden ages of local hip-hop — that late '90s-early '00s period when earnest showmanship and a healthy dose of good humor trumped aggro attention-seeking, niche genre overload, and crass product placement. Cel's kept himself busy through Bay rap's recent twists and turns, though, traveling the world and dropping some ace tracks, all the while staying true to his roots. This release party for his poppin' second solo album, Life Well Spent (which features a nice roster of collaborators including Dirt Nasty, iLL MEDiA, and Baby Jaymes) will showcase his grin-inducing verbal dexterity, be loaded with special guest appearances, and serve as a convention of true school heads. (Marke B.)

9 p.m., $10 (includes copy of album)

Shattuck Downlow

2284 Shattuck, Berk.

(415) 455-4735



Chinatown Music Festival

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts has an exhibit going on called "Daily Lives," a group showing by local Asian American artists that takes prosaic trinkets and uses them to express the psychic winds that ruffle our insides. This weekend, "Daily Lives" is taking this exploration of the private, public. Put on your dark glasses and check out the sidewalk art exhibit in Chinatown — where your ambling will be soundtracked by a day of rad live music; traditional tunes from the SF Guzheng Society and pianist Jon Jang (who will be sharing his recently-penned homage to the Xinhai Revolution of 1911), plus more modern grooves by the grown-up local kids in Jest Jammin' and the SF Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble. (Donohue)

1-7 p.m., free

Portsmouth Square Kearny between Clay and Washington, SF




Given the harder direction that Ladytron has gone in over the last few albums — even touring with Nine Inch Nails — I was not expecting what I heard on Gravity the Seducer: ABBA. Whether or not they were invoking the Swedish gods of pop on purpose, the opener "White Elephant" sets a tone for a lighter album. Not simply a step backwards to the sounds of Ladytron's early albums, it's its most synthetically dreamy, spaced out record yet. Of course, harder and softer are relative terms with the band, which has generally stuck to a distinctive sound, becoming electronic pop mainstays and developing a cult following in the process. (Prendiville)

With SONOIO, Polaris at Noon, and DJ Omar

8 p.m., $25

The Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF

(800) 745-3000




Dr Ruth

We all fondly recall Dr. Ruth Westheimer as the funny, entertaining, and educational "sexpert" that hit the mainstream media in the 1980s and 90s, but did you know her amazing background before she was a household name? Born in 1928 in Germany, she lost her parents in the Holocaust, and actually fought (and was wounded) as a sniper during Israel's war of independence. The icon will be touching on all these subjects, along with her new book, Heavenly Sex: Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition, at tonight's special event. (McCourt)

7 p.m., $20–$35

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

3200 California St., SF

(415) 292-1200



Tony Bennett Night

As San Francisco Giants fans know, whenever the team wins a game here at home, the crowd exits the ballpark to the sounds of the legendary crooner Tony Bennett's signature song "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." The 85-year-old icon performed the song live at last year's World Series, and the team is honoring him with this special event where he will be celebrated in a pre-game ceremony. He also will perform a short set, and fans will receive a "Tony Bennett" bobblehead that has a sound chip that plays his beloved ode to our city by the bay. (McCourt)

Game starts at 7:15 p.m.; arrive early for pre-game events. Pricing varies; see website for current availability.

AT&T Park

24 Willie Mays Plaza, SF

(415) 972-2000




If you listened to Nurses' earliest album, you might not recognize the groovy melodic rock trio that stands before you today, presenting 2011's Dracula (Dead Oceans). In the past five years, the harmonic freak-folk band — with a penchant for toy instruments and pianos — has gone through lineup changes, sound modifications, and location shifts. The two Nurses mainstays, singer-guitarist Aaron Chapman and singer-keyboardist John Bowers, have lived in the sweet sunshine of San Diego, close quarters during cold winters — the tour van in Chicago — and finally, settled in the dewy DIY spirit of Portland, Oreg., where they gained drummer James Mitchell, and further developed their technique. But that's the test of a true musician, isn't it? The ability to roll with the punches, to grow, to evolve. (Emily Savage)

With Dominant Legs

9 p.m., $12

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016



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