Our Weekly Picks: October 5-11




I honestly swing back and forth on Norway's Datarock. It has a whole self-embraced nerd element to its music that is great in a Devo sort of way ("Computer Camp Love," "The Pretender.") But then an anthemic, fun, fun, fun song like the recently released "California" comes along and makes me feel like I did poppers and decided hitting myself with a ball-peen hammer was a good idea. (Or was it the other way around?) Maybe Datarock is just better live, or in the musical it's supposedly making, but I'd say ultimately the highs — along with the variety of the openers at this show, especially the IDM, sunny sounds of France's Anoraak — definitely outweigh any of my apprehensions. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Anoraak, BAERTUR, Syntax Terrorkester

9 p.m., $15


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880




Cansei de ser Sexy (CSS) showcases a signature dancefloor swagger in third release, La Liberación, reminiscent of the band's 2005/2006 self-titled debut. The song "City Girl" supplies easy, carefree rhymes and endless, bubbly attitude, while closing track "Fuck Everything" promotes all sorts of wanton aggression. But the São Paulo band shows it can do slower and moodier as well. The new album's hidden gem is "Red Alert," a low-slung collaboration with beats maestro Ratatat that promotes deviousness of a more rhythmic kind. (Kevin Lee)

With Men

8 p.m., $35

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000




"Rotunda Dance Series"

San Francisco beckons to travelers for all kinds of reasons. When Theatre Flamenco, Hawaiian dance company Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, and cast members of Beach Blanket Babylon descend on City Hall for a festive installment of the Rotunda Dance Series, they'll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city's Grants for the Arts, a program of the Hotel Tax Fund, which uses tourism tax dollars to support arts organizations that attract visitors to San Francisco. The free performance presented by Dancers' Group and World Arts West, in partnership with San Francisco Grants for the Arts and San Francisco City Hall brings you hula, duende, and laughs in a single lunch hour. (Julie Potter)

Noon, Free San Francisco City Hall Rotunda

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, SF

(415) 920-9181




"Midnites For Maniacs"

Continuing his excellent "Midnites For Maniacs" movie series, host Jesse Hawthorne Ficks presents "Monsters In Your Own Backyard," an awesome triple feature tonight featuring The Goonies (1985), The Hole (2009), and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). Director Joe Dante, who helmed two of the three films (The Hole and Gremlins 2), will appear live in-person for an on-stage interview (time permitting) about his 35 years of work in Hollywood, which also includes the original Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Gremlins (1984), and Explorers (1985). It's going to be a late night party — but remember, whatever you do, don't feed your furry friends after midnight. (Sean McCourt)

7 p.m., $15

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF.

(415) 621-6120




"Popovich Comedy Pet Theater"

Forget about the musical Cats — there's another show to dig your claws into. Led by the comedy and juggling talents of Gregory Popovich, Popovich Comedy Pet Theater features a cast of animals including cats, dogs, and birds performing incredible feats such as tightrope walking, pushing strollers, and balancing on their front paws. After working for many years at the Moscow Circus, Popovich decided to start an entire troupe of animal performers; he set about searching shelters and then rescued and trained his newly found friends. His ever-growing family now has a regular gig in Las Vegas, so don't miss this chance to see this one-of-kind fuzzy and feathery family. (McCourt)

4 and 7 p.m., $17–<\d>$25

Victoria Theatre

2961 16th St., SF

(415) 863-7576



Blow Up Forever II

The beautiful party people behind Blow Up are going bigger this month: bigger space, bigger lineup, bigger line? (Hopefully not.) As a requisite, some will go to be seen. Some will go because they always have a great time at Blow Up, even if they don't quite remember it and the fine young things make them feel old and self-conscious. Some will go for the fine young things. Some will go to see art-punk-dance rockers the Rapture, which returns to SF having just released its kind-of-long-awaited-maybe-never-gonna-happen-new album, In the Grace of Your Love. All will have a good time. (Ryan Prendiville)

With the Rapture, Fred Falke, Lifelike, Poolside, Treasure Fingers, Jeffrey Paradise, The Tenderloins, B33SON, and Eli Glad

9 p.m., $18.50–$22.50

The Factory

525 Harrison, SF



Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars, a noisy four-piece indie rock band from Staten Island, NY, has switched its lineup and signed with Seattle's Barsuk Records since its 2009 debut, Why There Are Mountains. On the second LP, Lenses Alien (2011), a more confident Cymbals Eat Guitars continues to pay homage to indie forefathers like Pavement and Sonic Youth. The sophomore effort, however, is darker and more grandiose than Mountains. Expect floods of feedback, and be prepared to question your notions of melody and noise. (Frances Capell)

With Hooray For Earth and the Dandelion War

10 p.m., $14

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455




It's been a busy month for local indie-darlings Girls. The band released its sophomore LP Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther) on Sept. 13 to widespread critical acclaim. (It borrows from hits of the past yet sounds entirely new, making it an instant classic.) And on the record's release Girls toured the nation and made its television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. With a full band, featuring an organist and a trio of gospel backup singers, gifted songwriter Christopher Owens and bassist-recording mastermind Chet "JR" White return to San Francisco for the final show of their US tour. Welcome home. (Capell)

With Sonny & The Sunsets and Carletta Sue Kay

8 p.m., $20

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750



"An Evening with Susan Orlean and Rin Tin Tin"

Before Benji, Beethoven, or Air Bud, there was Rin Tin Tin, discovered as a puppy on a French World War I battlefield by enterprising dog lover (and U.S. soldier) Lee Duncan. The charismatic German Shepard would grow up to become one of early Hollywood's megastars, raking in dough for studios (his two most frequent roles: wolves, himself) and elevating the popularity of his breed, which at the time was still relatively novel in America. Acclaimed author Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) visits San Francisco to talk about her new book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend (a must-read, especially if you love Orlean's writing and/or dogs) and host a screening of her favorite among "Rinty"'s cinematic efforts, 1925 silent Western Clash of the Wolves. (Cheryl Eddy)

7:30 p.m., $15

San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema

1746 Post, SF



"West Wave Dance Festival: 3orMORE"

It looks like the 20th West Wave Dance Festival is going out with a bang. If tonight's program even approximates the last two shows — fun choreography, packed houses — one has every reason to look forward to a tradition that for a while seemed to be limping towards its demise. Widening the reach seems to have done the trick. So it's no surprise that in addition to well-known locals — Dance Ceres, Moving Arts, Christian Burns — you'll see newer or visiting companies such as Nhan Ho Project (San Jose), Body Traffic (Los Angeles), and Nicole Bridgens (of South Africa). Why are they on the same program? They all choreographed for at least three dancers, and artistic director Joan Lazarus trusted them to choose a piece. (Rita Felciano)

8 p.m., $22–$25

ODC Theater

3153 17th St., SF




Nick Lowe

After making hits in the New Wave and being closely associated with Elvis Costello — producing his first five records and writing "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" — Nick Lowe decided to seek out new challenges. The result is a career that hasn't borrowed elements from genres, but constantly finds the acerbic songwriter positioned firmly in traditions, whether it be lounge-y jazz, roots rock, or country and western. On his latest chameleon-like record, The Old Magic, Lowe proves his formula lies not in a particular style but in combining wit with sincerity, from pondering mortality (and his place in the musical pantheon) on "Closing Time" to just what to do when love's gone away on "I Read A Lot." (Prendiville)

With JD McPherson

8 p.m., $30 seated show

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750





Since 2001, Brooklyn art-punks Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly have been churning out fuzzy garage-pop anthems and touring like nobody's business. Japanther's music is hard, fast, and catchy as hell; its shows are notoriously chaotic and delightfully dangerous. Vanek and Reilly shred drums and a three-string bass guitar over playful tape recorded beats, often whipping audiences into dance party riots. Songs of rebellion sung into kitschy yellow telephone mics, Japanther is punk-meets-fun personified. Get sweaty. (Capell)

With Unstoppable Death Machines

8 p.m., $7

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923



Jeff Jarvis

Everyone's griping over the recent changes on Facebook and that's partly because the social networking site now allows users to track how Internet acquaintances are spending their every waking hour. But City of New York University journalism professor Jeff Jarvis says that degree of openness isn't such a bad thing. In his new book Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live, Jarvis argues that some of humankind's greatest inventions (the printing press, for example) shifted perspectives on personal privacy. He goes on to say the tension technology presents between personal and public space is only natural — kind of like how people always look up their exes on Facebook.(Lee)

6 p.m., $15 for nonmembers, $5 for students

World Affairs Council Auditorium

312 Sutter, SF

(415) 293-4600



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