Our Weekly Picks: November 30-December 6

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WEDNESDAY 30

"Flotsam and Jetsam: The Spray of History"

The ceaselessly inventive Los Angeles filmmaker Lewis Klahr comes to town for two shows this week. Joseph Cornell's boxes are perhaps the most convenient reference point for Klahr's richly emotional collage animation, though his handmade films' range of tones and complex interlacing of pop culture and personal sentiment really merits stand-alone consideration. This PFA program samples Klahr's recent short films, while the SF Cinematheque show at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Friday focuses on Klahr's ongoing series of sublime musical memory pieces, Prolix Satori. The two shows have no overlapping films, which among other things means you get to appreciate Klahr's Brill Building ear for titles (A Thousand Julys, False Aging, Wednesday Morning Two A.M., Daylight Moon, Well Then There Now). (Max Goldberg)

7:30 p.m., $9.50

Pacific Film Archive Theater

2575 Bancroft, Berk.

(510) 642-1412

www.bampfa.berkeley.edu

www.sfcinematheque.org

 

Lemuria

You would think that a band called Lemuria — a hypothetical continent said to have submerged into the depths of the Indian Ocean — would sound along the lines of Vangelis or Tangerine Dream. But the trio from Buffalo, NY, takes after alternative pop-punk predecessors like Superchunk and the Breeders. Sheena Ozella and Alex Kerns started Lemuria in 2004, taking on bass player Jason Draper a year later. Since then, Lemuria has matured into a band that's at once frisky and endearing, dynamic and biting. On Lemuria's newest album, Pebble (Bridge 9), Ozella and Kerns alternate on vocals in such a way that inspires deep sighs, like you've just spotted an adorable little dog. But when Ozella's tough and vivacious guitar playing takes a front-seat, you realize that dog can bite. (James H. Miller)

With the Pillowfights!, Matsuri

9 p.m., $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

FRIDAY 2

"Danzón"

It's hard to imagine contemporary dance and performance without the seminal influence of German choreographer-performer Pina Bausch, whose work was so different when it started in the 1970s that it spawned its own genre: dance theater. Bausch's gorgeous visual aesthetic, wildly eclectic movement, incorporation of speech and unbridled emotion, and her collaborative, searching process all contributed to a remaking of the landscape. The subject of a recent 3D documentary tribute by Wim Wenders, Bausch (who died in 2009) left behind a supreme body of work that her company continues to perform around the world. This weekend, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch offers Danzón, Bausch's poignant, humor-filled celebration of life's journey in the teeth of death. No 3D specs required. (Robert Avila)

Through Dec. 3, 8 p.m., $30

Zellerbach Hall, Berk.

(510) 642-9988

www.calperformances.org

 

 

"True Stories Lounge"

As the cliché goes, truth is stranger than fiction — and knowing that a story is true (or at least somewhat "based on a true story," Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style) makes it all the more fascinating. The ongoing series "True Stories Lounge" brings together a varied slate of word-wranglers to spin compelling non-fiction tales. This edition's storytellers include spoken word artist Alan Kaufman, who'll read from his new memoir, Drunken Angel; comedian Marilyn Pittman, talking through a family tragedy; Salon.com founder David Talbot, reading from his soon-to-be-released book of San Francisco history; Bay Citizen editor Steve Fainaru, a 2008 Pulitzer winner, discussing Iraq; and Brando biographer Peter Manso, reading from his latest Cape Cod-set true crime book. (Cheryl Eddy)

7:30 p.m., $10

Make-Out Room

3225 22nd St., SF

www.makeoutroom.com

 

 

Benoit & Sergio

"Sergio used to be my English teacher," reads a YouTube comment for "Walk and Talk." How hard it would be to explain a lyric like "My baby does K all day" at a parent-teacher conference? In 2009 Sergio quit the D.C. prep school racket to make music full-time with French expatriate Benoit. The electronic duo has quickly built a reputation on less than a dozen tracks released across Ghostly International, Visionquest, and DFA. With an original sound that mixes ecstatic techno house, melancholic late-night soul, and playfully barbed vocals, this will be the SF debut of the pair's live show. (Ryan Prendiville)

With No Regular Play and DJ sets by Pillowtalk, Thee Mike B, Rich Korach, and more

9 p.m., $15-20

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955

www.publicsf.com

 

SATURDAY 3

Papercuts

Founder and lead songwriter of Papercuts, Jason Robert Quever, has a knack for softly wooing listeners into his songs. Part of the seductiveness is Quever's voice. You tend to follow its breathiness until you're deep in his weightless and roomy dream pop. On Papercuts' Fading Parade, the band's debut album on Subpop, which came out earlier this year, Quever can sound like a love sick ghost, padding around and whispering pleas in your ear. His vocals hover over a lulling swathe of reverb, but drums and guitars retain enough crispness so as not to become a colorless drone. It's a carefully weighted balance, and one that's well worth witnessing live. (Miller)

With Dominant Legs, Tim Cohen's Magic Trick

9 p.m., $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011

www.rickshawstop.com

 

 

"In the Red — Flaming Lotus Girls Gallery Show"

The Flaming Lotus Girls always go big, pushing the envelope on fire arts innovation every year at Burning Man and other festivals. That's a big reason why I profiled them in my book, The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture. And it's also why they're in debt, now more than most years. So come mingle, marvel at their fiery artworks, dance to DJs from Space Cowboys and the Ambient Mafia, buy some art (including photo prints of FLG projects) or shwag (from the FLG's autographed and lipstick-kissed calendar to copies of my book that I'll be selling and signing there), and help the Flaming Lotus Girls get out of the red and into active preparations for its next big project. (Steven T. Jones)

With Deckward, 8Ball, Olde Nasty, and more

6 p.m.-2a.m., free but donations accepted

SomArts

934 Brannan, SF

(415) 552-1770

www.flaminglotus.com

 

 

"The Bay Brewed: A Rock and Roll Beer Festival"

Live music and drinking clearly go well with together. Unfortunately, beer festivals too often conjure up images of boring C list jam bands or old-timers working their way through a bunch of Creedence covers. Not the case with The Bay Brewed, a beer festival and music showcase mash-up put on by the folks over at The Bay Bridged blog. Along with unlimited tastings from 21st Amendment, Anchor Steam, Lagunitas, and Magnolia, among others, admission includes performances by some great local bands. Pick up a complimentary mug and catch the shoegaze-y post-punk of Weekend, the psychedelic rock of Sleepy Sun, the dub-tinged Extra Classic, and the punky power pop of Terry Malts. (Landon Moblad)

2-7 p.m., $55

Verdi Club

2424 Mariposa, SF

(415) 861-9199

www.thebaybridged.com/the-bay-brewed

 

SUNDAY 4

Cass McCombs

Similar to the nomadic lifestyle he's maintained over the years, Cass McCombs creates music that can be tough to pin down. Though he was born in Concord and has considered the Bay Area home at various points in his career, the indie singer-songwriter has bounced all over the country, eschewing traditional genre expectations in the process. Wit's End and Humor Risk, McCombs' two 2011 albums, fully demonstrate his maturing take on sparse folk, dreamy pop, and melancholic rock spiked with just the right amount of humor.(Moblad)

With White Magic, Liza Thorn

8 p.m., $16

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com

 

MONDAY 5

The Sea and Cake

Merely listening to indie veteran the Sea and Cake's extensive catalog of material is an exhausting feat. With jazz, Brazilian, and African influences, this band has been generating a unique sound for more than 20 years. Characterized by Sam Prekop's breathy vocals and delicate guitar work, the Sea and Cake has long provided the perfect soundtrack for mellowing out with your friends. The group embraced a more experimental sound for this year's The Moonlight Butterfly (Thrill Jockey), its first release since 2008. Timelessly hip, yet approachable, start your week off right with the effervescent jams of the Sea and Cake. (Frances Capell)

With Lia Ices

8 p.m., $21

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com

 

TUESDAY 6

Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard

Jeffrey Lewis is a jack of all trades. His style encompasses both cerebral folk and grungy, distorted garage rock. Though his lyrics may come across as stream-of-conscience tangents, Lewis' witty songs are brimming with clever and heartbreaking observations. The musician is also an accomplished comic book artist, and his illustrations often accompany his live performances. Topics of discussion include LSD, farm animals, and the history of Communism. Is there anything Lewis can't do? (Capell)

With the Yellow Dress, Tortured Genies

8 p.m., $10

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011

www.rickshawstop.com

 

 

Other Lives

Other Lives is building a lot of momentum in the wake of Tamer Animals (TBD Records), the band's latest album. The five-piece from Stillwater, Okla., supported Bon Iver on tour, and afterward, played headline shows across Europe. Eclipsing its recent successes, though, was the announcement that it will support Radiohead on its U.S. Tour, beginning in February. The momentum is certainly deserved. Tamer Animals is dim folk-rock that builds on robust orchestration — violins, cellos, clarinets, and horns all have a grand presence on the record. Once an instrumental collaboration called Kunek, Other Lives still has an appreciation for the slightest sonic details, so that nearly every moment has something to call surprising, if not riveting. (Miller)

With JBM

9 p.m., $12

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016

www.cafedunord.com

 

 

Anna Calvi

Praised by Brian Eno as "the best thing since Patti Smith," dark songstress Anna Calvi also exudes the fierce swagger and edgy sex appeal of predecessors PJ Harvey and Pat Benatar. Calvi's flamenco and blues-tinged debut earned her critical acclaim and a Mercury Prize nomination for best album of 2011. A backing band consisting of Mally Harpaz on harmonium and percussion and Daniel Maiden-Wood on drums heightens the drama of Calvi's cinematic anthems. Armed with a guitar and a voice that's both sultry and operatic, the fiery Calvi seduces everything in her path. (Capell)

8 p.m., $17 Great American Music Hall 859 O'Farrell, SF (415) 885-0750 www.slimspresents.com 

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