Our Weekly Picks: January 4-10




Reptilians, the latest LP from Portland, Ore.'s Starfucker, shows a clear obsession with death. But, you might not realize it from the opening track, "Born," which takes a Flaming Lips style approach and brings some rock skuzz to a child-like stare into the abyss. This band keeps getting bigger (as does its audience — this Oakland date was added after two scheduled shows this week sold out,) and now with five touring members, the sounds gotten more expansive: euphoric electronica, Australian/Minogue-ish pop, 8bit arpeggios, Pixies' bass lines, plus the signature Alan Watts samples. It could be a little much for a synth rock group, but for now, considering impending annihilation, Starfucker doesn't seem to give a fuck. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Painted Palms, and Feelings

9 p.m., $20–$23

New Parish

579 18th St., Oakl.

(415) 371-1631



Week End

Yes, there was a standout 2011 movie called Weekend — Nottingham guy meets bound-for-America Nottingham guy for a one-night stand that turns out to be something more — but this screening is of another film with a very similar name, 1967's Week End. Pro-tip: add Weekend to your Netflix queue and add Week End to your weekend plans. Jean-Luc Godard's surreal, prescient satire of our ever-declining civilization, featuring cinema's most epic (and most epically-filmed) traffic jam, unspools on the big screen in the form of a brand-new 35mm print. Oui-kend! (Cheryl Eddy)

Fri/6-Sun/8, 7 and 9:15 p.m. (also Sat/7-Sun/8, 2:30 and 4:45 p.m.), $7.50–<\d>$10

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120


Grass Widow

Celebrate the first Friday of 2012 in Oakland with a free performance by San Francisco's popular harmonizing punk trio, Grass Widow. Traipse through forward-thinking art instillations at nearby galleries as part of Art Murmur, then pop into the Uptown for an early start — doors are at 6 p.m. so there's ample drinking time before bands. And those bands are high quality. Every time I see Grass Widow live, I'm smacked with its sheer blistering force; last catching the act upon its return from tour at a Public Works show featuring the resurgent Erase Errata, I was again swept up by the pummeling skills of guitarist Raven Mahon, drummer Lillian Maring, and bassist Hannah Lew. Art, drinks, and cheap-o rock'n'roll, it'll be a solid First Fridays escape from reality. (Emily Savage)

With Culture Kids, Churches, and Wave Array

9 p.m., free

Uptown 1928 Telegraph, Oakl.

(510) 451-8100



Stripmall Architecture

The video for Stripmall Architecture's "Radium Girls" features a neon-painted Rebecca Coseboom making weird "come hither" faces as she sings into the camera. It's trippy and alluring, and it's precisely how I would describe the local quartet's dark-tinted pop music. Though Stripmall Architecture might be somewhat under your radar, founding couple Rebecca and Ryan Coseboom have worked with DJ Shadow, and Cocteau Twins guitarist Robin Guthrie, and toured the country with Bob Mould. The group wails on guitars and synthesizers, but Rebecca's angelic voice is the driving force of its sound. After watching "Radium Girls," I found a bunch of clips of the freaky light show the band puts on for live performances. So, you should probably check them out. (Frances Capell)

With Return to Mono and TIGERcat

9 p.m., $10

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011



Frank & Tony

Francis Harris (a.k.a. Adultnapper) has a gift for building minimal tracks. One of the best songs of the last year, "Idiot Fair (feat. Black Light Smoke)" was a restrained bit of deep tech house released on Berlin's Poker Flat Recordings. A steady bump with a little shake and some alternating clipped keys and snares for five minute — it didn't slow build, it pleasantly idled — until a pair of brooding, stressed male vocals dropped into play. While Scissor and Thread — a Brooklyn-based label Harris started with players including French DJ (Tony) Anthony Collins — bills itself as an independent rather than dance imprint, the releases so far from Harris and Black Light Smoke sound quite promising. (Prendiville)

With Adnan Sharif (Forward), Michael Perry (Fedora)

9:30 p.m., $10–$15

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955



The Proud

Local playwright Aaron Loeb's previous work was entitled Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party and featured a chorus line of dancin' beardos in stovepipe hats. His latest, The Proud, workshopping at Dance Brigade's Dance Mission Theater, features a more serious subject matter (presented in collaboration with Iraq Vets Against the War, the play is about post-traumatic stress disorder) — but a no less memorable chorus, in the form of Dance Bridgade'a formidable drummers and dancers. The Proud is drawn from interviews with Bay Area veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, focusing on both PTSD and — in keeping with Dance Brigade's commitment to feminist themes — the treatment of women in the military. Even in "staged reading" form, The Proud promises to be powerful stuff. (Eddy)

Sat/7, 8 p.m.; Sun/8, 6 p.m.; Mon/9, 5 p.m., free

Dance Mission Theater

3316 24th St., SF

(415) 826-4441




What gentle vibrations run through a family that produces a plural of career artists? Somewhere back in the generations was a genetic seed planted, later blooming into progeny given to walking the world with paint-spattered paws and dreamy gazes fixed on rooftops or the curvature of a cat's cheekbones? Pending a scientific conclusion, we can look to the new art exhibition by cousins Hugh and David D'Andrade for clues. Budding geneticists will find comparisons of the two's bodies of work — Hugh's illustrative dream world most recently featured on an iconic Occupy flier, David's sweeps of pigment that seem almost sculpture-like — to be catnip for the dabbler in DNA studies. (Caitlin Donohue)

Through Feb. 18

Opening reception: 6-9:30 p.m., free

a.Muse gallery

614 Alabama, SF

(415) 279-6281


"Accordions with Love II"

This event is actually a double whammy, two full shows of squeezebox pride. First, there's the early show, "Accordion Babes Review" which kicks off at happy hour and includes accordion-filled sets by Yeti, Amber Lee & the Anomalies, Luz Gaxiola & Circus Finelli, Vagabondage, and more. Next up, there's "The Big Squeeze," the nighttime show beginning at 9 p.m. This one features Mark Growden, Gabrielle Ekedal & Angus Matin, Eggplant Casino, and yes, even more. It's a packed lineup, one that should envitably lead to your perfect come-on for the night, "My, how your accordion bellows." (Savage)

5 p.m. and 9 p.m., $10 per show


835 Valencia, SF

(415) 970-0012


Phonte and 9th Wonder

It's a little hard to wrap my head around the notion that Charity Starts At Home, released in September, is the debut solo album from North Carolina Justus League rapper Phonte. One of the most straight-talking, artistically varied artists around, Phonte has done practically everything but a solo album: classic underground records with the group Little Brother, the electronic R&B project Foreign Exchange with Dutch producer Nicolay (hip-hop's answer to the Postal Service), and alter-egos like Tigallo and the hilariously authentic old school soul singer, Percy Miracles. Among it's highlights, Charity sees the MC once again collaborating (after a 6 year break) with top-tier producer and former Little Brother member 9th Wonder. (Prendiville)

With Median, Rapsody

9 p.m., $22-40

New Parish

579 18th St., Oakl.

(415) 371-1631



The Future of Motive Power

Nikola Tesla died at the New Yorker Hotel in 1943, alone and without a cent to his name. In the last years of his life, the "electric wizard" behind wireless communication and the induction motor had been promoting a death ray, subsisting on vegetable potions, and obsessing about pigeons (he claimed to love one pigeon like "a man loves a woman"). Future Motive Power, a play by the local performance ensemble Mugwumpin, is inspired by the inventor-wizard's life, its peculiarities and myths, and the science that lives in its wake. Created specifically for the historic Old Mint, it's a self-proclaimed "performative fever dream." (James H. Miller)

8 p.m., $30 includes drinks and hors d'oeuvres

Old Mint

88 Fifth St., SF

(415) 967-1574



Soft White Sixties

A congregant at the church of classic, mind-reeling Seventies rock, Soft White Sixties once described its sound as "Rock 'n' roll, heavy on the roll, dipped in soul." This audio-fanatic show is particularly fitting for SWS and its followers for it's part of Communion, a live music forum began in the UK by Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett, Kevin Jones, and noted producer Ian Grimbl. Established in 2006 London, Communion began as a monthly showcase for emerging singer-songwriters, a modern-day creative salon. It came to San Francisco near the end of last year, and continues to produce unique lineups and fanciful collaborations monthly at Cafe Du Nord. (Savage)

With Zane Carney, Big Eagle, Gabriel Kelly, and Amy Blashkie

8:30pm, $12.

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016



Thee Cormans

In the grand tradition of costumed surf punk bands that straddle rock'n'roll and comedic timing (Phantom Surfers, Mummies), here comes Thee Cormans, a green-skinned, gorilla-masked, bug-eyed gang of wily monster motorcyclists in ripped vests riding curling waves of reverb. And like its rowdy foreparents, this fuzzed out Southern California based band has a live show that puts tender mumbling indie acts to shame. That exuberance also fits in neatly with Thee Cormans' label, In the Red, which itself is making waves for a future-retro mishmosh output of eccentric weirdos, cultured punks, and generally genre-less acts. Viva costumery. (Savage)

With the Shrouds, the Khans, and Swiss Family Skiers

8:30 p.m., $6

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923


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