Our Weekly Picks: February 15-21

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WEDNESDAY 15

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Do Danish hipsters listen to American funk music? Apparently the Asteroids Galaxy Tour is keen to show its repertoire goes beyond the catchy pop you've likely heard on an Apple iPod ad ("Around the Bend") or a Heineken commercial ("The Golden Age"). Asteroids, the brainchild of vocalist Mette Lindberg and producer Lars Iversen, gained popularity with their nostalgia-inducing sound on 2009 release Fruit (Small Giants). Lindberg and Iversen push that retro-funkiness even further in newest release Out of Frequency (B.A.R. Music), employing more horns and electronic organ sounds to add some oomph to Lindberg's sweet tones. It's as if technicolor was suddenly brought into this high-definition world. (Kevin Lee)

With Vacationer

8 p.m., $10–$15

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com


THURSDAY 16

El pasado es un animal grotesco

Acclaimed Argentine director Mariano Pensotti found the roots of this play in a heap of random photographs salvaged from a defunct photo lab. The narrative impulse came from Balzac. The title he borrowed from an Of Montreal song. The result is an ingenious, giddy "mega fiction" that follows the tortuous careers of four 20somethings in Buenos Aires over a single decade, 1999 to 2009, with its intervening economic meltdown and a million other matters expected and unimagined — the detritus of an unwieldy but irresistible urge to meaning. Pensotti makes his San Francisco debut with this low-tech yet wildly ambitious theatrical production. (Robert Avila)

Thurs/16-Sat/18, 8pm, $20–$25

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF

(415) 978-2787

www.ybca.org

 

BUMP Records on Mark Bradford

Jam the playlist on the website for the Bay Area Video Coalition's BUMP Records youth-run label and you'll get a sampling of catchy R&B and hip-hop songs, polished sound from young people who produce and perform their own work, learning about the importance of having a voice in society along the way. But they're not just radio-ready, these kids. At this SF MOMA event of creative souls established and on-the-rise, BUMP artists will reinterpret hair stylist cum artist Mark Bradford's character exploration of a Teddy Pendergrass-Pinnochio character, Pinnochio is on Fire. To warm up the crowd, artist Reneke Djikstra will talk about the spirit behind her luminous portrait work. (Caitlin Donohue)

6 p.m.-9:45 p.m., free with $18 museum admission

SF MOMA

151 Third St., SF

(415) 357-4000

www.sfmoma.org


FRIDAY 17

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus: A Greek Comedy Rock Epic

trixxie carr and Ben Randle put the libation in liberation with the return of their Great Recession–era musical about a lil grape-stained deity named Tiny Dionysus (carr) who, after getting booted off Mount Olympus, comes to San Francisco, where a group of unemployed artists call on him for help weathering the general storm. Randle directs playwright, faux queen, and chanteuse carr and a cast of five as classical Greek and classic rock converge, along with puppetry, drag, and original carr tunes, until no one is sure who is what is where is when — is why it's so liberating. (Avila)

Fri/17-Sun/19, 8p.m., $20

CounterPULSE

1310 Mission, SF

(800) 838-3006

www.counterpulse.org

 

The FP

Ever since Snake Plissken played a sadistic life or death version of HORSE in 1996's Escape from L.A., one question above all has been on the mind of serious filmmakers: what formerly non-threatening competition will inevitably become a bloodsport in our twisted future dystopia? With their directorial debut, The FP, the Trost Brothers have perhaps answered the question once and for all: Dance Dance Revolution (or at least something very similar to avoid trademark violations.) Make sure to strap on your most hardcore head band for the SF IndieFest's 21+ DDR afterparty at 518 Valencia, where you can scout recruits for your video gang. The film opens theatrically March 16. (Ryan Prendiville)

7:15 p.m., $11

Roxie Theater

3117 16th St., SF

(415) 863-1087

www.roxie.com

 

Tanya Bello and Alyce Finwall

If Tanya Bello and Alyce Finwall have anything in common besides their friendship and a performance history on the East Coast, it's fierceness and a take-no-prisoners approach to dance. When the petite Bello's is on stage, it's difficult to watch anybody else. If she brings anything like that kind of intensity to her new "Sol y Sombra" for her not even two-year-old Project B company, we should be in for a treat. In one of their early SF performances Finwall Dance Theater's quartet of women in "Wide Time" just about bounced off the walls. Yet despite its wildness, the work also was tightly controlled. Turns out that Finwall has choreographed for over 10 years. In this program she will premiere the duet "Angel". (Rita Felciano)

Fri/17-Sat/18, 8 p.m., $10–$20

The Garage

975 Howard, SF

www.975howard.com

 

Trainwreck Riders

Trainwreck Riders: a collision of country twang and good old rock'n'roll interspersed with hints of bluegrass and notes of garage punk. Their songs feel nostalgic, even upon first listen, and tend to focus on heartbreak. Yet they sing the blues in a way that makes you want to jam out instead of tear up. Yeah, these guys aren't your run-of-the-mill indie act; but there is something quintessentially indie about them. Maybe it's their preference for flannel. Or that Peter Frauenfelder's voice bears a striking resemblance to Isaac Brock's. Clearly, they're from San Francisco. Ghost Yards, the band's fourth full-length release, drops this spring. (Mia Sullivan)

With the Blank Tapes, and the Human Condition

9 p.m., $14

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com


SATURDAY 18

Bonobo

Bonobo, aka Britain's Simon Green, has long reigned as one of the masters of the post-party, chillout tracks that deters drinking headaches in both lounge and living room. With his 2010 release Black Sands (Ninja Tune), Green opted for a more lush, jazzy, and spontaneous sound that edged slightly away from downtempo and toward the dancefloor. Ninja Tune has just released a remix CD of Black Sands that uses Green's tracks and vocals from Andreya Triana as rich source material. Green could stick in a slow burning rework to begin the set, such as with Letherette's sublime version of "All In Forms," then turn up the energy a notch with a track like Machinedrum's percussive-heavy production on "Eyesdown." (Lee)

9 p.m.

Mezzanine

444 Jessie

(415) 625-8880

www.mezzaninesf.com


SUNDAY 19

Girl Walk // All Day and Cheryl Dance Party

Partly a 71-minute long music video centered around Girl Talk's latest mashup album All Day, Girl Walk // All Day is also an ecstatic musical feature following young one dancer as she bursts out of the confines of ballet class and dances her way across New York City. Financed through Kickstarter and filmed largely on the sly in public and not so public (Bloomingdales) spaces, GW//AD involves over 100 dancers, and takes a fanciful poke at the tendency of people to ignore the exceptional, even when it breaks, two steps, or tumbles into their daily life. This screening — followed by a set from CHERYL (NY) — will be suitably projected over the dance floor. (Prendiville)

7 p.m. $10

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955

www.publicsf.com

 

Prime Cuts Film Festival Extravaganza!

The Scary Cow indie film co-op is one of those magical organizations that provide creative people with the network and resources to engage in collaborative creativity. The co-op's mission is, simply, to cultivate a San Francisco film community equipped to make better films by connecting people who want to make films, and actually making them. (Genius?) Scary Cow has helped fund local films since 2007 and is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a screening of 13 shorts the co-op deems its "prime cuts." Chosen shorts span the genres — from mockumentary to horror/comedy to sci-fi rock musical —and range from three to 24 minutes in length. (Sullivan)

4 p.m., $15–$40

Castro Theater

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120

www.scarycow.com


MONDAY 20

Chucho Valdes and the Afro-Cuban Messengers

Perhaps the eminent Cuban pianist of his time, Jesus "Chucho" Valdes has spent four decades wowing audiences as performer, composer, and arranger. A co-founder of the legendary Latin American jazz-rock band Irakere, Valdes has won four Grammy awards, including one for his most recent album, Chucho's Steps (Four Quarters). In Steps, Valdes pays homage to several renowned musicians, including John Coltrane, Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Joe Zawinul. His current band references Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, which produced driving, bebop sounds and served as a platform for younger jazz musicians to showcase their skills. (Lee)

7:30 p.m., $35–$75

Herbst Theatre

401 Van Ness, SF

(415) 621-6600

www.sfjazz.org

 

TUESDAY 21

Doug Stanhope

While his style of comedy has been called abrasive and caustic, Doug Stanhope simply tells it like it is on a variety of cultural and societal subjects, all with hilarious results. Since he won the San Francisco International Comedy Competition in 1995, he has earned a well deserved, wild reputation for his routines and shows, captured most recently on his live DVD/CD Oslo: Burning The Bridge To Nowhere (Roadrunner 2011). Last September Stanhope performed in a maximum security prison in Iceland, telling fans that if they committed a heinous enough crime to be sent there, they could see him for free — thankfully you've got an easier option tonight. (Sean McCourt)

8 p.m. $23.50

Cobb's Comedy Club

915 Columbus, SF

(415) 928-4320

www.cobbscomedyclub.com

 

The Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, a brief description of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only isn't sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, and admission costs. Send information to Listings, the Guardian Building, 135 Mississippi St., SF, CA 94107; fax to (415) 487-2506; or e-mail (paste press release into e-mail body — no text attachments, please) to listings@sfbg.com. Digital photos may be submitted in jpeg format; the image must be at least 240 dpi and four inches by six inches in size. We regret we cannot accept listings over the phone.