Our Weekly Picks: April 11-17




Playing a pummeling, hardcore-influenced mix of thrash and death metal, Sepultura put Brazil on the metal map with a run of vaunted albums that culminated in 1996's sublime Roots. Since then, the band has been dogged by discord — only one original member, lead guitarist Andreas Kisser, will appear under the Sepultura banner this week in SF. Nevertheless, for fans looking to mosh with abandon to live renditions of classics like "Refuse/Resist," the opportunity may be too good to pass up. They should be further enticed by a stellar opening line-up, which includes local heroes Death Angel and unrelenting Brazilian death metallers Krisiun. (Ben Richardson)

With Havok

7:30pm, $25

DNA Lounge

375 11th St., SF

(415) 626-2532



Mazzy Star

The rhythm of the current wave of 1990s band reunion tours suggests that the phenomena may be approaching its apogee. Best to gather ye alt-rock roses while ye may, and enjoy the expansive, fuzz drenched melodies of genre legends Mazzy Star. Hope Sandoval and co. will be appearing at this year's '90s-heavy Coachella — leading up to the big gig, however, the band will headline a series of more intimate shows, perfect for those who don't feel like trekking all the way to Indio (to say nothing of Coachella ticket prices). (Tony Papanikolas)

With the Entrance Band, Alina Hardin

8pm, $37

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF

(415) 673-5716



"Strange Concepts, Inc."

Until HGTV has a show called Creepy Cribs, with experts on taxidermy, graveyard art, and vintage horror-movie posters advising homeowners on their Halloween-is-every-day decorating schemes, fans of unusual, unsettling décor will have to fend for themselves. (That's how we like it, anyway!) Ghoul up your walls with a little help from San Franciscans Genevieve Coleman and Domonic Vescio, whose "Strange Concepts, Inc." goes on display as part of the Divisadero Art Walk, and stays on the walls of Mini Bar through May. You'll find paintings of colorful zombie pin-up girls, skulls, motorcycle-riding goats, and more — just the thing to hang above your mantle, next to the Fiji mermaid. (Cheryl Eddy)

Opening reception tonight, 7-10pm, free

Exhibit runs through May 31

Mini Bar

837 Divisadero, SF

(415) 525-3565


The Sandwitches

If you're looking for an extremely talented local group to idolize and swoon over, try the Sandwitches. With guitars, muted drums, and haunting, high-pitched vocals, these three ladies create dark and whimsical folk and punk-influenced "sad pop." Last year's LP, Mrs. Jones' Cookies, focuses on longing, desire, and the unattainable, with lush, moving tracks like "In the Garden" and "Joe Says." Principle songwriters Heidi Alexander and Grace Cooper, who used to sing backup for the Fresh & Onlys, have the ability to lucidly illustrate emotions and insecurities most of us share but tend to conceal. (Mia Sullivan)

With Deep Time, Muscle Drum

9pm, $12

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782



Kevin Nealon

Springing from the stand-up comedy circuit to mainstream success as a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1986-1995, Kevin Nealon has gone on to pop up in several familiar TV shows and films, such as Showtime's Weeds and Happy Gilmore. He's even written a book, Yes, You're Pregnant, But What About Me? His live act is still sharp as ever, though, as evidenced by his 2009 DVD release Now Hear Me Out! He continues to exploit the hilarity of mundane occurrences in everyday life, making for side-splitting comedy that virtually anyone can relate to.(Sean McCourt)

Thu/12, 8pm; Fri/13, 8pm and 10:15pm; Sat/14, 7 and 9:30pm; Sun/15, 7pm; $25–$30

Cobb's Comedy Club

915 Columbus, SF

(415) 928-4320




Yonder Mountain String Band

"We don't have a lot of nostalgia for the past," banjoist Dave Johnston once said when asked why his often-pigeon-holed-as-bluegrass quartet decided to use a rock producer for its most recent release, The Show. While it's cited influences ranging from Phish to the Talking Heads, John Hartford to the Grateful Dead, Yonder Mountain String Band's bluegrass/folk/rock/jam sound is its very own. The Show further exemplifies YMSB's refusal to fit neatly into a generic construct as the album features rambling bluegrass, alt-rock sounds, and funky country beats. Listening to its music at home will induce some swaying-by-yourself enjoyment, but the proper way to take these guys is live. (Sullivan)

With Brown Bird

Fri/13-Sat/14, 9pm, $35


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000




Before bringing its live show to some unbearably hot desert next week, Berlin's Modeselektor will be making a stop at 103 Harriet on the Monkeytown Tour. Possibly its best album to date, certainly the most accessible, Monkeytown continues to illustrate Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary's tendency to slyly disregard genres while crafting layered electronic grooves. With the forceful slam of "Pretentious Friends" featuring comically warped vocals by Busdriver, Thom Yorke chopping it up over a juggled FlyLo recalling uptempo beat on "Shipwreck," or the ominous step of the snarling "Evil Twin" with Otto von Schirach, Modeselektor could fit in almost any scene from the UK to LA, if it ever wanted to settle for just ruling one. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Clicks & Whistles, Distal

10pm, $30

103 Harriet, SF

(415) 431-1200



"Down the Congo Line"

Inspired by a trip to the Republic of Congo, Dimensions Dance Theater's "Down the Congo Line" promises us a look into the heart of Africa. Artistic director Deborah Vaughn invited two very different Diaspora perspectives. With The Last Dance and St. Ann and Rampart, LaTanya d.Tigner, a Dimensions alumna, is celebrating the African roots of New Orleans funeral processions. In Ndozi: Ancient Truth Revealed — both traditional and contemporary in its outlook — she is reprising her power collaboration with four Congolese drummers, led by Kiazi Malonga. The Salvador/Bahia-born Isaura Oliveira's Congo in Brazil lets us see and hear African traditions through her country's indigenous music and dance. (Rita Felciano)

8pm, $25

Malonga Casquelourde Center for the Arts

1428 Alice, Oakl.

(510) 465-3363



Acid Mothers Temple

A quick perusal through Acid Mothers Temple's erotic, multi-colored, swirly cover art and excavation of its mantra ("Do Whatever You Want, Don't Do Whatever You Don't Want!!") begs the question — how did this band not form in the 1960s? But, alas, this experimental psychedelic space-rock group hails from mid-'90s Japan. Its sound may metaphorically represent what would happen if our mothers decided to drop acid in a temple — a distorted, discordant, slightly frightening yet freeing and beautiful experience that feels nonsensical but fun. Caution: many of the people who attend this show may be on some type of illicit drug. Plan accordingly. (Sullivan)

With the Phantom Family Halo, High Horse

10pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th, SF

(415) 621-4455




Though it began in Norway as misanthropic musical chaos, black metal has been reimagined and redefined after roughly two decades in existence. Swapping Scandinavian forests for the south of France, Alcest founder Neige (Stéphane Paut) added shoegaze and post-rock to a black metal substrate, creating music that is ethereal, other-worldly, and self-consciously beautiful. The meditative melodies and clean vocals have broadened the band's audience, though Alcest retains the layered, overdriven guitars that recall black metal's original palette. It may not please corpse-painted purists, but it's haunting, unique, and well-worth bathing in in person. (Richardson)

With Giant Squid, Bryan Von Reuter

4pm, $12

Elbo Room

647 Valencia, SF

(415) 552-7788




Don't be fooled by the heavy shred that opens Pontiak's latest LP. As much as the dense riffs and pounding drums from the heavy Appalachian blues rockers immediately lends Echo Ono to being cranked up 'till the neighbors move out of state, it also makes for a rewarding headphone experience. With a psychedelic edge that recalls contemporaries Tame Impala, and some harmonic depth harkening back to Pink Floyd (without the jazz influence), the album features some spacious production, from tom beats that rock back and forth from ear to ear and guitar parts that seem to gracefully step out of the way for one another. (Prendiville)

With Electric Shepherd & Outlaw, White Cloud

9pm, $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455



Wanda Jackson

Throughout her more than 50 years in show business, she's been called "The Queen of Rockabilly" and "The Sweet Lady With The Nasty Voice"—and now fans can rightly call Wanda Jackson a true musical icon, with her recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Don't let that enshrinement cheat you into thinking she's retired though; the fiery chanteuse that released hits such as "Mean, Mean Man" and "Fujiyama Mama" can still belt out tunes like nobody's business, and proved that yet again with the release of last year's Jack White-produced The Party Ain't Over. Retro rockers Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside open. (McCourt)

8pm, $27–$40

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF

(415) 673-5716


 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.