Our Weekly Picks May 2-8, 2012

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WEDNESDAY 2

Loom of Ruin reading

Sam McPheeters has a way with language that has translated from lyrics to journalism and now: his first official solo novel, The Loom of Ruin. The former frontperson of a trilogy of punk and experimental acts (Born Against, Men's Recovery Project, Wrangler Brutes) has long written columns for the likes of Vice, and put out his own fanzines. But his first published output came at age 12 — a local legends book assembled with a pal. Now he comes full circle, back to book publishing, though this time it's a bit different. He's rather grown, and writing exquisitely detailed dark Los Angeles fiction about the angriest man in the world. Far from grumpy himself — the facetious gent was once known to recite Patrick Henry's famous speech — McPheeters brings his words to the Bay this week on a book tour, including a spoken word stop at the Secret Alley tonight at 7pm after Needles+Pens. (Emily Savage)

5-7pm, free

Needles+Pens

3253 16th St., SF

(415) 255-1534

www.needlesandpens.com

 

Thu/3, 7:30pm, free

1234Go Records

420 40 St., Oakl.

(510) 985-0325

www.1234gorecords.com

 

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

If Alex Ebert were the best version of himself (a selfless hero akin to Superman or Jesus) he'd be Edward Sharpe. Ebert, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero's crazy-haired front man/only guy I've seen successfully pull off the shirtless blazer look, dreamt up this alternate identity after getting over a serious drug addiction and shirking his reverence to the punkish concept of rebellion. On stage this ten-piece folky, psychedelic rock tribe looks like a ragtag flurry of ecstasy. There's a lot going on when these guys perform, but somehow it's always hard to take your eyes off Jade Castrinos, whose sultry voice and free form movements lull you into a blissful, calming trance. (Mia Sullivan)

With Aaron Embry

8pm, $32.50

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakl.

(510) 302-2250

www.thefoxoakland.com

 

El Clásico: More Than a Game

Spain may have won the last World Cup, but as a new documentary by Kelly Candaele and students from Chico State University shows, there's no love lost between passionate fans of the country's two biggest club teams. When Real Madrid and FC Barcelona clash (in a game so monumental it is referred to as "El Clásico"), they bring to the field some of the world's greatest players (Messi! Ronaldo!) — and decades of history that go way beyond fútbol and into weighty areas of national identity and politics. Even Barça fans still reeling from certain late-April results will enjoy this 55-minute exploration of one of Europe's greatest sports rivalries. (Cheryl Eddy)

7pm, $5–$10

Mission Cultural Center

2868 Mission, SF

www.missionculturalcenter.org

 

THURSDAY 3

Electric Shepherd & OUTLAW

When Bay Area psychedelic rock groups Electric Shepherd & OUTLAW get together, their sound is something like the Doors meeting up with Jimi Hendrix on a tribalistic march and then starting to jam with a death metal version of Phish. If you carry deep-seated nostalgia for the epic rock shows you missed during the '60s — or listen to the Velvet Underground's Bootleg series on repeat — you should probably check these guys out. Expect luscious guitar riffs, sexy bass lines, compulsory dancing, and a wonderfully spaced out experience. (Sullivan)

With Blues for Carl Sagan, and Douglas

9pm, $6

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923

www.hemlocktavern.com

 

FRIDAY 4

Predator and The Thing

Though it may be hard to believe for those of us who grew up watching them, two classic sci-fi flicks from the 1980s have come upon major milestones anniversaries. To celebrate, Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' Midnites For Maniacs series is hosting a night not to be missed, with a 25th anniversary screening of Predator and a 30th anniversary screening of John Carpenter's The Thing. Featuring some of the best creature designs and special effects of the era thanks to visionaries Stan Winston and Rob Bottin, both films re-defined the genre, and have continued to stand the test of time. A Boy & His Dog (1975) also screens.(Sean McCourt)

7:30pm, $13

Castro Theatre

429 Castro St., SF

(415) 621-6120

www.midnitesformaniacs.com

 

JackHammer Disco with Tiga, Damian Lazarus, & Light Year

Let's indulge in some squelchiness, shall we? Montreal-based Tiga and UK-born, Los Angeles resident Damian Lazarus share an affinity for acid-y, electro house. In the early 2000s, Lazarus played a prominent role at the UK label City Rockers, where he oversaw the release of Tiga & Zyntherius' cover of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night." Since gaining fame from that release, Tiga has been a busy producer and remixer, keeping a Euro-glam tone reminiscent of the synth-y works Giorgio Moroder pushed in the '70s. Recent Lazarus works have a more stripped-down, minimal feel that sometimes wander into leftfield, like in his 2009 album Smoke the Monster Out. (Kevin Lee)

With Light Year 10pm, $15–<\d>$20 Public Works 161 Erie, SF (415) 932-0955 www.publicsf.com

 

FRIDAY 4

It's Casual

Here in the Bay Area, we like to complain about public transportation. There are BART horror stories and Muni diaries tossed around like old war stories, used as social currency. But really, when you compare our rapid transit systems with the snarled mess of cars elsewhere in California, we come out on top. That's why LA-based hardcore group It's Casual got so much traction with an ode to its own local bus line, "The Red Line." The song, and sentiment, struck a nerve: "The freeways/are not so nice." The band itself is growly loud, with classic Southern California punk hooks. Tonight it opens for beloved shit-stirrers Early Man (note: the two bands will release a split seven-inch come May 22). Take the 22 Fillmore to the show and write a song about it. (Savage)

With Early Man, Shock Diamond, Satya Sena

9pm, $8

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St., SF

(415) 252-1330

www.theeparkside.com

 

SATURDAY 5

CreaturesCon

Seemingly rising from the grave like so many of the monsters and ghouls that it showcased over a 14-year run on local television, the beloved Bay Area show Creature Features is being resurrected once again to satiate fans' undying thirst for the creepy, kooky, and campy. John Stanley, who hosted the KTVU program from 1979-'84, will be on hand for CreaturesCon One, a day of special screenings, Q&As, and more, along with archivist and documentary filmmaker Tom Wyrsch and Ernie Fosselius of Hardware Wars fame. For all you monster kids out there, this will be a nightmare, er, dream come true. (McCourt)

3-10pm, $10

Historic Bal Theater

14808 East 14th St., San Leandro

www.creaturescon.com

 

Father John Misty

I always wonder about the drummer. They're usually the life of the party but, at the same time, are often concealed behind a wall of instruments, and you rarely hear them sing, or say, anything. Ex-Fleet Foxes drummer Joshua Tillman has said that drumming for his former superstar band began to bore him. So he exited, took up the moniker "Father John Misty," and started creating lush, lyrically based Americana folk ballads laden with lucid imagery and social commentary. He played SXSW this year, made a surprise appearance at Café Du Nord in April, and his debut, Fear Fun, came out Tuesday. (Sullivan)

With Har Mar Superstar, Worth Taking

10pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

SUNDAY 6

Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quartet

Talk about versatility. Cuban pianist and composer Omar Sosa splits his time between Oakland and Spain and incorporates musical influences from just about everywhere in between. On last year's Calma: Solo Piano &... Sosa displayed his introspective and meditative side with floating piano melodies flanked by the occasional electronic accent or sampled sound. Contrast the solo effort on Calma with Sosa's performance as lead of the Afreecanos Quartet, where technical dynamism becomes the name of the game. At live shows, Sosa becomes a grinning whirlwind, playing classical piano on one hand and electronic piano on another, trading looks and body language with his fellow musicians, and fostering a joyful, collective, improvisational spirit. (Lee)

With Marque Gilmore, Childo Tomas and Peter Apfelbaum

1pm, free

Yerba Buena Gardens

760 Howard, SF

(415) 543-1718

www.ybgfestival.org


MONDAY 7

"La Bamba: Latinos in Vintage Rock, Pop, and Soul"

Local rock music historian and author Richie Unterberger, whose books include White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day by Day and Music USA: The Rough Guide, will once again share his extensive knowledge with music fans at his presentation "La Bamba: Latinos in Vintage Rock, Pop, and Soul." Featuring film clips of performers such as Ritchie Valens, Santana, Linda Ronstadt, and Los Lobos, the evening promises to be a unique look at the contributions of Latinos in rock from the earliest days of the 1950s up through the '80s. (McCourt)

6:30-8:30pm, free

SF Public Library, Mission Branch

300 Bartlett, SF

www.sfpl.org

 

TUESDAY 8

Steve Coll

Longtime journalist Steve Coll won a Pulitzer Prize and widespread acclaim for his 2004 account on the CIA and the agency's history in Afghanistan leading up to 9/11. In his latest investigative effort, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, Coll explores the global influence of the Texas-based oil corporation. According to Coll, big-money donations and a sophisticated DC lobbying machine have allowed ExxonMobil to shift the debate on climate change. At the same time, the oil corporation continues to expand its foothold in developing countries. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Coll currently serves as president of the New American Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that maintains a significant presence in California. (Lee)

In conversation with Greg Dalton

6pm, $7–$20

Commonwealth Club

595 Market, SF

(415) 597-6700

www.commonwealthclub.org

 

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