Our Weekly Picks: May 9-15, 2012



Lotus Plaza

Lotus Plaza soaks innocent, introspective lyrics in bright, ambient noise. Its sound is somewhat of an Animal Collective meets Real Estate phenomenon, as repetition, staccato, washed out haze, and subtle, '60s-inspired surfy guitar riffs predominate. Lotus Plaza — the solo project of Deerhunter's guitarist Lockett Pundt — released its sophomore LP, Spooky Action at a Distance, early last month. You'll get lost in this album's consuming drone and echoing vocals, which focus on escape, living with yourself, and the future. Pundt has cited influences ranging from Stereolab to My Bloody Valentine to Gary Numan, so listen up! (Mia Sullivan)

With Wymond Miles, Mirror Mode

7:30pm, $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011




"Plantosaurus Rex: Prehistoric Plants at the Conservatory of Flowers"

If you thought exotic nature sightings in Golden Gate Park were limited to bison, swans, and the occasional coyote, it's time to put on your Jeff Goldblum sunglasses and stroll over to the Conservatory of Flowers. Not only does "Plantosaurus Rex," which opens today, host life-sized model dinosaurs — including a baby Stegosaurus chillin' in the foliage, and a toothy Tyrannosaurus poking its head through the Conservatory roof — it also features an evolutionary journey through prehistoric plant life, some of which might look familiar (if oddly-proportioned): huge ferns, giant seed pods, etc. Good fun for pint-sized budding paleontologists and full-grown botany nerds alike. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Oct. 21

Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm, free–$7

Conservatory of Flowers

100 John F. Kennedy, Golden Gate Park, SF




"Barbary Coast and Beyond"

You hear "Gold Rush" and a stream of shimmering images pan across your mind's eye; you hear "Barbary Coast" and the raucous calls of drunken sailors and ladies of the night fill your mental ear. But what of the actual music of this period, when Caruso was carousing the City by the Bay and tinny saloon pianos were banging out civic-pride singalongs like "California, Here I Come" and "Hello, Frisco, Hello"? The SF Symphony is hopping into the sepia-toned wayback machine to bring to life the astonishingly fertile local musical milieu of the period from the Gold Rush to the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, full of tunes brought to SF by famous old-time performers like Ole Bull and Luisa Tetrazzini. The journey is narrated by beloved Beach Blanket Babylon emeritus Val Diamond. (Marke B.)

Also Fri/11 and Sat/12. 8pm, $35–$140

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness, SF

(415) 864-6000



Dead Milkmen

With its humorous and unorthodox take on punk rock back when hardcore was the norm, The Dead Milkmen set itself apart in the scene when it first formed in Philadelphia in 1983, gradually earning a following with fan-favorite tunes such as "Bitchin' Camaro," "The Thing That Only Eats Hippies," and what would become its biggest mainstream success, "Punk Rock Girl." After a 13-year break up and the passing of original bassist Dave Schulthise, the band reunited in 2008, and released The King In Yellow last year, bringing back its joyously clever songs and sound for fans to dance around and sing-along with like the old days. (Sean McCourt)

With Terry Malts

9pm, $23


333 11th St., SF

(415) 255-0333




"The Last Drive-In Presents: 16mm Movie Night"

Benefiting Lost Weekend's Cinecave, this event was set up by a couple of former rep house projectionists, screening so-bad-they're-good (to mock) 16mm movies complete with classic trailers and snack bar reels to recreate the drive-in experience. (Without, I guess, the car and the crappy metal speakers to hang on the window.) The UK sci-fi double for the night includes The Crawling Eye (1958), which has been described as a surprisingly good picture...until the appearance of the remarkably bad feature creature, and the illogically titled, They Came from Beyond Space (1967). (Ryan Prendiville)

7pm, $5–$10 suggested donation Alley Cat Books 3036 24th St., SF (415) 824-1761

Facebook: AlleyCatBooks


Black Moth Super Rainbow

The mysterious TOBACCO flings heavy, analog-laden funk tracks that spark parties and haunt listeners in their dreams. But the progenitor of modern psychedelic-pop brings sunniness (slightly) as the lead of Black Moth Super Rainbow. Compared to TOBACCO's dark and stormy skies, BMSR is a tehnicolor-saturated spring day. Listeners float in fuzzy synths, retro distortions, and vocoded TOBACCO vocals, while a current of punchy beats carries them along. TOBACCO scrapped a BMSR album slated for release in 2011, but fans should be excited that a new album is in the works. (Kevin Lee)

With Lumerians, Gramatik, Flako, Zackey Force Funk, Mophone, Annalove, DJ Dials, DJ Sodapop

10pm, $20

103 Harriet, SF

(415) 932-0955




This Boulder, Colo.-based "electro dubstep rock" trio remixes hits from the likes of Chromeo, Dire Straights, and the Beastie Boys with synthesizers and a drum kit. The result is a palpable wall of bass-heavy, dance-your-ass-off-worthy electronic sound. DJs Ben Eberdt and Gray Smith and drummer Mike Kelly have been going at it since their undergrad days at the University of Colorado. Savoy's influences range from French house music to Phish, and the group has made inroads in the festival scene this year. (It played SXSW and is on the bill for Wakarusa.) Expect a dizzying light show, a high-energy dance party, and ecstasy in all of its forms. (Sullivan)

With Redeye, Robot.Mafia, Cutterz

9pm $16

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750




Cyro Baptista

Cyro Baptista's collaboration list reads like a very compelling who's who in the music industry — Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Serge Gainsbourg, Paul Simon, and John Zorn are among the greats who have worked with the Brazilian composer and percussionist. Born and raised in São Paulo, Baptista floats between jazz and world music. His eye-catching Beat the Donkey project was a multicultural percussion and dance show, featuring Baptista banging on some PVC pipe and buckets. New project Banquet of the Spirits, featuring bassist Shani Blumenkrantz and fingerstyle guitarist Tim Sparks, explores some of Zorn's previous work dedicated to the Jewish Diaspora, with twists of Brazilian and Middle Eastern styles. (Lee)

With Tim Sparks and Shanir Blumenkrantz

8pm, $25

Swedish American Hall

2174 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016




Local producer Brendan Angelides creates electronica that somehow manages to sound both tightly produced and expansive at the same time. The easy but fair comparison is to Ninja Tune labelmate Amon Tobin, and the two have collaborated under the guise Eskamon on Angelides' own Ancestor record label. Many electronic listeners will know Angelides through his alias Eskmo and his multi-layered post-hip hop on 2010's Eskmo EP, but new work under the moniker Welder is just as provocative. On last fall's Florescence, classical strings and pianos intertwined with Angelides' intricate beat production, like a symphony embarking on a mellow jazz jam session. (Lee)

With Love & Light, DJ Dials, U9Lift

9pm, $15


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880




How Weird Street Faire

How do you know the summer festival season has truly sprung? Follow the breakdancing purple fuzzy dude through the rabbithole of deepest SoMa, choose the third key (probably) and enter a musical and artistic wonderland where the spirit number is 13 — not the unlucky 13, the brilliantly Bizarro 13 signifying 13 writhing blocks of neon freakiness and 13 stages pumping ravey local sounds. This is also the thirteenth How Weird Faire (on May 13!), celebrating 13 moons with the costume theme "Time," which may or may not have something to do with galactic tones or Mayan glyphs, but definitely with "good times" in general. Jam out to the likes of the Sunset, Forward, Pink Mammoth, and tons of other DJ crews, peruse many Vendors from Beyond the Cosmic Edge, and revel in our delightful homegrown insanity. (Marke B.)

Noon-8pm, $10 donation requested

Howard and Second Street, SF




Herman Dune

Fans of Jonathan Richman, David Berman, Stephin Merritt, or anyone else who expertly blurs the line between twee earnestness and winking sarcasm will find plenty to love about Herman Dune. Recently boiled down to its core as a two-piece, the Parisian group is touring in support of 2011's Strange Moosic, its latest batch of quirky anti-folk and bouncy indie-pop. Nearly every song in the band's now impressively deep catalogue contains at least one endearing or sly lyrical gem courtesy of lead singer David-Ivar Herman Dune's charming vocal delivery. Check out single "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" and its Jon Hamm-starring music video to get a sense of the feel-good world the duo creates. (Landon Moblad)

With the Sam Chase, DJ Britt Govea

8pm, $14


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421




"Celebrating 35 Years of Star Wars Comic Books: An Evening with Howard Chaykin and Steve Leialoha"

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... more specifically 1977 New York, representatives from LucasFilm contacted Marvel Comics about creating an adaptation of their upcoming sci-fi flick Star Wars, which of course, went on to be one of the most successful film franchises of all time, but also a beloved and long-running comic title. Artists Howard Chaykin and Steve Leialoha, who worked on those early issues, will be on hand tonight for a 35th anniversary celebration of all things Sith and Jedi in the comic realm, along with a discussion and presentation about their work hosted by comedians Michael Capozzola and Joe Klocek. (McCourt)

7-9pm, $7

Cartoon Art Museum

655 Mission, SF

(415) CAR-TOON



Ana Tijoux

When the title track from Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux's 1977 played over a montage of perpetual fuckup Jesse Pinkman riding shotgun with Mike the Cleaner on the latest season of AMC's Breaking Bad, it was the type of moment that TiVo was made for, or maybe just sent viewers to their phones, trying to figure out who was responsible for that particularly cinematic song. Tijoux — who was born in France during Pinochet's reign — has an infectiously cool flow and a conscious, no bullshit attitude that comes across in any language. Both political and personal Tijoux now returns with the album La Bala featuring "Shock," a response to the recent student movements in Chile. (Prendiville)

With Los Rakas, Raw G

8pm, $15


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421



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