Our Weekly Picks: May 16-22, 2012

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WEDNESDAY 16

>> "Andy Cohen: Bravo's Man of Moxie"

Without Andy Cohen, there'd be no Bethenny and no NeNe. The world would know nothing of Vicki's "love tank" or pinot grigio-chugging Ramona. In addition to unleashing the Real Housewives series, Bravo's Executive Vice President of Development and Talent (or "talent," as the case may be) also exec-produces Top Chef and hosts his own talk show, the gleefully goofy Watch What Happens Live. Now, Cohen's an author, with Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, a breezy autobiography detailing his life in showbiz, from early run-ins with the Bakkers and the Buttafuocos to the many, many Housewives. The book's stuffed with dish — expect even more when Cohen takes the Castro stage. (Cheryl Eddy)

7:30pm, $25–$80

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

www.commonwealthclub.org

 

>> The Dandy Warhols

On "Enjoy Yourself" off 2012's This Machine, a posturing singer looks back enviously: "I used to be cool/used to be a fool/Too cool for rules man/too cool for school." Call it a rockers lament. But once the rest of the band drowns the whiner out for a shout along chorus — "So look at yourself/Enjoy your health/Let everybody else be everybody else/and really enjoy yourself now" — it becomes something else: the pull-your-head-out-your-ass and feel good song of the summer. The eighth studio album in eighteen years for Portland, Oreg.'s the Dandy Warhols, This Machine finds the band learning from the past and aging gracefully. (Ryan Prendiville)

8pm, $25 Fillmore 1850 Geary, SF (415) 346-6000 www.thefillmore.com

 

THURSDAY 17

>> "Low Down"

Alex Ketley and Ben Levy: two choreographers, both ambitious, fiercely talented, and willing to go where ever ideas take them. So where are they going? Ketley, in addition to darting all over the country doing commissions, has a flair for the far-out. A few years ago he choreographed the California landscape; he has also created a work in which he danced the syntax of a Carol Snow essay. Levy, whose company celebrates its first decade this weekend, has created edgy dances from the disarmingly comedic to the lurking nightmares. Bringing together these so very different guys is a desire to challenge their own craft by subjecting it to a collaborative process neither of them has tried previously. That just may be enough for a piece they call "Low Down." (Rita Felciano)

Thu/17-Sat/19, 8pm; Sun/20, 2pm, $18–$50

Z Space

450 Florida, SF

(800) 838-3006

www.zspace.org

 

>> "Broke & Classy: Broke-Ass Stuart's 10 Year Anniversary of Living in SF"

I doubt Stuart Schuffman is so broke-ass anymore. The man has written frugal culture guides for San Francisco and New York City, he's got a popular blog chock full of fun things to do for penny-pinchers, and he has trotted around the country profiling artists and musicians on his own IFC show. Surely that qualifies as a media empire, right? But I can't begrudge B-AS. He opened my eyes to the tasty treats of the Tamale Lady and created that pick-me-up mantra: "You are young, broke and beautiful." Local musical acts usher in 10 years of Stuart's low-money living in San Francisco. (Kevin Lee)

With Judgement Day, Birds & Batteries, Rach W and DJ Carnita 8pm, $3, Must RSVP Public Works 161 Erie (415) 932-0955 www.publicsf.com

 

>> Ane Brun

Norway's Ane Brun is perhaps best known in the U.S. to Peter Gabriel fans, having opened for his recent New Blood Tour. But an award-winning songwriter in Europe with four studio and two live albums so far, Brun deserves attention here for all her work, including most recent release, It All Starts With One. Not only a showcase for her majestically touching voice set against gently pulsing rhythms and sparse orchestration, the album also features guests Jose Gonzalez on the entrancing "Worship" and First Aid Kit adding backup vocals to the rolling percussion "Do You Remember." (Prendiville)

With Gemma Ray, Elin Ruth Sigvardssun

8:30pm, $14-16

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com

 

FRIDAY 18

>> Sleepy Sun

Sleepy Sun emerged in 2009 after creating an LP laden with distorted guitar lines, fuzzy vocals, and compositional head nods to Led Zeppelin best taken with psychedelics and '70s nostalgia. While Spine Hits (2012) features some serious reverb, the album the group released three years later calls to mind '90s alt rock and the open road; with tracks that feel like epic love ballads after odes to outdoorsy adventure. Lead vocalist Bret Constantino has called his band's changing sound its "natural evolution." And judging by the genuine, passionate voice and catchy, seamlessly constructed melodies Spine Hits purveys, I don't doubt him. (Mia Sullivan)

With Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound, Some Ember, DJ Britt Govea

9pm, $15

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com

 

>> UK with Terry Bozzio

Bay Area-born and raised drummer extraordinaire Terry Bozzio has performed with Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Jeff Beck, Fantomas, and a host of other musicians over the years. Recognized as one of the best drummers in modern times, he has recorded a variety of instructional videos, been honored by Guitar Center's RockWalk in Hollywood, and has created some of the most insane custom drum sets ever seen on stage. Be sure to see Bozzio's amazing talents on display live tonight as he performs with the reunited prog rock supergroup UK, which also features John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia) and Eddie Jobson (Frank Zappa, Roxy Music). (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $65–$99

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF

(415) 673-5716

www.theregencyballroom.com

 

>> The Sahara Tent Party ft. Switch and Sinden

Producer-DJ Switch is best known for his work alongside Diplo in Major Lazer and for producing the pulsating dynamic music behind Sri Lankan singer M.I.A. As Major Lazer, the British duo has brought a Jamaican dance flavor to Beyonce, Santigold, and Christina Aguilera and are apparently collaborating with No Doubt on a release slated for September. Producing in studios as far and wide as Jamaica and India, Switch has blended dancehall infused beats with slick rhymes from a wide net of vocalists. Co-headliner and fellow Brit Sinden brings a soulful, multi-genre vibe rooted in house music. (Lee)

With 5kinandBone5, Vin Sol, Them Jeans, and more 10pm, $10–$20 1015 Folsom (415) 431-1200 www.1015.com

 

>> Plants and Animals

If Plants and Animals were a person, writes the band, their albums would metaphorically mirror said person's journey through life. Parc Avenue (2008) represents the Montreal-based indie rock trio as a child, La La Land (2010) as an angsty teenager, and The End of That, released this February, exudes "unmasked" early 20s confidence. Warren Spicer, Matthew Woodley, and Nicholas Basque began playing together and experimenting with instrumental music in 2002. Now, 10 years later, they've evolved into post-classic rockers and bearers of soft, ambient harmonization as well as fiery, nostalgic jams like recent hit single "Lightshow." (Sullivan)

With Cannons and Clouds, Owl Paws

10pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17 St., SF

(415) 621-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

SATURDAY 19

>> Saturday Night Soul Party

Always wanted to check out one of San Francisco's longest running soul events but stayed away because of potential throngs in the Mission on the weekend? Well here's your chance for an easy introduction to the Saturday Night Soul Party. Crowds are likely to be sparse in the neighborhood thanks to the lemmings planning to get up early the next morning to make their annual pilgrimage to the breakers, so dance the night away carefree to Disc Jockeys Lucky, Paul Paul, and Phengren Oswald, spinning '60s soul all night, exclusively on good old vinyl '45s. Show up wearing a suit and tie or skirt or dress and get half off the cover charge. (McCourt)

10pm, $5–$10

Elbo Room

647 Valencia, SF

(415) 552-7788

www.elbo.com

 

>> SUNDAY 20

Pansy Division

One of San Francisco's favorite early '90s queercore pop punk acts is back, and on tonight of all nights. The steaming pile of hot mess that will rise up post-B2B is enough to make any local puke, but keep it in (or clean it off) and go out anyways. It'll make you feel much better and brighter catching melodic pop punk, than hiding from the masses on the couch with a cheap wine hangover and a blanket pulled up tight. And perhaps it'll refresh your memories of the crustier old days in the city before so many bubbles burst and barely clothed, underage dubsteppers swarmed the post-race streets seeking Four Loko and warm blood. Don't be a Bad Boyfriend, show the gent a good time. (Emily Savage)

With Swann Danger

8:30pm, $12

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016

www.cafedunord.com

 

MONDAY 21

>> "Neuroscience of Zen"

What exactly happens to your mind when you undergo meditation? Turns out that meditating Buddhist monks tend to elongate the time they exhale, which calms the mind. Stanford University researcher Phillippe Goldin has studied the effects of mindfulness meditation and stress reduction on brain function. San Francisco Zen Center Abbot Ryushin Paul Haller has taught Buddhist practices for two decades in San Francisco and has led programs to assist with depression and recovery. Together, Goldin and Haller blend academic studies and their own worldly experiences to discuss the intersection of the mind and the spirit. (Lee)

8pm, $22–$26

Herbst Theatre

401 Van Ness, SF

(415) 392-4400

www.cityboxoffice.com

 

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