This Week's Picks



A Behanding in Spokane

Martin McDonagh, Oscar-winning author of the movie In Bruges and the equally dark hit play Pillowman, brings us another demented fable, already receiving rave reviews from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. All we need to know is that protagonist Carmichael has lost his hand, and although it has been more than 30 years, he is still pissed as hell. Violence and sexually twisted elements are guaranteed in any McDonagh production, and this stage performance includes special effects as gruesome as you could find on the big screen. Do not be too scared off by the talk of gore though — his work is psychologically thrilling as well, and this black comedy brings some fantastic actors to the stage. (Shauna C. Keddy)
Ongoing, through June 30 Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm)
8pm, $30-40
533 Sutter, SF
(415) 677-9596

Kids on a Crime Spree

These Kids embrace the idea that a simple pop song can be so much more — their music contains darker lyrics hidden under sunny melodies. Their records are captured on analog tape and harken back to the days when Phil Spector was recording bands in New York's famous Brill Building, and not just a crazy-haired freak. Based on a driving drum line and drenched in reverb guitar, this Crime Spree creates all the messy fun you could ask for, but it's safe to say you can walk away from this controlled chaos without any trouble with the law. This is not just the sound of kids having some rowdy fun, the Oakland rockers have some truly memorable tunes. (Keddy)
9pm, $5
El Rio
3158 Mission, SF
(415) 282-3325

"The Water is Clear and Still"

Liss Fain has always chosen her visual and musical collaborators with great care. A choreographer of uncommon intelligence and taste, every new work is the result of careful deliberations and satisfying for that reason alone. Last year she stepped away from the proscenium stage into an installation format inside YBCA's Forum. In her new "The Water is Clear and Still," based on Jamaica Kincaid's tiny but hugely resonating short stories, she is taking the concept further by using the more complex space of Z Space's lobby and theater. Again the audience will be invited to wander. Joining Fain's seven dancers will be actor Delia MacDougall for Kincaid's text. Longtime collaborator Matthew Antaky has signed on one more time for the lighting and set design. Dan Wool composed the score. (Rita Felciano)
Through Sat/2, 8pm; Sun/3, 2pm; $15–$25
Z Space
450 Florida St., S.F.
(800) 838-3006

"City Scenes: Installments One and Two"

Owned by the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation, the circa 1910 Vogue Theatre is, appropriately, a single-screen theater smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood — no shopping malls need apply. With SFNTF partners CinemaSF at the programming helm, the Vogue shows first-run films, but also hosts unique cultural events you won't find elsewhere. Case in point: CinemaSF's new venture with promoters folkYEAH, "City Scenes," which pairs local musicians with SF-centric films for two nights of rockin' and movie-watchin'. Tonight, Vetiver curates the 1978 Goldie Hawn-Chevy Chase comedy Foul Play; tomorrow, Chuck Prophet presents Francis Ford Coppola's tense drama The Conversation (1974). (Cheryl Eddy)
Through Fri/1
8pm (music); 9pm (film), $20
Vogue Theatre
3290 Sacramento, SF


One of the highlights at the most recent Noise Pop festival, Brooklyn's Hospitality is also responsible for one of the best releases this year, its self-titled debut on Merge Records. Amber Papini sings with an appealing lilt and unlocatable accent, and her storytelling style has the punch of Attractions-era Elvis Costello with the tenderness of Belle and Sebastian. Featuring production from guitarist-solo artist-Papini's husband Nathan Michel and Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells), the resulting album is ten tracks of unimpeachable pop, immediately relatable to anyone that's endured a third decade of ennui, reevaluating friendships and that useless degree. (Ryan Prendiville)
With Waterstrider, Popscene DJs
9:30pm, $13
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell, SF
(415) 861-2011

2012 San Francisco Nightlife Awards

This is your chance, San Francisco, to throw your tired arms up then bend over and take a vote. More accurately: to celebrate all your creative nightlife creatures, venues, and parties with awards and accolades. The California Music and Culture Association is throwing this second annual meeting of the nightlife minds, where DJs from some of SF's favorite parties will spin, and all the voting will take place during the actual event. Yes, attendees get in on that hot voting action (Best Live Venue, Best Festival, Best Designer, etc). The winners will then be announced on the spot in a grand ceremony hopefully befitting for such luster. (Emily Savage)
With DJs from Debaser, Future Perfect, Hard French, Lights Down Low
Hosted by Anna Conda and Marke B.
8pm-midnight; Members $5, Non-Members $10
444 Jessie, SF
Facebook: 2012 San Francisco Nightlife Awards

Annie Bacon and Her OSHEN

Some nights you need to rock out to hardcore, other nights you want sweet and tender vocals over a folk-y melody, the kinds of songs in which the lyrics mean something, and the music carries you right along. Annie Bacon, also known for her "Folk Opera" work, offers that soothing sound you may yearn for at her album release show with Her OSHEN band (for new album Light to See Dark). Think Americana, with an emotionally driven undertone. (Keddy)
With Adios Amigo, Al Lover, the Hates, My Second Surprise
9pm, $10
Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
(415) 861-5016

"Reap What You Zoa"

If you've visited Oakland Art Murmur — the city's super-cool monthly art walk, which last month turned into an Occupy-style dance party that took over Telegraph Avenue for hours — then you've probably seen the flaming Fluxcycle and its beautiful, stylish crew from Flux Foundation. Wanna go home with them? Mmm, of course you do. You'll get the chance after this month's Art Murmur when the crew brings the party back to its home base at American Steel for a rockin' afterparty to benefit Zoa, its creation for this year's Burning Man. The event features live music, a gallery show, Chester the Fire Breathing Art Car, the Front Porch, Oaktown Hall, a full bar staffed by the legendary Flash Hopkins, and other artsy surprises, all in a fantastic industrial warehouse. (Steven T. Jones)
With American Nomad
7pm-1am, $10–$20 donation
American Steel
1960 Mandela Parkway, Oakl. (enter on 20th)

Omar Souleyman

The prominent ambassador of Syrian folk-dance-party-Dabke music to the US, Omar Souleyman is perhaps known best for his live performances. Releases on the Sublime Frequencies record label — drawing from reportedly over 500 cassettes created over the course of a decade plus, the majority of which were recorded at weddings and parties — has brought increased exposure for the musician and his band, and some ire from more "traditional" world music fans. Souleyman's style of overdriven, synthesizer-embracing, unrelenting beats and fire-spitting vocals inevitably leads to those who immediately can't stand it, and those who can't resist it. Incidentally, this category includes Bjork, for whom Souleyman recently remixed a series of songs including "Crystalline." (Prendiville)
With DJ Dragonfly, 3 Leafs
8pm, $20 Mezzanine 444 Jessie, SF (415) 625-8880

Balam Acab

Tri Angle Records wunderkind Alec Koone, better known as Balam Acab, creates hauntingly beautiful music. The 2011 LP Wander / Wonder solidified Koone as a singular player in the vogue witch house scene. Although the term "witch house" is a four-letter word among some contemporaries, Balam Acab's music fits all the criteria: inherently electronic, atmospheric, warped, hazy and dragged out. The 20-something Pennsylvanian embarked on a sound that has helped characterize the Tri Angle aesthetic; label mates include Clams Casino, How to Dress Well, Holy Other and oOoOO. Koone made his San Francisco debut with a live performance at Public Works in December. This time around, Elbo Room should prove to be a more intimate experience for fans of his moody music, sure to be set to fog and lasers. (Julia B. Chan)
10pm, $8 Advance
Elbo Room
647 Valencia, SF
(415) 552-7788

Barn Owl

Barn Owl is often marginalized as a "drone" outfit, but its much too versatile for that description. Evoking the thick-as-molasses stoner sludge of Sunn O))), the astral jazz explorations of Alice Coltrane, and the shimmery moodiness of Can via Future Days, the SF duo has always incorporated the tonal shifts and genre-hopping necessary to keep its hypnosis in check. Having just finished a European tour, in support of its critically acclaimed 2011 album Lost in the Glare, this homecoming appearance ought to be a wild, unpredictable ride through Barn Owl's veritable maze of sonic influences. (Taylor Kaplan)
With Suishou No Fune, Tone Volt
9:30pm, $7
Hemlock Tavern
1131 Polk, SF
(415) 923-0923

Ernest Ranglin

Legendary Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin helped form what would become the ska scene back in the 1950s with his distinctive "scratching" style of playing, and has performed with everybody from Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff to the Skatalites. Fans are invited to help the musical icon celebrate his 80th birthday tonight here in the city with a special concert featuring Ranglin backed by local favorites Vinyl performing hits from his massive back catalog along with selections from his newest album, Avila, which hit stores this week. (Sean McCourt)
With DJ Dukey
9pm, $20–$24
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell St., SF
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