Our Weekly Picks: June 27-July 3
"Turbulence (a dance about the economy)"
Breaking down the proscenium is one thing. Favoring installations over stage presentation is another. But messing with the distinction of representation and participation is something else entirely. No one I know of so radically questions the very essence of performance as does Keith Hennessy. What do you call it when in the process of creation, the viewer disappears into the action? For Hennessy it's a political act. "Turbulence, (a dance about the economy)," which he describes as a "collaborative failure," was already in the making when Occupy Wall Street exploded. Just as in life, during the "Turbulence" presence at CounterPULSE last December, some people stepped up, others left, the majority sat and waited. (Rita Felciano)
1310 Mission, SF
Andy Rourke of the Smiths (DJ set)
Your inner disco dancer better not be dead, because Smiths bassist Andy Rourke is coming to town, with a crate of records in tow. Ever since he moved to NYC from across the pond, Rourke has become a fixture in the city's DJ circuit. Instead of aiming for a unified sound with his sets, he jumps impulsively between pop, funk, and electronica, compiling a vibrantly erratic patchwork quilt of his musical influences. Will Rourke tip his hat to the Mozfather with a few beloved Smiths numbers when we least expect it? Only one way to find out, so, clubgoers of the world unite! (Taylor Kaplan)
With Aaron Axelsen and Omar
155 Fell, SF
These dudes produce a lot of noise for just three people. The Chicago-based Russian Circles employ heavy use of effects pedals to layer their instrumental, wallowing metal, creating a deep pitß of sound. Their songs seamlessly transition from chugging, mathematical guitar riffs to soft, melodic interludes. In concert, the band is impressively able to replicate and expand upon their complex recorded work, which features enough tempo, time signature, and key shifts to awe anyone with a basic understanding of music theory. It's metal for the thinking (wo)man, but not to worry, it still shreds. (Haley Zaremba)
With Deafheaven, And So I Watch You From Afar
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF
"The Official Blues Brothers Revue"
With an all-star musical cast and the comedic genius of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, the beloved 1980 film The Blues Brothers paired one of the best soundtracks of all time with an action packed storyline that continues to thrill. The movie — which screens at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Friday night — has also inspired a top notch musical tribute show, "The Official Blues Brothers Revue," featuring the talents of Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood, all with the approval of Belushi's estate and Aykroyd. So put on your suits, shades, and fedoras and get ready to join the boys this weekend on their "mission from God!" (Sean McCourt)
Fri/29-Sat/30, 8 and 10pm, $25–$35
1330 Fillmore, SF
Pepper 19-Year Anniversary
It's been 19 years since a gaggle of scruffy dance-and-drink fanatics took over Monday nights at Don's Different Ducks bar in the Lower Haight, spun some funky house records, and imbibed with abandon, often using the plywood-covered pool table as a dance floor. Pepper, they called it, and although it's moved around a lot since the Don's days (it was one of the Guardian's favorite roving parties of the 1990s), it's still held strong, retaining its ragtag aura even as its players have become lionized. For this installment, at 222 Hyde in the Tenderloin, DJ Charlotte the Baroness returns from her new home in Chicago to join originator Toph One, fresh out of the hospital after a tragic hit-and-run, on the decks with the Pepper family. Good friends, good fortune, new faces, no-holds-barred dancing. (Marke B.)
222 Hyde, SF
She visits from Brooklyn, he attempts to show her a fun time. "You Can't Force a Dance Party," from 2009's The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, wryly introduced May as an affective personality to rival Jonathan Richman and Jens Lekman. It's not hard to see the autobiographical elements in his music when he sings of his native state, "For you I'll try so hard to make you see, it ain't so bad in Mississippi." Dropping out of NYU, May returned home to work on music and helped found the Cats Purring arts collective/"infotainment cult." With his new release, Do Things — a slice of sun that sounds like the product of playing with a drum machine after listening to "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on repeat/acid — May proves that the party is wherever he goes. (Prendiville)
With Quintron and Miss Pussycat
579 18th St., Oakl.
Sat/30 9:30pm, $10–$12
With Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Shannon and the Clams
647 Valencia, SF (415) 552-7788
The SF techno scene blossomed nicely in spring, a kaleidoscope of pixellated textures, live experiments, and visiting representatives of a global scene unburdened from any anti-intellectual strains by the rise of pop EDM. There was also some damn good dancing to be had, no lie. Perhaps auguring a summer full of even deeper, and, perhaps, harder sounds, a showcase from Berlin's Sandwell District label kicks the season off with some sophisticated boom-boom from Function, Rrose, and Silent Servant at Public Works, presented by the As You Like It party crew. Entrancing UK slow-burn disco king Mark E gives something to swing our skirts to upstairs, and the whole shebang kicks off with the debut of Amélie Ravalec's documentary Paris/Berlin: 20 Years of Underground Techno. (Marke B.)
161 Erie, SF
The Slow Motion Cowboys
The music of the Slow Motion Cowboys has a subtle summery ease — it makes you want to pick up a banjo and play along, perhaps while sipping some lemonade out on the porch. You'd close your eyes and strum along to the sounds of upright bass, gentle guitar picking, baritone ukulele, and fiddle. The group's original songwriting style and arrangements capture that wistful feeling of yearning that so characterizes classic folk and bluegrass music. While contemporary enough to strike interest in a city audience, their sound is country enough to provide you with much needed peace of mind on a Saturday night out on the town. (Shauna C. Keddy)
835 Valencia, SF
(415) 970- 0012
Admit it: you could use a lot more woozy oompah-pah in your life, a splash of wheeling fiddle-dee-dee, soaring hurrah, and bouncey bass arpeggio. Forget the automated four-four march of your quotidian existence, and whirl away from the rat race like a romanticized gypsy, a musical nomad free of the cubicle, the log-in, the comments section, the endless update. Kafana Balkan, one of our best Romani-inspired parties, mixes gypsy tunes and strong drink with a wee bit of playa dust to conjure non-stop ecstatic dancing: this blowout with live powerhouses Brass Menazeri and Fishtank Ensemble (and fantastic DJ Zeljko) is just the ticket to chase away any reality blues. (Marke B.)
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF.
When it comes to the high stakes game of gentrification, the Divisadero Corridor — lovingly dubbed DivCo by the passels of farmers market-minded individuals that have repopulated the once-African American, once-Western Addition — is betting high. The neighborhood has the critical mass of sustainability activists needed to launch high profile wars against big bank incursion, and drive the conversation on what kinds of new businesses belong on their street. The Harding Theater at 616 Divisadero is a new battle site. Neighborhood groups hope to thwart the efforts of condo developers and make it a community space. Today, come party and fundraise to that end with local vendors, barbers, musicians, and chefs in a gorgeous Alamo Square mansion. (Caitlin Donohue)
1988 Fulton, SF
Facebook: Party Hard(ing)
Ever since Lower Dens made some year-end lists with 2010's Twin Hand Movement, bandleader Jana Hunter has kept Kraftwerk's Radio-Activity in heavy rotation. And, it shows. The Baltimore outfit's breakthrough follow-up record, Nootropics, doubles down on thick, Krautrockabilly grooves, with the Zen-like propulsion of Lou Reed cruising the Autobahn. The production aesthetic is fascinating in its ability to sound both dry and soaked in reverb, and the album's second half reveals a newfound interest in Musique concrète, giving the material an artier edge. Sure, they've upped their studio game, but the question remains: how will the band rock these songs in a live setting? (Kaplan)
With No Joy, Alan Resnick
628 Divisadero, SF
Punk's not dead! The Casualties made sure of it when they formed in New York in 1990 with the purpose of bringing punk back to its roots, in the style of the Exploited and pre-Rollins Black Flag. More than 20 years and eight studio albums later, they're following through on their proclamation "The punx are fucking here/ You know who we are/ We're here til the end/ Die hards! Die hards!" With over two decades to perfect their stage dives and liberty spikes, the Casualties are guaranteed to deliver a killer show. Expect some brutal circle pits. (Zaremba)
With Nekromantix, Down By Law, Lower Class Brats, the Sheds
Oakland Metro Opera House
630 Third St, Oakl.
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