Our Weekly Picks: July 25-31



Spoek Mathambo

Former electro-rapper and afrobeat practitioner Nthato Mokgata merges his disparate talents as Spoek Mathambo, churning out a deliciously MIDIfied brand of hip-hop that switches stylistic identities as boldly as it does casually; his sophomore full-length, Father Creeper, veers impulsively into dancehall, indie-pop, and FlyLo beat-music territory, throwing genre tags cheekily to the wind. The brittle electronic textures of Mokgata's studio output don't intuitively lend themselves to a live translation, so it should be interesting to see his live approach. (Taylor Kaplan)

With Duckwrth, Armani Cooper

9pm, $13

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782



Karl Evangelista Plays the Music of Ornette Coleman

Four bands, one bandleader, all paying tribute to Ornette Coleman: one of jazz's most uncompromising and transcendent figures. From jazz quartet Moon Inhabitants, to vocal ensemble Broken Shadows, to Mills-originated genre-bending duo Grex, stalwart Oakland improv-jazz specialist Karl Evangelista has a handful of lineups in tow, for what should be a vibrant tribute to Coleman's diverse and enterprising body of work. Seeking an introduction to the Bay Area's thriving, ever-revolving experimental jazz scene? Let Evangelista and his rotating cast of conspirators lure you down the rabbit hole. (Kaplan)

8pm, $10

Swarm Gallery

560 Second St., Oakl.

(510) 839-2787



Harry and the Potters

Spoil alert: Dumbledore may be dead but Harry and the Potters could raise a racket loud enough to rouse him. With their signature grade of punk rock and high-energy stage act, the wizard rock ... well, wizards, have their brooms pointed at San Francisco as they head to Slim's for a show with the Potter Puppet Pals. The band celebrated its 10th anniversary in June, proving that the power of Potter is not only lasting but can be used for good — the duo helped found the Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit organization that encourages civic engagement among youths using the J.K. Rowling series. So although Muni isn't quite the Hogwarts Express, the not-one-bit-magical ride could be worth it to check out these bespectacled and bewitching brothers. (Julia B. Chan)

With Potter Puppet Pals

7:30pm, $15


333 11th St., SF

(415) 255-0333



Project: Lohan

Now that Paris Hilton is AWOL and Kim Kardashian is boring, there's a clear winner in the battle for paparazzi supremacy: Lindsay Lohan, once the nation's great hope for Jodie Foster-style child-star-made-good status. That was before rehab, jail, "exhaustion" hospitalizations, "Firecrotch-gate," all those smashed-up luxury cars, I Know Who Killed Me (2007), and so much more. And since LiLo is so ... unpredictable, D'Arcy Drollinger, creator-performer of hot-mess exposé Project: Lohan, updates his show's script according to the starlet's latest shenanigans; every word is taken from pre-existing material, including interviews, court documents, tabloids, and other sources of Lohan news and gossip. The girl can't help it! (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Aug. 19

Previews tonight, 8pm; opens Fri/27, 8pm; runs Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm, $25

Costume Shop

1117 Market, SF



The Wizard of Oz: Movie Night with the San Francisco Symphony

More than 70 years after it was made, The Wizard of Oz remains one of the most beloved films of all time, dazzling each new generation of viewers with its fantastical story, eye-popping special effects, and magical music. Iconic songs such as "Over The Rainbow" have of course become rightful classics, but the lush score written by composer Harold Arlen was also a significant part of the movie's enchanting spell. Fans will want to follow the yellow brick road to these special screenings of Oz, which will be accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony performing the score live — and guests are encouraged to dress in costume, so tap your heels together three times and think to yourself, "There's No Place Like Home!" (Sean McCourt)

7:30pm, $12.50–$70

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness, SF

(415) 864-6000



Hamilton Loomis

Don't mess with Texas. Galveston, Texas native and multi-instrumentalist Hamilton Loomis got his start early, performing in his family's doo-wop group when he was a teenager. When he was 16, he went backstage at a Bo Diddley concert to get an autograph. Before the night was over he was onstage playing guitar alongside the blues legend. The rest, as they say, is history. With mentoring from Mr. Diddley and a generous amount of natural talent, Loomis has been working hard to redefine blues and to bring youth and energy to the fast-fading genre. Now he's bringing his infectious blues-funk-soul hybrid to the West Coast for a DVD release party. (Haley Zaremba)

8 and 10pm, $15

Biscuits and Blues

401 Mason, SF

(415) 292-2583




"This Must Be the Place: Post-Punk Tribes 1978-1982"

Finally, some good news: three days of post-punk movies at the Roxie! Spanning the magical years 1978-1982, the series boasts contemporaneous films documenting the scene as it happened. The most famous among them is Edo Bertoglio's Downtown 81, a snapshot of 1981 New York City with cool kids Jean-Michel Basquiat and Debbie Harry. But there's more, much of it in the "live performance caught on tape" vein: from 1982, Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed (Super 8 from the UK), and The Slog Movie (for all you OC kids); and of local interest, "I Can See It And I'm Part of It: San Francisco Punk Portraits 1978-82," a shorts program revealing high times at the Mabuhay Gardens and a slideshow of work by late SF legend Bruce Conner. Plus, lots more! Join the rejects, get yourself killed. (Eddy)

Through Sun/29, $6.50–$10

Roxie Theater

3117 16th St., SF

(415) 863-1087



Wye Oak

Baltimore rockers Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner make up indie rock duo Wye Oak, a band with a folk foundation but contrasting distortion and dream pop leanings. Recently commissioned to write and record a song for the Adult Swim Singles Program — a series of summertime freebie downloads — Wye Oak came up with "Spiral," a swirling, poppy and decidedly darker track than previous tunes. Vocalist Wasner has described the single as a "gamechanger" while on tour with Dirty Projectors this summer. Sounds like the pair may be heading down a hazy and more electronic-tinged path — their live show should offer some insight into what's in store for future records. (Chan)

With Dirty Projectors

8pm, $25

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakl.

(510) 302-2250



Berkeley Kite Festival

The 27th Annual Berkeley Kite Festival is this weekend — what better way to relax than with something flying overhead and a terrific view of the Bay Area? The free event will host the West Coast Kite Championships, which will feature kites as big as houses, kite fights, and free kite making for kids. The sky will be filled with Giant Creature Kites from New Zealand, along with those by the Japanese Sode Cho Kite Team, a Japanese-Style "Rokkaku" Kite Battle for the Skies, and more. And for those nervous about their kites sailing off into the great big blue, there will be kite flying lessons. (Shauna C. Keddy)

10am-5pm, free (parking $10) Cesar E. Chavez Park at Berkeley Marina, Berk (510) 235-KITE



Bonobo (DJ set)

British DJ and producer Bonobo creates sprawling, downtempo, trip-hop soundscapes that alternately call for introspection or dirty dancing, depending on the song and the listener's mood. The versatility of the DJ's sound is a testament to his skillful manipulation of samples and beats to evoke passionate responses from listeners. Bonobo is often praised for his energetic and innovative live sets, where he borrows from jazz, soul, drum n' bass, trance, and just about everything else. Regardless of whatever fragmented genres he's spinning, he's likely to keep you sweating on the dancefloor. (Zaremba)

With Righteous Thrash

9pm, $17


444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880



SF Ballet at Stern Grove

Is it the same thing every year? Yep, it is. But the San Francisco Ballet at Stern Grove is pure magic whether seen under a burning sun or wind-blown fog. This year's program seems particularly suited for an outdoor picnic with friends. Helgi Tomasson's "7 for Eight" is one of his most intricately musical creations. Ezio Bosso's café-music score inspired Christopher Wheeldon's "Within the Golden Hour." The misnamed "Solo," by Hans van Manen, gives show-off opportunity for three of SFB's hunks. And if you squeeze your eyes, you just might believe that the kilt-clad lads and lassies in Balanchine's "Scotch Symphony" are streaming in from the Highlands. (Rita Felciano)

2pm, free

Stern Grove

19th Avenue and Sloat Bvd., SF

(415) 252-6252




San Francisco native and spoken word poet extraordinaire George Watsky is making a stop on his national rapping tour in San Francisco for a homecoming concert. You may have seen him on Youtube as "pale kid raps fast" (20 million views and counting). If you're not familiar with Watsky, here's what to expect from a Watsky show; a five-piece live band, original songs from all of Watsky's projects, incredible spoken word, and if you're lucky, an illustrious stage dive/crowd surf from the man himself. This time Watsky's show is also featuring the amazing Knocksteady emcee, Dumbfoundead, as well as the musical stylings of the Breezy LoveJoy Band. Watsky puts on a show that attracts fans of all ages; from the rebel-rousing teenager to the lyrically awed English teacher. (Sean Hurd)

With Dumbfoundead, the Breezy Lovejoy Band

9pm, $16


333 11th St., SF



The Psychic Paramount

Spiritualized minus the spacecraft? Tortoise as a bar band? Post-rock without all the drama? The Psychic Paramount is a record collector geek's dream band, reflecting countless sub-genres as it hammers away at a relentlessly Krautrockian insistence on mechanical groove. Despite the thrash, there's a delicate, glimmering overtone to the proceedings, a Kevin Shields-y vulnerability, that brings a crucial human element to the rigid dynamics. Rarely is extreme repetition this rich and inviting. (Kaplan)

With Phil Manley Life Coach, Barn Owl

8pm, $12

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782


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