Our Weekly Picks: September 19-25



The Birds

As part of a series of ongoing celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures, Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies are presenting a special one day only screening of The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1963 horror flick about rampaging flocks of fearsome feathered fiends that invade a sleepy coastal community and wreak havoc on its citizens. Filmed in San Francisco and just to the north in Bodega Bay, the film has been newly restored, and will be preceded by an introduction from TCM host Robert Osborne, along with revealing interviews that he conducted with star Tippi Hedren earlier this year. See website for participating theaters. (Sean McCourt)

2 and 7pm, $10.50–$12.50

Various Bay Area Theaters



Azure Ray

Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor are Alabama natives, childhood friends, and progenitors of dream pop duo Azure Ray. Throughout most of their Azure work, the pair grounded their tracks in vocal harmonization and added in some folksy acoustic guitar and/or piano melodies, such as in 2010's Drawing Down the Moon. But in the latest LP released this month, As Above So Below, Fink and Taylor immerse their warm vocals in electronic atmospherics, vocal delay effects, and a smattering of bass. Azure have said for As Above that they drew on the minimalist and electronic aspects of artists such as James Blake, Nicholas Jaar and Apparat. As Above's tight and intricate feel can be partially credited to co-producer and Orenda's husband, Todd Fink of The Faint. (Kevin Lee)

With Soko, Haroula Rose 8pm, $15 Swedish American Music Hall 2174 Market, SF (415) 431-7578 www.cafedunord.com


Eat Real Festival

Sure, the snacks and sips for sale at Eat Real are superlative, but not all of Oakland's three-day fest dedicated to fresh, local edibles revolves around pure functionality. Take for example, the Thai fruit carving demonstration manned by staff from mobile Bay Area catering outfit House of Siam. You can learn how to turn a watermelon into a rose, petals fading from pink meat to white rind. It's just one of a passel of tutorials that will be taking place throughout the fest, which will also feature a beer garden of local brews curated by Eat Real neighbor, Linden Street Brewery, live music, and vendors hawking treats, all for under $5. (Caitlin Donohue) Fri/21 1-9pm; Sat/22 10:30am-9pm; 10:30am-5pm Jack London Square, Oakl. www.eatrealfest.com


Pacific Pinball Expo

"Free play!" For lifelong pinball wizards in training — and those, like me, who just enjoy playing Addams Family for hours at the local gay bar — there are few better phrases in the English language. To show off its extensive (and quite historically fascinating) collection of games with balls, and to help promote its intended move to the Palace of Fine Arts from Alameda, the great Pacific Pinball Museum is hosting the supposedly largest pinball expo in the world at the Marin Civic Center. 400 games set on free play! X-Men! Ms. Pacman! Vintage Bally games like Starjet! "Woodrails" from the 1950s! Sorry, there will be no splints provided for those who, in their excitement of such flashing and dinging riches, suffer a case of "flipper wrist." (Marke B.)

Through Sun/16, 10am-midnight, $15–$60

Marin Civic Center Exhibition Hall

10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael

(510) 205-6959




As recent sold-out performances at the Fox attest, Chicago's Wilco is an easy sell. Eight albums in with 2011's The Whole Love, Jeff Tweedy continues to catalog tender hearts at the edge of maddening fights, backgrounded arguably the most expansive band in rock. (While other groups may struggle to create a sound big enough for the Greek, drummer Glenn Kotche could do it on his own.) But the added draw this time are the openers; Friday is a second chance for anyone who missed Cibo Matto's reunion show at Bimbo's last year, while Saturday features beloved raconteur Jonathan Richman, with extra of room for him to let loose his signature dance moves. (Ryan Prendiville)

Fri/21 with Cibo Matto; Sat/22 with Jonathan Richman 7:30pm, $49.50 Greek Theatre 2001 Gayley Road, Berk. (510) 548-3010 www.apeconcerts.com



Eugene, Oreg.'s Yob has been producing sprawling doom metal landscapes since 1996, but it's taken until 2012 for it to get noticed. Though the mainstream press has finally picked up on the band — Spin Magazine placed its sixth album, Atma, in its top 50 records of 2011 — Yob's masterful songwriting and awesomely sinister energy hasn't lost any of its edge. Atma is a megalith of slow, chugging riffs and discordant melodies, the shortest song clocking in at seven minutes and 33 seconds. Vocalist (and Krav Maga instructor) Mike Scheidt shrieks and growls over the sludge like a demon that has finally been unleashed. (Haley Zaremba)

With Acid King, Norska

9pm, $12

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782



California Wines Road Trip

Love a variety of California wines, but don't have the time to travel all over the state to visit all the wineries? Then head over the "California Wines Road Trip" event, where more than 90 wines from 14 different regions of the state will be available to sample, along with artisanal cheeses and other scrumptious food offerings. The party is part of California Wine Month, which will be hosting other events all throughout the state, so drink up for a good cause — part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. (McCourt)

2-5pm, $35.

Ferry Building, Grand Hall

One Ferry Building, SF



7 Seconds

They say that Reno is so close to hell you can see sparks. It makes sense that this environment would create one of the most enduring hardcore punk bands in music history. 7 Seconds have been active for three decades. In this time span they've gone through lineup changes, genre changes, into the straight edge movement and back out of it. Since its inception in 1980, the Marvelli brothers Kevin Seconds and Steve Youth have remained the backbone of the band, tirelessly touring and releasing 15 albums and numerous EPs and compilations. You've seen the logo for years, on T-shirts and patched onto jean jackets, but 7 Seconds have endured based on a lot more than great branding. They're living, breathing, shredding pioneers of American punk. (Zaremba)

With Heartsounds, Bastards of Young, City of Vain

7pm, $12

924 Gilman, Berkeley

(510) 524-8180



Cut Hands

Like an enrapturing free-jazz gig, or a moshtastic punk show, Cut Hands' brand of crushing experimentalism must be seen live to be fully appreciated. The one-man project, commanded by British fringe-artist and Whitehouse bandleader William Bennett, fuses traditional Central African percussion with synthetic drums, laying them atop ambient drones and shrill electronics, with an industrial production sound worthy of Throbbing Gristle at their most unforgiving. Pushing his singular vision to new extremes, Bennett's forthcoming LP, Black Mamba (the follow-up to his Wire-approved Afro Noise series) is the project's most relentlessly pulverizing statement to date. Gluttons for avant-punishment shouldn't pass up the opportunity to experience Bennett's viscerally draining, yet transcendent, explorations in sound. (Taylor Kaplan)

With Burmese, Bestial Mouths, DJ Crackwhore 9:30pm, $12

Elbo Room 647 Valencia, SF (415) 552-7788 www.elbo.com


Wyclef Jean

Member of a supernatural hip-hop crew, singer of "Gone 'Til November" — maybe you even got a bead on his brief, but glorious run at being the president of Haiti, in the face of Sean Penn's wet-blanket naysaying. But unless you have read his new book Purpose: An Immigrant's Story (if you have, back pat, the thing was released on Tuesday) you probably did not know that Jean's pastor father relocated his family into a fire-damaged funeral home in Newark when the sensitive rapper was wee. Face it, many things about this ex-Fugee remain a mystery. Attend tonight's event and let them be revealed, with insightful prodding by MTV2's Hip Hop Squares host Peter Rosenberg. (Donohue)

7:30, $25–$30 Palace of Fine Arts 3301 Lyon, SF

(415) 567-6642 www.palaceoffinearts.org


Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian started writing his third solo album when he read about the mass disappearance of different species of animals around the world. The result is Harakiri, a self-produced record named for the Japanese idea of ritual suicide. As the frontman for System of a Down, Armenian-born Tankian has a long history of activism and influence in the music community, and now he's taking on the uncomfortable future of environmental (un)sustainability. In response, Tankian has kicked into overdrive, touring with System, publishing his third book of poetry, collaborating with nonprofits, collaborating with other musicians, and releasing a rock opera all within the last year. With this momentum, Tankian may just take over the world. I don't know about you, but I trust him with it. (Zaremba)

With Viza

8pm, $35


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-3000



Django Django

"Spins the phrases together 'til something starts to make sense" is generally a pretty apt description of what frequently parades as "psychedelic" songwriting, a veil of random weirdness that often obscures an underlying mediocrity and lack of musical talent. On its self-titled, Mercury Prize-nominated debut — which includes those lyrics on the track "Hail Bop" — Britain's Django Django takes a different approach, combining the the straightforward structure of '60s vocal pop with a nearly cribbed catalog of inward looking psych imagery, layered over surprisingly shiny production that includes influences from tribal rhythms and metronomic, driving electronica. The result is an album that's paradoxically bold as it is bare. (Prendiville)

With Vinyl Williams 8pm, $15 Independent 628 Divisadero, SF (415) 771-1421 www.theindependentsf.com

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