Our Weekly Picks: October 10-16



Happy Hour at 251 Post

Stumbling on 251 Post Street feels a lot like clicking on a square in Minesweeper that opens up an awesome chunk of mine-free space. The entrance is nudged between a designer sunglass shop and high-end French clothing store, but it leads to six floors full of innovate artwork. Granted, the art might be in the same price range as the surrounding stores, but hey, admission is a lot cheaper than a museum. The happy hour will feature artist talks at four of the six galleries, including the Bay Area painter Brett Amory, whose simple but beautiful paintings are evocative of my lonelier dream visions. His work, focused on figures and buildings he encounters in Oakland and San Francisco, reduces everything down to the essence, creating empty spaces where buildings and figures seem to recede and appear before your eyes. (Molly Champlin)

5pm, free

251 Post Street Art Galleries, SF

(415) 291-8000



Dinosaur Jr.

We don't need to tell you that Dinosaur Jr was one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the 1990s or that these dudes can really shred. We'll just let their 28-year career attest to that. What we will tell you is that their new album is not to be overlooked or underestimated. These Dinosaurs have aged well. I Bet on Sky, their 10th full-length, is a loudmouthed snarl of a record. It features all the best quirks of Dinosaur Jr's extensive catalogue: frightening amounts of fuzz, weirdly engaging hooks, and deep dark lyrics in J Mascis' disengaged nasal yowls. Don't forget to bring earplugs. (Haley Zaremba)

8pm, $32.50


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-3000




Lenora Lee Dance

The history of Chinese Americans in the Bay Area is not exactly a closed book. Over the years many artists — including dancers — have opened a few of its pages, but I can't think of any choreographer who has taken an approach as simultaneously intimate and large scale as Lenora Lee. In her work, the personal and the political intertwine inextricably. As part of her fifth anniversary celebration she, and some very fine visual, musical and text collaborators, are presenting a triptych that is still in the making. "Passages: For Lee Ping To" is the most personal — based on Lee's grandmother's story; "Reflections" looks at conflicting ideas of maleness; and "The Escape", a work on immigrant women. (Rita Felciano)

Fri/12-Sat/13, 8pm, $15–$25

Sun/14, 3:30pm

Dance Mission Theater

3316, 24th St., SF




The Raveonettes

The collaboration of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo feels like 1950s and '60s rock'n'roll overlaid with electric noise and coupled with darker, more introspective lyrics. Their sound recalls grunge and captures a shoegazy moodiness that's both mysterious and lyrical. The Danish duo has been making music together as the Raveonettes since 2001, has developed a cult following along the way, and has been credited with spawning somewhat of an American indie rock renaissance. Wagner relates Observator, the group's recently released sixth album, to "a heavenly dream that you slowly realize is actually taking place in hell." (Mia Sullivan)

With Melody's Echo Chamber

9pm, $25


1025 Columbus, SF?

(415) 474-0365




Morbid Angel

Time was that Morbid Angel could do no wrong. Tampa was bursting with bands in the later Reagan years, but few combined brutality with complexity as well as guitarist Trey Azagthoth, drummer Pete Sandoval, and bassist-vocalist David Vincent. With the release of 2011's Illud Divinum Insanus, however, that time officially ended. Industrial and electronic textures alienated fans, leaving them uncertain about the band's new direction. Thankfully, having missed the Illud... sessions while recovering from back surgery, Sandoval is now back in the fold, which bodes well for a return to death metal roots on the band's current tour. (Ben Richardson)

With Dark Funeral, Grave

9pm, $31


333 11th St., SF





Life is Living Festival

Even in the season of street fair, Marc Bamuthi Joseph's Life is Living Festival stands out. The overarching theme for the fests — they take place in 'hoods across the country, from Houston's Emancipation Park to Chicago's South Side to the Bronx — is bringing green to the black community, uniting the sustainability movement with a hip-hop sensibility. The fest overflows with hip-happenings: Oakland's first youth poet laureate Stephanie Yun will take the stage, there'll be a street art contest, a show by a local team of dunk artists, vegan Filipino food, free breakfast (a park tradition started by the Black Panthers), youth science exhibition, dancing, hip-hop cipher — oh, and Talib Kweli will DJ. The fest prides itself on being an uber-positive, multi-generational show of strength. You won't go home frowning. (Caitlin Donohue)

10am-6pm, free Defremery Park 1651 Adeline, Oakl. www.lifeisliving.org


Alternative Press Expo

Besides, of course, the sweetly self-conscious parade of Optimus Prime, Misty from Pokemon, and Clockwork Android costumes, my favorite part of the dearly-departed Wonder Con was the sociology nerd comics panels. "Women in Comics," "Social Justice in Comics," the list goes on. Graphic novels present the perfect, neurosis-friendly media in which to delve into alternative culture, which is why the Alternative Press Expo will make you forget all those Hollywood blockbuster star panels. Go this year to delve into the best scribblers of alt culture, like the Hernandez brothers of Love and Rockets Latino punk fame, a queer cartoonist panel moderated by Glamazonia's Justin Hall, and the chance to connect with a gajillion like-minded indie comic freaks. (Donohue)

11am-7pm; also Sun/14, 11am-6pm; $10 one day, $15 two day pass Concourse Exhibition Center 635 Eighth St., SF www.comic-con.org/ape


Yerba Buena Night

Art allies in the Yerba Buena district are rallying together for another installment of Yerba Buena Night. The neighborhood will be full of people getting their musing-spectator on during the gallery walk, rocking out at the three main performance stages, and chatting with class at the champagne reception hosted by Visual Aid. Be sure to stop by 111 Minna to see surreal graffiti and pen artist Lennie Mace, who operates in both America and Japan, as well as some of Mike Shine's paintings and props from Outside Lands (minus the live carny folk, unfortunately). Or visit Wendi Norris Gallery for beautifully bright but often gruesome narrative paintings by artist Howie Tsui: think pop-surrealist Mark Ryden with a Chinese influence. (Champlin)

3pm, free

Yerba Buena District

701 Mission

(415) 541-0312




David Byrne and St. Vincent

Old and young, man and woman, beauty and beast (albeit a hip beast with now slick, silver hair), David Byrne and St. Vincent make quite the unlikely pair. Despite, or maybe in light of these differences, their respective talents fit together like puzzle pieces in their joyously poppy and horn-laden collaboration, Love This Giant. The album, released in September, rings in like a call to action and touches on issues of wealth, prescribed and individual culture, love, and forgiveness. Aside from the fact that everyone loves a rock show backed with an eight-piece brass band, this is set to be a memorable night.(Champlin)

8pm, $63.50–$129

Orpheum Theater

1192 Market, SF

(888) 746-1799



The Sheepdogs

If you're itching for some classic rock nostalgia but aren't in the mood for the full-on experience (i.e. Dark Star Orchestra), check out The Sheepdogs. This Canadian quartet looks like they were pulled straight out of the '70s and has been sonically influenced by rock icons like The Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival, and Steely Dan. These guys released a self-titled, debut album with Atlantic Records last month. (They released their first three albums independently.) The Sheepdogs thrive on three-part harmonies, produce extremely catchy tracks, and have been rumored to put on fun, blissful shows. (Sullivan)

With Black Box Revelation

7:30pm, $15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011



Nik Bärtsch's Ronin

Not quite nu-jazz, math-rock, or classical minimalism, Nik Bärtsch's Ronin attacks Reichian time signatures with the borderline robotic technical skill of a group of Juilliard grads, the undeniable groove of an airtight funk band, and the Steely Dan-worthy production values inherent to ECM, the venerable European jazz label to which they're signed. Bärtsch's piano playing is remarkably dynamic, flowing between resonant, open tones and muffled, percussive hammering, while generously layered drums, agile bass-plucking, and exotic woodwinds (contrabass clarinet, anyone?) create a dark, steely backdrop. Considering the Swiss ensemble's masterful ability to anchor soulful acoustic instrumentation with a relentlessly electronic pulse, Nik Bärtsch's Ronin is as compelling, and unmissable, as any live ensemble currently working. (Taylor Kaplan)

8pm, $20

Yoshi's Oakland

510 Embarcadero West, Oakl.

(510) 238-9200



Vampyr with live score by Steven Severin

Get your Halloween on a little early this year with Steven Severin, founding member and bassist of Siouxie and the Banshees, who comes to haunt the city tonight with two special live performances of his new score to the classic 1932 horror film Vampyr. The third installment in Severin's ongoing film accompaniment series "Music For Silents," the darkly moody synthesizer score perfectly matches the surreal scenes on the silver screen, working in conjunction with the somewhat unorthodox style of filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, who continued to use elements of the silent era, including dialogue title cards, even though the film was made at the advent of the talkies. (Sean McCourt)

7 and 9:30pm, $15

Roxie Theater

3117 16th St., SF



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