Our Weekly Picks: November 7-13
At times romantic and sultry but also plenty psychedelic, Twin Sister will bring its energetic, upbeat dream-pop back to San Francisco this week. Singer, Andrea Estella, an artist who also works in water color and sculpture, is decidedly nymph-like with her hypnotic voice and pixie features. And if that's not entrancing enough, she's backed by a collaboration of Brooklyn musicians who handle their instruments (keyboards, synths, and melodica to name a few) with thoughtful precision. If you're lucky, they may throw in some acoustic versions, but you'll have to come and find out for yourself. (Molly Champlin)
With Melted Toys, Some Ember, and Yalls (DJ set)
115 Fell, SF
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival
With Cloud Atlas co-director Lana Wachowski (and her fab pink hair) all over pop culture media these days, trans filmmakers have never enjoyed a higher profile. But the artists who've participated in the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, now in its 11th year, don't need Hollywood to assure them of their talent. The 2012 fest is the biggest ever, with three nights of globally-sourced short films ("enticing tales of defiance, bullying, relationships, sex, humor, enchantment, romance, and zombies"), plus a performance spectacular (with Sean Dorsey Dance, Eli Conley and the Transcendence Gospel Choir, and more). Previous fests have sold out lickety-split, so buy your tickets ASAP. (Cheryl Eddy)
Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm, $12–$15
1310 Mission, SF
Contrary to popular belief, the Beats were not just an old boys' club. Bay Area painter Jay DeFeo stands as a contradiction to the flat female characters you'll encounter in a Kerouac novel. She pushes boundaries alongside all persuasions of painters. Her work lays the paint thick, looking at light, nature, and the body to find the abstract in the real and vice versa. In conjunction with her retrospective at SFMOMA will be a performance of Wet Paint by Kevin Killian (maybe you know him as a poet, editor, and award-winning author of gay erotic fiction). The play about DeFeo's life will be performed by the Poets' Theater and should be a great way to learn the background of her art and ties with the beat movement. (Champlin)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third St., SF
Maya Jane Coles
If London producer and DJ Maya Jane Coles has made a statement in her so far short and rapid ascension in the dance music world, it was with the title of her 2011 EP, Don't Put Me in Your Box. Whether under her own name, dubstep alias Nocturnal Sunshine, or as part of dub duo She Is Danger, Coles has resisted the contrived hooks and familiar samples that promise EDM success, instead forging a path through deep house, delivering independent productions with her personal stamp on everything from vocals to visual design. Noted in the press for being both a breakthrough artist and still quite young, Coles is worth paying attention to as she prepares her eagerly awaited full-length album. (Ryan Prendiville)
With Moniker, Brian Bejarano
101 Sixth St., SF
"Flamenco en Movimiento"
The emphatic swirl of voluminous skirts, the pounding of heels against the floorboards, the mesmerizing stop-start rhythms, the rose gripped in the teeth, the ache of tight pants ... Spanish flamenco dancing and music, bursting with full-throated emotion and thrilling restraint, can be addictive. The Bay Area certainly loves it: flamenco has been eliciting hearty "olé!"s in a new wave of wine bars, beer halls, and Spanish restaurants over the last few years. We're also home to some incredible flamenco troupes, especially Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, led by brilliant director Carolyn Zertuche and celebrating its 46th year. Her company's annual show (this year called "Flamenco in Motion" in English) blew me away last year: the passion, technique, and gorgeous live music emanating from the stage were spellbinding. And I'm no drama queen! If you need a shot of strings-free emotional beauty in these trying times, here's your best bet. (Marke B.)
8pm (also Sat/10 at 8pm and Sun/11 at 2pm), $20–$40
Cowell Theater, Fort Mason
Marina Blvd, SF.
It was only in July that with a few tweets Christopher Owens announced the break up of his breezy, garage rock infused pop band Girls. Owens cited personal reasons — as if there were any other kind — but promised that he would continue to make music in some other form. Just as quickly as that news came, the songwriter has turned around and scheduled a solo date, premiering an entirely new road-trip themed album called Lysandre, at an intimate performance above the Regency Ballroom. A special peek at the album due for release in January, this show will also be filmed for a music video. (Prendiville)
The Lodge at the Regency Ballroom
1300 Van Ness, SF
"Forever Natalie Wood"
Natalie Wood was a child star (1947's Miracle on 34th Street) turned teenage Oscar nominee (1955's Rebel Without a Cause) turned Hollywood legend (1961's West Side Story; 1961's Splendor in the Grass) turned celebrity tragedy (after her mysterious 1981 drowning death at age 43). Marc Huestis curates a special tribute to the gone-but-never-forgotten icon with three days of films (all of the above save Miracle, plus 1966's This Property is Condemned; 1962's Gypsy; 1963's Love With the Proper Stranger; 1969's Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice; and 1965's Inside Daisy Clover), including an appearance by Natalie's sister (and Bond girl) Lana Wood before the Saturday night centerpiece screening of Splendor. (Eddy)
429 Castro, SF
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Jon Spencer has been pushing the boundaries of modern rock for nearly 30 years now, first with Pussy Galore, which brought new meaning to the union of the words noise and art, and he has continued to light up stages with his electric live presence with several other projects, notably Boss Hog, Heavy Trash, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. With its first new record in eight years, Meat and Bone, dropping earlier this year, Blues Explosion — which also features Judah Bauer and Russell Simins — is hitting the road once again to testify to the power of rock'n'roll. (Sean McCourt)
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell St., SF
These jangly, melancholic pop songs might sound a bit familiar to you. Brooklyn singer-songwriter Katy Goodman, the woman behind La Sera, is also "Kickball Katy," one third of the indie rock band Vivian Girls. This year's Sees the Light is Goodman's second solo release under the La Sera moniker. It's a rollicking break-up album that leaves you, after many powerfully emotional highs and lows, feeling not downtrodden, but empowered. Layers of distorted sound create a dreamy, escapist pop landscape, at times blurring the lines between pop and punk rock. La Sera is one of the first indie artists to perform at the Chapel, the Mission's brand new music venue. (Haley Zaremba)
Preservation Hall West at the Chapel
777 Valencia, SF
"Animating Dark Dreams: The Films of Jan Svankmajer"
Some of the creatures by Czech animator and puppeteer, Jan Svankmajer, seem like they were plucked out of David Bowie's Labyrinth. If you were into the flying gremlins in Magic Dance and Escher-world ending, this double feature should be a no-brainer. Svankmajer's films are a bit more gruesome than stealing someone's baby, though, and are deepened with inspiration from classic stories. Lunacy (2000), based on several shorts by Edgar Allen Poe, goes for the philosophical horror while Little Otik (2005), based on a Czech folktale, shockingly captures the gore of child-rearing. A few things to look forward to: dancing slabs of meat, hair eating, and a devious tree-stump baby. (Champlin)
2pm, 4:30 p.m., $10 each
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission, SF
Titus Andronicus stunned everyone in 2010 when The Monitor, a ridiculously ambitious civil war-themed concept album, turned out not to be meandering celebration of its own complexity, but a powerful, masterfully written opus. Now, with 2012's Local Business, Titus Andronicus is eschewing high-brow theatrics and multi-instrumental recordings for a simple, down-and-dirty rock album, intended as a marriage of its recorded work and its remarkably energetic, guitar-heavy live sound. In Local Business singer and driving force Patrick Stickles howls about stigmatized subjects relevant to his own life, like deteriorating mental health, and male eating disorders. 2012's Titus Andronicus may not be grandiose, but it's definitely badass. (Zaremba)
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF
Hailing from Birmingham, England — the same industrial city that gave birth to Black Sabbath — British grindcore pioneer Napalm Death has been pummeling listeners since the mid 1980s. Though the band has gone through a multitude of lineup changes over the years, key members, including Shane Embury and Mark Greenway, continue to lead the group to success. Returning to the US in support of its new album, Utilitarian, its 15th release, the quartet joins local rockers Municipal Waste, Exumed, Attitude Adjustment, and Impaled at what is guaranteed to be a most brutal night of extreme music.(McCourt)
630 Third St., Oakl.
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