Our Weekly Picks: December 12-18



"The Lion and the Lamb"

Sam Flores, a graffiti-inspired artist whose work often deals with religious themes, now turns his attention to the conflicting symbols of violence and innocence. His recent paintings, which show a more classical style than previous works, depict the lion and the lamb amongst other figures in chaotic, urban settings. These bold and deeply hued paintings convey the convoluted relationship between good and evil. As a prominent artist in the crossover between urban and fine arts, you may have found his work alongside painter-designer, Jeremy Fish or tagger-tattoo artist, Mike Giant. Like many others, Flores got his start designing for skateboard and clothing companies, but with more and more solo exhibits, his painting has begun to flourish. This show should be a great example of the strong voice he has found. (Molly Champlin)

Through Feb. 12

Opening reception tonight, 6:30pm, free


218 Fillmore, SF

(415) 861-1960



Charles Phoenix Holiday Show

Oddball Americana guru Charles Phoenix has explored and celebrated the best in kitschy, cool, and kooky artifacts and history for many years now, having written several books on mid-20th century, deep-fried pop culture, fashion, lifestyle and more. The author of tomes such as Southern California In The 50s, and Americana The Beautiful brings his hilarious holiday show and talk to the city, set to roast not just Christmas, but all of the holidays with his ever-growing collection of slides and tales of his off-beat and always colorful road trip adventures. (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $25

Empress of China Ballroom

838 Grant, SF



"How The Grouch Stole Christmas"

The Grouch is continuing his annual holiday hip-hop tour through 18 cities across the West Coast. This year the merry night in San Francisco will include performances by Bay Area native Mistah F.A.B., Minneapolis-based artist Prof, DJ Fresh, and of course, the Grouch and Eligh. Apart from the live show, Mistah F.A.B. will host a Battle of the Bands/MCs Showcase where participants will have the platform to show their own talent. The freestyle champion will win a Grouch Merchandise pack and a pair of Able Planet studio headphones. (Soojin Chang)

8pm, $20

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF



Subterranean Arthouse's Third Annual Chanukah Party

Yiddish supergroups, klezmer dance parties, and tzedakah, all wrapped into one shiny gold coin of an evening. The Subterranean Arthouse's Chanukah Party is part of Heather Klein's "Hungry for Yiddish: A Mitzvah Project" concert series, which donates proceeds from events to the Berkeley Food Pantry and similar organizations; and the event is co-presented by KlezCalifornia and the Jewish Music Festival. Acts include Klein's Inextinguishable Trio, Anthony Mordechai-Tzvi Russell, noted Yiddish dance instructor Bruce Bierman, and Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band. With instructions from Bierman, the lovely Yiddish songs of both Klein and Russell, and Goodman's brassy klezmer, this should make for a fun, frenzied mid-point party during the festival of lights — and yes, they'll light the menorah. Chag Sameach, Berkeley. (Emily Savage)

9pm, $10–$20 donation

Subterranean Arthouse

2169 Bancroft, Berk.


FRIDAY 12/14

Dylan Moran

Perhaps best known to American audiences for his appearances in Shaun of the Dead and Run, Fatboy, Run, Irish comedian Dylan Moran is a huge hit in his native UK, notably for his brilliant role as a cantankerous and drunk, yet lovable book shop owner in the tragically short-lived BBC series "Black Books." His live stand-up is where he's really making his name now though; his current "Yeah, Yeah" tour is only stopping in New York, Los Angele, and here in San Francisco — consider yourself lucky and don't miss your chance to see one of funniest comics on either side of the pond. (McCourt)

Also Sat/15, 8pm, $35

Marines Memorial Theatre

609 Sutter, SF

(415) 771-6900


FRIDAY 12/14

The Mountain Goats

I'd like to sit on some front porch (any porch, really) with John Darnielle and just listen to him tell stories — maybe over a glass of whiskey and several puffs of something. Sometimes telling the truth, but mostly relying on a wild imagination, the Mountain Goat's dynamic leader has been writing songs about addiction, infidelity, and more sensitive subjects for the last 20 years. The group's new album, Transcendental Youth, has been an excuse for Darnielle to branch out, inviting avant-symphonic rocker, Matthew E. White, to write horns for the album and working with Owen Pallett to arrange the songs for a collaboration with the a cappella quartet, Anonymous 4. This should be a well-worn show — mixing old and new in a chaotic journey through the picaresque scenes of Darnielle's mind. (Champlin)

With Matthew E. White

9pm, $28


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000


FRIDAY 12/14

"Diez Por Arriba"

The glorious annual flamenco season is in full swing — so much emotion, so much drama, so much invigorating live sound and movement, olé! It's all a perfect rehearsal for your upcoming family holiday gatherings. Next up, fantastic choreographer Yaelisa and her Caminos Flamencos company, an enthralling troupe that stomps, whirls, hypnotizes, and enraptures like a force of nature, all under the expert musical direction of Jason McGuire "El Rubio." I would say the distinguishing feature of Yaelisa's work is its generous spirit and breadth of technique. As evidenced by Caminos' show last year, she favors longer solos and duos, giving each featured performer enough time to weave a spell of exquisite technique and subtle variations. Gorgeous costumes (hello, tight-pantsed toreadors!) and music from an international ensemble helps turn up the magic past 10. (Marke B.)

Also Sat/15, 8pm; Sun/16, 3pm, $20–$40

ODC Theater

3153 17th St., SF



"In One Hand A Ghost, The Other An Atom"

As urban art has become more popular, many taggers are making a profit from their work in the gallery world. New2, who has been writing in Australia since the movement began in the early '80s, is one of these. He's worked in a variety of spray paint alternatives when bringing his work indoors, including paint, sculpture, and paper. His most recent project, "In One Hand A Ghost, The Other an Atom," uses intricate, paper cut-outs to merge his long tradition of writing (the ghost) with his futuristic take on letters (the atom). In the show, care and thoughtfulness form the same bright colors, geometric currents, and space themes that he has developed in years of experimentation on trains and empty walls. (Champlin)

Through Jan. 5

7pm, free

White Walls Gallery

835 Larkin, SF

(415) 931-1500



Pilot 61

Making dances — we all know — is a lonely and precarious enterprise. You can't just sit down on your keyboard and write your poems. You need bodies and a bigger area than your kitchen. That's why ODC's Pilot program is such a gift to young choreographers. They get 11 weeks, a studio, a tiny budget, and a lot of feedback. In return, they have to commit to two public performances — of which we are the beneficiary. Seeing what gifted but not-yet-established choreographers come up with is a thrill like few others. In its 61st incarnation, Pilot will introduce Jenni Bregman, David Schleiffers, Katharine Hawthorne, Erin Malley, and Phoebe Osborne. They are calling the program Nightcap. (Rita Felciano)

Also Sun/16, 8pm, $12

ODC Dance Commons

351 Shotwell, SF

(415) 863-9833



Found Footage Festival

You've seen 'em: those piles of mysterious VHS tapes, often unmarked, gathering dust at Community Thrift. Found Footage Festival curator-hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett live for the thrill that comes from finding bizarre, hilarious cast-off videos — and they're on the road, sharing their fascination with audiences across the country. The 2012 program of repurposed entertainment looks to be stuffed with gems, gut-busters, and things that make you go "WTF?": ferret-care tips, freaky craft-sponging, and something called "The Sexy Treadmill Workout." Head to the FFF website to whet your appetite with the "VHS Find of the Day" feature. Two words: cat massage. (Cheryl Eddy)

Also Sun/16, 8pm, $13

Roxie Theater

3117 16th St., SF


MONDAY 12/17

Dee Dee and Brandon

Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls and Brandon from the Crocodiles are in love — married, in fact, and make a rather swoon-worthy couple. She with her thick-lined lids and vertical striped tights, he with his dark sunglasses. Listen to Dee Dee's crooning on "Bedroom Eyes" off 2011's Only In Dreams, in which she repeats "fear I'll never sleep again" and you start to get a sense of their connection, and the pain they feel apart on separate tours. To view said connection live, in all its gushy splendor, be the voyeur at their joint Rickshaw Stop show tonight; a very special showcase, indeed, where both will perform songs from their respective catalogs and — as I can only imagine — harmonize like old lovers do. Like Johnny and June, Exene and John Doe, all those passionate, oft-heartsick music mates that have come before them, the duo is sugar and spice with a splash of whiskey. (Savage)

With Gio and Stef (Young Prisms)

8pm, $15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF (415) 861-2011



Kinky Friedman

Although he has garnered a considerable amount of national mainstream success in the last 25 years as the author of a series of popular mystery novels and non-fiction books touching on politics, writer and all-around raconteur Kinky Friedman first made a name for himself as a singer and songwriter. In the early 1970s, along with his band the Texas Jewboys (he was raised by Jewish parents in the Lone Star State), he penned a slew of country and twang-tinged tunes such as the rollicking and humorous "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore." He hits the city tonight as part of his "Bipolar" tour. This is your chance to meet the man, as he promises to "sign anything but bad legislation!" (McCourt)

With Brian Molnar

8pm, $25

Cafe Du Nord

2170 Market, SF


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