Our Weekly Picks: January 16-22



Michael Hurley

Musicians often look to roots for inspiration, but I don't think any have interacted as deeply with their musical ancestors as those in the freak-folk genre. Animal Collective recorded a companion piece to Sung Tongs with Vashti Bunyan, inspiring her cult revival, and, in similar fashion, Devendra Banhart's label has been releasing Michael Hurley's wonderfully weird folk, endorsed by Julian Lynch, Cat Power and more. His simple guitar plucking and vocals feel different from his contemporaries; he's more intent on creating imaginative, often nonsensical, stories than being a folk artist. The show will connect past and present, he says, as a new experience for the nightlife crowd rather than for those anthropologically interested in "the sociological impact of Doc Snock" (his '70s pseudonym). (Molly Champlin)

With Cass McCombs and Jessica Pratt

8pm, $15

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750



Trampled By Turtles

Steadily building a following since forming 10 years back in Duluth, Minn., bluegrass rockers Trampled By Turtles kicked off a banner year in 2012 by releasing their newest album, Stars and Satellites (BanjoDad Records) last April, and making their first national television appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. In August, they were one of the standout acts at Outside Lands, packing in the Sutro side stage with their infectious brand of Americana and folk-tinged tunes. Newly minted fans from that gig are in for a special treat at tonight's headlining show at the Fillmore: a chance to see them up close and personal, and with a much-deserved longer set time. (Sean McCourt)

8pm, $25


1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000



Taraneh Hemami Resistance

From the blue vinyl and neon-lit window piece you might have seen at the Yerba Buena Center, to the most-wanted terrorists poster recreated with beads at Intersection for the Arts, it's clear that Taraneh Hemami's output chooses its own medium. Originally from Iran, her work looks at the relationship between Persian and American cultures, particularly in terms of personal freedom. Her work is humble and precise, yet manages to convey a deep message — creating much needed space for conversations on international relations and race. Her latest show, "Resistance," (opening at the Mission School hot spot, the Luggage Store Gallery) features banned and censored print matter belonging to the Iranian Students Association of Northern California and should be a rich, informative experience. (Champlin)

Through Feb. 16

Opening tonight, 6pm, free

Luggage Store Gallery

1007 Market, SF

(415) 255-5971



Bianca Mendoza and Project Thrust

Even if you know the artists, when you catch them at one of the Garage's RAW (resident artist workshops) performances, they will surprise you, because what you see is "in progress", i.e. an unfinished product. The choreographers want feedback; the audience can enter into the process. It's fun and a good deal for both. This week two very different dance makers are pairing up. What they have in common is a fascination with the power of the female body. Bianca Mendoza, sensually theatrical in her athleticism, has spent a major part of her career in Los Angeles. Malinda LaVelle — with a ballet background — started her Project Thrust at the SF Conservatory of Dance, but the company has been ready for a while to step into the wider Bay Area limelight. (Rita Felciano)

Also Sat/19, 8pm, $10–$20


715 Bryant, SF

(415) 518-1517




"Coke! Meth! And Cheap Beer!" are the cries of the Los Angeles-based garage rock band that manages to stay catchy and offensive at the same time. The band's skater phrase name stands for, "Fuck it Dog; Life's a Risk" and sums up their deep life philosophy of not giving a fuck. Yes, theses musicians like drugs, girls, and Mexican food; and what, everyone in the band has a hip-hop side project? Between its personality, experimentation, and serious talent, it's clear why the band has gotten the attention and love it has — and not just in its Southern California home. Its sweaty, drunk, and high-speed traveling punk show should feel right at home in San Francisco, where the band will be stopping Friday, touring on its new and (and hotly anticipated) self-titled EP. (Champlin)

With Pangea, Meat Market

9pm, $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 626-4455



Moon Eater

Springing to life just down the coast in Santa Cruz, Moon Eater has quickly made a name for itself with hard-charging, incendiary garage and punk-fueled rock'n'roll. Formed in 2011 by longtime veterans of the South Bay rock scene — members have played in bands including Riff Raff, Yaphet Kotto, and Time Spent Driving — the frenetic four-piece self-released its excellent self-titled debut album last November, which was produced by John Reis of Rocket From The Crypt and Hot Snakes fame. Moon Eater comes to the city tonight to play a benefit for the American Red Cross and the Equilibrium Institute, alongside Edge City Ruins, Leviathan, and more. (McCourt)

7pm, $10–$15

Sub-Mission Art Space

2183 Mission, SF




Some things never go out of style. Blue jeans, hamburgers, a good, thoughtful ballad — you know, the stuff America's made of. San Diego's Pinback has made itself into an indie rock staple by consistently and quietly churning out solid, un-tarnishable pop songs for several decades now, and managing to remain charmingly under the radar all the while. Seemingly impervious to cultural peaks and valleys as well as a revolving-door lineup, Rob Crow and Zach Smith have been tightening their songwriting and musicianship since the late '90s. Their fifth studio album, Information Retrieved, is the worthwhile result, an ode to the fundamentals: earnest lyrics, consistent flow, and a good hook. (Haley Zaremba)

With Judgment Day

9pm, $25

Bimbo's 365

1025 Columbus, SF

(415) 474-0365



Kowloon Walled City

Despite being named for an enclave in Hong Kong, Kowloon Walled City is San Francisco through and through. The local inspiration behind albums such as Turk Street and Gambling On The Richter Scale is obvious. With new offering Container Ships, the allusion is more oblique, but if you listen to the band's inimitable down-tuned guitars, they evoke the album's title, groaning and churning like a 40,000-ton behemoth on its way into the Port of Oakland. This week, the noisy, sludgy outfit disembarks for a record release show. (Ben Richardson)

With Golden Void, Minot

10pm, $8

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923



Midnight Movies at the Clay Theatre

Do any two words go together better than "midnight" and "movie"? Once the strict territory of cult horror, the phrase now encompasses any great film that's made even better by late-night viewing — and made even even better by sharing the experience with a theater full of like-minded, similarly-caffeinated fans. The Clay kicked off another round of midnight screenings a few weeks back, but there are still plenty of gems on the schedule. Tonight is The Princess Bride (1989); future dates include multiple showings of 1975's The Rocky Horror Picture Show (with live performance by the Bawdy Caste) and 2003's The Room (bring spoons!); 1968's Night of the Living Dead; 1971's Harold and Maude; and 2007's Black Devil Doll. No sleep for you! (Cheryl Eddy)

Fri.-Sat. (some films Fri. or Sat. only), midnight, $9–$10

Clay Theatre

2261 Fillmore, SF



Brothers of Brutality Tour feat. Whitechapel and Emmure

Death metalheads' wildest wet dreams are about to come true as hardcore heavyweights Whitechapel and Emmure team up to melt faces in this extreme tour de brutality. Whitechapel's Knoxville-flavored, highly focused intensity (the band's Facebook page lists their only interest as "being heavy") will be matched up against the hardened ruthlessness of Queens-bred Emmure's unrelenting sonic assault to create a metal experience that is certain to give you whiplash. Both bands have extremely dedicated fan bases that promise to make this the hardcore event of the year. Even if you have to drag out your old hockey pads to face the pit, you won't want to miss it. (Zaremba)

With Unearth, Obey the Brave, The Plot in You

6pm, $20

Oakland Metro Opera House

630 Third St., Oakl.

(510) 763-1146




As a much-beloved rock crusader of the '90s post-hardcore movement, Quicksand was sorely missed when internal tensions caused the tragically short-lived band to dissolve in 1999. When the group reunited for a one-off show in 2012, it re-ignited a post-hardcore spark in a very arid musical landscape. In a world saturated with dubstep breakdowns, Bieber-related headlines, and certain reprehensible, abusive R&B stars that just won't go away no matter how baffling their cultural stronghold becomes, the people cried out for something — anything! — harder, better, faster, and stronger. Quicksand, despite its age and lengthy hiatus, delivered. Its awesome, razor-edged sound (think Fugazi meets Jane's Addiction) provided a much needed honesty, angst, and edge in an EDM world. (Zaremba)

With Title Fight

8pm, $28

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF

(415) 673-5716



"Doc Night at the New Parkway"

Every Tuesday, the New Parkway Theater is serving up true stories alongside its regular menu of pizza, burgers, and beer. Tonight's pick, last year's Chasing Ice, investigates climate change via the stunning, grimly revealing work of glacier photographer James Balog. Upcoming notables from 2012 also include Brooklyn Castle, about a junior high school chess team, and Ken Burns' The Central Park Five, a sobering look at a famous New York City rape case and the men who were wrongfully convicted of the crime. Titles are still being added to this promising series, so check out the New Parkway's website for updates. (Eddy)

New Parkway Theater

474 24th St, Oakl.

(510) 658-7900



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