Our Weekly Picks: January 23-29
The Tambo Rays
If you're looking for a San Francisco-based band to adore in the new year, keep your eye on the Tambo Rays. The punkish young chillwave foursome released Kaleidoscope, its debut EP, last summer and has speedily garnered an enthusiastic audience. The group — a collaboration between brother and sister Brian and Sara DaMert along with friends Greg Sellin and Bob Jakubs — makes catchy, introspective pop music characterized by B. DaMerts' crooning vocals and a hazy wall of dissonance. The Tambo Rays played Café du Nord, Rickshaw Stop, and the Hemlock last year, but they still might be down to play your house party. (Mia Sullivan)
With Evil Eyes, Moonbell, Jesus Sons
Brick and Mortar
1710 Mission, SF
The Mallard and LENZ
Last year treated The Mallard well. Aside from winning recognition in the Guardian's 2012 GOLDIES, the band's dynamic garage-psych-rock also earned it a spot on MTV Hive's list of "Five Indie-Rock Records to Look Forward to in 2013." Evidently, this year promises more. LENZ, another Bay Area favorite, is also preparing for a fruitful 2013, with the release of its first full-length LP, Ways to End a Day, which it will celebrate at the New Parish. Containing punk influences, '80s synth, and the self-identification "ice-pop," the band promises intriguing music and a good time. And with both bands poised for greatness in 2013 (and $3 Trumer Pils), there's no better time to see them then at this free show. (Laura Kerry)
With Casey and Brian, Dragontime
8pm, free New Parish
579 18th St., Oakl.
"How to Move A Mountain"
Consider this fact: many kids love to play with ants. The insect evokes some innate fascination that leads to prolonged observation (and frequently an unfortunate end by magnifying glass or the filling in of an ant hole). At Southern Exposure's "How to Move a Mountain," Dr. Deborah Gordon, a celebrated Stanford biologist, will elevate this fascination as she presents her studies on collaboration in the colonies of harvester ants, in this first installment of a three-part series. Thursday's ends with a discussion led by conceptual artist Brad Borovitz and a responding art piece, the education-meets-art event will approach larger notions of societal organization and collectivism. It seems that those kids are on to something. (Kerry)
7-9pm, free Southern Exposure 3030 20th St., SF
"Dan Dion: The Musical Image" closing party
Fantastically prolific soul-snapper Dan Dion has been the house photographer for the Fillmore for 20 years and the Warfield for 15 — which gives him the kind of access to famous and intriguing subjects many would claw their own lenses out to get. For the past couple months he's had a show of his eye-popping portraits of musical fascinators — from Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, Tony Bennett, James Brown, even Katy Perry — up at the hoppin' Madrone on Divisadero. This closing party brings down on the curtain on the punchy exhibition, but there's no rest for Dion, of course: along with his continued musician pics (check out www.dandion.com for an index of legends), he's hard at work on a new project: 365 days of Comedian Portraits. (Marke B.)
Madrone Art Bar
500 Divisadero, SF
Noir City 11
Here's a sweet early Valentine's Day gift for your favorite dude or dame: a "passport" ticket good for admission to all of Noir City's 27 films (many of which will sell out in advance), plus a chance to hang with opening-night special guest Peggy Cummins before a screening of her 1950 breakout Gun Crazy. Way cooler than a box of chocolates, and at $120, way cheaper than diamond jewelry. Billed as "the most popular film noir festival in the world," Eddie Muller's annual event flies the flag of 35mm projection proudly as it spotlights a host of classics and not-available-on-DVD rareties. Look for themed double-features like "Showbiz Noir" (can't go wrong with 1950's Sunset Boulevard on the big screen), "San Francisco Noir," "African American Noir," and — a Noir City first — "3D Noir." (Cheryl Eddy)
Through Feb. 3, most shows $10–$15
429 Castro, SF
The Bay: Creators of Style
San Francisco fashion encompasses more than just glamor, style, and grit; it is an art of ideas and principles, creativity, and personality. Photographer Liz Caruana captures these many dimensions in her new book, The Bay: Creators of Style, a collection of black-and-white portraits of many of the Bay Area's most distinguished designers. With an opening reception, an artist talk, and an exhibit of selected images from the book on view for three weeks, Carte Blanche has supplied an excellent opportunity to see prints that testify both to the skill of Liz Caruana and the originality and range of the Bay Area's fashion community. (Kerry)
Through Feb. 13
Opening reception, 7-9:30pm, free
Artist talk Sat/26, 7:30pm
973 Valencia, SF
"Longtime no see" used to be a common greeting among friends. It has such an old-fashioned, convivial quality about it, yet sounds out of tune for our modern 24/7 being-connectedness. So why not say, "great to see you, what are you up to?" to the Joffrey Ballet, which used to regularly make the trip from New York, having made its reputation with showing ballet as a distinctly contemporary art. Now located in Chicago and under the artistic directorship of former SFB Principal Ashley Wheater, the Joffrey is bringing Kurt Jooss' superb The Green Table, a seminal work of modern dance that thematically, unfortunately, is as up-to-date as it was in 1932. Edwaard Liang's 2008 Age of Innocence and Christopher Weeldon's After the Rain — two of today's hottest choreographers complete this intriguing program. (Rita Felciano)
Also Sun/27, 3 p.m.
101 Zellerbach Hall, Berk.
"An Evening of Silent Films at Grace Cathedral"
Grace Cathedral is a non-traditional movie theater — obviously, you wouldn't head to the Nob Hill landmark to see the latest superhero epic. But what it lacks in Dolby surround sound, it more than makes up for with its major league pipe organ, which provides the perfect accompaniment when the cathedral (which hosts concerts and events between services) screens silent films. Tonight, renowned musician Dorothy Papadakos provides the soundscape for two silent-era classics: Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 propaganda film Battleship Potemkin (7pm), which elevated film editing with scenes like its tense "Odessa Staircase" sequence; and F.W. Murnau's 1922 Nosferatu (9pm), the long-fingernailed granddaddy of all vampire films. (Eddy)
7 and 9pm, $10–$20 (both films, $17–$24)
1100 California, SF
Santa Cruz rockers Stellar Corpses have been around for the part of a decade, mixing psychobilly, punk, rockabilly, surf guitar and much more into their sound. Having toured across the US and Europe as an independent act, the band released its third record last year, Dead Stars Drive-In (Santa Carla Records), which showcases an uncanny talent for meshing horror film imagery and addictive sing-along anthems into a monstrous creation that even Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of. With MTV recently featuring the group's video for "Vampire Kiss," things are looking up more than ever — these children of the night, what music they make! (Sean McCourt)
With The Rocketz, Memphis Murder Men, Limnus.
Slim's, 333 11th St., SF
In a section of the music industry where club promoters and marketers all too frequently rely on glamor headshots layered over photoshopped neon clouds, London based, Montreal bred Anstascia D'elene and Vivie Ann Bakos have smartly chosen a name that immediately undercuts appearances. (Plus the tag-line: "not all dumbs are blonde.") With that out of the way, this posh, Kompakt-approved duo has spent the last couple of years making a real name for itself, releasing credible 4x4 house sets and EPs with callbacks to '60s psychedelia and '80s new wave, while providing remixes for Todd Terje, Pete Tong, and Tomas Barfod. (Ryan Prendiville)
With DJ M3, Anthony Mansfield
101 Sixth St., SF
Stephen Tobolowsky will always be an honorary member of the "that guy" character actor club, (you've seen him in the margins of Groundhog Day, Memento, and HBO's Deadwood) but lately, his podcast The Tobolowsky Files has become his signature project, revealing his depths as a storyteller. Whether he's recounting a collaboration with David Byrne, his constant effort to balance Hollywood with family life, or the time he was held hostage at the supermarket, Tobolowsky's tales of life, love, and showbiz engage the listener effortlessly. Presented by SF Sketchfest, Sunday's event will feature new stories, as well as selections from his newly released book, The Dangerous Animals Club. (Taylor Kaplan)
1330 Fillmore, SF
Yes, Steve Reich is probably the most influential composer alive. And yes, his legendary mid-'70s output irreversibly mechanized the dynamics of Western music. Still, his greatest gift to the music world remains his ability to breathe life into minimalist structures, making room for dynamic, grooving rhythms, rich, warm tonal colors, and catchy, arpeggiated melodies that sound almost club-friendly in 2012. On Monday, the SF Contemporary Music Players will treat our fair city to a rare performance of Reich's flagship composition, Music for 18 Musicians (1976), bookended by Clapping Music (1972) and Electric Counterpoint (1987). Essential, for devotees and newcomers, alike. (Kaplan)
SF Conservatory of Music
50 Oak, SF
When I started listening to The Bomb Shelter Sessions — Vintage Trouble's 2012 release — I was pretty certain its authors could not be of this century. (And looking at photos of this old-timey quartet, might I add, only reinforced my initial contention.) Well, I was wrong. This blues rock group, comprised of vocalist Ty Taylor, guitarist Nalle Colt, drummer Richard Danielson, and bassist Rich Barrio Dill, formed in Los Angeles in 2010 and has achieved success and international renown not least for Taylor's deep, rambling vocals that bring to mind mid-century legends like Otis Redding and Ray Charles. (Sullivan)
8:30 p.m., $15
Café du Nord
2170 Market, SF
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