Our Weekly Picks: February 27- March 5, 2013



Lisa Fagan and Alison Williams

At the Garage, you get to see a lot of choreography in progress, which is a pleasure in itself because you can imagine what the final product might be like. Not this time. Lisa Fagan and Alison Williams — friends and colleagues, who first met during that hotbed of incubation, ODC's Pilot Programs — are offering finished work. The evening, about an hour of choreography, comes with a bonus. Fagan calls her trio, Full Grown Baby Lemon, "a dance work of fiction," and it has a definitely odd set of characters. Williams' Edit promises to be rollicking duet between pop and geology. That's where the bonus comes in. Her music will be live and includes an after-performance dance party where you can dive into dubstep. (Rita Felciano)

8pm, $10–$20


715 Bryant, SF



Fresh and Onlys

Noise Pop borrows its name from a mid-1980s genre that merges contradictions. Noise is edgy and gritty; pop is sunny and easily digestible. The Fresh and Onlys, a San Francisco band that has taken off since its '08 formation, represents a '13 incarnation of these oppositions. In "20 Days and 20 Nights," the opener of last fall's Long Slow Dance, "I cry" repeats over and over against bright harmonies and an upbeat piano hook, leaving the listener to bop along to the singer's misery. It is an intriguing sensation caused by the balanced mix of grit and sunshine that continues throughout the vibrant album. The band invites you to bop along to its Noise Pop contradictions at Bottom of the Hill. (Laura Kerry)

With R. Stevie Moore, Plateaus, Burnt Ones

8pm, $14

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455




Through the progression of its three studio albums, Rohnert Park's Ceremony has evolved from unbridled, no-nonsense bursts of hardcore punk to a more slow-burning and equally devastating aggression. While it's certainly not unusual for punk bands to shine on stage rather than on recordings, Ceremony's live show takes the cake. Vocalist Ross Farrar is reminiscent of Ian Curtis as he lurches, jerks, and occasionally collapses across the stage, moaning, howling, and screeching as guitarist Anthony Anzaldo and bassist Andy Nelson leap and high-kick around him. The result is a cacophonous and tightly-coiled energy that is deliciously cathartic and at times transcendent in the pissed-off way only a punk band from the suburbs can produce. (Haley Zaremba)

With Terry Malts, Comadre, Perfect Ruin, Synthetic ID

8pm, $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011



Other Minds 18

Noise Pop isn't the only contemporary music and art festival rolling into town this week. Other Minds, an annual event that invites composers and artists to share their avant-garde work, launches its 18th year on Thursday with performances of music from far-away places such as Denmark and India. Each of the three nights includes a panel discussion and a performance to fully engage the world of music outside the mainstream. Don't come to Other Minds expecting the same finger-snapping tunes as the other festival in town; do come to hear some innovative music and to learn something along the way. (Kerry)

Through Sat/2, 7pm, $30-$115 (festival pass)

Jewish Community Center

3200 California, SF

(415) 292-1200



Punk in Africa

How much do you know about origins of global underground punk scenes? Beyond the live shows, Noise Pop always shows a handful of creative takes on the usual music doc; Punk in Africa is no exception. It explores a too-infrequently examined continent's aggressive punk roots, from "the underground rock music of early 1970s Johannesburg, the first multi-racial punk bands formed in the wake of the Soweto Uprising and the militant anti-apartheid hardcore and post-punk bands of the '80s to the rise of celebratory African-inspired ska bands, which sprang up from Cape Town to Maputo in the democratic era of the '90s." It also spotlights current acts battling political bombs with explosive lyrics and pounding drumbeats in Zimbabwe and South Africa. (Emily Savage)

7pm, $10

Artists' Television Access

992 Valencia, SF

(415) 824-3890




Following last November's potent For the Love of Emptiness (danced by Jorge De Hoyos), San Francisco-based choreographer Sara Shelton Mann presents the second solo in her fascinating "Eye of Leo Series." Peter reteams the long esteemed, ever-searching Mann with video-light designer David Slaza, joined by composer Robbie Beahrs and performer Jesse Hewit. In these highly dynamic collaborations, Mann is wont to hover on the fringes, interacting variously with the performance space. "I open the ground and track it as a guide and follow the progress of the terrain chosen by the individual," explains Mann. "Some chose the difficult path, some chose the surreal dream of extinction, some the practice of perfection. . . . I have chosen and I do not choose. People find me. I have become a hermit in a cage and those who find me have to find the key to the door." (Robert Avila)

Through Sat/2, 8pm, $15

Joe Goode Annex

499 Alabama, SF




Shih Chieh Huang: Synthetic Seduction

If a work of art had a spirit soundtrack, what would it be? Considering the use of industrial materials such as plastic bags, electrical sensors, and colored lights, one would expect Shih Chieh Huang's installations to play to the the robotic pop of Daft Punk. Past pieces, though, including one at the National Museum of Natural History, achieve an organic quality that recalls the sound of being submerged in water. Continuing to explore the creation of technological landscapes while engaging in the theme of psychedelia, the artist's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts installation conjures the image of a Jimi Hendrix solo played backwards over a heart monitor. Huang's art certainly dances to the beat of its own drummer. (Kerry)

Through June 30 Noon, $10

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

(415) 978-2700



"Voices of Afghanistan"

Ustad Farida Mahwash and Homayoun Sakhi — both legends in their own right — will return to Cal Performances tonight (for the first time in two years) for a pleasant and educational evening of live traditional and contemporary Afghan music. Mahwash, a popular vocalist in her home country known as "the voice of Afghanistan," will sing over rubâb virtuoso Sakhi and his ensemble in Wheeler Auditorium. The Sakhi Ensemble is a quartet employing instruments such as the harmonium, tula, doyra, tabla, and Sakhi's rubâb — a lute-like instrument played with a bow that's one of Afghanistan's national instruments; it's likely the sound you imagine when you think of mesmerizing Middle Eastern music. (Savage)

8pm, $36

Wheeler Auditorium, UC Berkeley Campus

Bancroft Way at Telegraph, Berk.

(510) 642-9988



Sonny and the Sunsets

San Francisco's Sonny Smith has already done more in the past few years than most of us will accomplish in our lifetime. The singer-songwriter-illustrator-playwright has more side projects than Jack White and a seemingly bottomless reserve of creative energy. In 2010, Smith released 200 songs at once that he had recorded for his 100 Records exhibition, and instead of swearing off music for a period like an exhausted person might, he soon began writing the next Sunsets album, worked on 100 Records: Vol. 3 (released this January) and began planning another exhibition, basing songs off protest signs. This project, tentatively titled "Protest Factory," is still gestating, but last year saw the release of the Sunsets' third full-length album, which carried on Smith's tradition of engaging narrative lyrics, though with a surprisingly fantastic country twist. (Zaremba)

With Magic Trick, Cool Ghouls, Dune Rats

Bottom of the Hill

9pm, $12

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 626-4455



"Balboa Birthday Bash"

San Francisco is all about celebrating the newest, hottest place — that pizza restaurant where you wait a full hour for a gourmet pie; that bar where each drink is hand-crafted using 11 exotic ingredients. So why not tip your top hat to an 87-year-old veteran: the Balboa Theatre, keeping the avenues cinematically rockin' since Feb. 7, 1926? The party gets started at 4pm today with a 35mm screening of the 1924 silent version of Peter Pan, featuring live accompaniment by Frederick Hodges; come to the evening show for a repeat screening, plus a live vaudeville show, birthday prizes, and treats. Roaring Twenties attire encouraged! (Cheryl Eddy)

4 and 7pm, $10

Balboa Theatre

3630 Balboa, SF



"Tom Fest" Benefit for Tom Mallon

While he may not be a household name, Tom Mallon had a huge influence and impact on the San Francisco music scene, beginning the mid-1970s. As a musician, Mallon has performed with American Music Club and Toiling Midgets among others, and as a producer and engineer, he provided acts with low-cost studio time and guidance that helped document the work of countless artists. A host of musicians he has worked with over the years are performing tonight at "TomFest," a special tribute and benefit concert for Mallon and his family (along with the SF Brain Tumor Support Group at UCSF), including Chuck Prophet, Toiling Midgets, Fright Wig, Penelope Houston, Ugly Stick, Peter Case, members of American Music Club, and many more. (Sean McCourt)

7:30pm, $25

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750