Selector: May 15-21, 2013

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WEDNESDAY 15

Appleseed Cast

Change seems to be the only constant for Lawrence, Kansas' meandering Appleseed Cast. Chris Crisci's 14-year-old band has produced eight albums, dabbled in about as many different genres, and has a revolving-door lineup that would exhaust any frontperson. But Crisci shows no signs of tiring. In fact, the lyrics for the band's most recent album, this year's Illumination Ritual, were written over the course of three nights, between the hours of midnight and 4am. Though the band's career has arced far from its oldschool emo beginnings, the vespertine Illumination Ritual gets back to its moody roots. With a fresh lineup and a nostalgic new sound, the Appleseed Cast's tender instrumentals and Crisci's earnest vocals have never sounded so good. (Haley Zaremba)

With Hospital Ships, the Dandelion War

8:30pm, $14

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com


THURSDAY 16

ArtPad

Here's an idea for a surrealist film: enter one hotel room and find metal hands that respond to their viewers, enter another and find a strange light sculpture, then cut to a performance of a synchronized swimming team in a pool in the courtyard. This is no film plot, but a description of ArtPad, the arts fair that will take over the entire Phoenix Hotel for three days. With galleries from the Bay Area and beyond filling every room with experimental exhibitions, while food, drink, and performances contribute to the festive vibe, the event promises to be surreally epic. (Laura Kerry)

Through May 19

$15–$40

Phoenix Hotel

601 Eddy, SF

www.artpadsf.com

 

Liss Fain

It was almost exactly a year ago that Liss Fain Dance premiered her luminous The Water is Clear and Still at Z Space. It's perhaps her must successful collaboration with her longtime designer Matthew Antaky, who created a translucent multi-level space that welcomed Fain's choreography and her fine dancers. It was one of those wondrous installation pieces that you could walk around in, but most of us stayed glued to our spots in an attempt to catch everything. Water is steeped in Jamaica Kincaid's lyrical memories of a Caribbean childhood, both painful and exotic. Fain now has added a prologue. Solid Ground, based on Kincaid's latest book, in which she revisits those childhood memories from a mature woman's perspective. The piece is also moving from Z Space to YBCA's Forum, which has successfully hosted other Liss Fain Dance installations. (Rita Felciano)

Thu/16-Sat/18, 8pm; Sun/19, 5pm forum, $15–$30

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

700 Howard, SF

www.lissfaindance.org

 

Sandra Bernhard

It's hard to pinpoint the moment when one learned that Sandra Bernhard was amazing. The stand-up comedian has been doing the damn thing for so long (since the '70s), that she's always just — been around, a fixture of the alternative culture firmament. A foulmouthed, straightforward, erudite queer back when they never made it network TV, she languidly lent cameos to Isaac Mizrahi's Stripped and Madonna's Truth or Dare, turned in seam-busting rants for her epic performance art-concert films like 1990's Without You, I'm Nothing, and yes, was the first regular-appearing gay character on a network sitcom on Roseanne. To miss Bernhard's first run in San Francisco in two years would be a revocation of your cool card, don't do it. (Caitlin Donohue)

Also Fri/17

9pm, $45

Bimbo's 365 Club

1025 Columbus, SF

(415) 474-0365

www.bimbos365club.com

 

Big Boi

Any lingering notions of Big Boi as the "conventional" half of legendary Atlanta hip-hop duo Outkast should be dispelled by his two solo albums, including his most recent effort Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, released last November. Aided by cameos from Phantogram and Little Dragon in "Vicious," Big Boi dives into rock guitars, female vocalists, and electronic bass to present a fearless, kaleidoscopic vision of rap. Track "Objectum Sexuality" sees Big Boi wax lyrical about women in between Phantogram's Sarah Barthel's floating vocals, a French interlude, and samples of atmospheric harp plucking. And just when you think he has slipped too far into moody, indie-fusion territory, Big Boi snaps you back with a devastating, horns-laden, proudly Atlantan club banger "In the A" with T.I. and Ludacris. (Kevin Lee)

With Killer Mike, Fishhawk, Goast

8:30pm, $35

Mezzanine

444 Jessie

(415) 625-8880

www.mezzaninesf.com

 

Janelle Monae at the SF Symphony

"Is it peculiar that she twerk in the mirror?" You can't really blame her if you've caught R&B andro-angel Janelle Monae's newest single with Erykah Badu "Q.U.E.E.N." — the ode to iconoclasm, with its simple, catchy bass line is the perfect soundtrack to strutting and popping in front of reflective surfaces. Catch the singer's turn with the SF Symphony tonight — the musicians have prepared original arrangements for her songs, and you'll get tunes from her new album to boot. The ticket price is fairly astronomical, but the evening is a fundraiser for the Symphony's educational programs, so there's that. Plus attendees are granted access to a pre-show sparkling wine reception and after-party at City Hall. (Donohue)

7pm reception, 8pm concert, $90-$275

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness, SF

www.sfsymphony.org


FRIDAY 17

Midi Matilda

The first time I was confronted with local pop duo Midi Matilda, I was not-so-patiently waiting for Starfucker to take the stage at the Regency Lodge last September. Not expecting much from an electronic duo that was playing one of its very first shows, I was dumbstruck by the second song. Midi Matilda is the embodiment of everything that's missing from contemporary twee-pop. It has a sense of intimacy, soul, and joy, embodied by great hooks and hilarious choreographed dances that are absolutely infectious. Operating backward from most bands, Midi Matilda wrote and recorded music before it ever established a live presence, gaining attention on the web with its "Day Dreams" music video. The duo's catchy, dreamy pop songs make for a nice listen, but it is its goofy antics and blissful onstage presence that make a great new addition to the San Francisco music scene. (Zaremba)

With OONA, holychild

8:30pm, $12

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011

www.rickshawstop.com


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

"You're Supposed To Roll Your Hips In Time/ You're Supposed To See Your Age Rewind" intones Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. on the bright electronic pop track "If You Didn't See Me (Then You Weren't On The Dancefloor)," off its new Patterns EP. On its albums, the Detroit duo of Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein alternate between aw-shucks folksiness and the party-hearty synth-and-rock of MGMT and Phoenix. While firmly rooted in the here and now, DEJJ have shown respect to its musical inspirations with covers to classics by Madonna and the Beach Boys. The duo paid homage to Gil-Scott Heron with a shimmering, upbeat take on his funk classic "We Almost Lost Detroit," resplendent with a video showcasing authentic locals and establishments from the Motor City. (Lee)

9pm, $16

Independent

628 Divisadero

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com


SATURDAY 18

Disappears

A 16-minute song has to do a lot of work to keep its listeners invested, but the strange thing about Disappears' "Kone" off of the band's April EP is that it is compelling because it doesn't seem to make too much of an effort. An experiment in Kraut and psych-rock, the song harkens back to the very beginnings of proto-punk; though it involves less muddy intensity, it recalls those stretches in some Velvet Underground songs that don't feel the need to arrive anywhere, but simply relish the ride. And isn't that the aim of any good concert? It certainly will be at the Disappears' Bottom of the Hill show. (Kerry)

With LENZ, the Tambo Rays

10pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

Exrays and Mwahaha

Going to the Lab is like a weekly, weekend celebration of "the other." You might see any combination of drag, performance art interludes, or Sunday's ritual Godwaffle Noise Pancakes, but should definitely count on some underground, experimental shit. Hidden among the crowded club corridor along 16th and Mission, at times it becomes a mini-rave cave. This Sat/18 should be no exception to those guidelines when Exrays (members of THEMAYS and Maus Haus) bring their old-school Atari-sounding glitchiness. The band hangs on to fun melodies while the frontperson delivers mopey vocals (it could just be that his voice is deep). Oakland's Mwahaha headlines and goes for more of a sensory overload approach. It's collaborated with tUnE-yArDs and will open for Sigur Ros in London this summer. (Andre Torrez)

With Seventeen Evergreen, Mohani

9pm, $7–$15 (sliding scale)

Lab

2948 16th St., SF

(415) 864-8855

www.thelab.org

 

Hunx and His Punx

It was a dark day here in the Bay when Seth Bogart, a.k.a Hunx, packed up his bags and moved to Los Angeles, leaving the city's burgeoning garage rock scene a little less gay in every way. Despite this tragic loss, Bogart hasn't slowed down at all since his relocation, with a variety web TV show (Hollywood Nailz), his own novelty record label (Wacky Wacko), a new solo album, and a brand new Hunx and His Punx record on the way. Despite the 2011 dissolution of the Punkettes, Hunx still rocks a deliciously genderqueer persona and is backed by some truly kickass ladies. This intimate show, featuring bandmate Shannon Shaw's own group Shannon and the Clams as well as fellow SF ex-pat Ty Segall's Fuzz is like a big, happy Bay Area reunion — and everyone's invited! (Zaremba)

With Shannon and the Clams, Fuzz, Peach Kelli Pop, Twin Steps

8pm, $15

New Parish

579 18th St, Oakl.

(510) 444-7474

www.thenewparish.com


SUNDAY 19

Gothic Tropic

For a band that has released so little music — only the 2011 EP Awesome Problems — Gothic Tropic has a developed sense of itself. Part of it is in frontperson Cecilia Della Peruti's tendency to perform shoeless so as not restrict her dance moves. Another aspect arises in her nickname for the trio, "the Sacred Three." The primary feature, though, is the band's sound. As its name suggests, Gothic Tropic plays sunny and exotic psych-pop tinted with some grit and darkness, and it plays it well. See the band in all of it's fully-formed glory at Brick and Mortar. (Kerry)

With Seatraffic, Cruel Summer

9pm, $10

Brick and Mortar

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782

www.brickandmortarmusic.com


TUESDAY 21

"Eating Nose-to-Tail: The Whole Animal Movement"

Let's face it, Americans loves meat. But everyday consumers and informed connoisseurs are grappling with an increasing number of unanswered health and environmental questions with their meat, questions that an increasingly centralized food industry has left mostly unanswered. Unsatisfied with the growing gaps along the production chain, farmers, butchers, and chefs have banded together under the Whole Animal movement, which emphasizes using all of an animal for preparation and consumption. At this talk, four of the Bay Area's meat authorities slice into how the movement stresses conservation and connects local producers, preparers, and eaters. After the talk, Dave the Butcher gives a whole animal butchery lesson while diners delve into delectables at the Ferry Building, with proceeds going to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. (Lee)

With Chris Cosentino, Ryan Farr, John Fink and Tia Harrison

6:30pm program, $12–$20; 8pm butchering demo, $80–$100

Commonwealth Club

95 Market

(415) 597-6700

www.commonwealthclub.org


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