The Selector

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WEDNESDAY 19

Camera Obscura

"If you want me to leave, then I'll go/If you want me to say, let it show/Do you want me to leave, let me know," pleads Scottish indie pop group Camera Obscura on heartstruck ballad "Fifth in Line to the Throne" off the group's newest full-length, Desire Lines. It's the Glasgow five-piece's first new record in four years (the most recent being My Maudlin Career). And yes, the new one maintains the band's 17-year-strong streak of stunning, wistful ballads, laced gently through with heartfelt vocal musings. Much like that other lauded Glasgow-based gentle indie pop act, Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura has mastered the art of the melancholy pop song, seeped in lovely whispers and lilting moans, gentle strings, soft piano keys, drumming pitter-patters, the works. But we love them for it, like those weepy torch songs of yesteryear. The show gives you the chance to cry in public. Want you to leave? No, we'll let it show. (Emily Savage)

With Photo Ops

8pm, $25

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF

(415) 673-5716

www.regencyballroom.com

 

Dogcatcher

If Dogcatcher was a brand of alcohol, it'd be Jameson — it's that smooth. By crafting tight rhythms and jazzy guitar riffs, the San Jose-based trio provides an almost flawless fusion of jazz and rock. And its simple and soft vocals create an intimate experience on stage. Dogcatcher's songs are well-constructed and the delivery creates a calmer version of traditional jazz. Song "Be Easy" off its most recent album It's Easy reflects this: "Because tonight you know, it's all about the sound/Just be easy," sings Andrew Heine in a lazily seductive voice that makes you believe that for him, it really is just that simple (Hillary Smith)

With the Sam Chase, the Gallery

9pm, $8

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 861-1615

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

THURSDAY 20

Fresh Meat Festival

With "Trailblazers," the 12th annual Fresh Meat Festival — a celebration of transgender and queer performance — is paying tribute to musicians, dancers, and theater people who hoe their own rows. This year they all do it in our own neighborhoods. The dancers, AXIS Dance Company, Barbary Coast Cloggers, Allan Frias' Mind over Matter and Sean Dorsey Dance and Las Bomberas de la Bahia couldn't be more different from each other. What they share, beyond working in the Bay Area, is a clear vision of what they want to do and the skill and perseverance to stick to it. Very simply, they have become tops in their field. To see them now in a sort of meta context of their sexual orientation, is a joyous opportunity to add another notch to their trailblazers spirit. (Rita Felciano)

Through Sat/22, 8pm, $15–$25

Z Space

450 Florida, SF

www.brownpapertickets.com

 

 

The Ape Woman: A Rock Opera

Step right up and view Dark Porch Theatre's presentation of The Ape Woman, May van Oskan's rock opera exploring the life of one Julia Pastrana, an indigenous Mexican woman who achieved fame (infamy?) on the 19th century circus sideshow circuit. Sometimes also dubbed "the Bear Woman," the diminutive Pastrana suffered from hypertrichosis — resulting in thick, dark hair all over her face and body, a trait that made her a valuable prize for unscrupulous promoters. With a set styled like a Victorian sideshow tent, van Oskan's opera tells Pastrana's fascinating live story via 14 original songs, backed up by a seven-piece ensemble. (Cheryl Eddy)

Opens tonight, 8pm

Runs Thu-Sat and June 26, 8pm; Sun/23, 4pm, through June 29, $15–$30

Exit Studio

156 Eddy, SF

www.theapewoman.com

 

The Bottle Kids

I once saw Bottle Kids frontperson Annie Ulukou at the Stork Club with nothing but a ukulele. This could have gone any which way, but instead of succumbing to the soft, lullaby tone inherent to the miniature instrument, Annie amplified and distorted its sound to backup the heartbreak and pure aggression of her voice. This is indicative of the Bottle Kids sound as a whole. Their shows can be as personal, subtle, soulful and as easy to access as a ukulele in a small room while still sucker-punching you square in the gut. Check this band out while it's still free to see it live. (Ilan Moskowitz)

9:30pm, free

Grant and Green Saloon

1371 Grant, San Francisco

(415) 693-9565

www.grantandgreensaloon.com

 

FRIDAY 21

PANSY

Why does nightlife hold us in its timeless spell? And, perhaps more topical, will the nostalgia for the necessary craziness and joy of '90s nightlife ever let us go? Evan Johnson, one of our most intriguing drag performers (beloved alter-ego Martha T. Lipton, the Failed Actress, is a hoot) goes deeper in solo stage show Pansy, conceived with Ben Randle. His character, Michael, discovers a time capsule full of VHS tapes, cassettes, and flyers documenting '90s gay club kid Peter Pansy, and finds shivery parallels with his own life emerging. "I want to address the 'shadows' of AIDS and queer history and Pride... That time period, 1993-95, became the vehicle for me to address the vital nostalgia and escape of the San Francisco queer fantasy," he says. Johnson's been hosting lively Q&As with legendary nightlife biggies after each performance, including Pansy Division's Jon Ginoli, Dan Nicoletta, Alvin Orloff, and Sister Roma. (Marke B.)

Through June 29th, $10-$15

New Conservatory Theatre

25 Van Ness, SF

(415) 861-8972

www.nctcsf.org

 

SATURDAY 22

San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival

First of all, can we just enjoy this awesome WTF moment? A music festival. Powered by bicycle pedaling. Even in its seventh year, SF's annual Bicycle Music Festival is still a wonder to locals. It offers the chance to listen to great music by folk band Laurie Lewis and the Righthands, Bill McKibben, Justin Ancheta Band, Manicato, and more, in a beautiful setting for free. In fact, it's in three beautiful settings, because the event is packed up and deployed throughout Golden Gate Park. The event is known to draw some crazies, the cool kind who perform synchronized dances or twirl around on cycles while playing the trumpet — so be warned. It is definitely worth checking out, particularly if you're a bike enthusiast interested in meeting fellow cyclists, or just a live music fan. And if the bicycle-powered music bit doesn't have the same amazeballs effect on you, there will also be hand-cranked ice cream and smoothies made from the same bike power. (Smith )

Noon-5pm, free

Golden Gate Park

Pioneer Log Cabin Meadow to Stow Lake Drive at JFK Drive, SF

bicyclemusicfestival.com

 

Grandpa Fest

You don't know Grindcore Grandpa? Hmm, how to explain to this. Basically, he's the stoic elder gent who shows up at tons of hardcore and underground punk shows, lives for grind, and has a Lack of Interest shirt with his own face on it (as such, he's more known as Grandpa of Interest). He's turning 86, and that's a big deal, so the Gilman is hosting Grandpa Fest and bringing in some of his favorite acts, legends of the scene including experimental Man is the Bastard offshoot Bastard Noise, and sludge-master Noothgrush, along with Stapled Shut, To the Point, Connoisseur, and Happy Pill Trauma. If you know what's good for you, you'll honor the man with a dive in the pit at breakneck speed. (Savage)

7pm, $10–$12

924 Gilman, Berk.

www.924gilman.org

 

Fete de la Musique

"The music everywhere and the concert nowhere," declared French composer Maurice Fleuret in 1981. And then e went on to launch "Fete de la Musique" on the summer solstice of 1982, slyly celebrating that pagan holiday by bringing the French population out into the streets to play all the music they could. Soon the festival spread, and became a French tradition. Now, San Francisco's Alliance Francaise is reviving the tradition with a roisterous day full of bands (Rue 66, Horse Horse Tiger Tiger, Crash Landings, Kiwi Time, more), drum circles, guitarists, and more — plus a few bars stocked with great wine, natch, to keep us in the spirit — on three floors. "Enjoy some Canadian music and food as well," the Alliance promises, "as we welcome our Quebec cousins to celebrate their national holiday, the Fête de la Saint-Jean Baptiste." French sounds all round! (Marke B.)

2pm-8pm, free

Alliance Française de San Francisco

1345 Bush, SF

fetedelamusiquesanfrancisco.wordpress.com

 

SUNDAY 23

City Lights at 60

Bookstore, publishing house, Beat writers hub, San Francisco institution. City Lights, founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin in 1953 (and now co-owned by Ferlinghetti and Nancy Peters), has meant a great many things to several generations of San Franciscans and tourists that flock to its North Beach storefront. It's published important tomes, hosted readings and acoustic concerts, political conversations and book release celebrations. Just this past year saw a Pussy Riot gathering, Richard Hell reading, and a Sister Spit anthology release party. In celebrating six decades of life (that's right, City Lights is officially 60 years young), the bookstore will host "City Lights at 60" lectures and readings through the rest of the year ("Howl Legacy: The Continuing Battle for Free Expression," July 14, "Women of the Beat Generation," Nov. 19), and an ongoing "Sundays in Jack Kerouac Alley" series. It all kicks off with the official birthday party today at the shop. The fête includes flash readings, archival footage, store discounts, and a live performance by the Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco. (Savage)

2-5pm, free

City Lights

261 Columbus, SF

(415) 863-2020

www.citylights.com

 

TUESDAY 25

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown

Listening to Tyler Bryant, I get the sense that music was his first love. And even though he sings, "take my hand/take my heart/now honey, my super lady," in the song "Lipstick Wonder Woman," (which, conceivably, is about a human woman) I still believe that his most sultry seductress is the raw power and electricity present in his songs. His Nashville-based group makes authentic rock'n'roll that's not reliant on over-reverbed guitar tones or a few simple fuzz-laden chords. Bryant can play, and his songs overwhelming reflect this. Reminiscent of the Black Keys, Bryant's vocals are filled with soul, and the energetic beats anchoring his songs beg you to dance. (Smith)

With Girls and Boys

9pm, $15

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 371-1631

www.brickandmortarmusic.com

 

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