The Selector: July 24 - 31, 2013


Kawaii = cute.



Improvising Touch

Contact improvisation as a branch of postmodern dance has few adherents like Karl Frost, who's pursued contact improv's investigation of the body as playground for art and insight with undiminished enthusiasm since the 1980s. "Body Research," Frost's long-term project, blends this touch-based method with a variety of other disciplines, whether rooted in dance, science, or martial arts. The result is a unique process—at once sexual, social, and inward—blurring performance with teaching, personal exploration, and social practice. Courtesy of arts presenter Footloose, "Karl Frost/Body Research" arrives for one night of Improvising Touch, offering scope for tactile involvement as well as spectatorship as Frost and eight performer-collaborators deconstruct an interactive performance with the fitting Spanish title, Tocame! (Robert Avila)

8pm, $15–$30


715 Bryant, SF

(800) 838-3006



"Copy Right/Copy Left"

With so much up for grabs in the giant Internet universe, it's a good era for audience participation. But it's also a weird era for art. Where do the lines emerge between engagement, borrowing, and stealing? Artist Lordy Rodriguez will ask this and other large questions at the monthly Artist's Drawing Cub series, which invites museum goers to view artwork from a different perspective. After mimicking Rodriguez's process of appropriating imagery from existing works such as maps, participants will seek out patterns in the exhibit of Japanese art, "In The Moment." It's likely that the evening won't resolve the questions, but at least the audience will apply its participation to good use (and have some fun). (Laura Kerry)

6:30pm, $8–$12

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin, SF

(415) 581-3500



"Video Games Live!"

Video games have certainly come a long way since their inception back in the 1970s — and while most people probably think about graphics when it comes to their level of sophistication and advancement over the years, music has also played a very important part in that evolution, going from simple sound effects to sweeping scores and full soundtracks that help set the mood and tone of modern franchises. Join industry veteran composer Tommy Tallarico as he hosts the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, along with other special guests in celebrating this important facet of the gaming genre, performing selections from Super Mario Bros, Zelda, and many more. (Sean McCourt)

Through Fri/26, 7:30pm, $30–$100

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness Ave, SF

(415) 864-6000



Wild Moth

When you think of post-punk, you likely imagine a lot of noise. (And maybe a little reckless fun.) But to understand SF's Wild Moth, it's much easier to describe what it's not. The band's fuzzy, electric guitar styling is wild, but not sloppy. And its sound, though loud, is not just noise. Wild Moth's EP Mourning Glow isn't long, it's also not lacking in kick. Distorted guitar and rough vocals have never been so appealing. The group's big bang is its general lackluster attitude juxtaposed with its tight percussion and surged guitar licks. It's all about the raw emotional energy that often accompanies its tunes. Wild Moth very much leaves it up to the listener — are you there to hear about the black void of blind compliance, or to feel it? (Hillary Smith)

With Speedy Ortiz

9pm, $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF



Tiny Dance Film Festival

Lights! Camera! Movement! In the inaugural edition of the Tiny Dance Film Festival, a promising array of short works all somehow negotiate that line between film and dance — two distinct art forms that have been engaged in a half-salutary, half-awkward pas de deux for the better part of a century. Contemporary and experimental dance films from around the world — including the Bay Area — mingle big-time on the vertical dance floor during two evening-length programs, curated and produced by San Francisco-based detour dance (Kat Cole and Eric Garcia), which both nights include a pre/post-show lobby installation featuring work by an international trio of artists. (Avila)

Through Sun/27, 8pm, $10–$25

Ninth Street Independent Film Center

145 Ninth St., SF



Dr. Zebrovski's Hour of Power

Who is Dr. Zebrovski? He knew you were going to ask that, and he also has a thing or two to say about you — and he'll say it with dance. After its 2012 premiere at the Garage, Dr. Zebrovski's Hour of Power, starring Kevin Seaman, materializes before your very eyes at CounterPULSE, exploring "the intersection of the occult and commercialism" via an interactive, action-packed blend of storytelling, dance, performance art, bejeweled turbans, outrageous displays of psychic powers, even-more-outrageous accents, and copious amounts of zebra print. Dare to believe, and Dr. Z will set you free. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through Sun/28, 8pm, $15-25


1310 Mission, SF



Wax Idols

Wax Idol's Hether Fortune wants your attention — that much is apparent. Between her stage antics, Twitter tactics, and most importantly with her bands' music, there's no reason she shouldn't be getting it. Last spring Wax Idols released a new LP, Discipline and Desire to some rightfully achieved fanfare. The recipe cooks up a mix of post-punk, powerful pop hooks, and brooding agitation that hints at something darker and festering. Some might consider her larger-than-life persona a calculated gimmick, but gender play, toplessness, and genuine talent add to her unpredictability, which many find intriguing. Chasms opens ahead of the release of Riser, its sophisticated new EP. Sounds like someone's stepping into their power. (Andre Torrez)

With Weekend (record release), Chasms

9pm, $14


628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421



Will Viharo book release party

Local Gonzo pulp fiction writer (and film host/programmer extraordinaire) Will Viharo is celebrating the re-publication of his 1995 novel Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me (Gutter Books) with a lit launch party not to be missed. The book — a neo-noir tale in the vein of many a classic hard-boiled detective story — is currently in development to be made into a major film by Christian Slater, who will direct and star as the main character, Vic Valentine, Private Eye. Come raise a martini or three at the evening's festivities, which will feature Viharo reading selections from the tome and signing copies, along with live music from the Aqua-Velvets. (McCourt)

6-10pm, free

50 Mason Social House, SF



The Atamira Dance Company

Not all is lost even though this year's San Francisco International Arts Festival has fizzled in the wake of the diminished expectations for spillover crowds from the America's Cup. Fortunately, the ever diligent Andrew Woods managed to attract a company from New Zealand that is touring the US this summer. Reflecting contemporary Maori culture, The Atamira Dance Company will present a mixed program of recent choreography based on traditional values. Will there be a Haka? Of course, this famous war dance is very much needed, not just on the stage but to cheer on the national rugby team. In San Francisco, on the morning of their performance, they will lend their support to the New Zealand boat of the America's Cup. (Rita Felciano)

8pm, $20-25

Joe Goode Performance Annex

401 Alabama, SF

(800) 838-3006



J-POP Summit Festival

The theme of the fifth annual J-POP Summit Festival is "Making Kawaii Universal" — which seems a certainty. What warm-blooded, sweet-tooth-having human could resist this two-day explosion of film, art, fashion, pop culture, and pop stars, chiefly feather-bedecked glamour girl Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, "Japan's Official Ambassador of Kawaii"? (For those not in the know, "Kawaii" = "cute," and its influence goes way beyond whatever Gwen Stefani co-opted and repackaged for the American masses a few years back.) She'll be performing live (along with other acts, including a human beat box); other J-POP attractions include a film festival (with a hefty anime component), a Harajuku fashion show, live art events, sake tasting, a dance contest, and a whole lot more. (Eddy)

Through Sun/28

11am-6pm, prices vary

Japantown (near Geary and Webster), SF



Elvis Christ, Pookie and the Poodlez, Yogurt Brain

Looking at the bands' names on this lineup is enough to make your head spin. From quirky to downright dumb, it won't matter much because the performance will prove they all take playing live seriously. Elvis Christ may sound familiar if not for his new cassette on Burger Records, then for recording troves of trash rockers including Nobunny and Pookie and the Poodlez (also on the bill). Be sure to catch Yogurt Brain, an earnest act with a solid songwriter (though he does have an affinity for covering Springsteen and Gram Parsons songs). Expect some country-punk style shredding (fingerpicks and all) on guitar and if you're lucky he may even do the kick splits on stage! (Torrez)

8pm, $5

Eli's Mile High Club

3629 Martin Luther King Jr., Oakl.

(510) 350-7818.



Bells Atlas

This Afro-indie-soul group's sexy harmonies skip along soft mallet beats and tickled guitar riffs. The final product is an intimate, introspective performance. Vocalist Sandra Lawson-Ndu has a remarkable command over her pitch and volume. Her smooth vocals trace every line and curve of Bells Atlas songs, like a pair of hands effortlessly stitching a familiar pattern. However, the sound is anything but obvious. The mallets, soft percussion, and guitar culminate in a pleasant blend of jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and Samba. The group may only have one album thus far, but each track offers a new chorus, melody or beat to get sucked into. I advise you to let this happen. (Smith)

With the Seshen, Hiatus Kaiyote

9pm, $22


628 Divisadero, SF





In choreographer Malinda LaVelle's previous work with "Project Thrust"— ProjectBust (an investigation of youth and femininity); and Urge (an exploration of the intersections between food, hunger, and lust) — simplicity of design gives way to thematic subtlety and a taut, appealing, slightly unnerving aesthetic. Deconstructing the experience of the feminine, the work stands out for its intelligence, rigor, laugh-out-loud humor, and a pared-down yet exuberant invention. You also can't help but be impressed by the skill of her fearless and muscular dancers, whose coiled energies find wonderful expression in choice silences, elliptical phrases, private ecstasies, or rowdy pop-fueled ensemble eruptions. Kingdom is the third evening-length piece to emerge from this shrewd and rousing young company. (Avila)

8pm, $20

Z Space

450 Florida, SF

(415) 626-0453