This Week's Picks: April 9 - 15, 2014




The flower children of the 21st century will be playing at the Fillmore tonight and tomorrow night kicking off their North American tour. Haim, an LA-based rock band, consists of three sisters that look like they jumped out of a fashionable Tumblr. An edgy rock sound with breathy vocals and '80s beats, the band's debut album Days Are Gone was touted as one of the best rock albums of 2013. The trio has often been compared to Fleetwood Mac — in some circles, the highest of compliments in the music world. Three Stevie Nicks for the price of one!

7pm, $25

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000





Installations are a way of reaching audiences bored with buying a ticket and sitting down for the next two hours. They give the viewer a choice of how she might want to see a work — a sort of slow motion or fast-forwarding button on a TV remote control. Sometimes, however, putting a piece into a specific context makes a lot of sense. Take FACT/SF's new Invidious, choreographer Charles Slender's "domestic dance theater piece," which hits home (if you'll excuse the language) with issues surrounding the so-called American dream and the price it exacts emotionally, intellectually and financially on all those who still believe in it. What better way than to plant such work in an actual home? (Secret revealed: it's in the Mission). (Rita Felciano)

Through April 13, 6:30 and 9pm, $40

Exact location in SF revealed after ticket reservation


Matt Taibbi

Known for calling Goldman Sachs "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity," former Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi has dedicated his entire career to revealing the slimy underbelly of our country's key institutions and formative events. Furthering his mission is Taibbi's new book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. In it, he draws a scathing portrait of American injustice, denouncing how the country turned poverty into a crime and wealth into a "get out of jail free" card. Tonight, he'll speak about the connection between mass incarcerations of the poor and the unpunished crimes of the rich, with guest speaker Clara Jeffrey, co-editor of Mother Jones, joining the conversation. (Laura B. Childs)

6:30pm, $20

Commonwealth Club

595 Market St, SF

(415) 597-6700



Future Islands

Future Islands' frontman Samuel T. Herring is so awesome he's achieved one of the internet's highest levels of honor — he's now a meme. Herring ascended to memedom after Future Islands' bonkers performance on Letterman last month, at the end of which, Letterman — who feigns interest for a living — expressed genuine excitement about their performance, exclaiming "I'll take all of that you got!" Watching Herring perform is like witnessing someone doing a rain dance while being exorcised at the same time; if you watched the show without sound you'd likely still enjoy it. The band is touring of their latest synth-punk LP, Singles. (George McIntire)

8pm, $20

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF


Harold Ramis Tribute

The world lost a comic genius far too soon when Harold Ramis — writer-director of Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Groundhog Day, as well as acting in Ghostbusters, among others — passed away in February at the age of 69. Lucky for us, his sweetly irreverent, deceptively smart work lives on, not only on the big screen but in the films of countless younger writers and directors who took their comic cues from him (see: the majority of screwball comedies made since 1990). This two-day tribute starts out with the subtly brilliant Groundhog Day and classic golf send-up Caddyshack on Friday, followed by a triple-feature Saturday with National Lampoon's Vacation, Stripes, and Animal House. We think Ramis would be pleased, though that's wholly unnecessary; it's likely he's already achieved total consciousness. (Emma Silvers)

7 and 8:55pm, $11

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF


Teen Night: "Visions of an Abolitionist Future"

Hey, let's build more jails and put everyone who we don't like in them! That seems to be America's M.O. at the mo'. The intrepid youth of YBCA's Young Artists at Work program are looking at the malignant growth of the prison-industrial complex and the moral and economic price of mass incarceration — and theorizing strategies for intervention, change, and liberation. They do this through provocative art, producing video, illustration, sculpture, multimedia installation, and performance (including one stunning dance piece utilizing live, beamed-in choreography performed by prisoners themselves). The YAAW program gathers together youth from high schools around the Bay Area for a year-long artistic inquiry into hot topics: This Teen Night is where you can hear and support the creative, inspiring, and so far free voice of our youth today. (Marke B.)

6pm-10pm, free


701 Mission, SF

(415) 978-2700




Willie Nelson

This octogenarian still has a lot to say. With a six-decade career and over 200 albums in his catalog, and more than 200 nights per year spent on the road, Willie Nelson has earned every bit of the retirement he has no interest in taking. Performing with his two wickedly talented sons, Nelson has lost none of his charm and still plays all the hits. Well, not all the hits — that might take all night. For those who've never seen Nelson live, don't miss what might be one of your last chances to see his incredibly tender and heartfelt act. Nelson still cares about a lot of things —farm workers' rights, the legalization of marijuana, gay rights —and his fans clearly rank toward the top of this list. So fire up a joint and raise it (and pass it) to this living legend tonight. (Haley Zaremba)

With Drive-By Truckers, Shovels and Rope

7pm, $49.50

Greek Theatre

2001 Gayley, Berkeley

(510) 548-3010




According to members of the band Goat, the group's origins can be traced back to a remote village in Sweden, and an ongoing collective of different group members over the years, each remaining somewhat anonymous behind masks and costumes, both in photos and during live performances. Goat's first major release, World Music, came out in Europe in 2012, and Sub Pop Records released the band's first North American single, "Dreambuilding," last year; expect a wild mix of ritual drumming, chanting, and a bit of voodoo mythology strewn over dizzying psychedelic rock. (Sean McCourt)

9pm, $20


333 11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333



Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

If your allergies are too much to handle this spring, rejoice in this year's Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown. You won't be a victim of itchy eyes, sneezing, or a red nose during this weekend's celebration of Japanese culture. From sumo-e ink painting, calligraphy and origami demonstrations to classical and folk performances, indulge in a two weekend-long affair. Traditional Japanese music will fill the air as well as taiko and karaoke concerts. Just in case, pack an extra Claritin for the bonsai and ikebana flower arranging exhibits!

11am-5pm, free

April 12-13, 19-20 (parade is 1pm on April 20)

SF Japantown

(415) 563-2313




KUSF's Rock 'N' Swap

For over 25 years, this record swap has promised (and delivered) some of the best hard-to-find vinyl, CDs, posters, and other music paraphernalia that any good audiophile could ask for. Out-of-print jazz records from 1932? The original Annie soundtrack on cassette? Stickers from that punk show you're too young to have actually been to? Step right up and state your case at this KUSF-organized staple, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation — if you have esoteric tastes, this is a pretty good place to make new friends, too. (Emma Silvers)

7am-4pm, $3-$10

McLaren Hall, USF Campus

2130 Fulton, SF

(415) 386-5873



Toy Dolls

Fun-loving British punk band The Toy Dolls are celebrating 35 years of joyfully madcap songs like "James Bond Lives Down Our Street," "Yul Brenner Was A Skinhead," and their biggest hit, a cover of an old English children's song, "Nellie The Elephant." Though the band has gone through innumerable lineup changes over the years, they continue to be lead by founding member and singer-guitarist Michael "Olga" Algar, and now perform as a power trio, having toured across the world. The Toy Dolls come to the states this month in support of their latest album, 2012's cheekily titled The Album After The Last One. (Sean McCourt)

With Swingin' Utters

8pm, $25-$27

The Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF



Thanks to their 2012 single "Hurricane," MS MR have exploded into buzz blogs and newsfeeds internationally. Even if you think you you're not familiar with this nascent New York duo, you are. "Hurricane" was a runway favorite at Fashion Week and on every pop station, while "Bones" was featured in the trailers for Game of Thrones' third season — you've probably even caught yourself humming along to the band's mega-catchy sound. Comprised of two Vassar alums, one singer-songwriter and Neon Gold founder and one dancer-choreographer, MS MR is a both a dream team of immediately accessible alt-pop and an explosive stage presence. And hey, if Westeros approves, what is there left to discuss? (Zaremba)

With Jagwar Ma

8pm, $25

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-3000