Dear readers! In case none of your coworkers has made any kind of Dilbert-ready joke by the water cooler yet today, let us fill you in: It's Friday.
And woof, did this week feel a little long to anyone else? Perhaps because the news is filled with horrendous, tragic, apparently senseless events? I'm not one for the "waah, why do news outlets report on so much bad stuff when there's good stuff in the world" mentality — you should be spurred to anger/sadness/feeling by reading about the state of the world, that's how change happens.
However. After you do a comb-through of the New York Times and the BBC etc. this morning, do not forget to look at some kittens and puppies . And in between having impassioned all-caps shouting matches on Facebook and in various comments sections this weekend (discuss: is this really how change happens?) try leaving your house to go sweat on a dancefloor with some strangers. Age-old remedy for the post-modern blues. Here are our picks.
June was a busy month for Erk tha Jerk, the Richmond rapper and producer known for his clever wordplay and catchy, often intensely sexual hooks. On the 12th, he dropped a new video produced by frequent collaborator Fly Commons called Blast Somebody. A smooth beat finds Jerk getting existential about his stresses while a near-nude woman gyrates on his bed. The video premiere was bolstered by the announcement that the duo's upcoming EP, Food and Vegetables comes out on July 15th — the gig doubles as a release party. Fellow East Bay MC Kev Choice (and Bay Guardian cover dude back in March) opens for Erk. Where Erk often embraces an id-driven and autobiographical style, Kev is far subtler and more socially conscious. A prodigious pianist and bandleader, his set should provide a soulful introduction to Erk's intensity and bombast. -- David Kurlander)
333 11th St, SF
A panel of heavy-hitters discussing vinyl's return to public favor at the Oakland Museum of California tonight includes Nick Harmer, bassist for Death Cab for Cutie; Winston Smith, visual artist for Dead Kennedys, Green Day, and legendary Bay Area punk label Alternative Tentacles; and Lawrence Azerrad, designer of iconic albums by Wilco, Miles Davis, and the Beach Boys. Plus drinks!
5pm - 9pm, free- $7.50
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak, Oakl.
Bob Marley may adorn more stoner dens with his smiling face, but the credit for bringing reggae to a worldwide audience goes first and foremost to Jimmy Cliff . As the star and main soundtrack composer of the 1972 Jamaican film The Harder They Come, Cliff brought the once-obscure Caribbean pop style to national attention and broke open the door for the genre's success in the 1970s. But he couldn't have done it without a set of killer songs — the film's title track included — and, at 66, a voice that puts nearly every stateside soul singer to shame. -- Daniel Bromfield.
1805 Geary, San Francisco
Salsa powerhouse Roberto Roena  and the LA-based Latin ensemble Boogaloo Assassins celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fania Records, which helped move salsa into the mainstream in New York in the '60s and '70s. Guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, son of the late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré, performs African blues rock to open. There will likely be some dancing here.
19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., SF
The Hold Steady
Does this band have a new record out? Don't know, don't care. Unless they radically changed their sound (Thin Lizzy guitars, blue collar/after hours rock, slightly snarled Springsteen storytelling) it doesn't matter. Because Brooklyn’s Hold Steady  epitomize rock's most underrated quality: dependability. Beyond reviews and records, it’s their live show that consistently seems to
awaken converts, the way an exceptionally good bar band can shock drunks out of stupors. (What are these guys doing here?) If the boys are back in town, count me in, at the center of the pit,
shouting along with Craig Finn. Well...maybe I should give Teeth Dreams a listen. -- Ryan Prendiville
With Cheap Girls
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell St, SF
Who said music writers can't make music? When Mish Way isn't busy freelancing as one of America's most passionate and hilarious music writers, she's rocking harder than any other architecture-dancer since Patti Smith as the leader of punk outfit White Lung . After making a splash in Vancouver's punk scene with its debut It's The Evil, the band found its profile substantially increased when Rolling Stone included sophomore effort Sorry in their top 10 albums of the year — no small feat for a punk album, least of all one that barely runs 20 minutes. They've added Wax Idols  member and Bay Area native Hether Fortune on bass for album number three, Deep Fantasy, whose hearty reception should secure the band's footing in both the critical and the die-hard punk worlds. -- Bromfield
With Wax Idols, Red Red Red
The Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell, San Francisco