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

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WEDNESDAY 9

 

 

'A Hard Day's Night'

In 1964, Beatlemania thoroughly swept America. Fifty years after the Fab Four's stateside and film debuts, San Francisco's celebrations seem like a blast from the past. Aside from Paul McCartney's August concert at Candlestick Park — coming full circle to where the Beatles played their last official show — the band's 1964 film A Hard Day's Night returns to U.S. theaters this month. Old age may be sneaking up on Macca, but the Liverpudlian boys' moptops, music, and mockery of Paul's grandfather are timeless. Stay in your seat for the second feature — the 1978 film I Want to Hold Your Hand chronicles some fans' Beatlecentric shenanigans. (Amy Char)

5:30pm, 7:30pm, $11

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120

www.castrotheatre.com

 

 

THURSDAY 10

 

 

Nicole Kidman Is Fucking Gorgeous at 'Gorgeous'

Arty art-pop-performance-party mavens Nicole Kidman Is Fucking Gorgeous (John Foster Cartwright, Maryam Rostami, and Mica Sigourney) show up at the Asian Art Museum this week to host one night's worth of grand gorgeosity on the occasion of the museum's current exhibit — Gorgeous (June 20–September 14) — which delves into its permanent collection as well as that of SF MOMA for a cache of 72 fabulous pieces ranging across more than two millennia. Who better to "activate the spaces" of the museum with dance and performance than special guests Fauxnique (Monique Jenkinson), Fatima Rude, La Chica Boom, and DJ Hoku Mama Swamp. Casual dress? I don't think so. But TopCoat Nail Studio will handle the mani with designs inspired by the artwork. (Robert Avila)

6–9pm, free with museum admission, $5 after 5pm

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin, SF

(415) 581-3500

www.asianart.org

 


FRIDAY 11

 

 

Cynic

The world was not ready for Cynic when they first emerged in the late '80s. The band's jazzy prog-metal and anti-macho stage presence (inspired in part by members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert's sexuality — Reinert calls their music "some gay, gay metal") made them equal parts influential and reviled. On their first national tour opening for Cannibal Corpse, the extreme audience hostility they experienced was enough to make them call it quits for 12 years — during which time their reputation and influence grew. Since the crew's 2006 reunion, they've enjoyed success and reverence, releasing two more albums and playing major festivals in the U.S. and Europe. Their upcoming Fillmore gig is a chance to see one of metal's coolest influences rock a venue as comfortably and thoroughly as they deserve to. (Daniel Bromfield)

9pm, $22.50

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000

www.thefillmore.com

 

 

Lia Rose

Formerly of Or, the Whale, San Francisco singer-songwriter Lia Rose has the kind of voice that seems like it could cut steel with its clarity — but instead, she's going to pick up a guitar and carve you a lovesick, honey-and-whiskey-coated lullaby, with pedal steel or upright bass or banjo or all three helping to lull you under her spell. The timeless quality of her indie-folk pairs well here with opener We Became Owls, an East Bay Americana outfit that's been gaining devotees like a steam train for the past year, despite not having an album out (this is their record release show). Gritty, Guthrie-esque sing-alongs are a distinct possibility here; maybe do some vocal warm-ups? (Emma Silvers)

9pm, $15

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157

www.thechapelsf.com

 

 

 

Hot Chip (DJ set)

Hot Chip's catchy brand of electro-funk has buoyed the group's five critically acclaimed albums. Their most recent release, 2012's In Our Heads, is perhaps their best yet — "Don't Deny Your Heart," a harmony-heavy party anthem with irresistible vocals from Alexis Singer that capture all the melody of the Britpop era, was one of the most unique and danceable singles of its year. The group comes to the glitzy Mezzanine for a DJ set that promises to be full of mixing, subtle live instrumentation, and mash-ups of prior releases. The band has a penchant for debuting new music at their gigs (or else subverting their old tunes to an extent that they're effectively entirely new tracks) and a smaller-scale dance club provides the perfect location for them to run wild. Also performing is local legend and Lights Down Low host Sleazemore and DFA records mainstay The Juan Maclean, who just dropped a stinging new single called "Get Down (With My Love)." (David Kurlander)

8pm, $16-$25

Mezzanine

444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880

 

SATURDAY 12

 

Sonny and the Sunsets

San Francisco's Sonny Smith is a scattered man. He is a singer-songwriter, playwright, author, and curator who honed his musicianship in piano bars and travelling between the Rocky Mountains, the West Coast, and Central America. The music of Sonny and the Sunsets, his SF-based pop outfit with a revolving-door lineup, reflects the patchwork nature of Smith's mind and talents, melding aspects of pop, doo-wop, indie rock, surf, and folk. Smith is a gifted storyteller and his compelling and wonderfully strange lyricism lends itself well to the demure Ocean Beach vibes of his music. The Sunsets' most recent album, Antenna to the Afterworld, reflects on Smith's experiences with the paranormal, and presents some of his strongest and most wonderfully weird material to date. Tonight's show will feature a brand new lineup and material that's never been heard before. (Haley Zaremba)

With The Reds, Pinks, and Purples, Bouquet

9pm, $15

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157

www.thechapelsf.com

 

 

 

The U.S. Air Guitar Championship Semifinals

The times, they are a-changin'. Now you can put "professional air guitarist" on your LinkedIn profile and actually justify the position. Unlike most artists who usually take the stage at the Independent, tonight's stars left their instruments at home, but they're ready to shred. Hear — or see, rather — contestants breathe new life into some of your favorite songs, including hits from years past. It's time for a classic rock revival. AC/DC's and Van Halen's riffs inspire fans to rock out, sans guitars, as past contestants can attest to. No offense to Bob Dylan, but his brand of folk just isn't that conducive to replicate on air guitar. (Amy Char)

9pm, $20

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com

 

 

Xavier Rudd

Xavier Rudd is a music festival's wet dream. He's a handsome, frequently shirtless, habitually barefoot Australian surrounded by dozens of instruments over which he has complete mastery —and he plays them all at once. Since debuting in 2002 with the album To Let, the one-man band has had a platinum album in Australia (Solace, released in 2004) and gigs at festivals across the Anglophone world, in addition to slots opening for fellow stage hounds like Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, and Ben Harper. Though he's been sticking more to indoor venues on this leg of his American tour, his style should be well suited to the Fillmore — home to all manner of hippie-leaning, improv-happy artists since the heyday of the Dead. (Daniel Bromfield)

9pm, $25

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000

www.thefillmore.com

 

SUNDAY 13

 

Darryl D.M.C. McDaniels

Neck of the Woods becomes a time machine on Sunday as Darryl McDaniels, better known as D.M.C., drops in for a nostalgic journey through the annals of 1980s rap. One third of the explosive rap innovators Run-D.M.C., McDaniels has kept busy since the dissolution of the group more than ten years ago, playing a full festival circuit, doing extensive charity work, and covering Frank Zappa's "Willie the Pimp" with Talib Kweli, Mix Master Mike, and Ahmet Zappa for a pulsating track on a birthday compilation put out by the Zappa Family Trust. It's hard to say whether D.M.C. will pull out anything quite as wild during this set, but expect zeitgeist-defining songs like "It's Tricky" and "Walk This Way," and hopefully some deeper cuts from the group's later work (2001's Crown Royal has some underrated tracks) and D.M.C.'s only solo album, Checks, Thugs, and Rock and Roll. Joining McDaniels on the mic are local groups the Oakland Mind and Jay Stone, each of whom have decidedly D.M.C.-inspired beats and flows and will offer up both politicized and party-themed bangers centered around the Bay. If you're feeling like "Raising Hell," then head over. (Kurlander)

9pm, $18

Neck of the Woods

406 Clement, SF

(415) 387-6343

www.neckofthewoodssf.com

 

MONDAY 14

 

BAASICS.5: Monsters

These aren't the monsters that haunted your childhood nightmares. No, these monsters have matured alongside you, escaping their fantasy story homes and creeping into the minutiae of everyday life. A group of scientists and artists serve as their caretakers tonight, enthralling audiences with accounts of honey bees' transformation into "ZomBees," vampires' affinity for the best coast (namely, California), Sasquatch sightings (guaranteed to be more terrifying than the music festival), and glow-in-the-dark plants (mundane, yes, but at least you won't wet your pants in fear). Still, the multi-media presentation finds the delicate balance between artistic and hair-raising, while maintaining a somewhat spooky aura to keep you on your toes until Halloween. (Amy Char)

7pm, free

ODC Theater

3153 17th St., SF

(415) 863-9834

www.odcdance.org

 

TUESDAY 15


The Dwarves

 The Dwarves came into the world as we all do, screaming and covered in blood. Formed in Chicago in the mid-'80s as The Suburban Nightmare, the hardcore punk outfit has since relocated to our fine city to wreak havoc. In their three decades of existence, the Dwarves' lineup and sound have shifted from hardcore to shock rock. The twin pillars of the Dwarves, singer Blag Dahlia and guitarist He Who Cannot Be Named, however, have stood the test of time, and continue to deliver some of the most insane live shows and stunningly tasteless lyrics punk rock has to offer. Infamous for their short, bloody, and often nude live shows, the Dwarves are a legendary part of punk history and the San Francisco rock scene. Also featuring the equally notorious Queers, this show is going to be a doozie. (Zaremba)

With the Queers, Masked Intruder, the Atom Age

9pm, $20

Bottom of the Hill 1233 17th St., SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

Liz Grant

Local stand-up comedian Liz Grant has gotten divorced twice and gone on an astonishing number of dates in the interim. Additionally, she has served as a "ghost online dater" for a busy executive. In her show "Dating Is Comedy," she breaks down the contemporary SF dating scene and gets brutally honest about her various misadventures and heartbreaks along the way. While the show isn't expressly designed for singles, Grant hopes that her words of wisdom will resonate with those who "have dated, are dating, or want to date." With a thematic scope that large, Grant is sure to strike a funny bone (or perhaps a more fragile Achilles' Heel) for anyone who has survived the rough seas of the dating world. Fresh off a 23-week run of another dating rumination, "Deja Wince: Lessons From a Failed Relationship Expert," Grant is no stranger to baring her soul about the most universally distressing of all societal practices. (Kurlander)

8pm, $15

Punch Line

444 Battery, SF

(415) 397-7573

www.punchlinecomedyclub.com

 

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