This Week's Picks: August 13 - 19, 2014

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THURSDAY 14

 

Kevin Morby

If you're enough of an indie rock fan, you might have heard Kevin Morby's work without knowing it. He's played bass for Brooklyn psych-folk crew Woods since that band's 2009 breakthrough Songs of Shame, and he co-fronts The Babies with Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls. But after touring with Real Estate and releasing the solo album Harlem River on Woods' label Woodsist last year, he's primed to take the spotlight. A fan of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Morby's always had a strong Americana streak, from the Western ballads on the Babies' Our House On The Hill to the New York City love letters on Harlem River. But despite his buzz-band cred, his all-American ethos never seems ironic, and his voice and guitar playing are perfectly suited for his ambitions. (Daniel Bromfield)

7pm, $8

1-2-3-4 Go! Records

420 40th St., Oakland

(510) 985-0325

www.1234gorecords.com

 

 

Sir Sly

There's no need to call these band members "sir." But you might've had to rely on that as a fallback when the musicians adopted anonymous identities at the beginning of their careers. Though that act was certainly mysterious enough to accompany the band's gloomy sound (sad indie rock tinged with some hip-hop and electronic influences), Sir Sly deserves recognition for last year's EP, which is enough to appease fans until this September's release of its debut full-length. If the title track "You Haunt Me" is anything to go by, then yep, the trio's polished its melancholy music the first album. (Amy Char)

With Thumpers, Mother

9pm, $15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011

www.rickshawstop.com

 

 

Like Stars We Collide

Playwright Vadenek Ke is ready to unveil his second installment in his "A Series of Collisions." The enigmatic and elusive playwright, who explores the sexual, cultural, and vocational limitations of relationships, has written three new one acts, titled collectively Like Stars We Collide, that will be performed by his trusty troupe, the Planets Aligned Theatre Company. Known for their quick wit and occasional surreality, Ke's works are morsels of romantic truth — they certainly don't attempt to paint idealistic portraits of love, but simultaneously acknowledge the raw beauty and excitement that accompanies the pain. Each of the three works is directed by a different local voice, and features burgeoning SF stars. "Call it Off," which chronicles a crumbling couple at a theme party, takes on a Rashomon-esque storytelling device to explain the individual experiences of the lovers. The small yet stylish Mojo Theatre provides an evocative locale for Ke's elegant glimpses into the human condition. (Kurlander)

8pm, $15

Mojo Theatre

2940 16th St. #217, SF

(415) 830-6426

www.mojotheatre.com

 

 

GAYmous

San Francisco queer electro duo GAYmous claim to be motivated by the "power of the synthesizer." On one level, this has to do with sound — their synths pack plenty of sonic oomph. But the self-declared "slut-step" duo is also motivated by synth-driven music's ability to unite and empower marginalized groups, from the queer synthpop of the '80s to the relentlessly empowering pop music of the early '10s. Following those traditions, GAYmous delivers plenty of raunchy and sexually candid humor but ultimately succeeds on the basis of great pop hooks and melodies. They'll be performing at the Uptown Oakland alongside multimedia drag performance group Daddies Plastik and the amazing Fatty Cakes & The Puff Pastries, an ensemble consisting of multiple vocalists and centered around a dizzying glockenspiel-snare drum-organ setup.

9pm, $8

Uptown Nightclub

1928 Telegraph, Oakland

(510) 451-8100

www.uptownnightclub.com

 

FRIDAY 15

 

 

Joshua Cook and the Key of Now

Joshua Cook made his name as the lead guitarist and sometime-singer of the Soft White Sixties, a local soul-heavy rock outfit that has made a huge splash at festivals (particularly an electric SXSW set) inthe last year. Cook has now formed his own outfit, a bluesier crew called Joshua Cook and the Key of Now. Their debut single, 2013's "All Bad Things," has a lick that sounds decidedly Jimmy Page-esque and cynical, frustrated lyrics about romantic near-misses and economic woes. FCC Free Radio, the six year-old internet radio station that champions local artists and opinion, takes over the DNA Lounge to present Cook's new sound alongside Kitten Grenade, Survival Guide, and I Am Animal. Kitten Grenade, singer Katelyn Sullivan and instrumentalist Ben Manning's ukelele and drum group, has been churning out sweet yet edgy folk-rock for the last two years and looks to be a nice counter to Cook's heavier jams. (Kurlander)

8pm, $10

DNA Lounge

375 11th St, SF

(415) 626-1409

www.dnalounge.com

 

 

Deadfest

Non-metalheads may not recognize any of the names at the Oakland Metro's two-day Deadfest. But with four stages and 46 bands from the Bay Area and beyond (including Impaled, Bell Witch, and Negative Standards), Deadfest should have something for anyone even remotely interested in heavy music. Spearheaded by DIY promoter Gregg "Deadface" Paiva, Deadfest also features a food bar with delicious-sounding gourmet tacos, featuring absurdly Bay Area-sounding accoutrements like "key lime crema" and "heritage pepper confit." The event is only $20 per day, meaning an average of less than a buck per band. If you have even a passing interest in thrash metal, doom metal, hard core, crust punk or any of the other various forms of loud, overdriven, fancy logo-encouraging music that will be on display at Deadfest, there's no reason not to go. (Bromfield)

7pm, $20 per day

Oakland Metro

630 3rd St., Oakland

(510) 763-1146

www.oaklandmetro.org

 

SATURDAY 16

 

 

 

The Muppet Movie 35th Anniversary

Muppet fans! It's time to get "Movin' Right Along" down to the Castro Theatre to catch a 35th anniversary screening of The Muppet Movie, the feature film that started the big screen careers of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and the rest of their beloved gang. Presented by SF Sketchfest, today's event is extra special — Dave Goelz, the voice and puppeteer of The Great Gonzo will be appearing for a talk and Q&A — and he is bringing a real Gonzo Muppet with him! Don't miss your chance to make a "Rainbow Connection" with the legendary performer (who also worked on The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and Emmett Otter) and his iconic, chicken-loving creation. (Sean McCourt)

11am, $10

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

www.sfsketchfest.com

 

 

 

Civil War Living History Day

The band called the Civil Wars may have broken up, but the dream of the 1860s is alive in San Francisco. No need to adopt the fashion trends of years past for this American Civil War enactment. (Just dress appropriately for the city's August weather and be glad you don't have to deal with the South's humidity.) In a condensed jump back into time, the day offers regular infantry drills and artillery discussions throughout the day and plenty of demonstrations of soldier and civilian life way back when. Highlights include historical music (characterized by heavy reliance on the drums) and medical treatment (which may not be up to snuff to deal with Ebola). (Amy Char)

10am - 5pm, free

Fort Point National Historic Site

999 Marine, SF

(415) 556-1693

www.nps.gov/fopo

 


SUNDAY 17

 

Name Drop Swamp Records + Quiet Lightning

This new collaboration between independent SF record label Name Drop Swamp Records (Fox & Woman, Split Screens) and the long-running lit and spoken word series Quiet Lightning brings together live music, poetry, and performance for an evening that's sure to draw a crowd full of all kinds of artists — in addition to those being featured on stage. Featured performer Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba is someone you won't get to see in a small room for too much longer, thanks to her unique, rich vocals and skilled storytelling through song. The door is sliding scale and the aim is for this evening to be the first in a bimonthly series at the Emerald Tablet (sorry, "Em Tab,") so get in before it blows up. (Emma Silvers)

5 - 9pm, $10-20; no one turned away for lack of funds

The Emerald Tablet

80 Fresno, SF

(415) 500-2323

www.emtab.org

 

MONDAY 18

 

Built To Spill

Boise's Built To Spill has been churning out heartbreakingly lovely indie rock songs for over 20 years. Doug Martsch, formerly of Treepeople, formed the group in 1992. Since then, the band has gone through a whirlwind of lineup changes with Martsch as the only constant, but have managed to create seven equally beautiful, reverb-heavy studio albums. Martsch's music has been cited as a major inspiration by such indie rock royalty as Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. Though it's been five years since they've released an album, Built To Spill's live show hasn't declined a bit. This three-night run at Slim's is a very special event, and certainly not to be missed. (Haley Zaremba)

With Slam Dunk, The Warm Hair

8pm, $28

Slim's 333

11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333

www.slimspresents.com


TUESDAY 19


Fucked Up

Toronto's Fucked Up might be the most ambitious punk band on the planet. This six-piece hardcore band has been releasing more and more epic and boldly experimental records since their explosive entrance to the scene in 2001. The group has even been recognized by the Canadian government, winning the prestigious Polaris Prize in 2009 for its incredible, sprawling punk-rock opera The Chemistry of Common Life. Their most recent effort, Glass Boys, maintains their hardcore edge while finding more rock depth, borrowing simultaneously from Dinosaur Jr. and Negative Approach. The record asks questions about what it means to be an aging and successful punk band. Known and notorious for their tempestuous relationship and wildly unpredictable live shows, Fucked Up is one of the best hardcore bands and certainly one of the best live acts on the road. (Zaremba)

Tijuana Panthers, The She's

8pm, $20

The Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.independentsf.com

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