This Week's Picks: May 28 - June 3, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 21

 

Brody Dalle

There is a serious deficit of female fierceness in punk rock at the moment. The music industry as a whole is a boys' club, and it's incredibly difficult for women to make a name for themselves in rock. Not only has Brody Dalle done this, she's done it three times over, fronting beloved LA punk bands the Distillers and Spinnerette, and now as a solo artist, with her new record Diploid Love. She's an inspiration in many ways — as a formidable frontperson, gifted musician, badass artist, and mother — and now, over 15 years since the Distillers began writing and performing, her work is tighter than ever. Diploid Love is a departure from the straightforward punk aesthetic of the Distillers and the pure rock 'n' roll of Spinnerette — the songs range from ballads and torch songs to angry rockers, all of them solid and heartfelt. Dalle's versatility is impressive, but I'm happy to say that through it all she manages to keep her trademarked sonic sneer that made us fall in love with her to begin with. (Haley Zaremba)

$14, 8pm

Slim's

333 11th St, SF

(415) 255-0333

www.slimspresents.com

 

 

'Milk'

On May 21, 1979, Dan White was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to just seven years in jail for assassinating Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Thirty-five years ago today, the city took to the streets in outrage over the lenient sentence of a murderer. The White Night riots began with a march down Castro Street, continued into violent protests at City Hall and finished with police retaliation, tear gas, vandalization, and injury. Needless to say, Harvey Milk lived on as a hero of the gay rights movement in San Francisco and around the country. In honor of this anniversary, the Castro Theatre is celebrating Milk's legacy with a special screening of Gus Van Sant's Academy Award-winning Milk, starring Sean Penn as our favorite gay rights activist. The film chronicles the last eight years of Milk's life, and how he changed this city for the better. (Laura B. Childs)

5:30pm and 8pm, $11

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6350

www.castrotheatre.com

 

THURSDAY 22

 

 

The Acro-Cats

If you attended either the Roxie's or Oakland's cat video festival a couple weeks ago and have been in feline withdrawal ever since, have no fear — the cat circus is here. Yes, it's the Acro-Cats, an all-kitty circus troupe, complete with a cat rock band, that's touring the country. Feats of derring-do will include cats jumping through hoops, cats jumping on tightropes, cats riding on skateboards, cats balancing on balls...you get the idea. They also arrive in a "Cat Car." Founder Samantha Martin has taken in over a dozen stray or orphaned cats and found homes for 130 more in her lifetime; a percentage of ticket sales will go to kitty rescue programs. Sounds like a purrr-fect evening to me. (Emma Silvers)

Through Sun/25, 8:30pm, $24

The Southside Theatre at Fort Mason Center, SF

www.circuscats.com

 

 

Black Flag

Legendary punk band Black Flag blazed the path for underground music in the United States during the 1970s and '80s with its rigorous work ethic, groundbreaking recordings, and relentless touring that built a network and foundation for independent artists that still exists today. Recently resurrected by Greg Ginn, the founder-guitarist-primary songwriter and sole continuous member, the band released its first new record in nearly two decades last year, and is once again hitting the road and ripping through the new tunes along with old favorites like "TV Party," "Six Pack" and "Rise Above." (Sean McCourt)

With HOR, Cinema Cinema and Violence Creeps

8pm, $20-$25

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782

www.brickandmortarmusic.com

 

 

Rock 'n' roll history: 'American Jukebox'

"Plug into this jukebox and see the face and figures behind the greatest American Music," says the co-founder of City Lights Bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, about American Jukebox. For Christopher Felver's newest photography book, 240 photographs from tours and encounters with musicians over the past 25 years have been compiled into a photographic journey chronicling the heritage of American music and capturing its lively spirit. Scattered between playlists, autographed lyrics, record sleeves, and anecdotes are portraits of musicians caught in action on stage or posed under Felver's lens. From Doc Watson to John Cage and Sonny Rollins to Patti Smith, American Jukebox celebrates the vitality of the music industry and its rich history. The photographer will appear in person to read and sign books. (Childs)

7pm, free

Books Inc. Bookstore Opera Plaza

601 Van Ness, SF

(415) 776-1111

www.booksinc.net

 

FRIDAY 23

 

The Avengers

One of the best bands to come out of the San Francisco punk scene in the late 1970s, the Avengers mixed impassioned politics and social commentary into their potent blend of dynamic and invigorated music. Fronted by singer Penelope Houston, they secured themselves a place in history when they opened for the Sex Pistols' final gig at Winterland in January of '78 and threatened to steal the show. Though they lasted only a couple of years before they broke up, the group made a lasting impression — and now, 35 years later, Houston and original guitarist Greg Ingraham are back and better than ever. (McCourt)

With Kicker and California

9pm, $15

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157

www.thechapelsf.com

 

 

Rocketship

They might not have ever achieved widespread mainstream success, but the Sacramento-based band Rocketship had enough of a devoted following in the '90s that news of their reunion for this year's Popfest caused more than a little ripple of excitement among indie-pop lovers. This Slumberland Records showcase, part of the little indie-fest-that-could's special weekend of bringing fuzz- and grunge-pop favorites from the '90s and aughts back together, has a pretty stellar lineup from start to finish — you're sure to see some cardigan-sporting superfans out in full force. (Emma Silvers)

With The Mantles, Bouracer, and The Softies

8pm, $18-$20

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, Sf

www.rickshawstop.com

 

SATURDAY 24

"The Hop"

Looking for a blast from the past party for this holiday weekend? Then check out Handsome Hawk Valentine's "The Hop," which will feature rockabilly bands including guitar slinger extraordinaire Deke Dickerson and his Ecco-Fonics and Kay Marie, along with Sin Sisters Burlesque. Slick back that pomp or put on those stilettos and get gone — but if you don't have time before you get there, don't worry: You can get in on some free retro hairstyling and photos, and then hoot and holler for the Bettie Page Clothing "Rockabilly Prom King and Queen" contest before you dance the night away. (McCourt)

9pm, $12

Elbo Room

647 Valencia, SF

(415) 552-7788

www.elbo.com

 

 

International Beer Festival

In the 30 years since the first International Beer Festival, a lot has changed. It all began with a selection of five beers (Pabst being one of the highlights) to now over 100 international and local craft brewers. Expect local brews from SF staples and Bay Area bites from local gems like the O-inducing Pizza Orgasmica. For over three decades, this beer festival has served as the perfect excuse to drink for a good cause — two birds, one stone — since the festival is entirely organized and staffed by parents of Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School students. The proceeds are donated to Tel-Hi's preschool, which will fund the school's programs for the entire year. Now that's drinking responsibly. (Childs)

7pm, $75

Festival Pavilion

Fort Mason Center, SF

www.sfbeerfest.com


SUNDAY 25

 

'Grease' Sing-A-Long

Whether you're more of a fast-talkin', gum-smackin' Pink Lady or a dead ringer for Olivia Newton-John's good girl Sandy, your stylistic choices will be welcome at this Castro Theatre tradition. Get ready for "Summer Lovin'," "Greased Lightnin'," "Beauty School Dropout," and boatloads more overt sexual innuendo — a lot of which sounds pretty damn un-PC by today's standards ("Tell me more, tell me more, did she put up a fight? Wait, what?!") — than you probably noticed when you and your friends were all obsessed with this movie and crushing hard on John Travolta back at theater camp. The good news: Frankie Avalon was a teen-dream idol for a reason, Stockard Channing's Rizzo is still the coolest of them all, and your hair goop is safe here. (Silvers)

2:30pm and 7pm, $16

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6350

www.castrotheatre.com

 

MONDAY 26

 

Perfect Pussy

One of the buzziest bands of 2014, frenetic Syracuse-based punk rockers Perfect Pussy didn't need the shock-value band name to make headlines — but it hasn't hurt. The hype around the five-piece reached a fever pitch sometime around SXSW, when it became clear that vocalist Meredith Graves' unusually confessional, literate writing (for noise punk) and take-no-bullshit delivery translated into a seriously mind-screwing live show, music blog darlings or no. She's also been pretty articulate about feminism in interviews. In short: probably not a flash in the pan, and well worth seeing live. (Silvers)  

With Potty Mouth, Wild Moth, Crabapple

8pm, $10-$12, all ages

Rickshaw Stop 155 Fell, SF

www.rickshawstop.com

 

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