In its 23rd year, the WestWave Dance Festival, now under the auspices of SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts, has come up with a simple but ingenious idea: Let the dance communities outside San Francisco step up to the plate on their own terms. While the opening and closing programs of this "Dance Around the Bay" festival throw the spotlight on young artists working in the city, the other three invited dancers from the North, East and South Bay to join in. A choreographer familiar with his or her home turf curated each of those programs. You can expect a mix of new voices — familiar ones, but also rarely heard ones such as those of Jose Limon and Donald McKayle, courtesy of the visitors from San Jose. (Rita Felciano)
Through Sun/7, 8pm, $10-20
450 Florida, SF
It's a band from Brooklyn, it's named after a physically powerful woodland mammal, and it broke through in the late '00s — around the same time as every other band that fits the former two descriptors. But Bear In Heaven is further out than nearly any of its indie-rock peers, incorporating influences from the gnarliest outskirts of psychedelia and prog rock. Upon listening to the band's debut Red Bloom Of The Boom, you'll more likely picture naked hippies running around in terror than well-dressed hipsters walking to the cronut stand. Though band members have taken a more pop approach following their magnum opus, 2010's excellent Beast Rest Forth Mouth, this is still one of the best bands you can smoke a joint or an American Spirit to and still feel okay. (Daniel Bromfield)
628 Divisadero, SF
Gallery and screening venue Artists' Television Access marks its 30th anniversary with "ATA Lives!", a month of events honoring a long track record of unique, boundary-pushing, subversive programming. Tonight, the ball gets rolling with a program of works by current and past ATA staffers; tomorrow afternoon, buckle up for a 30-hour marathon curated by Other Cinema programmer and ATA co-founder Craig Baldwin, among others. The weekend closes out with a special edition of Mission Eye & Ear, a live-cinema series that facilitates collaborations between experimental filmmakers and composers. Check the website for a complete "ATA Lives!" schedule, including a Sept. 19 Baldwin double-feature. (Cheryl Eddy)
Artists' Television Access
992 Valencia, SF
Thirteen films. That's the total number of features Stanley Kubrick made — but though that number seems small for a career that spanned 1953 to 1999, the legendary perfectionist's towering, astonishingly diverse filmography may be the ultimate example of "quality over quantity." The Pacific Film Archive screens each film in chronological order, so it's a great chance to check out lesser-screened early works (the series opens with a double-feature of 1953's Fear and Desire and 1955's Killer's Kiss) as well as revisit favorites, if you can even choose one: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)? Dr. Strangelove (1964)? A Clockwork Orange (1971)? The Shining (1980)? All of the above? (Cheryl Eddy)
Through Oct. 31, $6.50-$9.50
Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft, Berk.
Folk isn't a genre usually associated with making audiences want to start a riot, but The Sam Chase isn't your average folk outfit — if the first line of the band's bio, "The Sam Chase has a voice like a nun on the lam with a mouthful of cigarettes and curse words," didn't tip you off already. Singer Sam Chase and his cast of five to seven backup players (on vocals, guitars, strings, horns, percussion, you name it) have been starting dance parties all over the Bay Area for the past half-decade, alternating whiskey-drinkin' party songs with rough-around-the-edges lullabies. Equal parts sweet and salty (and just as addictive as that sounds), with fellow local fave Rin Tin Tiger as an opener, this lineup was a solid choice for the Mission Creek Oakland Music & Arts Festival's opening night. (Emma Silvers)
With Rin Tin Tiger, TV Mike & the Scarecrowes, The Heather Jovanelli Band
1928 Telegraph, Oakl.
Mike Park has been one of the most important figures in the Bay Area music scene since founding the legendary ska band Skankin' Pickle in 1989. Since then, he's been in countless bands, organized the Ska Against Racism tour, and started one of America's most respected DIY labels in Asian Man Records. The Bruce Lee Band is an all-star outlet for Park's musical ambitions, featuring members of several of his former bands in addition to members of MU330 and Bomb the Music Industry! They've only been active sporadically, releasing their self-titled debut in 1997 and following up with an EP in 2005 and this year's EP, Community Support. The band's upcoming Bottom of the Hill show is a can't-miss chance to see one of the Bay Area rock scene's true legends in action. (Bromfield)
Bottom Of The Hill
1233 17th St, San Francisco
What's better than the Hard French DJs' usual daytime soul party on the patio at El Rio? A Hard French soul party featuring a bona fide '60s soul legend — namely, Sugar Pie DeSanto. Known for duets with Etta James and making a huge impression on audiences when she toured with Johnny Otis and James Brown in the '50s, the 78-year-old diva is known as "Little Miss Dynamite" for her small stature and oversized charisma. She's also the subject of a documentary that's currently in progress, Bittersweet, which chronicles her life as one of the most successful Filipina-Americans in entertainment. Now's your chance to see her — and boogie to her — before her name is on everyone's lips. (Silvers)
3158 Mission, SF
Portland may be known throughout the country as a place where the dream of the '90s is alive and adorable, but Drunk Dad aims to change that perspective. Describing its style as "fuck-you-all-wave," Drunk Dad is angry, wasted, and loud, representing Portland's tradition of what guitarist Jose Dee calls "heavy fucking gnarly music." Think of this band as John Belushi thundering down the frathouse stairs, smashing the well-worn acoustic guitars of anyone who dares to hang around and look sensitive in his presence. There are precedents to the band's sound (Nirvana, The Melvins, Flipper) — but don't make such comparisons to band members' faces. Drunk Dad is a band that eschews nearly every hipster trend but (whether they like it or not) might find a few fans among the Portlandia crowd as well. (Bromfield)
630 Third St., Oakl.
Bringing back the sense of classic style and glamour of the golden days of Hollywood and meshing it with the tantalizing teasing of the old-time burlesque circuit, Dita Von Teese has been at the forefront of reviving a once nearly lost art form for two decades now. With a seductive and sexy nod to the past, modern pin-up and burlesque queen Von Teese returns to the city this week with the final local tour dates of her Burlesque: Strip, Strip, Hooray! show, a live revue featuring not only her own titillating talents, but a host of other performers as well. (Sean McCourt)
1805 Geary, SF
Autumn Moon Festival
The Moon Festival, a holiday celebrated for more than 1,000 years in some Asian countries, is a time for reflection about the mythology of the Moon Goddess, Chang O, who is thought to regulate fertility, water supply, and other necessities for a successful autumn harvest. This two-day festival, now in its 24th year, is organized annually by the SF Chinatown Merchants Association, and features Taiko drumming, lion dancing, martial arts, an open-air street bazaar, traditional and contemporary Chinese music, and more. New this year: A dog costume contest, at 2:30pm today. We're there. (Silvers) Begins Sat/6
11am - 5pm both days, free
Despite being best known as a Weezer side project (singer Matt Sharp was the early-era bassist for indie titans), The Rentals have a quietly devoted — and large — fan base of their own, who've been eating up sweet melodies and goofy Moog-heavy tendencies since the band re-formed in 2005. After a slew of well-received EPs, this year's Lost in Alphaville marks the band's first full-length since 1999, and it basically overflows with guest stars — among them, Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney and Lucius' Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. One should expect to see a slew of diehards at this show, for good reason. (Silvers)
Slim's 333 11th St., SF
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