This Week's Picks: July 2 - 8, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 2

 

Be Calm Honcho

As Be Calm Honcho's lead singer croons about her love of California on the band's debut album, differences between the SF-based band and an LA-based band quickly emerge. (Yes, LA. You can stop bragging about being able to bath in sunshine at the beach 365 days a year.) Be Calm Honcho recorded the album in Stinson Beach, where Karl the Fog must've frequently drifted in, comfortably settling into his guest role on the album. The tunes sound effortlessly dreamy — even a little gloomily hopeful. The band is joined, fittingly, by fellow local bands, The She's and Owl Paws, at its record release show tonight. (Amy Char)

With The She's and Owl Paws

8pm, $10

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011

www.rickshawstop.com

 

 

Deafheaven

For the past three years, these hometown heroes have managed to charm the pants off of critics and fans alike with their powerfully emotive mixture of black metal and shoegaze. The band's most recent album, Sunbather, a sad, seething record about the melancholy of perfectionism and unattainable ideals, was a critical darling that brought Deafheaven onto the national stage in a flood of gushing reviews and end-of-the-year best-of lists. Though they are a relatively new band, with only a few years and two albums under their belt, Deafheaven both record and perform with a masterful confidence and unabashed willingness to break the rules, creating a sound that has been described as "post-everything." You don't want to miss the chance to see them shred on their home turf. (Haley Zaremba)

With Wreck & Reference

8pm, $16

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.slimspresents.com

 

 

 

Answer Me! A Comedy Game Show

A thick layer of dust covers your high school quiz bowl trophy in your childhood bedroom. Between Netflix marathons of Orange Is the New Black, you sort of yearn for an intellectually stimulating challenge. Take everything you know about Piper Chapman and head over to the Mission for tonight's pop culture game show. (While you're at it, consider renting a video or two to support Lost Weekend Video before the competition begins.) Two teams, each comprised of two local comedians and one randomly selected audience member, duke it out for frivolous fame and useless trinkets. Plus, your teammates are sure to be more entertaining than that awkward mouth-breather back in high school. (Amy Char)

8pm, $10

The Cinecave at Lost Weekend Video

1034 Valencia, SF

(415) 643-3373

www.lostweekendvideo.com

 

THURSDAY 3

 

Legendary Stardust Cowboy

Inspired by his obsession with space travel, Norman Carl Odam became the Legendary Stardust Cowboy in 1961 and has been honing his maniacal psychobilly style ever since. "The Ledge" is as interested in cars and girls as he is in sci-fi, toilet humor, and the political issues of whatever era he happens to find himself in ("They signed the treaty in Kyoto, Japan!" he screams on "Global Warming," as if a UN conference was as exciting as a sockhop.) His absurd subject matter and often incomprehensible vocals have earned him fans from outsider-music guru Irwin Chusid to David Bowie, who covered "I Took A Ride On A Gemini Spacecraft" on his album Heathen. The Ledge's upcoming Stork Club show should demonstrate why he's considered one of America's best — or at least most polarizing — touring musicians. (Daniel Bromfield)

9:30pm, $5

Stork Club

2330 Telegraph, Oakland

(510) 444-6174

www.storkcluboakland.com

 

FRIDAY 4

 

Venetian Snares

Winnipeg-based electric music artist Andy Funk, better known as Venetian Snares, has been releasing bass-heavy odysseys of albums since the early 1990s. His artistic diversity and tendency to reinvent himself has led to a scattered but unbelievably prolific output — he's put out 26 formal full-lengths for 8 different labels since 1998 alongside hundreds of EPs, singles, and mixes. While Venetian Snare's time signatures, samples, and equipment are constantly in flux, his music stays abrasive and challenging no matter the set-up. His newest album, My Love, is a Bulldozer, released two weeks ago, juxtaposes modern classical elements — particularly strings — with extended drum machine and bass breakdowns and irreverent, often hilarious lyrics. Known for his live mixing and aggressive sets, expect both IDM aficionados and raging moshers to be showing up in full force. Avoid the trite fireworks and head to the Independent for some real explosives. (David Kurlander)

8pm, $15

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com

 

 

Gilman Benefit

924 Gilman has gotten some flak recently for hiking up the prices of its shows, deviating from its original $5-a-show credo in order to satisfy the demands of its $4,500 rent. Luckily, Gilman will will be hosting not one, but two benefit concerts in the first two weeks of June — and both will only set you back a paper Lincoln. The first will take place on the 4th of July and features a host of local bands, including The SoundWaves (San Leandro), Flip & The European Mutts (San Jose), and Black Dream (San Francisco) — plus Drinking Water, an Arizona ska-punk trio that's toured in the US and Mexico. Though benefit No. 2 features a higher proportion of indie rockers, this one is as punk as anything the Gilman's ever put on. (Daniel Bromfield)

7pm, $5

924 Gilman

924 Gilman, Berkeley

(510) 524-8180

www.924gilman.org

 

SATURDAY 5

 

The Fresh & Onlys

Though they rose to fame with the San Francisco garage-rock explosion of a few years back, the Fresh & Onlys eschew the punky pulp-horror aesthetic of many of their contemporaries in favor of a romantic sound that's more Heart Shaped World than "Heart Shaped Box." Though their early recordings (Grey Eyed Girls, Play It Strange) are as fuzzy as anything Ty Segall or John Dwyer's ever done, the Fresh & Onlys have always been more pop than rock, more brain than body, more introverted than extroverted. But that doesn't mean they can't hold it down live — whether as an opener or headliner, they can bend their style to suit just about any live setting and keep the party going. (Daniel Bromfield)

9pm, $15

The Chapel

777 Valencia, San Francisco

(415) 551-5157

www.thechapelsf.com

 

 


SUNDAY 6

 

"Brakhage, Brakhage, Brakhage!"

Add about 397 more "Brakhages" to the title of this Yerba Buena Center of the Arts tribute to the late, great experimental filmmaker, and you'll have the approximate number of films he created over the span of his career. Three programs highlight both familiar and rare works from the celluloid wizard. Up first is today's "Self and Other," films from 1974-86 that examine "how autobiography and portraiture can be represented with motion pictures." Later programs are "Sound Films" (1962-74), spotlighting some of the oft-silent artist's soundtracked pieces; and a vivid, gorgeous array of late-career works represented in "Hand-Painted Films" (1993-2002). (Cheryl Eddy)

2pm, $8-$10

Also July 10, 7:30pm; July 13, 2pm

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF

www.ybca.org

 

 

The San Francisco Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony heads west to the Sunset on Sunday for its annual appearance at the free Stern Grove Festival. The outdoor affair, picturesquely located in a green basin of rocks and picnic tables, will feature a mostly 20th-century program conducted by charismatic former Symphony Resident Conductor Edwin Outwater. More unconventional programming, including several offerings from Howard Hansons 1930s opera Merry Mount, join standard overtures and waltzes by Bernstein and Richard Rodgers. A potential second-half highlight comes in the form of Ravel's heartbreakingly gorgeous "Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte" and exhilarating "Bolero," both presented with jazz improvisations from prolific pianist Makoto Ozone — the reworking of these iconic classics into new styles should lead to striking new modalities and moods. Pack up a cheese plate and your best white capris and head down to the Grove for an alternately meditative and rousing journey through the modern classical canon. (David Kurlander)

2pm, free

Sigmund Stern Grove

19th Ave. and Sloat, SF

(415) 252-6252

www.sterngrove.org

 

 

MONDAY 7

 

Cloud Nothings

Cleveland's Cloud Nothings have been indie darlings since the band's formation in 2009, but have received special praise for April's Here and Nowhere Else. The new work sees the group embracing a punchier punk aesthetic — lead singer and rhythm guitarist Dylan Baldi spins confused, remarkably catchy choruses over staccato guitar lines and astonishing drum fills by hitherto unknown new addition Jayson Gerycz. Their present tour, which winds around iconic mid-size theaters in the West and Midwest before a European leg, promises a taut, kinetic setlist that includes all of their new album and a few scattered cuts from their three preceding LPs. These guys may be melodic, but they embrace involved and improvised instrumental interludes onstage that lend each show unpredictability and showcase Gerycz, Baldi, and excellent bassist TJ Duke. The stately Great American Music Hall provides an ideal locale for the group's blend of flash and homage. (David Kurlander)

8pm, $20

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750

www.gamhtickets.com

 

TUESDAY 8

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Eccentric doesn't really being to cover it. Nick Cave is a madman with a burning spark of genius propelling his frenetic presence and unparalleled career, careening from genre to genre, turntable to page to screen, and implanting his gritty, unmistakable thumbprint into everything he touches. With an almost four-decade career, the onetime frontman of Australian punk and post-punk bands the Lost Boys and the Birthday Party, and current frontman of Grinderman and the Bad Seeds, Nick Cave is a legendary force of nature. Everything about Cave's musical style is unique, but it is his lyrics that set him apart as one of the most imaginative and unapologetically confrontational artists in the industry. Stained pink with blood, sweat, and semen, his songs are a visceral journey that only Cave, one of the most energetic and impassioned performers alive, could properly deliver. His sneer and snarl are a sight to behold. (Haley Zaremba)

With Jonathan Richman

8pm $53

The Warfield

982 Market, SF

(415) 673-4653

www.thewarfieldtheatre.com

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