Evidently, you don't have to wait until the end of the work week for Bay Area nightlife to kick into gear. We know of at least three fantastic events happening tonight — the only downside is that they overlap with one another. But take your pick:
Oakland-raised guitarist, Maybeck High School alum, and occasional Express contributor Nathan Clevenger hosts an annual double bill with Lisa Mezzacappa's Bait and Switch Ensemble tonight, featuring new material by both groups. Clevenger and Mezzacappa are both famous for bending and breaking rules (both have rather expansive definitions of what a blues can be, for instance), and they also surround themselves with equally talented personnel. Among the instrumentalists featured tonight are bass clarinetist Aaron Novik, saxophonist Evan Francis, and drummer Jon Arkin. The show happens tonight at Viracocha (998 Valencia St., San Francisco), 8 p.m., $10.
And if you want something a little more raucous, famed video game publisher — and highly imaginative marketer — Capcom will host its annual Fright Club to showcase two new games — Resident Evil Revelations and Operation Raccoon City. Hewing to the same formula that proved fairly successful last year, this launch will unite two seemingly discrete subcultures: hip-hop heads, and gamer nerds. Performances by Murs, David Banner, The Alchemist and Ohno, Dan the Automator, DJ Obert, Domino of Hieroglyphics and DJ Goldenchyld will compete with zombie huntss and glowstick jousts. It happens tonight at Mezzanine (444 Jessie St., San Francisco), 7 p.m., Free.
And finally, for a anyone seeking a little comic relief: Express writer, zine publisher, indie record label mogul, serial band-former, and all-around funny guy George Chen will be featured at Comedy Off Broadway tonight, for the third edition of "Theme Thursdays." Tonight's show, headlined by the fantastic Edwin Li, features a lineup of all Asian-American comedians. At Miss Pearl's Jam House (1 Broadway, Oakland), 8 p.m., $10.