Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Time to get your weekend on. Here's how:

"Paid Regulars"
Until recently, Oakland held the unfunny distinction of being one of the few big American cities with no professional comedy club. Enter the Continental Club, first opened in 1945 as a eatery-by-day (Christy's Grill) and supper club-slash-dance-spot by night (Rumboogie). The current owners decided to launch a comedy club in the space after a trip to LA, where they saw just how much a supported comedy scene is lacking in their city. Join them each Friday and Saturday night, including Mar. 29-30, as they host "Paid Regulars," their new comedy show of ten- or twenty-minute sets for local comedy talent. 8 p.m., $15. 510-673-8813 or ContinentalComedy.comAzeen Ghorayshi

  • Julie Blair

Imogen Binnie
On the surface, it seems like Imogen Binnie wrote her debut novel, Nevada, for the same reasons anyone writes a novel: to tell a story that hasn't been told before. But Binnie's concerns extend further; as a trans woman, she said she wasn't seeing anyone like her portrayed in any kind of media, with any semblance of realistic substance. "I wanted to see a story about trans women that wasn't all trans 101, deceptive/pathetic dichotomies, and inevitable death tropes," she wrote on her blog. In the darkly comedic Nevada, Binnie tells the story of Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York and grappling with an unraveling relationship and her ensuing inability to emotionally engage with her own history as a trans woman. Join Binnie on Saturday, Mar. 30, as she reads from her novel at Pegasus Books Downtown. "Despite all the grim theoretical circumstances around it it's actually pretty funny," Binnie continued. "Also there's lots of sex and cussing. The sex is pretty unfulfilling, though." 7:30 p.m., free. PegasusBookstore.comA.G.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

What We Like: Ratto's Mozzarella Salad, Worst Feelings, Bulldog in a Box

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I’m annoying, and therefore I like this song off the new Colleen Green album, Sock it to Me, basically eight grungy Best Coast-esque songs about boyfriends and two songs about “heavier shit.” But you guys, I do really love my boyfriend, and sometimes I do want to be as excited as a pre-teen about it. If you’re looking for more substance than that, or if you care about hearing more than three power chords over a shitty drum machine, look elsewhere. Otherwise, sometimes simpler really is better. — Azeen Ghorayshi

The worst part about year-end lists? You inevitably miss albums. In the case of Prince Rama's Top 10 Hits Of The End Of The World and Liars' WIXIW, I listened to them once when they came out last year, liked what I heard, but only now have found them on heavy rotation. Prince Rama is a Brooklyn-based duo that shares a label and tribal-psychedelic-art rock aesthetic with Animal Collective, and Top 10 Hits Of The End Of The World is its most pop-forward release to date, a concept album about what Top 40 radio would sound like during the apocalypse. Liars is a band that never made it big despite being part of a Brooklyn scene that catapulted its friends (and lovers) the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Making music in relative obscurity has given the band freedom to constantly innovate its sound. WIXIW is dark, ambient space rock that at first seems like background music until you find yourself turning it up and listening closely for all its nuances. — Whitney Phaneuf

It’s always exciting when a musician you like comes out with a new project, but much, much more so when said project is completely unexpected. To wit: Worst Feelings, the latest project from Jesse Hadden (formerly of the Oakland garage-pop duo SAFE), and its brand-new self-titled album of unadorned, unironic, absolutely un-dislikable country music. — Ellen Cushing

So much dreampop, so little time: Acrylics — Lives and Treasure ("Sparrow Song")
Fonda — Sell Your Memories ("Seeing Stars")
Small Black — New Chain ("Camouflage")
— Kathleen Richards

Acrylics — Sparrow Song (w/ Caroline Polachek) from House Plants on Vimeo.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 6:00 AM

You know when it's been cold or cold-ish for so long that you forget the feeling of a gentle breeze against your bare leg? Well, I think we're almost there! Pack a pair of pants/tights just in case we are not, as we sometimes think, the Weather Gods, and then enjoy the following fun weekend activities:

Actual Cafe Three Year Anniversary
A good cafe can be so much more than just a cafe — especially when the cafe literally is so much more than a cafe. In the three years since it set up shop on the quiet corner of San Pablo and Alcatraz, Actual has solidified itself as one of those rare breeds. And although it's still a relatively young establishment, hardly a week goes by where the tucked away cafe isn't hosting some musical performance, art show, or community shindig. Join them in celebrating their third birthday this Saturday, Mar. 23, featuring musical performances by Even Taylor, Kim Tillman, Genevieve Wolff, Arbielle, and Lindee Hoshikawa. 21st Amendment Brewery will be on hand, with cupcakes by James and the Giant Cupcake. 6-10 p.m., free. ActualCafe.comAzeen Ghorayshi


Elemental Forces
Suzy Poling's characterization of her work as "archaic futurism" is a tricky one. Her photography, painting, video, and sculpture-based installations on view in Elemental Forces at Krowswork rather seem to exude an altogether alien mysticism, not belonging to this world at all, past or present. The artist prominently features the earth, superimposing abstract painting upon photos of impressive geological terrain to give the scenes a fragmented, other-planetary feel. In two videos, the artist explores the earth by way of strange rituals. In one, she bathes in a shimmering body of water, sporting a peculiar headdress. In the other, she covers herself in sundry forms of splattered mud and inky pigment drippings. But these videos also read as an exploration of the ritualistic qualities of the film- and video-capture process itself, a point of fascination that, if now latent in the mainstream, was certainly explicit in the early days of the moving image. Perhaps that points to the archaic that Poling is channeling here. Elemental Forces runs through March 30 at Krowswork. 510-229-7035 or Krowswork.comAlex Bigman

Oakland Running Festival
I'm assuming that if you need me to tell you about this Sunday, March 24's Oakland Running Festival, then you haven't been tying on your running shoes for the past three months in anticipation of the glory of a fast finish. Fortunately, Oakland's version of the marathon can be as fun — and decidedly less exhausting — as a spectator. There will be live entertainment and food all along the route (check their site for exact details), and four races — a marathon, a half-marathon, a 4-person relay, and a kids' fun run — for you to watch. And in case you happen to think you might be in shape anyway (hint: you probably aren't), you can still try registering the day-of. — A.G.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Listen: New Songs by Legs, Shannon and The Clams, Les Sins, and More

by Alex Taitague
Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Legs — "Two Colours"

The first single from Legs' LP Pass The Ringo — out on April 23 via San Francisco's Loglady Records — comes with a music video. The Oakland-based quintet ambles through this acoustic jangle, strolling through a jaunty ambiance perfect for a Spring release. If you can't wait until then, check them out at The Knockout on March 24.

Legs - Two Colours from Loglady on Vimeo.

Shannon and the Clams — "Rip Van Winkle"

One of Oakland’s resident chimeras of garage, punk, surf, and pop teased us this month with a new track from its first release on Hardly Art, Rats In The Dream House, coming this May. Whether it is Shannon Shaw’s raspy vocal catharsis or Cody Blanchard’s tight arpeggio hooks that keep you listening, this one’s worth a play.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Local Venues Pulling the Plug on Michelle Shocked After Last Night's Anti-Gay Tirade at Yoshi's SF

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Reports from Michelle Shocked's show on Sunday, March 17 at Yoshi’s San Francisco have surfaced on the Internet and include the folk singer quoted as saying: ”You can go on Twitter and say ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates fags.’”

Michelle Shocked at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in 2007.
  • Wikimedia
  • Michelle Shocked at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in 2007.
Novato venue Hopmonk Tavern just announced it was cancelling Shocked's March 29 appearance: "Due to comments made by Michelle Shocked at Yoshi’s in San Francisco last night, March 17, we have decided to cancel our show," reads a press release the venue just sent out to media. "Refunds can be made at place of purchase."

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SF Symphony Cancels East Coast Tour Due to Musicians' Strike

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Don't crack the old Carnegie Hall joke to anyone at the San Francisco Symphony this week ("Could you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?" "Practice!") — the ongoing musicians' strike has resulted in the cancellation of the orchestra’s three-city East Coast tour, which was supposed to happen from March 20-23 and would have included two nights at, yes, New York City's Carnegie Hall.

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What We Like: Snapchat, Cheap Eats, Tom Wilson Oranges

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 6:22 AM

I’ve been on Snapchat for awhile because I am extremely hip and early-adoptive, but this week was when I became legitimately obsessed. SO SNAPCHAT ME GUYS: my username is elcush. Be good, please. Extra points if you’re a tween. — Ellen Cushing

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Two Ashkenaz Employees Shot During Robbery

by Whitney Phaneuf
Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

A robbery turned violent last night at Berkeley music venue Ashkenaz, leaving two employees shot and wounded, according to the Chron.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

SF Symphony Strike Continues, March 15 Concert Cancelled

by Whitney Phaneuf
Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM

As reported on Wednesday, musicians of the San Francisco Symphony are on strike after failing to reach contract negotiations with symphony management. Tonight's performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony has been canceled, and tickets can be exchanged or refunded.

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SXSW Recap In Tweets: The Coup, Wax Idols, Toro Y Moi, and More

by Whitney Phaneuf
Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Lest you think Occupy is over, Oakland's The Coup will perform tonight with nine other bands in the streets of downtown Austin as part of Occupy Southby.

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