Our Weekly Picks

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WEDNESDAY 21

EVENT/LIT

Yann Martel: Beatrice and Virgil

Yann Martel brought us The Life of Pi, an award-winning story about an Indian boy trapped on a life raft with a Bengal tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. At www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca, Martel chronicles his vow to send a book every two weeks to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to promote government arts funding. And now, Martel is back with Beatrice and Virgil, another folkloric tale. It's about a writer working on a novel about the Holocaust, and it's also the story of a donkey named Beatrice and a howler monkey named Virgil whose epic journey begins only after fate places them in a taxidermy shop run by an intriguing man. (Paula Connelly)

In conversation with Laura Fraser

7:30 p.m., $15 (21 and over)

Sundance Kabuki Theater

1181 Post, SF

www.booksmith.com

THURSDAY 22

MUSIC

Blank Dogs

It's impossible to keep up with what Blank Dogs frontman Mike Sniper is up to at any given moment. In addition to being a tad shy — as evidenced by his wearing a mask or blanket to performances and publicity photo shoots — the Brooklyn native is also so prolific that he probably has another limited distribution EP or 7-inch scheduled for release by the end of this sentence. His brand of lo-fi new-wave is noisy and discordant, but ever familiar, like New Order or OMD heard through a tunnel with a blender running in the background. Sniper is emerging from his East Coast bedroom for a show at Eagle Tavern, and though his persona might not be the mystery it once was, his unique perversion of post-punk is always promisingly puzzling. (Peter Galvin)

With Bare Wires, Fresh and Onlys, Cosmetics

9 p.m., call for price

Eagle Tavern

398 12th St. , SF

(415) 626-0880

www.sfeagle.com

DINE

Wine Enthusiast's Talk of the Town 2010

More than 500 varieties of wine and spirits — along with food from 30 great Bay Area restaurants — are on the menu for sampling at Wine Enthusiast's Toast of the Town 2010, a classy affair taking place in the historic environs of the beautiful War Memorial Opera House. Live jazz provides the soundtrack for the evening's indulgences, which benefit the San Francisco Food Bank, the venerable organization that needs a little help of its own right now to help people in our community. Raise a glass (or several) and know that this night of fun will also help to make someone's day tomorrow when they sit down for a much-needed meal. (Sean McCourt)

7 p.m., $89 ($169 for 5 p.m. VIP tasting)

War Memorial Opera House

301 Van Ness, SF.

www.wineenthusiast.com

1-800-847-5949

MUSIC

Jrod Indigo

Jrod Indigo inspires comparisons to Michael Jackson, Robin Thicke, and Prince. Born in Chicago, raised in Atlanta, having spent some time in Seattle and now in the Bay Area, Jrod possesses musical versatility. He's a polished songwriter who prefers to play with a live band. Layered harmonies, vintage synths, funky guitar riffs, and deeply-rooted soul incorporate different elements from the music of the cities where he has lived. He's performed with Amel Larrieux, Martin Luther, Crown City Rockers, and others. Tonight he's the headliner. (Lilan Kane)

With the Whooligan, Femi

9:30pm, $7

Coda Lounge

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 551-2632

www.codalive.com

MUSIC

Chicha Libre

Drink enough mugs of chicha, and you'll get lifted like the ancients. The fermented corn drink has been imbibed since before the conquistadors launched their grand tour of bummer, and still plays a central role in the lives of indigenous Peruvians. Gets you all drunk and stuff. This age-old psychedelia inspires the chaps of Chicha Libre, a South American surf band that adds classic pop sounds from 1970s AM radio, sun-drenched Beach Boys guitar melodies, and a little cumbia shake to the Amazonian rhythms of their ancestors. Raise a glass. (Caitlin Donohue)

With the Cuban Cowboys, DJ Juan Data

8 p.m., $9.99

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(425) 861-2011

www.rickshawstop.com

FRIDAY 23

SPORTS

Harlem Globetrotters

They're the only professional basketball team to play an entire game on ice skates (and ice, in Central Park) or go for an 8,000-game win streak: If you haven't seen the Harlem Globetrotters do their thing, you're missing out on the greatest American sports kitsch. From the get they've been showboaters — they actually got their start as a traveling team in Chicago, but dubbed themselves Harlem because it sounded more exotic. We forgive them because they can make half-court shots, have the most kick ass of theme songs, dribble like the devil, and clown on David Duchovny when he sits courtside. (Donohue)

7 p.m., $21–$109

Cow Palace

2600 Geneva, Daly City

(415) 404-4111

www.harlemglobetrotters.com

MUSIC

Around Amoeba in 180 Minutes with DJ Bearzbub

Amoeba is a colossal beast of a record store. With rows upon rows of vinyl, CDs, posters, and listening stations, it's hard not to look for a specific record and leave with 10 other things. The infinite sound in the place can suck you in for hours. Today, however, DJ Bearzbub is your guide. He'll show you what the store has to offer within a three-hour timespan. (Elise-Marie Brown)

6 p.m., free

Amoeba Music

1855 Haight, SF

(415) 831-1200

www.amoeba.com

DANCE

National Dance Week

National Dance Week is a kind of spring madness of lessons, mini-performances, workshop showings and rehearsal watching in SF, the North, South and East Bay. All of it is free. You won't be able to take in all of the four hundred-plus offerings, but you can enjoy it today. Noon is kick-off time at Union Square with over a dozen showcases and -- new this year -- the first annual "One Dance" flash-mob event. Look out for solo dancer Fawole and musicians popping up throughout the city, and mini shows from a new generation of dancers at the Richmond District YMCA in the late afternoon. You can see Robert Moses at work. Or, in the evening, you can take a class in Afro-Cuban, Hula Hoop, Tango, Go Go Style, World Fusion or West Coast Swing. For details, go online or pick up a brochure at dance studios and selected coffee shops. (Felciano)

 

Noon (through May 2), free

Union Square, SF

(415)920-9181

www.bayareandw.org

MUSIC

J Rocc

In 1992, Stones Throw mainstay DH J Rocc founded the World Famous Beat Junkies with Melo-D and Rhettmatic. Since then, he's been a dominating force in turntablism, releasing several mixtapes and producing different Stones Throw releases. He's been a reliable force within Madlib's live shows, and worked with Madlib again on Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6: A Tribute to J Dilla. He's currently putting together a solo album, and this show should offer a taste. (Kane)

With DJ Apollo

10 p.m., $8–$10

Mighty

119 Utah

(415) 626-7001

www.mighty119.com

MUSIC

Bonobo

Since the success of his third album, 2006's Days to Come, Bonoboa.k.a. Simon Green — has refined his impressive sound. The evidence is on his latest effort, Black Sands. The combination of live instrumental arrangements and complex digital sounds in his work can be extraordinary. (A tip: if you want a taste of Bonobo's live set but don't have the $22 to get into Mezzanine, trek to the Haight and catch an earful at Amoeba Music at 5 p.m.) (Brown)

With Yppah and Mofnono

Mezzanine

444 Jessie, SF

(415) 625-8880

www.mezzaninesf.com

SATURDAY 24

THEATER

Tartuffe

Seems like lately, everything old is new again on the Bay Area theater scene. Current or recent local productions have updated The Diary of Anne Frank, Lysistrata, and The Seagull. San Francisco's up-and-coming Generation Theatre isn't aiming to alter to content of Molière's classic comedy Tartuffe, as other productions have before (there've been versions that cast the main character as a televangelist, reset the action in India or during the Harlem Renaissance, and paid homage to the TV show Dallas.) Instead, Generation's new translation by director Roland David Valayre arranges the play's lines in alexandrine verse — which is to say, the 12-syllable format in which it was originally written. "Twelve-foot long laughter" is promised. (Cheryl Eddy)

8 p.m. (through May 16), $20–$25

Studio 205 at Off-Market Theater

965 Mission, SF

(415) 377-5882

www.generationtheatre.com

SUNDAY 25

COMEDY

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Live

Two of the more bizarrely brilliant and hilarious shows that appear on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies, come to life tonight. As part of a national tour, ATHF cocreator Dave Willis (voice actor for characters including Meatwad and Carl) is joined by Dana Snyder, who voices Master Shake and Granny Cuyler. Expect zany script readings, screenings of clips, music, and more at an event that should be more exciting than drinking pine cone liquor and selling a house that oozes blood to Glenn Danzig. (McCourt)

8 p.m., $25

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF

(800) 745-3000

www.theregencyballroom.com

www.aquateenlive.com

MONDAY 26

MUSIC

Audra MacDonald with the SF Symphony

After you win four Tony awards, you can pretty much do what you want when it comes to musical theater. Audra McDonald neatly illustrates the point. One of only three actresses to accomplish the triple Tony feat, the soprano has graduated from roles in Broadway productions like A Raisin in the Sun, Carousel, and Ragtime to solo performances backed by some of the greatest musical ensembles in the country. In this SF Symphony performance, McDonald takes on her favorite show tunes, as well as a few ditties written especially for her. When you're this good — did we mention she has two Grammies stashed away? — people will compose music in the hopes you'll sing it. (Donohue)

8 p.m., $15–$105

Davies Symphony Hall

201 Van Ness, SF

(415) 864-6000

www.sfsymphony.org

TUESDAY 27

EVENT

A Fresh Look: Observations on Artistic and Social Practices in Urban Farming

Mmmmm. If there's any benefit of living in San Francisco, it's the array of delicious food sold at the multiple farmers'markets throughout the city. But selling pesticide-free produce isn't the only way to encourage sustainable farming. The San Francisco Art Institute is working to address the proper social practices of urban farming by launching a new underground market. Along with live music and a panel discussion, delicious treats will be sold: think homemade cookies, raw chocolate, quiche, marmalades and kombucha. (Brown)

4 p.m., free

San Francisco Art Institute

800 Chestnut, SF

(415) 771-7020

www.sfai.com

MUSIC

Liars

Liars has spent the better part of a decade refining a terrifyingly bestial art-metal, and its fifth album Sisterworld is the culmination of years spent concocting an unusual formula of chant-like vocals, ambient noise and sudden outbursts of sound. Whether anyone's listening or not, the group is immensely proud of its weirdness — they reinforce high-concept songs about murder and witchcraft with just the right amount of traditional songwriting to draw in the unsuspecting. After all, if there wasn't a good deal of brilliance behind that eerie atmosphere and brutal bluster, it'd just be another Tuesday night goth show. (Galvin)

With Fol Chen

8:30 p.m., $15

Slim's

333 11th St., SF

(415) 255 0333

www.slims-sf.com

 

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