Our Weekly Picks: October 31-November 6

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WEDNESDAY 31

Halloween at Thee Parkside

There was a pretty sizable chunk of paper last week dedicated to the eye-popping range of spooky/trashy/candy-coated Halloween events out there for you to dig into. Though on this night, this favorite holiday of many, I throw my vote to the tribute band. It's just fun to see local bands dressed as other bands, rocking a catalogue they likely researched on Wikipedia and/or Youtube. That's why I doff my cat-eared hat to Thee Parkside's linup: Glitter Wizard as the Seeds, Twin Steps and the Cramps, Meat Market as G.G. and the Jabbers, and the Parmesans as the Kinks. Plus, some monster mashups via DJ Dahmer, MOM's spook booth, tarot card readings, and (creepy?) silent film projections. (Emily Savage)

8pm, $8

Thee Parkside

1600 17th St., SF

(415) 252-1330

www.theeparkside.com

 

THURSDAY 1

Mr. Kind

Less than a year old, Oakland foursome Mr. Kind is still in its infancy. But when the band formed in March, it hit the ground running, releasing its first EP OK just a few months in. Now, three months later, Mr. Kind is taking on another ambitious project by playing Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in its entirety. The 2002 best-selling, alt-country masterpiece celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. When the band discussed which album they wanted to honor with a tribute show, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was the unanimous choice, described in the group's press release as "a classic album that has played a big part in influencing the members of Mr. Kind." To top off the celebration, Mr. Kind will be joined onstage by various Bay Area musicians, including members of Please Do Not Fight and Finish Ticket. And one more thing: be sure to keep wearing your costume, Halloween's not over yet. (Haley Zaremba)

With River Shiver, Marquiss

9pm, $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

When We Were Young and Dumb: the Stranger vs. Believer

You're currently reading the San Francisco Bay Guardian (thanks!), but if you lived in Seattle, you would probably be scanning Dan Savage's home paper, the Stranger. As comrades in free-thinking liberal media, we can't help but support their appearance in a face-off with another great publication, the Believer. One of Dave Eggers many projects, the literary journal lets writers do what they do best: ramble. It started by publishing only rejects from other literary journals and now specialize in longer form interviews and original work. Writers from both publications will be speaking of their younger days, including some key cornerstones: Jesus, LSD, and virginity. (Molly Champlin)

6pm, free

Makeout Room

3225 22 St., SF

(415) 647-2888

www.makeoutroom.com

 

Kirk Von Hammett Presents: Day of the Dead Bash

That guy from Metallica? Stringy-haired lead shredder Kirk (Von) Hammett? He's also way into horror paraphernalia, and has packed his home with a collection of monster-movie memorabilia, including Bela Lugosi's Dracula script and original Frankenstein posters. He's got so much stuff, that he compiled an entire 224-page coffee table book on the subject — Too Much Horror Business — and will fête said tome's release with zombies, Day of the Dead burlesque by Hubba Hubba Revue, and live performances by veteran Concord metal band Death Angel, and local string-metal trio Judgement Day tonight at Public Works. (Savage)

9pm, $13.99

Public Works

161 Eerie, SF

(415) 932-0955

www.publicsf.com


FRIDAY 2

"Private Life Studies"

Being a soldier and an artist is not a natural fit. But think about it. For both you need dedication, discipline, a willingness to submit your ego to something bigger than yourself and, for dancers, an ability to work with others. So, perhaps, it should be no surprise that Private Freeman, one of ODC/Dance's most generous, witty, and focused dancers, managed to successfully integrate these two, seemingly contradictory impulses. Deborah Slater's work-in-progress Private Life Studies is exploring some of these issues as a series of "dance stories", based on strategies from Sun Tzu' "The Art of War." Sun was just one of some of history's most brilliant minds writing about war; Machiavelli and von Clausewitz were others. Odd, isn't it? (Rita Felciano)

Also Sat/3, 8pm; Sun/4, 2pm, $15–$25

CounterPULSE

1310 Mission St. SF

(877) 297-6805

privatelife-eorg.eventbrite.com

 

Day of the Dead altars and procession

Although the changing nature of the crowd at the Mission's annual night of remembrance for those who've passed has earned it the affectionate nickname "Dia de los Dead Gringos," there's no denying that the community-led, candle-lit procession and park full of homemade altars can be breathtakingly lovely. Arrive early at Garfield Park to tiptoe around meticulously, sometimes even extravagantly decorated tributes to dead family members and public figures. Add a note of your own to the interactive exhibits, and await the arrival of the costumed procession, whose inevitable approximations of La Catrina are a distinctly San Franciscan way of celebrating the holiday. (Caitlin Donohue)

Procession: 6-7pm, free

Starts at Bryant and 22nd St., SF

Festival of Altars: 6-11pm, free

Garfield Park

Harrison and 26th St., SF

www.dayofthedeadsf.org

 

Chilly Gonzales

It's not hard to come up with a list of catchy things about Chilly Gonzales to entice you to go to his show. And he knows it. While his strongest talents lie in piano, he has made quite a scene on Youtube, adapting his skills to popular demand with his genuine love of rap (and bongos, hula hoops, and pink suits). He has provided compositions for Feist, Drake, and Steve Jobs and then turned the tables to rap with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Now though, like a true artist, he's returning from his pop adventures and getting serious with his latest work, "Piano Solo II," which is mostly short piano pieces showcasing serious skill in a still modern, easily digestible format. (Champlin)

8pm, $20

Swedish American Hall

2170 Market, SF

(415) 861-5016

www.cafedunord.com


SATURDAY 3

Informant

No documentary subject in recent memory is as infuriating as Brandon Darby — the radical activist turned FBI informant turned Tea Party chucklehead at the center of Informant, local documentary filmmaker Jamie Meltzer's most recent work. (Prior to this, Meltzer was probably best-known for 2003's wonderfully bizarre Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story.) Scream at the screen (you will want to) at Other Cinema tonight, Informant's first local showing since its San Francisco International Film Festival bow earlier this year. (Cheryl Eddy)

8:30pm, $6

Artists' Television Access

992 Valencia, SF

www.othercinema.com

 

SF Symphony Dia de los Muertos community concert

Is a skeleton a xylophone or a marimba? You can bet your sweet sugar skull there'll be an ocean of chromatic bones, dancing akimbo, at the vibrant annual celebration of the afterlife. The family favorite boasts performances from the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra (playing Aaron Copland's El Salón México and Jose Pablom Moncayo's Huapango), dance company Los Lupeños de San José, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, and more, all narrated by the twinkling Luis Valdez, "father of Chicano theater." Face painting, paper flower-making, tons of colorful art, and a pre-show by the Mixcoatl Anahuac Aztec dancers, the 30th Street Chorus, and the Solera singers boost the fun — but really they had us at cinnamon-infused Mexican hot chocolate and pan de muerto. (Marke B.)

2pm, $17.50–$68

Davies Symphony Hall

401 Van Ness, SF.

(415) 864-1000

www.sfsymphony.org

 

AU

In my younger and more vulnerable years, certain music videos left definitive scars on my brain. Faith No More's "Epic" — seemingly an over-the-top ode by Mike Patton to drowning fish and exploding pianos — taught me the meaning of the word in a way that no amount of Greek literature could. Things have largely remained that way until listening to the latest adventurous pop album from Portland's AU, which opens with another "Epic" — an instrumental soundscape where technical, Hella-tight drumming is joined by impossibly high rising GY!BE guitars as part of a larger Tim-Riggins-winning-the-big-game-triumphant structure. The lexographically challenging track is only the first surprise on the record, and demands a live rendition. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Zammuto

9pm, $15

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

 www.theindependentsf.com


SUNDAY 4

Kid Koala

It's been a big year for Eric San, the Montreal turntablist better known as Kid Koala. Not only did he contribute to the revival of Deltron 3030 after a decade-long hiatus; he's also managed to release 12 Bit Blues, his first solo record in six years. Conceptually inspired and determined, the album utilizes a clunky, old-school sampler, à la Public Enemy, to reconstruct blues music from the ground up, resulting in a man vs. machine sort of tension that makes for a constantly engaging listen. Luckily, for those fans hesitant to watch a dude spin records for two hours, Kid Koala's "Vinyl Vaudeville Tour" is loaded with bells and whistles to keep things interesting: Puppets! Dancing girls! Parlor games! Robots! If only more electronic acts were bold enough to co-opt these kooky antics of the Flaming Lips variety. (Taylor Kaplan)

With Adira Amram and the Experience

9pm, $20

Independent

628 Divisadero, SF

(415) 771-1421

www.theindependentsf.com


MONDAY 5

Jens Lekman

"Hey do you want to go see a band? No I hate bands. It's always packed with men spooning their girlfriends, clutching their hands, as if they let go their feet would lift off the ground and ascend," Swedish pop master Jens Lekman sings on I Know What Love Isn't, his first full-length since 2007's classic Night Falls Over Kortedala. Gone are the enraptured recollections of romantic highs — this is the ever autobiographically charming Lekman, soberly looking at relationships from the outside. But on this "break-up" album, Lekman's observations on past failures and limitations break through to a melancholic optimism for the future. Recreating the album's full palette of '80s balladry, Lekman will be performing with a full band. (Prendiville)

With Taken By Trees, Big Search

8pm, $25–$35

Fillmore

1850 Geary, SF

(415) 346-6000

 www.thefillmore.com

 

TUESDAY 6

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band must be exhausted. Not only does the trio have to live up to its highfalutin' damn big title, it found time this year to release its eighth full-length album while maintaining its ridiculous, awe-inspiring average of 250 shows per year. The Indiana-based Americana blues band consists of a Reverend Peyton on guitar and vocals, his wife Breezy on washboard, and Peyton's cousin, Aaron "Cuz" Persinger on drums. For the band's newest effort Between the Ditches, the Rev. and company slowed down enough to get into a studio and lay out the record instrument by instrument, track by track, instead of recording it live all in one big, enthusiastic rush as usual. The result is a beautifully recorded bit of nostalgia that transports the listener to a big wraparound porch in the Southern summer. And trust me, it's exactly where you want to be. (Zaremba)

With The Gypsy Moonlight Band, Anju's Pale Blue Eyes

9pm, $10

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

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