Arts Forecast

Arts Forecast: Veronica Klaus returns, Zine Fest, Fringe Fest, more …

Jazz chanteuse Veronica Klaus performs Sat/31 and Sun/1 at Martuni's

ARTS FORECAST Talk about radio gone-gone: We’ve just lost legendary rock radio station KFOG and it feels really weird. I haven’t listened to the radio since KABL went off the air like 20 years ago, and the KFOG Kaboom has long since been replaced by Outside Lands and a burgeoning awareness that fireworks are actually terrible. But it seems like another piece of SF is gone, one revered by commuters and stoners everywhere.

While it couldn’t outlast the onslaught of Sirius XM, where you can listen to the same 20 classic rock songs over and over, and Pandora, which is a robot DJ, KFOG will forever remain in our Karl-shrouded hearts as a landmark of “WELL, TURN IT UP” Freedom Rock music culture. RIP


SAT/31 MUSIC ZULU SPEAR “Zulu Spear was a pioneer and leader in the Bay Area’s World Beat scene of the ’80s, a movement that quickly spread across the country. Their inspired and uplifting African and World Beat dance music returns to Ashkenaz for two full sets of music, beginning with the group performing mostly traditional South African songs and dances in costume, followed by original Zulu Spear songs and South Africa-world beat music rearranged by the band.” With DJ Sep. 9pm, $15-$20. Ashkenaz, Berkeley. More info here

SAT/31 ACTION CULMINATION: MONTH OF MOMENTUM 30 DAYS OF ACTION TO CLOSE THE CAMPS The month of August saw an extraordinary series of daily protests against the concentration camps at the border. This culmination  of the month of Momentum features music by Emma’s Revolution, Diana Gameros, La Peña Chorus, and more, plus speakers and colorful protest. Come down to the ICE  building and say no to family separation. Noon-1pm. ICE Building, SF. More info here

SAT/31 STAGE MOTHER NATURE: A DRAG SHOW FOR THE CLIMATE “Do climate disasters have you feeling endangered? You need some shade to protect you from the suffocating heat of the budding climate crisis? Then enter the warm embrace of Mother Nature—the Sunrise Movement’s first drag show fundraiser. Featuring performances by local drag talent and loving criticisms from celebrity guest judge Honey Mahogany, Mother Nature will be an afternoon of wild looks and fierce frivolity. Join the fight for a Queen New Deal.” 2pm-8pm, $10-$20 sliding scale. El Rio, SF. More info here.  

SAT/31-SUN/1 MUSIC VERONICA KLAUS The fabulous jazz chanteuse returns to the Bay Area after chasing her dreams to the cozy, snowy climes of Upstate New York. She’ll perform delightful standards with the Tammy Hall Trio while you sip your very strong Martuni. Martuni’s, SF. More info here.  

SAT/31 MUSIC MYSTIC BRAVES “Based in Echo Park, Los Angeles—home of a white-hot garage band revival of which the Braves are at the forefront—this five-piece musical sensation started out as a hobby, but for the musicians involved has become much more.” With The Asteroid #4 and Shoobies. 8pm, $18-$22. The Chapel, SF. More info here.

SUN/1 LIT ZINE FEST An annual treasure trove of local, self-published comic book artists, designers, and other artisans of the written and printed. You want old school SF vibes? Head here, please. 11am-5pm, Country Fair Building, Golden Gate Park, SF. More info here

SAT/31-JANUARY 5 ART SIGNS AND WONDERS: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF JOHN BEASLEY GREENE When the young archaeologist-photographer John Beasley Greene (American, born France, 1832–1856) set out for Egypt in 1853, the fields of both archaeology and photography were still in formation. Their development was bound up with the intense competition between Britain and France to impose colonial rule and open trade markets in northern Africa, as well as the parallel intellectual rivalry to acquire and systematize knowledge of ancient Egyptian culture. Greene was one of the first to use photography in the pursuit of archaeology, meticulously recording the carved hieroglyphics covering the ancient Egyptian monuments. SFMOMA. More info here

THU/5-SEPTEMBER 13 STAGE FRINGE FESTIVAL A panoply of plays making their debuts on the fringe circuit, from Fingertips (“Inspired by a surreal collection of 21 short song choruses written by the band They Might Be Giants”) to Grief is Horny (“The family motto was, ‘I am fine, we are fine, everything is fine’ but we all know that every family is humorously dysfunctional.”). Gotta catch ’em all! Exit Theatre, SF. More info here

Arts Forecast: Frameline Fest gets new executive director, more …

Frameline's new executive director, James Woolley

ARTS FORECAST I honestly have no idea how one would wrangle an organization that puts on such a huge annual film festival—more than 60,000 attendees, 100+ films and programs from all over the world, multiple venues and extracurricular events. Oh, and it’s queer! Well, new Frameline Executive Director James Woolley will show us how it’s done.

Hailing from Australia, with experience at Melbourne International Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival, and Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras, Woolley may open our eyes a bit more to what’s going on LGBTQ-wise in that part of the world. (Actually, thinking about it, some of my favorite classic gay flicks come from Down Under: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Sum of Us, Head On, and that forever queered classic Muriel’s Wedding.)

Anyway, not to pounce too much on the Ozzie thing. But if you see him out and about at the bars, buy him a beverage and give him a good luck shoulder pat for taking over the longest-running LGBTQ festival in the world, and one of the coolest film festivals in general. You cab read more info about Frameline and James here.

Rotimi Agbabiaka in ‘House of Joy’

STAGE HOUSE OF JOY Set in a harem at the beginning of the end of the Mughal Empire, this action-adventure romance certainly has a unique angle. But with an amazing cast, including Rotimi Agbabiaka, and the Cal Shakes expertise, I’m wholly intrigued. Plus, certain themes are eternal: “Once upon a time and place, in something like 17th century Delhi, an imperial bodyguard risks her life to fight for what’s right….” Through September 1. Cal Shakes, Berkeley. More info here

STAGE BORDER PEOPLE If you haven’t caught Dan Hoyle’s groundbreaking work of empathetic prestidigitation—perfect for this time when we must imagine ourselves in others’ shoes—first read this excellent profile, and then hie thee to the Marsh, where ‘Border people’ has once again been extended. Through August 30. The Marsh, SF. More info here

MUSIC/FILM PURPLE RAIN This benefit screening of the Prince singalong classic helps raise funds for awesome online community radio station BFF.FM. Featuring a costume contest + live Prince DJ set with DJs Cosmic Amanda, Powell Pressburger, and Chaki before the movie, heeeeey. Thu/22, 6:15pm. Roxie, SF. More info here

STAGE DON’T YOU DIE ON ME Comedy troupe Killing My Lobster remains insanely hilarious. “Move over Die Hard! There’s a cavalcade of hilarious, butt-kicking women breaking down the door. Whether you’re dangling from the edge of a building or you’re the hostage of an eccentric, cackling villain, you’re about to get saved. Or not. It’s like Batman but with more emotional labor, and not here to take your crap.” Thu/22-August 31. Flight Deck, Oakland. More info here

MUSIC HERBIE HANCOCK & KAMASI WASHINGTON Incomparable jazz innovator Herbie meets transcendent contemporary ecstatic jazz standard bearer Kamasi outdoors at the Greek. Such a perfect pairing on a summer night. Fri/23, 7pm. Greek Theatre, Berkeley. More info here

MUSIC S&M2: METALLICA AND THE SF SYMPHONY Although the last meetup of these unlikely bedfellows turned out to be one for the ages, I’m even more interested in this because it’s helping to inaugurate the new Chase Center. Urban planning tightrope-walking triumph or acoustical clusterf*ck? I can’t wait to see and hear. September 6. Chase Center, SF. More info here.

Arts Forecast: Open up your world with the SF International Arts Festival

Throat singing ensemble Chirgilchin brings folk music from the Republic of Tuva to SF International Arts Festival Fri/24. Photo courtesy of SF International Arts Festival

ARTS FORECAST Sure you’re broke — so let the artists from Hong Kong, Ireland, and the Czech Republic come to you? Such is the proposal of this week’s San Francisco International Arts Festival (Thu/23 to May 3) this week, and we suggest you take organizers up on their offer. This year, the festival tackles massive topics, appropriately expanded to encapsulate global thought processes. Challenges that lie in the path of democracy, environmental justice, and partnerships between artists of geographic variance are all explored.

A few quick picks, for those of you overwhelmed by an admittedly vast program; Japanese composer Tomoko Momiyama’s reflection on human navigation through an exploration of Bay Area seed science, migratory birds, and sea navigation (Thu/23, Sat/25, Sun/26) — a piece commissioned just for this festival’s audiences. SF’s own ABADÁ capoeira group takes the stage in a display of dazzling coordination and athleticism (May 31). The bulk of offerings are live stage offerings, but there will be a very rare screening (the first since the early ’90s!) of Iranian filmmaker Abdolreza Monjezi’s Abadani (Tue/28). And throat singing ensemble Chirgilchin delivers Republic of Tuva folk music alongside Khomus master Yuliyana Krivoshapkina.

Thu/23 to May 3
Various times, prices, and SF venues
Tickets and more info here

THROUGH SEPT. 1 HISTORY THEN THEY CAME FOR ME No Californian should be unaware of the horrific, community-wide detentions of the Japanese American community during World War II. This multimedia exhibit was recently extended through September, insures the era’s lessons will not be lost on modern audiences, and includes works by Japanese artists who were incarcerated like Toyo Miyatake and Miné Okubo. Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am-6pm, free. Futures Without Violence, SF. More info here.

WED/22 MUSIC HIEROGLYPHICS You’d be hard-pressed to find a more beloved East Bay hip hop group than this Oakland-founded movement, born all the way back in 1991. The whole crew’s in the house for tonight’s Berkeley show; Stoney Hawk, Rap Noir, T-K.A.S.H feat. DJ True Justice & K.E.V., S.A.V.E.1, and Mike Wird. 8pm, $32.50. UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, Berk. Tickets and more info here.

WED/22-SUN/26 COMMUNITY SEX WORKER FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL The 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have begun to address sex worker issues in their stump speeches and damn, is it about time. This year the SW community and their fans gather for a screening with Failed Film Festival, a movie marathon at the Roxie, and even a spa day for SWs to rest their tired paws. Go support—many of the gatherings are much-needed fundraisers in this dolorous SESTA/FOSTA era. Various times, prices, SF venues. More info here.

THU/23 & FRI/25 FILM BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASK Get into the life of the brilliant anti-colonialist writer with this documentary film by Isaac Julien and Mark Nash, who will be in the building for post-screening discussion at both presentations of the film this week. Thu/23 7:30pm, $12. Red Bay Coffee, Oak. More info here. Fri/25 7pm, $13. Roxie Theater, SF. More info here

THU/23 MUSIC AH MER A SU is going in on a free concert series featuring some of the area’s finest sounds. Tonight is Star Amerasu’s turn, and she’ll be bewitching with major pipes laid over glittering synths. The singer is joined on the lineup by Bay chanteuse Maya Songbird6:30-9pm, free. Jack London Square, Oakl. More info here.

FRI/24 DANCE WISHES BEFORE THE APOCALYPSE Traverse the Fort Mason chapel, following the arch of SF dance legend Joe Landini of Tenderloin-based Safehouse’s SF International Arts Festival production. 9:30pm, $25. Fort Mason Center Chapel, SF. Tickets and more info here.

FRI/24-SUN/26 MUSIC CALIFORNIA ROOTS FESTIVAL It’s the 10th year of this smooth, diverse tunes fest in Monterrey. In 2019, you’ll be checking out sets by Ben Harper, UB40, Steel Pulse — and Cypress Hill! $245 three-day pass, $115 single day pass (advance prices). Monterey County Fair & Event Center. Tickets and more info here.

FRI/24 NIGHTLIFE WE ARE MONSTERS Bristol’s purveyor of techno adventure, Batu from Timedance, and Mozghan bring the noise at this edition of the laser-focused (no, literally) and wide-ranging nightlife crew We Are Monsters. 10pm-4am, $15. F8, SF. Tickets and more info here.

FRI/24 NIGHTLIFE CLUB LONELY DJs Vin Sol, Primo, Jeremy are well-known for crafting lil’ caves of house music for freaks—join them tonight if you’re looking to tap into the weird that is still alive in the City By the Bay. 10pm-2am. Club OMG, SF. More info here.

SAT/25 MUSIC REAL VOCAL STRING QUARTET The eclectic chamber-jazz-rock group performs tracks from “Culture Kin”, its new sonic collaboration with artists from San Francisco’s sister cities from Cote D’Voire, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Brazil and Japan. 8pm, $24.50-29.50. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

SAT/25 NIGHTLIFE ODYSSEY PRESENTS: ELI ESCOBAR AND MYSTIC BILL Those missing the gleeful, exuberant late nites guaranteed by Odyssey ravemasters DJs Elaine Denham and Robin Simmons must need pass through tonight’s reunion at Public Works with NY and Chi-Town guests par excellence. 9:30pm-3:30am, $15-17. Public Works, SF. Tickets and more info here

SAT/25 NIGHTLIFE CHINGONAS “Música de tu quince y sentido telenovela” are the mood at The Stud’s new Saturday night dance party. Capítulo uno features drag fromSF cornerstone Persia, hosting by Hard French doyenne Jorge Portillo, and the DJ stylings of Berlin’s Yha Yha and Siobhan Luvalot. 10pm-3am. The Stud, SF. More info here.

MON/27 SPORTS QUEER BOWLING $4 drink specials abound at this opportunity for the queers to come together and knock down a few frames — for free! — at the Mission’s glittering bowling base. Free bowling 6-9pm, open until 10pm. Mission Bowling Club, SF. More info here

TUE/28 NIGHTLIFE VICE TUESDAYS Many blessing to Iris Lena Triska, who continues to program one of the only weeklies left in town designed for queer women. Tonight she hosts, tunes spin, drinks are cheap, and the go-go’s slay. 9pm-2am, $5. QBar, SF. More info here.


Arts Forecast: White Night rally marks SF’s legacy of insurrection

On May 21, 1979, San Franciscans took to the streets over the deaths of Harvey Milk and George Moscone — and met with severe police brutality. On Tue/21, a rally commemorates that event. Photo via

ARTS FORECAST It was a bitter pill for the Castro the day Supervisor Harvey Milk and George Moscone were gunned down in City Hall in 1979. Making the ordeal even more painful was the violent police clash that took place after the murders on what would come to be known as “White Night“. Officers brutally beat back protestors at a march from the Castro to City Hall that Cleve Jones had organized, and later that evening a pack of them set out to violently attack gay bars in the area. The events set up the queer community and law enforcement for decades of uneasy relationships and full-throated protest actions against wanton official brutality.

On Tue/21, this sad chapter of history will not be forgotten — and more recent acts of police brutality will not be pardoned. The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club is organizing a commemorative march that will convene at Castro and Market Streets at 5 p.m., and from there, head to City Hall. From Milk Club rep Stephen Torres:

Police violence is a common denominator among our communities, our black brothers and sisters, being the most imperiled.  The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic wishes not to mark this anniversary with moments of silence, staid civic memorials, or social media tributes, but with a call to action among our communities to demand that police violence end. That the loss of our lives at the hands of law enforcement will not be tolerated and the perpetrators will be brought to justice. That we march on San Francisco City Hall just as San Franciscans did that night in 1979 and speak this truth.

In other somber news, San Francisco has stopped laughing. Or perhaps not, but one of the city’s most beloved comedy clubs Punchline has announced it has been unable to reach an agreement over its lease, and will be vacating its legendary address on Battery Street. The Punchline was founded by Jeffrey Pollack in 1978, and Bill Graham bought the place in 1980. It became a famous stopover for some of the country’s best-known yucksters. One of its most famous regulars is stopping by for once last session; Dave Chappelle will take the stage on WHEN. (The shows are, predictably, quite sold out already.)

The club is currently looking for a new spot, if you know of anything. “We want to thank all the fans and extraordinary comedians that have helped make Punch Line an entertainment landmark in this city,” said Punchline talent buyer Molly Schminke to NBC Bay Area. “Our best days are yet to come.”

WED/15 FILM WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE Truly, one of the most apt portrayal of the lovely ugliness of teenag angst. Pay homage to Weiner-Dog, or fuck all the way off. 9:15pm, $15. Roxie Theater, SF. More info and tickets here.

WED/15 DANCE DALCROZE GESTURE MASTER CLASS Explore the dance form that looks to teach students how to emphasize their innate musicality in this class, taught by Miki Orihara and taking as its focus Seiko Takata’s piece “Mother”. 6-8pm, free with RSVP. Theatre of Yugen at NOHSpace, SF. More info here.

THU/16 VISUAL ART THE MAYOR OF FOLSOM STREET The life of Alan Selby a.k.a. Mr. S is explored through the Historical Society’s vast multimedia archives. Learn about how SoMa’s leather culture fleshed out its thriving community. Exhibit runs through September 30. Opening reception: 7-9pm, $5 with RSVP. GLBT Historical Society, SF. Tickets and more info here

THU/16 MUSIC BLACK STAR Those whipsawed by the winds of Blueface will have their hip hop sensibility soothed by the perennially powerful duo of yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, the most consistent examples we have of what makes rap the cutting social commentary it can be. 8pm, $49.50-69.50. Fox Theater, Oakl. Tickets and more info here

THU/16 & FRI/17 MUSIC UNDERCOVER TRIBUTE TO A TRIBE CALLED QUEST The fusion of hip hop and jazz has certainly happened elsewhere, but it has never been perfected to the degree of A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 album Midnight Marauders. On these two nights, a sizzling lineup of live acts pay homage through the four elements. 8:30pm, $39.50-49.50. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF. Tickets and more info here.

THU/16-SUN/19 MUSIC LILA DOWNS Lila Downs is a Mexican legend, a folk singer who has firmly established the relevance of traditional sounds while employing them to make essential social commentary — her takedowns of Trump are legendary. Her residency at SFJazz is not to be missed. Various times, $30-95. SFJazz. Tickets and more info here

THU/16 DANCE RESONANCE III Women masters of Japanese dance phenomenon Yugen weave a complex tapestry of movement at tonight’s show. 7pm, $25. Theatre of Yugen, SF. Get 20 percent of your ticket price with discount code: PROMO25. Tickets and more info here.

FRI/17-SUN/19 MUSIC + FOOD OAKLAND GREEK FESTIVAL Surely, the most perfect place to grab a souvlaki in the sun this weekend, all the while enjoying the music and dance of the Bay’s thriving Greek community. 10am-11pm Friday, 11am-11pm Saturday; 11am-9pm Sunday, $6. Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension, Oakl. More info here.

FRI/17 MUSIC COMBO CHIMBITA This effervescent quartet is reaping hight praise for new album Ahomale, which channels Afro Latinx sound tradition and in moments, searing feminine rage. With Almas Fronterizadas. 7:30-11:30, $12-15. Cafe du Nord, SF. Tickets and more info here

FRI/17 PARTY LINDSTRØM This Norwegian DJ and producer employs washes of disco and mood shifting chord change to create a sense of life in Oslo. Tonight he partners with the Push The Feeling crew, TÂCHES, and CAMDAZE from BROUHAHA to catch the dancefloor vibe. 9pm, $25. Mezzanine, SF. Tickets and more info here

FRI/17-SUN/19 STAGE SKYWATCHERS FESTIVAL Now more than ever, it’s essential to listen to the Tenderloin. At this year’s edition of fest — which has been going strong since 2011 — residents of the neighborhood put together the featured performance “We Came Here to Live” in order to explore what it means for them to have “A Seat at the Table”, which serves as the festival’s 2019 theme. Various performance times. Kelly Cullen Community Center, SF. Registration and more info here

FRI/17 PARTY BEZIER Honey Soundsystem’s affiliate producer explores his Taiwanese roots and the language of what is lost and found at this special presentation/party. 10pm-4am. The Stud, SF. More info here.

SAT/18 STAGE #VERRY McVERRY Maureen McVerry presents her new solo cabaret show, accompanied by a live trio of musicians. A must for the musical theater lover in your life. Oasis 7pm, $20-40. Oasis, SF. Tickets and more info here.

SAT/18 PARTY ELETTRICA PARADISO An electroswing and swing-hop dance party for your Friday night? The bold will take a spin at this one night only appearance of the eclectic SwinGrowers, where the band will be accompanied by SF’s own circus combo ZjitZjo. 9pm-2am, $20-25. Rickshaw Stop, SF. Tickets and more info here.

SAT/18 STAGE ROAST OF SISTER ROMA What about watching one of the city’s favorite Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence get her ass handed to her in a friend-filled send up of Sister Roma’s foibles (does she have them? Find out!) hosted by comedian Ross Matthews. 7-11pm, $30-100. Castro Theatre, SF. Tickets and more info here.

SUN/19 PARTY SUNSET SOUND SYSTEM You are promised floral arrangements, a delicious sunset, and a dance floor boat moment at this seductive sail. DJ sets by Galen, Solar, J-Bird, and Dixon and Trikk of the Innervisions crew, and an after party at Monarch. 5-11pm, $70-75. Pier 3, SF. Tickets and more info here.

SUN/19 PARTY DISCO DADDY DJ Bus Station John takes you there with this special edition of his disco convivium. We’re talking all ’70s and ’80s funks and R&B, all night long on the best patio in SoMa. 7pm-2am, $5-7. SF Eagle. More info here.

TUES/21 COMMUNITY WHITE NIGHT RALLY We’ve already spoken on the importance of this gathering (see introduction, above), but sending you a reminder to observe your town’s important history of community rebellion. The next day after, the Castro links up again for Harvey’s annual birthday block partyMeet at 5pm, free. Castro and Market Streets, SF. More info here

Arts Forecast: The week’s best moments to honor Momma

The 48th annual Stanford Powwow gathers the Bay's Native communities for dance, music, and camping this weekend Fri/10-Sun/12.

ARTS FORECAST Every day is a good day to show Mom love, but this weekend is an excuse to go in big. Mother’s Day is on Sunday! You can take her to a sunrise tour of Muir Woods, a sumptuous feast, an all-women mariachi concert (see Flor de Toloache below), the Doris Day Festival at Stanford Theatre, to breeze through aisles of roses at the Hall of Flowers. Alameda is the site of entire springtime fest this weekend for outdoor wanderings ’n’ mimosas, flagging in the park is a fabulous place to be festive, SoMa has a matcha fest — you could even entice Mom into checking out the beloved Beach Blanket Babylon on last time before it shuts down, or to scout for treasures at Inner Sunset Flea, or to celebrate heritage at the Stanford Powwow (see below.)

Or maybe Mom just needs a stiff drink and a laugh this year? (Hear you, Mom.) Lisa Geduldig (she of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy) is hosting another super holiday line-up of stand-ups on Thu/9 and this time it is 100 percent madre. Diane Amos a.k.a. the Pine Sol Lady headlines the Mother’s Day comedy show, and Flirting With Laughter comedian Emily van Dyke is even taking a moment off of caring for her newborn to hit the stage. Just the ticket if your doting Ma needs a laugh about the complexities of raising your ass.

Plan, book, have a homemade card at the ready. You know she’s well worth it. Here’s a list of other great excuses to see Mom and have a little culture while you’re at it.

THU/9 TALK/DESIGN ON DISPOSSESSION Four graduate student projects from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design will be presented. We’re talking power relations, late capitalist surveillance states, and the way in which these forces manifest in displacement and misuse of art in urban development. Thu/9, 7-9pm, free. LGBT Center, SF. More info here

THU/9 MUSIC MUSH CONCERT SERIES We stan for community station, and its new free concert series in Jack London Square is gonna be a gas. Today is Same Girls and Samplelov with DJs Miles Otway and Transfiguration — come back May 23rd for Bay chanteuses Ah Mer Ah Su and Maya Songbird. 6:30-9pm, free. Jack London Square, Oakl. More info here.

THU/9-SUN/12 MUSIC FLOR DE TOLOACHE This all-female mariachi group is giving the genre a good stretch when it comes to gender roles — and is a phenomenal intro to traditional Mexican musical genres for those just coming to the sounds. Thu/9 shows at 7 and 8:30pm, $30-45. SFJazz. More info here.

THU/9-SUN/12 STAGE ABRAHAM IN FLAMES It isn’t often that you get a chance to see an all-new opera delivered, and this piece inspired by Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou’s work and featuring the Young Women’s Chorus of San Francisco looks like it could be a welcome breath of fresh air. 8pm Thu/9-Sat/11, 4pm Sun/12. Z Space, SF. More info here.

THU/9 COMEDY VERDI WILD THINGS ARE Nato Green of The Whiteness Album is one of the Bay’s comic gems, and here he takes the stage at a 100 year old Italian social club with a lineup of other yucksters. 8pm, $10. Verdi Club, SF. More info here.

FRI/10-SUN/12 COMMUNITY STANFORD POWWOW All ages are welcome at this important gathering for Native communities in and around the Bay. Hand drumming, traditional dancing, on-site camping — even a fun run — make it an important moment, and the 48th year that the event has been hosted on this site! Starts Fri/10, 5pm until Sun/12, 6pm, parking fee $20, camping fee $35. Eucalyptus Grove, Stanford. More info here.

FRI/10 PARTY AS YOU LIKE IT Call Super, Dr. Rubenstein, and Jason Kendig headline this offering from one of the Bay’s superlative electronic club posses. 9:30pm-4am, $25. Monarch, SF. More info here.

SAT/11 HISTORY TENDERLOIN MUSEUM FOURTH ANNIVERSARY Vietnamese folk dancing, hip-hop, spoken word poetry at this commemoration of four years of exploring the history of one of SF’s most tumultuous yet vibrant neighborhoods. 10am-8:30pm, free. Tenderloin Museum, SF. More info here. 

SAT/11 VISUAL ART BRIAN ENRIGHT The West Oakland sculptor presents his new show, “Neither Created. Nor Destroyed”, which looks to refashion society’s artifacts into relics of hope. Opening reception 7-10pm. Exhibit runs through June 11. Lost and Foundry, Oakl. More info here.

SAT/11 TALK FUTURE CULTURE SUMMIT If exploring the possibilities of future work in community is your thing, you may want to drop in for the panel discussions and networking sessions at this afternoon event. 12:30-4:30pm, $25. Asian Cultural Center, Oakl. More info here.

SAT/11 FOOD + DRINK/MUSIC ART & WINE FESTIVAL Is this … your Mother’s Day adventure? Live music, over 20 NorCal wineries offering tastings — and all to benefit the Oakland Montclair Lions Club. Noon-5pm, $40-80. Jack London Square, Oakl. More info here

SAT/11 VISUAL ART THE NEW EAGLE CREEK SALOON Sadie Barnette’s father created SF’s first Black-owned queer bar back in the ’90s — this spring, the talented artist will create a version of its magic, which will eventually roll down Market Street as part of this year’s Pride parade. Check out a schedule of speakers and other activations of the space. Opening reception 5-9pm, free. The Lab, SF. More info here.

SAT/11 STAGE 140 LBS: HOW BEAUTY KILLED MY MOTHER Susan Lieu premieres her play examining the Geary Boulevard plastic surgeon whose shoddy work killed her mother and other women. Show today 9:10pm, runs through May 19, $13-14. New People and The Marsh, SF. More info here and here.  

SAT/11 PARTY HARD FRENCH FAMILY REUNION Do you miss the days when afternoon soul dance party Hard French raging every month through the sunny seasons on El Rio’s palatial back patio? So do they — hence this get-together with all the HF gang and guest DJs Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Black Rhythm Happening, SF) and Cinnamon Beans (Nicole Whitten, SF). 2-8pm. El Rio, SF. More info here

SAT/11 PARTY POUND PUPPY Town’s best puppy fetish rolls into SoMa’s friendly neighborhood queer bar. Featuring DJs Carrie on Disco & Kevin O’Connor. Wear your collar, make sure you’re house trained before entering. 9pm-2am. The Stud, SF. More info here.

SUN/12 DANCE WALKING DISTANCE DANCE FESTIVAL Three different programs taking place over eight days await you at this exciting lineup of dance productions. Check works by Mary Armentrout, d. Sabela grimes, and Barak Marhsall. Through May 19. Various times and venues, SF. More info here

SUN/12 MUSIC RAICES BENEFIT SHOW Your mother will be so proud if you take her to this lineup of bands playing their hearts out for RAICES, an organization doing essential work protecting immigrant children from the predatory clutches of ICE. Featuring tunes from Frightwig, Chaki, and The LadyKillers. 5-9pm, $10. Oasis, SF. More info here.

SUN/12 MUSIC DIANA GAMEROS Best believe the transcendent singer-guitarist is celebrating Mother’s Day — her own mom Altagracia Estupinan, and Leonarda Renteria, her grandmother, will be present today accompanying Gameros on vocals. 7pm, $20-45. Brava Theater, SF. More info here

TUE/14 MUSIC PRINCE WITH SYMPHONY Or perhaps Mom is more into “Purple Rain”? If so, surprise her with tickets to this symphonic rendering of The Purple One’s greatest hits. 8pm, $49.50-160. The Masonic, SF. More info here

TUE/14 TALK SYSTEM FAILURE: DISPLACEMENT A key presentation by arts exploring the failings of tech, and the ways these result in displacement, featuring superlative data visualization the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. 6:30-8pm, free with RSVP. Minnesota Street Project, SF. More info here.

TUE/14 TALK ANI DiFRANCO Stellar local music journo Emma Silvers interviews your favorite feminist rocker. DiFranco will be chatting in particular about the lessons learned via her new book No Walls and the Recurring Dream. 7-8pm, $20-35 (with copy of book). First Church, Berk. More info here

Arts Forecast: 48 Hills Spring Gala, How Weird Street Faire, New Wave Prom…

Are you ready for New Wave Prom?

ARTS FORECAST Hello! Did you know that we are having an some fundraising party this Thu/2, 6pm-9pm at the lovely Oasis? Please support what we do by coming out for the Sixth Annual 48 Hills Spring Gala!

We’ll have food from Best of the Bay winner La Mediterranée, music from Latin jazz quartet The Turnaround, guest speakers including Pulitzer-winning journalist Martin Espinoza from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Deepa Varma of the SF tenants Union, plus drinks and more!

Come out for this special evening and help keep media independent. Thanks for all your support! Get tickets here.


THU/2-SUN/5 MUSIC/FESTIVAL SF.MUTEK We have a techno festival! (That also includes digital art, forward-looking food programs, panels, speakers, and much moor from the word of electronic creativity.) Taking place in various venues, from the planetarium at the Cal Academy of Sciences to a nightclub near you. This is the second installation of the Mutek juggernaut, which started as an experimental electronic music festival in Montreal 19 years ago. Various venues and pricing. San Francisco. More info here.

FRI/3 NIGHTLIFE NEW WAVE PROM The New Wave City party has been around for almost three decades—nearly old enough to ground you for sneaking out with your Duckie date to this annual tradition. There’s prizes, prom queens, tons of hairspray, and of course ’80s tunes galore from DJs Shindog and Andy T. Dress code? “Prom attire encouraged but not required—while we expect a dazzling array of prom wear, we strongly encourage any punks, burnouts, or nerds to attend as well.” 9pm-2am, $15 advance, $20 at door. Verdi Club, SF. More info here.  

SAT/4 ART/FESTIVAL 2 BLOCKS OF ART A free event that fills the Sixth Street Corridor with vibrant colors, and highlights the already buzzing scene. Bringing together 75 artists and 20 locations writhing two blocks, “the art walk will feature a range of exhibits and live performances in galleries, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and various other storefronts—even a laundromat. And with many well-known arts organizations in the area, the event includes beloved galleries and theater: 1AM, Bindlestiff, Little Raven and SF Camerawork.” 1pm-5pm, free. Sixth Street between Market and Howard, SF. More info here

SAT/4 MUSIC MORMOR I fell hard for this mysterious, very chill-soul musician when he released divine tune “Heaven’s Only Wishful” last year—he’s followed that up with an EP that drifts through pop and blues in a very unique, post-rock way. He’ll be here with Duendita. 8pm, all ages, $16-$18. Swedish American Music Hall, SF. More info here.  

SAT/4 ART IF AI WERE CEPHALOPOD IT WOULD HAVE THREE HEARTS AND SEE WITH ITS SKIN. Heady, wonderful stuff here: “A new multi-channel video installation by the collaborative artist 0rphan Drift (Ranu Mukherjee and Maggie Roberts), which explores fictional relationships between human, animals and synthetic entities, in order to imagine possible future embodiments and forms of consciousness. Drawing upon Embodied Cognitive Science and Radical Anthropology, the artists ask what paradigm of “intelligence” we presuppose in the development of Artificial Intelligence, implicitly challenging commonplace assumptions about what it means to be human as distinct from other forms of life.” Show runs though June 8. Opening reception Sat/4, 6pm-9pm, free. Telematic, SF. More info here.

SAT/4 NIGHTLIFE CINCO DE MARR-O “The Smiths and Mexico go together like a hand in glove, so it is it really so strange that we pay homage to The Smiths and their hits on this holiday?” The night before the celebration/shitshow warm up with the monthly Club Leisure dance party’s combination of Britpop, Northern Soul, and other UK styles—and tons and tons of Smiths. 10pm-3am, $7. Cat Club, SF. More info here.  

“Low Confidence AI Acne” by M Eifler aka BlinkPopShift (2019)

SAT/4 ART SYSTEM FAILURE “System Failure presents work from a diverse group of media artists who explore ideologies of disruption, critique the social and political effects of technological breakdown, and tactically produce errors by building tools that are never meant to function. Collectively, these artists remind us that often failure isn’t a bug, it’s a feature, and that often the biggest problems are built right into the system.” Featuring work by Xandra Ibarra, Demian DinéYazhi’, American Artist, and many more. 5pm-8pm, free. Minnesota Street Project, SF. More info here

SAT/4 MUSIC HOT CHIP The lovely August Hall is celebrating its first anniversary by bringing in the UK kings of electronic cute-neediness, Hot Chip—performing live and the following up with a DJ set at an afterparty in the same venue. It’s going to be complicated and awesome, kind of like Hot Chip’s music. Show 8pm, $45. Afterparty 11pm, $25. Combo ticket $60. August Hall, SF. Tickets and more info here.   

SUN/5 FESTIVAL HOW WEIRD STREET FAIRE Giggeldygoolgolymucks! Zounds! It’s the annual free festival that combines some quintessentially San Franciscan things—Burning Man, steam punk, cannabis advocacy, raving outdoors, thigh-high fun-fur boots—into a huge outdoor orgy of sights and sounds. Some super-inventive stages and special areas this year keep it fresh for the Faire’s 20th anniversary. Noon-8pm, $15 advance/$20 at door. More info here.   

Arts Forecast: Bye, bye, Babylon…

ARTS FORECAST San Francisco, your Golden Gates are closing, it sometimes feels like—especially with the announcement that, after 45 years of high spirits and higher hats, Beach Blanket Babylon will take the stage for the last time at the end of this year.

It is with a very heavy heart we announce that after 45 extraordinary years, Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon will…

Posted by Beach Blanket Babylon on Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The reason? According to the Chronicle:

Producer Jo Schuman Silver announced the news to her staff of 85 before curtain on Wednesday, April 17. The show’s ending not for financial reasons, but because Schuman Silver felt that it was time and didn’t feel comfortable handing it off to a successor. She’s run “Beach Blanket” since the 1995 death of Steve Silver, the show’s creator and her husband.

What an absolute bummer. Right after the announcement, BBB’s website crashed, so try to slip in and get a ticket before the frilly finale!

On the other hand, last weekend’s confluence of 420 revelry and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s Easter return to Dolores Park felt like a revival of old school SF culture, especially watching the new arrivals try to take it all in. I’m chuckling at people having to negotiate the sidewalk between flying wimples and flying hacky sacks.

Especially lovely was when one of the founders of the sisters, Kenneth Bunch, posted this photo of the Sisters’ “First San Francisco Manifestation Easter Weekend 1979.” What an amazing and hilarious legacy.


THU/25 NIGHTLIFE THE TUBESTEAK CONNECTION It’s a naughty, sweaty quinceañera for this fantastic weekly party by DJ Bus Station John, conjuring the spirits of gay bathhouses and backrooms past with his deep disco cuts and very cute, age-diverse crowd. For 15 years he’s plied his trade at Tenderloin institution Aunt Charlie’s Lounge—making The Tubesteak Connection our longest continuously-running weekly gay party—get there and shake a man-tambourine. 10pm, $5-$20 sliding scale (partial-proceeds benefit the SF Night Ministry) Aunt Charlie’s, SF. More info here.

THU/25 LIT/FESTIVAL DREAM BODIES I am so stoked for this four-day, multi-venue, underground ostensibly literary festival, but there is also movement, sound, film, performance, drag—it’s tentacular! It’s a Dream Body. Co-curators Britney and Silk Worm from the Hush Hush literary performance night have brought together awesome pees like Xuxa SantaMaria, Hiroko Tamano, Sharmi Basu, and more for something new. Through Sun/28. Tickets and more info here

THU/25 & FRI/26 PERFORMANCE THUNDERSTUCK “Thunderstruck is an internationally-acclaimed act of science and hubris. Stina Nyberg electrifies the stage—literally—in an intimate story of electric drones and a singing Tesla coil.  In Thunderstruck, the figure of the genius artist-inventor reemerges in Stina Nyberg’s Goddess of electricity. She mixes intimate storytelling with growling dances and death-defying encounters with the singing Tesla coil on stage, piercing melodies across the metal drones composed by Maria W Horn. 8pm, $25. CounterPulse, SF. Tickets and more info here

FRI/26 NIGHTLIFE MERCURY SOUL I adore this adventurous evening of eclectic music and performance that isn’t afraid to treat the dance floor as an artistic space. Founded by Grammy-Winning composer-DJ Mason Bates (who has an opera about Steve Jobs coming out this year), this installment is jazz-themed, featuring local performers Jazz Mafia, Heaviest Feather, Cosa Nostra Strings, Will Magid, Diablo Jazz Co and more. “We will be approaching jazz from different angles, with everything from pieces by legendary jazz greats to modern jazz with funk and hip-hop influences to jazzy house to classical-jazz crossover pieces.” Sounds tremendous. 9pm-afterhours, $25-$30. DNA Lounge, SF. Tickets and more info here.

FRI/26 NIGHTLIFE CERRONE The French drummer became a disco legend with his driving live shows that made dance floors a spectacle of sexual heat. Hits like “Supernature” and “Love in C Minor” were entire suites of jazzy detours and spandex-ready climaxes. He’ll make a very rare appearance that’s sure to delight at Public Works, joined by our own disco legend from the Trocadero Transfer, Steve Fabus. 9:30-late, $17. Public Works, SF. More info here

FRI/26 MUSIC RUPA & THE APRIL FISHES Who on this earth is not wowed by local powerhouse Rupa Marya? “Rupa and the April Fishes create a sound that pulsates with the pluralism of Bay Area culture, celebrating life and the art of resistance through a wide musical palette that pulls from over a decade of playing street parties, festivals and symphonic concerts through 29 countries with songs in 5 languages.” Hey it’s true, and live they are so, so good. 8pm, $22-$25. The Chapel, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

FRI/26 & SAT/27 DANCE PUSHFEST SPRING The Bayview Opera House will see a confluence of diverse dance companies going together—PUSH/Pathways, East Oakland Sports Center, Tiffany’s Dance Academy, Lines Youth Dancers, Insynckathak, eMotion Arts—for two evenings of dazzlement. “As the culminating performance of each evening, PUSH Artistic Director Raissa Simpson will premiere Codelining 2.0, a performance inspired by movement and technology.” Friday 8pm, Saturday 2pm, $20-$25. Bayview Opera House, SF. More info here

FRI/26 & SAT/27 COMEDY BLACK LAUGHS MATTER Broke-Ass Stuart and #HellaFunny team up for a night of comedy. “Come to Rambler SF to get some laughs with some of San Francisco’s Best African American Comedians. This isn’t just a comedy show…it’s also a celebration of cultural diversity in San Francisco. Everyone from every ethnic background is welcome and encouraged to attend. Comedians on this showcase have been featured on Comedy Central, ABC, NBC, SF Sketchfest and more.” Oh and hey, it’s free. Multiple times. Rambler, SF. More info here.  


SAT/27 MUSIC ATERCIOPELADOS & LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES “Aterciopelados, the pioneer Latin-American folk-rock group, returns after 8 years with their first long and live project entitled Reluciente, Rechinante y Aterciopelado. Joining them is the ever-awesome Los Amigos Invisible from Venezuela, who since 1995, have developed a sound based on the “gozadera”—an irresistible fusion of Latin rhythms with fiery funk and lounge music. This show will be bananas cute, I’m pretty sure. 8pm, $35. UC Thetre, Berkeley. Tickets and more info here

SAT/27 LIT/TOUR BIKES TO BOOKS SPRING RIDE “We can hardly believe it ourselves, but this month we’ll be leading our Spring Bike Ride on the serendipitous date of Independent Bookstore Day! Appropriately, the ride ends at City Lights Books, so you can get your bookstore on after our signature bicycle tour though literary history, from Jack London to Jack Kerouac, South Park to North Beach. Come celebrate the welcome return of spring, and the enduring gift of prose, with your favorite bookish bicyclists, Bikes to Books.” 12:45pm-4pm, free. More info here

SUN/28 MUSIC KAKI KING The young Brooklyn composer-guitarist beguiles using multimedia elements (when she tours her “Neck is the Bridge to the Body” show), and in 2017 she released a collaborative album with the Berklee chamber orchestra reimagining some of her classic compositions. But her appearance at Berkeley’s Cornerstone will showcase her talents in a stripped-down, acoustic way. 6pm, $22, all ages. Cornerstone, Berkeley. Tickets and more info here

SUN/28 FESTIVAL SUNSET SEASON OPENER The Sunset Sound System is turning 25(!) this years and this day-rave/family picnic/funfest has become the portal to summer nightlife. “We welcome all our generations of Sunsetters to come together once again as we have every year since 1994 to get down, connect, and frolic outside in the Spring air. It’s been an incredible journey thus far and we couldn’t be happier the vibe is still alive and kicking with all you beautiful souls.” With Sunset DJs Solar, Galen, and J-Bird, plus special guest Jëno from Wicked. Andof course there’s an afterparty at Monarch, duh. 11am-7pm, $25-$30. Stafford Lake. Tickets and more info here

Arts Forecast: Easter with the Sisters returns to Dolores Park, more

A Hunky Jesus contestant in 2007

ARTS FORECAST Everybody loves a Hunky Jesus, a Foxy Mary, a too-cute Easter egg hunt, and of course the most elaborate bonnet competition this side of an Atlanta baptist church. That means the annual Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s egg-stravaganza, which puts the SF freak in … er, Freakster. And this year, the Sisters’ 40th anniversary, the beloved tradition will return to Dolores Park, Sun/21, noon-4pm. I am so eggcited, I am making terrible Easter pun(nie)s! And if you cannot get enough of those wacky nuns, hit up the Harvey Milk Photo Center in Dubose park for W.O.W.: Whimples of the World, an “exhibition celebrating the unique coronets and wimples (headdresses) worn by Sisters around the country and world, opening Wed/17.

Sisters Easter


DISCOUNT SHOWS! Last week, I reviewed the excellent one-person show by Dazié Grego-Sykes at Exit Theatre call N—aroo. Now, Exit has announced that it is comping all performances of the show through April 27. That’s right, you can see it for free! (You can still donate something, please support our local artists if you can!). People should see this show.

From Theatre of Yugen’s ‘Helen.’ Photo by Devlin Shand.

And here’s a 25% off discount code to use for Theatre of Yugen’s lovely-looking new Helen, running through April 27. Just enter code “FNF” at checkout, and go support this awesome institution, now celebrating  its 40th year. 

Finally, if you’re in the mood for some #Resistance thought-provoking comedy, you might like The Great American Sh*t Show—two solo performances on the life in the Age of Trump, starring Brian Copeland (Not A Genuine Black Man, Waiting Period) and Charlie Varon (Rush Limbaugh in Night School, Rabbi Sam) at the Marin Center. Get $10 off the ticket price with the code “DemsRule.” 


WED/17 NIGHTLIFE THEO PARRISH Detroit techno gets most of the hype, but Detroit house has been influential as well, looping angular samples of funk to create slow building aural landscapes that summon Black musical history into the present. It’s an urban Zen kind of thing, but also supremely danceable. Theo’s the sweet king, he’s been doing this for more than two decades, and he’ll be at the great weekly Housepitality party. 8pm-2am, $15. F8, SF. Tickets and more info here.

THU/18 ART WITH(OUT) WITH(IN) THE VERY MOMENT This new SF Arts Commission show is getting tons of hype, and looks pretty great: “Through the late 1960s and the 1980s, activism was a vital part of queer culture prompting visibility, pride, and kinship within the LGBTQ community. The growing HIV/AIDS epidemic spurred another wave of activism in the 1980s and 1990s that called for care and funds to cure the disease that killed many in the community. Curated by artist Margaret Tedesco, With(out) With(in) the very moment features artists who lived through these moments, creating works that have and continue to bear witness to the events that have shaped the community.” Opening reception 6pm-8pm, free. SFAC galleries, SF. More info here

THU/18 STAGE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY We Players present a neo-western love story, performed on the lovely Sunnyside Conservatory, derived from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. “Cowboy outlaws Jack and Horace rob stagecoaches by day and recite Shakespeare by night. Jack is obsessed with cracking Hamlet’s nutshell, and Horace will play any part to satisfy his eccentric leader. But Jack finds a new Shakespearean confidant in Aurelia, a rich widow with Jack’s passion for the Bard. As the three lonely westerners sink into an unlikely love triangle, Jack sees a Ghost. Is it real? Or is it Jack’s madness that tempts him into the Undiscovered Country?” Through May 19. Sunnyside Conservatory, SF. Tickets and more info here.   

Yaelisa and Jason McGuire of Caminos Flamencos. Photo by Mayumi Acosta Photography

FRI/19 and SAT/20 DANCE CAMINOS FLAMENCOS: ENCRICIJADA I adore Yaelisa, the powerhouse leader of this fine ensemble, and this performance—featuring Antonio Sanchez, nephew of world-renowned Spanish virtuoso Flamenco guitarist, Paco de Lucia—seems as passionate as everything she does: “Encrucijada pushes each artist in the cast towards a camino or journey of their own inner boundaries at this time and place where their individual art is at a crossroads: the time in one’s life when you choose between should and must. The planet is melting, the bees are dying, and the politicians are fighting, but we stand a fixed and ever solid barrier against despair and the negative, committed to discovery. Artists are united in the pursuit of happiness, of the joy in their art, of the sacrifices they make to push their own inner boundaries in directions or caminos that are unknown, risky, and frightening.” 8pm, $25-$75. Fort Mason, SF. Tickets and more info here.

FRI/19 NIGHTLIFE BICYCLE DAY Commemorating the day Dr. Albert Hofmann intentionally took LSD for the first time after he had discovered it—and then rode his bicycle home—this annual affair is full of lysergic sights and wonders for all persuasions and ingestions. The Midway will feature some ace electronic music DJs, many of them longtime Bay Area favorites. 8pm-3:30am, $35. The Midway, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

SAT/20 MUSIC BLOWN-OUT BLOWOUT BENEFIT SHOW CCR Headcleaner, Milk for the Angry, Cyborg Eye, and tons more play this 4/20 blow out at Neck of the Woods, raining money for Code for America’s efforts to help people who have been snared in the prison system for low-level drug charges like possession expunge their records and get jobs and housing. Good stuff. 8pm-1:30am, $10. neck of the Woods, SF. Tickets and more info here

SUN/21 NIGHTLIFE DISCO DADDY’S ‘PRINCE: THE EARLY YEARS” Celebrate the nubile purple one as he strums and funks his way through his early catalogue. DJ Bus Station John, our disco prince himself, selects choice cuts to fill the Eagle’s dance floor (and your purple heart). 7pm, $7. SF Eagle. More info here.   

Arts Forecast: Stern Grove and Yerba Buena Festivals head into bloom

Los Van Van play the Stern Grove Festival, June 23

ARTS FORECAST Spring is here, and all’s a-bloom and sneezing. So what better time to plan your outdoor sunshine festivities? After our official festival season begins with Sisters Easter in the Park on Sunday, April 21—returning to Dolores Park, squee, and celebrating 40 years of Hunky Jesuses—the city’s ready to dive into free entertainment fantasy.

Stern Grove Festival (June 16-Aug 18) just released its 82nd season lineup, and it is huge this year, my goodness—jazzy rappers Digable Planets, Cuban legends Los Van Van, reggae royalty Toots and the Maytals, indie star Mitski, New Wave giants The Psychedelic Furs with Scottish popsters James, the Ballet, the Symphony, Pink Martini, the Isley Brothers (gasp!) and more will fill out Sundays in the grove.

That’s your summer Sundays. Meanwhile, the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (May 4-September 28) will fill your Saturdays and more with music, dancing, cultural festivals, and a whole lot else. Kicking off with a tribute to Latin jazz keyboard legend Charlie Palmieri on May 4, the festival will see Embodiment Project, the Roma Festival with Džambo Aguševi Orchestra, Circus Bella, Aireene Espiritu’s tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto, the awesome Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest, Brooklyn Raga Massive & Martha Redbone Roots Project, SF Uke Jam Summer Uke-Splosion!, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Jazz Mafia’s Brass, Bows and Beats Hip-Hop Symphony. Wowzers.


Dennis Bain performs at the Cuba Caribe festival. Photo by Andy Mogg

WED/10-SUN/14 FESTIVAL 15TH ANNUAL CUBA-CARIBE FESTIVAL The 15th Annual CubaCaribe Festival will feature a week full of of Caribbean dance, music, performance, dialogue and culture, featuring Susana Arenas Pedroso and Arenas Dance Company, Los Lupeños de San José, Angel Yoel Mulen-Robert, Carola Zertuche, Denmis Bain Savigne, Ramón Ramos Alayo, and more. Brava Theatre and Museum of the African Diaspora. Tickets and more info here

THU/11 FILM PREMIERE EW YUK! Jillian Gnarling and Mica Sigourney (VivvyAnne ForeverMORE!) are best-friend drag queens who lipsynch, laugh, and party their way through San Francisco nightclubs. United by an affection for the gross and farty, they assembled a queer filmmaking team to create the first three episodes of an absurd, troll-centered comedy series. 10pm, $5. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

FRI/12 ART “OUT THERE” Photographer and underground spirit Yesim Demirci Ozkurt presents a show of work dedicated to Amanda Allen, one of the victims of the Ghost Ship fire. Of course there’s a nightlife angle, as DJ Sappho spins her bewitching blend of psychedelic techno and other DJs join in. 8pm-2am, free. BRIX 581, Oakland. More info here

FRI/12 NIGHTLIFE AFROLICIOUS SOUNDSYSTEM Dance like mad as local brothers/DJs Pleasuremaker & Ozgood from the incredible Afrolicious party bring in deep house, African, Latin, and more global grooves. 9:30pm-2:30am, $10-$15. Monarch, SF. Tickets and more info here.

SAT/13 CUTENESS GOAT FESTIVAL This annual baaah-dass gathering of goat lovers was the subject of a citywide mania a few years back, as thousands came down to the Ferry Building to observe GOATCHELLA. And why not, oh my goddess you get to cuddle goats. This 10th annual fest features all kinds of goat-related products and, yes, baby goats! 9am-2pm, free. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, SF More info here.  

SAT/13 MUSIC/SHOPPING RECORD STORE DAY Go buy some records at our amazing participating shops on this day and revel in the feeling of supporting local culture and businesses — plus you can score some nifty rarities, since this is when labels release tasty exclusives! (Might I recommend supporting Lower Haight’s Vinyl Dreams, our only dedicated dance music store left.) More info here

SAT/13 LIT GRACE NOTES: POETS AT GRACE CATHEDRAL Hosted by the inimitable D.A. Powell, Litquake’s National Poetry Month celebration will feature poets Paola Capó-García, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Henri Cole, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Barbara Jane Reyes. 8pm, free. Grace Cathedral, SF. More info here

SAT/13 MUSIC MAHAWAN “A means to process both the trauma and joy at the intersection of Black queer identity, Mahawam’s work as a producer and vocalist serves as a study in the ways that intersection informs cultural and personal progress. Mahawam’s new EP “Is An Island” serves multifaceted explorations of resignation, loneliness, lust and hope navigated during their journey to come to terms with their HIV diagnosis with the intention of bringing visibility to nuanced experiences of similar bodies in similar situations.” 8pm-midnight, $5-$10. Eli’s Mile High Club, Oakland. Tickets and more info here

SAT/13 MUSIC SUZANNE CIANI One of the originators of electronic music, producing 15 albums and appearing on David Letterman, even, the diva of the diode performs live in quadrophonic sound in arare appearance. She is awesome! 9pm, $15-$20. Mezzanine, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

TUE/16 MUSIC LEIKELI47 Rapping, singing and infuses different sounds from bounce, Chicago house, dancehall, and trap, this Virginia powerhouse it emblematic of a new generation of rappers who aren’t afraid to get surreal or step out of the usual musical comfort zones. 9pm, $18. New Parish, Oakland. Tickets and more info here

Arts Forecast: Reptaliens, Spear of Destiny, V Vale….

The Reptaliens play the Rickshaw Stop, Thu/7. Photo by Eirrin Gragson

ARTS FORECAST For decades, if you had a question about sex, any question at all, you would “Ask Isadora.” The goddess of alternative weekly sex columnists, Isadora Alman, would patiently and supportively take you through any thorny, titillating issue or recent development with the grace and acceptance of a horny saint. (One of the great aspects of her writing was that she freely admitted to loving and often being confounded herself about sex.)

Isadora’s famous column ran in the Bay Guardian for years, and when I received an invite to her final public appearance on February 11 before her retirement, at age 79, to speak to a class of life-long learners at the Institute on Aging, I jumped at it. I love seniors!

Isadora, looking great.

The room was packed with admirers, and Isadora looked fabulous. Her charm and wit were only superseded by her openness to any question—in the course of an hour, in a room full of lively octogenarians, we covered clitoral pumps, stimulating gels, friends in the retirement home with benefits, and how to find a date offline. (Apparently, senior Tinder is all about sexytime.) She decried current sex advice columnists as somewhat aggressive and mean—she specifically mentioned Dan Savage here, who made a name with his scalding approach. It was a joy to see her dispense explicit wisdom with a motherly embrace. Wishing her well in her retirement, and meanwhile you can still buy her books!


TUE/5-SAT/23 MUSIC PETER MURPHY The Bauhausian innovator of black-clad rock puts in an epic month-long residency at the Chapel, playing his whole catalog. Don’t miss all of it. Various dates and times. The Chapel, SF. More info here

WED/6 AND SUN/10 FILM ELECTRIC CHURCH Jimi Hendrix is always so awesome. This doc shows the true power of both his musicianship and his personality, taking  us through the raucous Atlanta Pop Festival of 1970. Roxie Cinema, SF. More info here

WED/6 ART/MUSIC PRINCESS: OUT THERE Out There is a concept video album and live performance piece by the band Princess. It explores the role men ought to be playing during the current cultural reckoning of misogyny. The video’s science fiction narrative explores the power of the Divine Feminine through collaborations with JD Samson, visual artist Jennifer Meridian, and the band TEEN.” 8pm, $15. The Lab, SF. More info here

THU/7 ART FLASHING AFTER DARK: NIGHTLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY THEN AND NOW I curated a show at the GLBT History Museum! It’s all about photographer Melissa Hawkins portraits of queer San Francisco club kids   in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It’s up through May, but you can meet Melissa and a panel of legendary nightlife photographers on Thursday, as we all discuss this snaps after dark. 7pm-9pm, $5. GLBT History Museum, SF. More info here

THU/7 MUSIC REPTALIENS Who knew our lizard overlords made such delectable dream pop? The “lovers of sci-fi, theatrics, rituals, and absurdity” from Portland land in town with analog synthesizers, electric guitars, melodic bass lines, and lulling vocals. 8pm, $10-$12. Rickshaw Stop, SF. More info here.

THU/7 MUSIC SPEAR OF DESTINY Kirk Brandon’s grandiose, anthemic punk outfit was huge in the UK in the ’80s, but was derailed when Brandon was diagnosed with Reiter disease. The band is back, pumping fists to riffs and synths. 8pm, $13-$18. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here.

FRI/8 MUSIC A REUNION FOR DJ STEF Beloved hip-hop DJ Stef was taken from us way too soon a couple years ago. To honor her legacy of united everyone on the dance floor (and knowing everyone in town!), this party brings in some local legends, including Rascue, Big Serg, Charlotte The Baroness, and Toph One. 5pm-9pm, free (donations accepted). F8, SF. More info here.  

FRI/8 TALK V VALE OF RE/SEARCH Legend! “In 1977 V. Vale founded as sole proprietor Search & Destroy, San Francisco’s first Punk Rock publication. It was published at City Lights Bookstore, where V. Vale worked, and was funded by $100 each from Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg. In 1980, V. Vale launched as sole proprietor RE/SEARCH. V. Vale is most likely the longest lasting (and still active) Punk publisher. Although Vale released books which include Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins, Lydia Lunch, and many other Punk notables, RE/SEARCH is actually best known for its impact on the total world of underground culture.” 7pm-10pm. 2740 16th Street, SF. More info here.

FRI/8 NIGHTLIFE SAOIRSE The UK sensation has only been on the scene for 15 years, and yet she spins rave-inflected house like a true vet, collapsing years into high energy sets that will tickle any old banger’s nostalgia. How does she do it? Witness her special magic with DJs Kathi and Day Thief at the Stud. 9pm-4am, $10-$15. The Stud, SF. More info here.    

SAT/9 LIT WRITERS WITH DRINKS: JOSIAH LUIS ALDERETE + MORE “Josiah Luis Alderete is a full blooded Pocho spanglish speaking poet from La Area Bahia who learned to write poetry in the kitchen of his Mama’s Mexican restaurant.” I’m already intrigued! He’s joined by SevanKelee Boult, Isaac R. Fellman, Kyle Thomas Smith, Maurisa Thompson and Leslie Miley, Plus special guest host Elena Rose. 7pm-9:30pm, free. MakeOut Room, SF. More info here

SAT/9 MUSIC CHASMS “Formed in 2011 in San Francisco by producer, guitarist, and vocalist Jess Labrador and bassist Shannon Madden, Chasms crafts ethereal, percussive dirges that are sparse in arrangement and potent with emotion.” With Wizard’s Apprentice. 9pm, $13. Elbo Room Jack London, Oakland. More info here

SAT/9 FOOD? THE GREAT SAN FRANCISCO CORN DOG FESTIVAL “You batter believe it — your favorite time of the year is here! It’s your special dog, all dressed up with a quick dip, a simple twirl, and deep fried to golden-perfection! SoMa StrEat Food Park and FunCheapSF are teaming up to bring you another festival filled with scrumptious bouquets of deliciously-battered, perfectly-fluffy, and oh-so-satisfyingly-crisp corn dogs from the Bay’s best food trucks!” 11am-5pm, $5-$36. SoMa StrEat Food Park, SF. More info here.