Oakland businesses and city agencies will hold an event tomorrow called the Uptown Unveiled Street Fair to draw attention to the north side of downtown, an area including the renovated Fox Theatre, arts school, ice rink and other attractions. Among other events, the new branch of the Piedmont Piano Company will be open 5-10 pm with free music, food and drink.
Lots of good music has been, and continues trickling through the local live music stream lately, and this week is no exception. Tonight, the amazing and amusing Dengue Fever is at The Castro Theater, while the Red Devil Lounge offers up a rare opportunity to see Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan’s latest band. The silver haired Brit who relocated to Austin TX, continues his legacy as a road warrior with a resume including too many greats & near greats to mention in one blog post. If you are familiar with the Faces and Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones or Billy Bragg…you have likely been exposed to his key tickling skills.
His latest indie album is a solid & sincere effort from a veteran rocker, and of course he’ll likely spice up the live set with old faves, possibly dating back to his first chart topping days circa 1966 with Steve Marriott & Ronnie Lane in The Small Faces.
On Thursday night, while Bimbo’s in North Beach features Cake, meanwhile the deep down underground will possibly be sucked into the Vortex Room with Mr. Lucky and the Ramshackle Romeos. Others may be down on Harrison @ The Eagle Tavern. Bands playing there include former Nice Strong Arm bandleader Kevin Thompson’s new project “bun bun bun” and Sunward Spike. Ruby Howl hits the stage in the middle slot, a band featuring the talented alterna-chanteuse Laurie Hall who has played in numerous local combos over the past couple decades. Maybe you saw her with her mom in the Hall Flowers, or with her sis in Ovarian Trolley, or perhaps opening for the Pixies reunion at The Greek with Knife + Fork. She knows her craft and has a new band called Ruby Howl plying their trade with her husband Pat and a somewhat shy drummer who wishes to remain anonymous. More info on Ruby Howl at
Friday night , two soul music legends hit the stage on a double bill at the Independent, Booker T. Jones of the MG’s preceded by Detroit’s own Bettye LaVette, both of whom are promoting new albums on the Anti label, an Epitaph offshoot.
On Saturday night @ Annie’s Social Club, old school punkers will be in force catching Social Unrest, and Ribzy as well as the debut of Jello Biafra’s latest unnamed musical project. Before leaving on a reunion tour with his old band, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould will be backing Biafra alongside drummer Jon Weiss and guitar wizard Ralph Spight of Victim’s Family. If you get bored of the jurassic punks onstage at this Alcoholocaust, head to the backroom and be yer own D.I.Y rock star via the punk schlock karaoke set up…
Tomorrow night, the San Francisco Film Society presents a special program at the Palace of Fine Arts: 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.
As might be expected from that title and the picture above, the show consists of pop duo Dean and Britta performing original songs with a 4-piece band while a selection of Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests are projected in large scale behind them. (The New York Times reviewed the show here a couple weeks ago.)
Warhol created his Screen Tests from 1964 to 1966 as part of his ongoing exploration of the transient nature of celebrity. Whenever a visitor with potential star quality visited the Factory — a potential judged by Warhol, of course — he would ask his visitor to sit in front of a tripod-mounted 16mm Bolex camera. A strong key light would be set up and the camera would be loaded with a 100-foot roll of black and white film. Often the visitor was instructed to sit as still as possible, or to perform some other action (like toothbrushing), and to stare into the camera without blinking while the camera was running. The resulting films were 2.75 minutes long, but when shown they are invariably slowed down such that each one lasts exactly 4 minutes.
From the 300 or so that Warhol filmed in those three years, he made several compilations for public exhibition, including two called The Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys and The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women. The title of this show is an homage to those compilations, but the thirteen Screen Tests featured are drawn from the totality. The featured stars include Edie Sedgwick (of course), Nico (but of course!), Ann Buchanan, Lou Reed, Dennis Hopper, and eight others famous and otherwise.
And if you’re interested in learning a bit more, you might check out the trailer here, or Alex Barkett’s interview with Dean Wareham over here at SFist!
Advance tickets can be purchased here.
In a not-entirely-unexpected move, Apple announced at Macworld yesterday that, starting this week, it would remove DRM restrictions from all of the songs in the iTunes store and allow the record companies to set variable prices for them.
It’s a change that Apple has long sought, but three of the major music labels (Sony, Universal and Warner) have blocked contract negotiations up to this point.
To get this concession from those labels, Apple agreed to allow variable pricing for tracks. This was a change that Apple has never wanted to implement: their position was that a uniform price was better for consumers. But now there appear to be three price points: obscure back-catalogue tracks will cost 69 cents, moderately popular back-catalogue tracks will cost 99 cents, and new hit songs will cost $1.29.
Reportedly, the massive slowing of both CD and digital music sales over the past year was the impetus for these negotiations.
What about all those songs you bought off the iTunes store in the past? Apple announced a much less consumer-friendly option: pay a whopping 30 cents per track or 30% of the album price to strip the copy protection from it — in other words, you will now have to pay a premium in order to have the unfettered use of your music that should have been included in the original price. Is this another concession to the labels?
A story with more detail appeared here on the New York Times yesterday.
If your interest was piqued by The Gatherers, the exhibition over at the YBCA (reviews: SF Gate, Shotgun Review), you might be interested in the Artists Talk tonight at Artists’ Television Access. Two of the artists in the show — Amy Franceschini and Wilson Diaz — will discuss their collaboration, The Movement of the Liberation of the Coca Plant. SF Weekly has posted a mention of the event too, with additional info about Franceschini. If this is the first time you’ve heard of the show, let me quote Brian Andrews at Shotgun (linked above): “The Gatherers investigates urban landscapes and food systems in this era of climate change and growing organic consciousness.”
Admission: $6; Address: 992 Valencia (at 21st St).
NB: If you, dear readers, are aware of a good link to a page about Diaz, please post it in the comments.
Yep, I’m posting my friend’s event. Hey, when you write this much on SF Metblogs, there are perks once in a while. She’s singing at Rite Spot on Friday! She said something about an “Elvis pedophiliac song” and “homemade pie night.” I have no idea if those two thoughts are related.
THE LEE VILENSKY TRIO
APPEARING THIS FRIDAY NOV. 14th @
THE RITE SPOT-17th ST. & FOLSOM IN SF’s Mish
2 BIG SETS FEATURING LEGENDARY EAST BAY BASSIST
AND PRODUCER……ELI CREWS
SPECIAL GUEST VOCALIST-JAN RICHMAN
the soul queen from san diego
NO COVER FREE PARKING OUTDOOR SMOKING!!
75% INSTRUMENTALS OR YOUR MONEY BACK!
MUSIC STARTS AT 9:30
DINNERS SERVED TILL 10:30
The 12th International Latino Film Festival is set to open tomorrow night at the Castro Theatre with Cachao: Uno Mas!, and it closes November 23rd. In between, the festival offers more than 50 films at four venues in San Francisco (plus one in Berkeley and 10 on the Peninsula).
The opening night film celebrates “the life of one of the most influential Afro-Cuban musicians,” Israel “Cachao” Lopez. The documentary “follows the legendary bassist from his early days in Cuba to worldwide recognition and features interviews with Andy Garca, John Santos, and more.” (As I recall, it was quite the favorite at SFIFF 51.) Naturally there will be a Noche Cubana to follow the film! (Nota bene: the party’s at the Hotel Kabuki.) If that’s not your style, you might stay on at the Castro to watch Los travestis tambien lloran, a French feature about two Ecuadorian transsexuals struggling to get by in Paris.
Other opening weekend highlights include Chevolution, which explores the life and legacy of Che Guevara; Children in No-Man’s Land, which documents the plight of the 100,000 unaccompanied minors who enter the US each year and are caught by immigration authorities; and the film that has, for my money, one of the best titles ever: Amor, dolor y viceversa, a “sexy thriller” featuring “the stunningly beautiful but forever single Chelo (Barbara Mori),” who is “haunted by recurring visions of a handsome lover (Leonardo Sbaraglia). But dreams turn to nightmares and nightmares to reality. As this tense and noirish jigsaw plot unfolds, truth, fantasy, and lies blur together, and a longing for love turns to unrelenting obsession.” Wow, sounds pretty good to me!
All films Saturday and Sunday are being screened at the Brava Theater for Women in the Arts (located at 24th & York, near Bryant, in Potrero Hill). There are several worthy films this weekend that I haven’t mentioned; for info on them and the other films in the weeks ahead, just check out the full schedule here.
Tonight and tomorrow only, mugwumpin‘s theater piece super.anti.reluctant is performed for the last times before they take it to the International Theater Festival in Cairo. Call 415-621-7978 for tickets.
Tom Stoppard’s Rock and Roll, a play about would-be rock stars in Stoppard’s native Czecholslovakia, opened last night at American Conservatory Theater.
Vive le Rock continues its run tonight at Mr. Smith’s (34 7th St) starting 8:00 PM, cover charge $7. The show will consist of music from the masterminds behind the series, Oakland’s own Gosta Berling, and the guest band will be The Sleepover Disaster from Fresno, an awesome group that has achieved a certain measure of recognition lately. The music is going to accompany a bunch of presumably funny, morbid films by Waylon Bacon, a local filmmaker who has shown at the San Francisco Underground Film Festival and The Fright Night Film Festival. Or maybe his films are going to accompany the music. Both statements are true. An event page with press release describing the series and tonight’s show in more detail is here on Yelp.
If you happen to have a copy of the August 25 New Yorker, don’t miss this article by the composer John Adams, in which he discusses finding his compositional voice back in the 1970s and early 1980s. (Check out the keywords they tagged the article with: Adams, John; Composers; Memoirs; “Harmonium”; de Waart, Edo; Studebaker; San Francisco, California.) The abstract begins:
PERSONAL HISTORY about the writer’s years as an aspiring composer in San Francisco. … The writer’s plan was to live as a proletarian worker by day and an avant-garde composer at night. He worked unloading clothes from shipping containers. He wrote no music for a year and began falling into a depression. … [So he soon got a job at] the San Francisco Conservatory. The writer taught there for ten years, by fits and starts finding his voice as a composer.
On a personal note, I have a friend who tried that proletarian approach too, though without the Marxist pretensions; he lasted on the Oakland waterfront just long enough for a hernia to force him to do something else. He’s gone into a profession that is similarly friendly to composition: freelance software coding.
If you don’t have a copy of the issue, this 15-minute episode of the The New Yorker Out Loud features John Adams discussing his career, and in the process he hits all the main points in the article. Plus there’s background music. (Phrygian Gates!) Now I’m never going to be able to go past the south windmill at the western end of Golden Gate Park without thinking of John Adams, as he apparently lived about two blocks from there.