This Week's Picks: May 7 - 13, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 7

 

Science Talk: "The Mysteries of Sleep"

Wonderfest, "the Bay Area Beacon of Science," is a nonprofit that has been organizing fun, funky science events and meet-ups for nearly two decades, and best of all, most of them are free. This talk, presented at the SoMa StrEat Food Park (with all of the delectable food truck and beer options that entails) will tackle one of the last great biological mysteries — something we spend one-third of our lives doing, yet something scientists still understand very little about. Matthew P. Walker, an associate professor of psychology at Cal, will describe the latest research that suggests sleep is actually a highly active process, necessary for improving our learning processes, memory, creativity, and emotions. So grab a friend, grab some grub and get your education on, then go home and get a good night's rest — you'll be smarter for it. (Emma Silvers)

7pm, free

SoMa StrEat Food Park

428 11th St, SF

www.wonderfest.org

 

THURSDAY 8

 

Bike to Work Day 20th Anniversary

Got a bike? Ride it. Today marks the 20th anniversary of San Francisco's Bike to Work Day, and it's never been more rewarding to be a two-wheeled commuter. With thousands of cyclists on the road today, not only do tailpipe emissions decrease dramatically, but the visible presence of cyclists encourages motorists to share the road. What's more, many small businesses will have special treats for bikers, and the SF Bicycle Coalition will have safety classes, workshops, parties, raffles, and energizer stations (snacks, beverages, and goodie bags) throughout the city. If you're a two-wheeling newbie, don't fret. The Coalition will also have Commuter Convoys leading you through the city. Keep an eye out for bike-friendly businesses: Yoga Tree is offering a free class to anyone who shows up on two wheels. Don't forget your helmet! (Laura B. Childs)

All day, free

Various locations throughout SF

www.sfbike.org

 

 

"The New Forty-Niners" and "Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure-Hunting"

For centuries, stories of treasure hunters and great explorers have dominated American history. From the Gold Rush millionaire Samuel Brannan to Huck Finn to Lewis and Clark, the thirst for adventure and wealth is a building block of the American Dream. Tonight, Rayko Photo Center presents two exhibits based on this dream. "Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting," by Jenny Riffle, documents one man's treasure hunt, accompanied by his metal detector. Riffle romantically captures the mythical adventurer as he ventures out into rural Washington like a 21st century Mark Twain character. The second exhibit, Sarina Finklestein's "The New Forty-Niners," is a four year-long photo project chronicling modern-day gold prospectors in California. In gritty and rugged photographs, the exhibit reveals a small self-sustaining society dependent on gold mining, reminiscent of the original Gold Rush. (Childs)

Opening reception 6pm-8pm, free

Exhibits on display through June 21, 2014

Rayko Photo Center

428 Third St, SF

(415) 496-3775

www.raykophotocenter.com

 

FRIDAY 9

 

 

Katherine Hawthorne's 'The Escapement'

Last November choreographer Katharine Hawthorne premiered Timepiece at the Joe Goode Annex. Bringing a background in physics and dance to her artistic practice, she had created an intricately structured and intriguing piece of choreography in which she explored the concept of time — not just dance as a time-based art, but time as a way of structuring the way we live our lives and think about the world. In the new The Escapement, she continues that process by examining the way clocks have enabled us to divide time into regular intervals. The invention of the "escapement" mechanism, apparently, was central to the process. Performing with Hawthorne will be Jesse L. Chin, Katherine Disenhof, Suzette Sagisi, and Megan Wright. (Rita Felciano)

May 9-10, 8pm, $15-25

Joe Goode Annex

401 Alabama St., SF

www.theescapement.eventbrite.com

 

 

 

#GIRLBOSS book signing with Sophia Amoruso

With advice like "money looks better in the bank than on your feet," #GIRLBOSS is one giant kick in the butt. The CEO, founder, and self-proclaimed "chief troublemaker" at the online fashion retailer NastyGal, Sophia Amoruso isn't your typical CEO. Before reaching meteoric fame with her $100 million brand, Amoruso was an anarchist who survived off dumpster-diving and shoplifting. Dubbed the "Cinderella of tech," Amoruso started an eBay store while living in San Francisco, selling old clothes; some eight years later, it's a global marketplace specializing in scandalous and trendy clothing for 20-somethings. Filled with quick-whips and snarky illustrations, #GIRLBOSS covers all the nitty-grittiness of owning a company, and demystifies any ideas that because you were popular in high school, you're guaranteed success — you have to work for it. (Childs)

7pm-9pm, free

Books Inc. Bookstore Opera Plaza

601 Van Ness, SF

(415) 776-1111

www.booksinc.net

 

 

Kadavar

Black Sabbath may be past their prime, but Berlin's Kadavar is keeping the '70s heavy metal dream alive — psychedelic, snarling, seething, dope-smoking, and very hairy. Drawing heavily —very heavily— from Sabbath and Pentagram (with some nods to Zeppelin), Kadavar have joined the time-travelling ranks of Electric Wizard and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats in producing some seriously killer heavier metal tunes. Though Kadavar wears its influences on its sleeve, as these guys are singing through their prodigious facial hair about wizards, witchcraft, and lost souls, they are undeniably genuine. Their love for the music is clear, and entirely impossible not to headbang to. (Zaremba)

With The Shrine, Mondo Drag, DJ Rob Metal

9:30pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

 

 

SATURDAY 10

 

Cat fight: Battle of the feline film fests

If you are a cat fan — or simply fond of Internet kitty videos — today is basically Christmas, Hanukkah, your birthday, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and every other awesome holiday rolled into one. In SF, the Roxie rolls out its "First Annual San Francisco Intergalactic Feline Film and Video Festival for Humans," a meow-thful of a name befitting a fest that promises "a two-week film festival in the span of 12 hours." In Oakland, OakCatVidFest presents an entire day of pussy magic; in addition to outdoor screenings, there will be cat-themed bands and dance performances, plus adoptable cats and the chance to sign up to be a kitten foster parent. Superstar Internet feline Lil Bub (of documentary, talk-show, and tongue-wagging fame) will appear at both events. And so should you! (Cheryl Eddy)

Intergalactic Feline Film and Video Fest

Noon, $12 ($30, all-access badge)

Roxie

3125 16th St, SF

www.roxie.com

 

 

 

20th Anniversary Serial Mom Tribute with Ricki Lake

"I don't like to read about movies. They're so violent," picture-perfect suburban hausfrau Beverly R. Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) tells a couple police officers during a brief non-lethal moment in Serial Mom. John Waters' 1994 comedy about a secretly demented wife and mother with very, very high etiquette standards — you really do not want to wear white after Labor Day around he r— remains his personal best since the breakthrough of Hairspray (1988). That film's discovery Ricki Lake, cast as Sutphin daughter Misty, will appear in person for Peaches Christ's "Mother's Day celebration to die for," also featuring a pre-show performance with D'Arcy Drollinger and "the erotic dance stylings of SexiTude." There will be blood. (Dennis Harvey)

8pm, $35-55

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120

www.peacheschrist.com

 

 

Old 97's

Reassuring us all that growing up doesn't mean you have to lose your sense of humor, the Old 97's — the solid, steady fathers of alt-country, who never quite exploded (or imploded) like some of mid-'90s their counterparts did — are currently touring the country with their tenth studio album, Most Messed Up. The tour also functions as a 20th anniversary party for the band, and the record serves as perfect accompaniment: Never have songs about the ravages of road life and the slights of middle age sounded so fun. The band's die-hard fans know they're in for a helluva rocking live show, too, though the guys claim to never rehearse; if you've only heard a few radio singles, this is your chance to see what the fuss is actually all about. (Silvers)

With Nikki Lane

8pm, $25

The Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

www.thefillmore.com

 

 

SUNDAY 11

 

RiFF RAFF

Let's start with the burning question: Is this guy for real? Part of the intrigue of Riff Raff's over-the-top, ultra-campy hip-hop persona is that it might be totally genuine. This caricature-like white guy from Houston with a BET tattoo, a grill, and cornrows, who raps about Dolce and Gabbana, could be an elaborate joke. Nut authentic or not, Riff Raff is a hot commodity; "Feat. Riff Raff" seems to be the most popular phrase on iTunes. He's tight with Drake, Justin Bieber, has over 50 million views on YouTube, and scored some seriously solid guests for his upcoming record Neon Icon — Action Bronson, Childish Gambino, and Diplo, to name just a few. Love him or hate him (it's one or the other) Riff is undeniably fascinating, and this performance won't be one you forget any time soon. (Zaremba)

With Grandtheft

8pm, $25

Regency Ballroom

1290 Sutter, SF

www.theregencyballroom.com

 

MONDAY 12


The San Francisco Moth StorySLAM

You know the upside to life's hideously embarrassing moments, right? Like that time you broke your ankle by slipping on a banana at the Muni station, at rush hour, and had to have Muni employees help you off the platform while covered in banana mush? And also you were headed to a job interview? (Note: this recently happened to an actual friend.) The upside, of course, is that you have an awesome story to tell, and this monthly "story slam," based on the award-winning New York-based series The Moth, rewards naked honesty as much as it does storytelling flair. Fact-checkers won't be on hand, but stories must be true and take five minutes or less to tell; contestants can't use notes or cheat-sheets of any kind. But beyond that, anything goes, so start your storytelling engines.(Silvers)

7:30pm, $8

The Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell St, SF

www.rickshawstop.com

 

Ms. Lauryn Hill

Sure, she's had her share of troubles over the years: prison time for tax evasion, comments about race that gave PR people across the nation simultaneous heart attacks, a laundry list of tardiness and other diva-tastic behaviors. But at the end of the day, Lauryn Hill is still among the most gifted musicians of the last two decades; her Grammy-sweeping album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which turns 16 this August, still graces many a Top 10 list (this critic's included). Live, she's been experimenting with a more reggae-fied and big band sound over the last few years, giving hits like "Doo Wop (That Thing)" the weight of a pseudo-religious revival experience. And if the new music she dropped following her release from prison in the fall of last year is any indication, this tour should be a good one. She might be late, she might be ornery — she won't be boring. (Silvers)

With Daniel Bambaata Marley

8pm, $49.50-82.50

The Warfield

982 Market, SF

www.thewarfieldtheatre.com


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