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Classical Revolution

Mondays, 8 p.m.
Revolution Cafe 3248 22nd St., San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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Classical music's no-frills Mission digs.

Armed with stringed instruments and intense training from the likes of Juilliard and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Classical Revolution is on a mission to change the way classical music is perceived and performed in this city. Conceived in late 2006, the collective's intent has been to inject a different sound into the Mission District music scene. What started as a quartet has now become a chamber music jam session with more than 100 performers sitting in over the years — from symphony and opera professionals to Google employees, a truck driver, and a water treatment lobbyist.

The group's music-for-all manifesto, played out three nights a week in unlikely bars, encourages the masses to have a beer with Brahms, dance to Dvorák, or make out to Mendelssohn. Classical music isn't just for the rich folks peering through their binoculars at Davies Symphony Hall — here it's bouncing off the ceilings at mainstays Revolution Cafe, the Make-Out Room, and Socha. These performances are akin to inviting passersby to share balcony seats with a corporate executive, minus the $100 ticket. "We're classically trained, but it's no different than rock 'n' roll," says Edwin Huizinga, a San Francisco Conservatory of Music–trained violinist. "We're getting our voice out there, just like bands playing in a garage."

Charith Premawardhana, a violist and Classical Revolution's founder, says he's working to change the stereotypes about classical music being played only in stuffy concert halls with high ticket prices. "We are about doing something for the community, especially those without a lot of money," he says. "It's also about talented younger musicians wanting to play in spaces other than formal orchestral settings."

The strategy seems to work. One night last month, 45 people crammed into Revolution Cafe's candlelit confines to hear an ensemble perform a Brahms sextet. Part word-of-mouth underground concert and part 18th-century salon, the evening's mix was indefinable. Seated at one table, inches from the musicians, a meditative older gentleman tapped his feet to the rhythm, while just behind him a rollicking group of twentysomethings swayed to the melody. At the bar, a woman scribbled in her journal as the bartender steadily served beers and sangria. No matter the venue, Classical Revolution seems to have accidentally stumbled onto the public's desire for an atmosphere of sexy meets refined. The only similarity between the concert hall and the no-frills bar is the thunderous applause and demand for encores.

Philip Browning, a 64-year-old realtor, has attended almost every Classical Revolution performance for the past year. "It's so intimate sitting next to the musicians, seeing the strings plucked and the extra horsehair hanging off the bow," he says.

The players' accomplishments outside Classical Revolution are vast. On one end of the spectrum, they've competed at New England's internationally acclaimed Tanglewood Music Festival and held positions with the world-famous Arditti Quartet; on the other, they've played with popular acts ranging from Vanessa Carlton and Les Claypool's Frog Brigade to the Mars Volta. But while the professional musicians are a huge draw, there's also a dedicated cadre of Classical Revolution amateurs. Pianist and computer programmer Ariel Backenroth and violinists and Google employees Meghan Sherlock and Jennifer Chang perform with the group regularly. "Anyone can come and play in this chamber music club," Backenroth says. "It's a unique opportunity to play with high-caliber musicians."

Whether its members' résumés are high-powered or far-reaching, Classical Revolution's goal is to take a breather from stodgy traditions associated with its genre and get the public involved in the act. The group is re-establishing chamber music as an intimate art form to be enjoyed during late-night soirées — something like rock's unplugged playbook, only with music that was a hit a few centuries back.


415-642-0474

"Death Guild": Death Guild

Mondays, 9:30 p.m.
DNA Lounge 375 11th St., San Francisco South of Market

Buy Tickets$3-$5

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Dying to dance, brood, or peel the yellow wallpaper off the wall? Well, so are these fun freaks. Join them at Death Guild, won't you? Every Monday night at DNA Lounge, gaggles of 18-and-over moody bastards come to show off their blackest attire and eyeliner while pouting to goth, industrial, noise, and synth-pop sounds courtesy of DJs Melting Girl, Joe Radio, Decay, and guests. 415-626-1409

The Pick Bluegrass Jam

Fourth Monday of every month, 6 p.m.
Amnesia 853 Valencia, San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

The Earl Brothers

Fourth Monday of every month, 9 p.m.
Amnesia 853 Valencia, San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

Karaoke Lounge

Ongoing

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High-quality singing with no charge for songs or entrance. 415-626-4726

Peter Lindman

Mondays, 4 p.m.
The Saloon 1232 Grant, San Francisco North Beach/ Chinatown

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415-989-7666

Traditional Irish Session

Sundays, 6 p.m. and Mondays, 8 p.m.
The Chieftain 198 Fifth St., San Francisco South of Market

American Tripps: The "Berlin-Style" Ping Pong Night!

Mondays, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.
Pop's Bar 2800 24th St., San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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American Tripps: The "Berlin-Style" Ping Pong Night Born in the back rooms of dive bars in Berlin and perfected in the secret semi-legal art spaces of the Mission, this is a brand of ping pong built for happy hours and late nights. With DJs Beauregard & Nutzeffekt (and special guests) spinning dancefloor gems and barroom bangers they picked up in Berlin and elsewhere. Now every Monday at Pop’s, 6pm-2am, no cover 415-872-5160

Carl Lockett

Ongoing, 6:30 p.m.
John's Grill 63 Ellis, San Francisco South of Market

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415-986-0069

SalsaCrazy Dance Night

Mondays, 7 p.m.
Neck of the Woods 406 Clement, San Francisco Haight/ Fillmore

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w/ lessons by Evan Margolin 415-387-6343

"Shellac Shack"

Mondays, 7 p.m.
The Homestead 2301 Folsom, San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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DJ Chas Gaudí spins vintage blues, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, and other 78 RPM goodies. 415-282-4663

Le Jazz Hot

Mondays, 7 p.m.

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415-931-3600

Nora Maki

Mondays, 7:30 p.m.
Zingari 501 Post, San Francisco Union Square/ Financial District

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415-885-8850

Steve Nelson Trio Jam Session

Mondays, 8 p.m.
Sheba Piano Lounge 1419 Fillmore, San Francisco Haight/ Fillmore

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415-440-7414

"M.O.M. (Motown on Mondays)": M.O.M. (Motown on Mondays)

Mondays, 8 p.m.
Madrone Art Bar 500 Divisadero, San Francisco Haight/ Fillmore

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w/ DJ Gordo Cabeza & Timoteo Gigante 415-241-0202

Badlands Video Dance Club

Ongoing, 8 p.m.
SF Badlands 4121 18th St., San Francisco Castro/ Noe Valley

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415-626-9320

Piano Bar 101

Mondays, 9 p.m.
Martuni's 4 Valencia, San Francisco South of Market

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Open mic cabaret with Joe Collins Wicht, Trauma Flintstone's piano-playing alter ego. 415-241-0205

"Three Day Weekend"

Mondays, 9 p.m.
Luka's Taproom & Lounge 2221 Broadway, Oakland Downtown Oakland

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With DJ C-Moses. 510-451-4677

Krazy for Karaoke

Mondays, 9 p.m.
The Knockout 3223 Mission, San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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With Omar Rockriguez. 415-550-6994

Karaoke Mondays

Mondays, 9 p.m.
EZ5 682 Commercial, San Francisco Castro/ Noe Valley

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415-362-9321

The Bachelors

Mondays, 9:30 p.m.
The Saloon 1232 Grant, San Francisco North Beach/ Chinatown

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415-989-7666

"Skylarking": Skylarking

Mondays, 10 p.m.
Skylark Bar 3089 16th St., San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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w/ I&I Vibration 415-621-9294

"Slow Jams": Slow Jams

First and Second Tuesday of every month, 9:30 p.m. and Fourth and Last Tuesday of every month, 9:30 p.m.
Make-Out Room 3225 22nd St., San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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While most '60s soul parties are dedicated to uptempo bangers, Slow Jams takes a different tack. Thrown Tuesday nights at the Make-Out Room, it's an evening dedicated to the slower side of soul with a playlist that sounds tailor-made for some hip '60s prom. Veteran DJs Lucky and Primo preside over the event with their extensive (and expensive) collections of rare vinyl. Grab a partner and sway to songs like Joe Bataan's "Under the Streetlamp," Malo's "Suavecito," and Wendy Rene's "After Laughter." Lose yourself enough, and the club's nostalgic decorations might give you the impression of being in a lost era. Snap out of it, and you'll soon realize you can have this much fun every week. (415) 647-2888

"High Fantasy": High Fantasy

Tuesdays, 10 p.m.

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Weekends are for amateurs — the really good stuff happens during the week. Well, that might be a little hyperbolic, but it's certainly true in the case of High Fantasy. Going on for several years now, the weekly Tuesday night party at Aunt Charlie's is your midweek destination for a dose of high-concept gender-bending insanity. Madcap promoters Myles Cooper and Vivian Baron host an evening of cheap drinking, dancing, and drag to an impeccably selected soundtrack of underground house and disco classics. Its Facebook page declares, "It's everything you want...." And, for the low price of $5 (or less), it probably is. 415-441-2922

The Pleasure Palace

Fourth Tuesday of every month, 9 p.m.
Revolution Cafe 3248 22nd St., San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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415-642-0474

G.G. Amos Duo: G.G. Amos

Tuesdays, 4 p.m.
The Saloon 1232 Grant, San Francisco North Beach/ Chinatown

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415-989-7666

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