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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Night + Day: Calendar Picks for 5/22

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2008 at 12:00 AM


Popscene vs. Club N.M.E, 10pm, $10-$12

330 Ritch - 330 Ritch at Townsend

The debut full-length from England’s much-hyped rock import Foals is a kindred spirit to such innovative post-hardcore acts as Minus the Bear and Q and Not U. But Foals could succeed on a far larger scale than either of those acts, because songs like Antidotes’ “Red Socks Pugie” are imminently danceable instead of merely trying to be dancey. The chorus hook alone is so immediately infectious it’s hard to believe it hadn’t already been written by, say, Wolf Parade. That said, Foals’ musical inspiration isn’t constrained to one specific scene. From the schizophrenic sampling of “Tron” to the electronica-tinged rally cry “Electric Bloom” and glitchy, horn-driven opener “The French Open,” Antidotes incorporates disparate genres from techno to salsa to form a CD that works exactly because listeners don’t know what to expect from track-to-track or, sometimes, moment-to-moment. In an increasingly homogenous rock landscape, Antidotes is also a rarity: an album that manages to innovate without alienating, affirming the belief that critical acclaim and mainstream acceptance don’t have to be mutually exclusive traits. — Jonah Bayer

Ice Stories, Noon

Exploratorium - 3601 Lyon at Marina

In days of yore, polar research teams could expect to be left to their own devices during their season on the floe. Now, thanks to the Internet, they're increasingly required to exit the mess hall and pat down their hair and explain what's happening at the polar latitudes. Today, a new season of the Webcast series Ice Stories: Live Reports from Polar Scientists starts being broadcast. The month-long run includes dispatches from anthropologist and archaeologist Anne Jensen, who breaks down Thule expansion across the Arctic, along with comments by myriad scientists studying geology, oceanography, and biology. Even the local Inupiat folks get screen time. You can watch the Webcasts on your computer, but heading down to watch at the Exploratorium brings an added bonus: live Q&As with the team. --Michael Leaverton

"Around '68," 6pm

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - 151 Third St.

Brit bad boy Malcolm McDowell didn't have his poster thumb-tacked to as many bedroom walls as James Dean or Marlon Brando did, but only because he hailed from a smaller country. As an exemplar of cinematic rebellion, though, no one was bigger. McDowell’s crackling portrayal of revolution-minded public schoolboy Mick Travis in If … is one of the key performances of 1960s cinema. A highlight of this month’s “Around ’68” series — and an essential film for any celebration of (or memorial to) that year’s worldwide student protests — Lindsay Anderson’s 1968 masterpiece demolishes the old world of class hierarchy and adolescent indoctrination. Less-known and decidedly less optimistic, Nagisa Oshima’s chilling The Man Who Left His Will on Film (screening with If … only on May 24) follows an avowedly political young filmmaker trying to get to the bottom of a fellow artist’s suicide. Just two years after McDowell blasted away at every target in sight from the roof of his school, Oshima was asking hard questions about art’s ability to effect change. From this vantage point, 40 years on, the ambivalence of the ’60s remains unresolved. --Michael Fox

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