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Friday, June 11, 2010

Naked Bike Ride, Sonny & The Sunsets, 'I Get What I Want And Always Get It Again!'

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 7:30 AM

The Prids
  • The Prids

Oh you lucky Bay Area dweller. There is a glut of good, cheap shows this weekend - with bands playing light and jangly pop, crunchy psychedelic noise, and nearly everything in between. Get out of your bar-closest-to-home funk and explore all the great local venues you don't patronize enough. This is your chance to catch hip touring and local bands in intimate settings for less than a 10-spot. And of course, there's also a naked bike ride, potato sack race, and a nostalgic nod to hippiedom.

Sonny & The Sunsets @ The Hemlock (Fri.) San Francisco's own Sonny & the Sunsets, led by singer Sonny Smith, play the kind of lo-fi, beach-y pop songs that generally make the ladies and gents of the Bay swoon. The group, which sometimes boasts outstanding guest collaborators like John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees and Shayde Sartin of the Fresh & Onlys, is a deceptively breezy band. Its appreciative nods to flirty doo-wop are undercut by razor-sharp lyrics ("I'll stick a dagger in the heart of the fool that tries to take my man"). Mischievous L.A. garage rockers Wounded Lion and John Wesley Coleman open. ($8 ,9:30pm)

World Naked Bike Ride: San Francisco @ Justin Herman Plaza (Sat.) If there is one thing San Franciscans can agree on, it's that we like the occasional naked event. We're no longer shocked -- hell, we even grin -- when a pantsless herd of fun-seekers zooms merrily by in whatever race, parade or gathering happens to be taking place. So when World Naked Bike Ride SF rolls around, you'll probably bat hardly an eye at the crowd of nude or near-nude cyclists -- or perhaps you'll join in. Here's your chance to spin free, free of inhibitions, free of clothing, through the hilly streets of our fair city. It's like critical mass, but with more skin (hence its nickname, "Critical Ass"). (Free, 12-5 p.m.)

Witches Brew @ Thee Parkside (Sat.) Like a hodgepodge of macabre living, Witches Brew includes gothic cabaret, burlesque by Lily le Rouge, Bunny Pistol, Marie la Faux and a spooky tarot tent. I predict babes with bangs. There also will local vendors, vintage cars and sideshow curios by Val Killmore. With months left to go before Halloween, this may be the most ghoulish event in the foreseeable future. ($5, 2-8 p.m.)

"I Get What I Want, and Always Get It Again!" @ Marx & Zavattero (Sat.) James Gobel uses colored felt, glue, and shiny bits to make his art. In his hardworking hands, those children's materials jump to grownup life -- big, unexpected, sexy life. At "I Get What I Want, and Always Get It Again!," he continues to use gay bears as his main subjects. A while back, his stylized lumberjacks and leathermen wandered a mysterious mansion holding lit candles; here, they sing karaoke. Felt is a lovely, soft means to render skin tones, especially, but also flannel and worn-in leather, while the judicious application of bling and the ribbony, Art Deco look of all facial hair sharpen the portraits' focus. Loud colors are a signature move of Gobel's; he throws canary yellow around like Josef von Sternberg lighting Marlene Dietrich. Only he's not discovering a starlet, he's looking into a subculture not recognized as beautiful by the mainstream, and putting it on a (suitably complicated) pedestal. (Free, opening reception at 5 p.m.) Daily from June 12 until July 17 -- Hiya Swanhuyser

Amigo Fest 2010 @ Sub-Mission Gallery (Saturday) Pay the requisite $5 for this all-ages show and you can watch nine idiosyncratic bands during one night on multiple stages at Sub-Mission. That's correct, nearly ten acts for a total of $5. Perhaps you've never heard of the headlining acts, but I can assure you, it will be one hell of a fun show. The band names might say it all: Cheez it Failure, Shia LaBeoufs, Orchestra of Antlers, Clarissa Explains it All and Five Characters in Search of an Exit, amongst others. The only thing these acts all have in common? --"we love to play music." Reason enough for me. ($5, 6 p.m.)

Experimental films and sounds from the Bay Area @ ATA Gallery (Saturday) Leave it to ATA to host a noisy hybrid of sound, film and performance. Experimental noise-makers Wiggwaum will perform to a backdrop of visual works by all three members on 16 millimeter film and video. The show also serves as a release party for the new cassette tape, "Live at the Hemlock Tavern." In addition, SF-based promoter George Chen's band Chen Santa Maria will play and San Francisco Super8 filmmaker Paul Clipson, En-Maxwell August Croy and James Devane will screen their works. You can likely expect a profusion of primal screams. ($6, 8 p.m.)

The Prids and Soft Tags @ Hemlock Tavern (Sat.) If you make an indie-rock album and Built to Spill's Doug Martsch shows up, the battle is half-won right there. Martsch sings and plays guitar on "In the Fall" from the Prids' new album, Chronosynclastic, and his BTS bandmate Brett Nelson lends keyboards to "When I Look." That's no fluke: The cult Portland, Ore., band has made fans of A Place to Bury Strangers, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and even Henry Rollins. When a disastrous 2008 tour-van crash injured members of the Prids and others traveling with them, fellow musicians came out of the woodwork to appear on a benefit tribute album. Such is the respect the band has accrued since forming in 1995. Led by now-divorced couple David Frederickson and Mistina La Fave, the Prids have survived to see members, home cities, and labels come and go. But Chronosynclastic succeeds without the survivor backstory: It's noisy, dreamy, guitar-led indie rock that's distinctly '90s in the best sense. ($7, 9:30 p.m.) -- Doug Wallen

Haight Ashbury Street Fair @ Haight and Ashbury (Sun.) We can all agree that the Haight Ashbury District has gone through some monumental changes since the days of groovy flower children prancing through the park with flowers in their hair, letting their freak flags fly and all that. But once a year, the neighborhood still known worldwide for its hippie nature honors its legacy with a nod to the past. This year, in a time fraught with sit/lie brouhaha, the fair celebrates its 33rd anniversary. As in years past, the event's highlights are live bands and street vendors selling psychedelic tie-dye and other various nostalgic memorabilia. (Free, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.)

The First Annual Potato Sack Race @ Precita Park (Sun.) This fundraiser for the Beacon Culinary Project is a potato-themed food cart party. What exactly does that mean? There will be fast and friendly potato sack races and an abundance of cheap eats loosely based on everyone's favorite carb. Local street food mavens Adobo Hobo, Gumbo Cart, Pot Pie Junkie and plenty more will be standing by to nourish your potato-sacked body. The race's winner will receive free food at the after-party (held at La Victoria Bakery) and the chance to win a cooking class. So make like it's your family reunion and hop for a good cause (Free, 1-3:30 p.m.)

Oceanography @ Kimo's (Sun.) Bay Area indie pop group Oceanography's shaky, melodic guitar blends neatly with pained, echoing vocals. It's enough to cause involuntary shoulder swaying. The tender sincerity of the music could likely warm a frozen hipster or two. Oceanography plays Kimo's narrow upstairs attic with fellow locals the Pentacles and Mousefire. ($6, 9 p.m.)

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