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Protest fundraisers and Women’s March, post-inauguration rallies

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 01:12:23 UT

The invitation beckoned guests to “join us for an evening of dinner, dancing and defiance,” but as a member of the press — certified dancer and diner but forbidden to defy — I was there to report. Many organizers and participants in the Take Back the Ball event, there to provide financial support to rapid-response nonprofits protecting climate and reproductive justice and “communities of color on the front lines,” were the same ball-gowned folks I’d seen at the Ballet opening and SFJazz gala earlier in the week. [...] Gino Cerchiai, owner of Bimbo’s, was recalling proudly that he’d met Barack Obama — and sneaked him around the corner to a back door of the club — when Kamala Harris tossed a fundraiser for the senator, early in his first campaign. The birth mother of Take Back the Ball was Kaitlyn Krieger of the Future Justice foundation; her husband/co-parent is Mike Krieger, CTO and co-founder of Instagram. Willie Brown (“I’m the only person Trump didn’t trash”) was there with Sonya Molodetskaya, who was wearing Givenchy, a nod perhaps to Oui the People. In the lounge at Bimbo’s, Artspan artists were painting messages having to do with the aims of the event. Guests were offered a variety of buttons, specific (Black Lives Matter) and general: “Science, Art, Facts, Truth.” Onstage, Katdelic, Onemohit (Make It Funky) and Biz Markie performed, as well as feminist Muslim comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh (“There is no word in Farsi for ‘atheist,’ just seven slurs”). At BART’s Civic Center Station on Saturday, Jan. 21, reports Tamara Giusti of San Bruno, the train operator exhorted passengers: “Now go out there and make history!” And aboard a crowded No. 5 bus, Chris Finnegan says, people started singing ’60s protest songs. The women and kids and men — many, many men, perhaps a third of the crowd — were having fun reading each other’s signs — Sergio’s elegant riff: I know signs, I make the best signs. Everyone agrees — touching shoulder to shoulder, holding umbrellas over each other’s heads, and feeling surrounded by like-minded people.

Devendra Banhart goes ape on latest release

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:37:19 UT

Devendra Banhart goes ape on latest release Everyone’s favorite San Francisco Art Institute dropout, Devendra Banhart, recently released his ninth studio album, “Ape in Pink Marble.” Recorded in Los Angeles with longtime collaborators Noah Georgeson and Josiah Steinbrick, it finds the wandering folk singer once again slipping through his woozy world of samba, rockabilly and ska influences.

Hip-hop in a classical vein

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:27:57 UT

In addition to its other virtues, hip-hop as a musical phenomenon has proved to be endlessly combinatorial, able to fuse with just about any other musical strain that comes along the pike. [...] at any rate, is the premise underlying Black Violin, the increasingly popular duo consisting of violinist Kevin Sylvester and violist Wilner Baptiste. The two classically trained string players, who have performed with Alicia Keyes and Wu-Tang Clan as well as worked with the likes of Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco, have forged a dynamic link between the two stylistic strands that uncovers new aspects of both traditions. Black Violin is set to play three Bay Area dates, accompanied by DJ SPS and percussionist Nat Stokes.

Dawsondance offers a world premiere

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:24:23 UT

Come celebrate DawsondanceSF’s 10th anniversary with the world premiere of “Les Vérités” at Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28. “With ‘Les Vérités,’ I’m re-examining some ideas that I’ve explored in the past, and focusing on the dancing; no frills, just the deep honesty of movement,” says Gregory Dawson, the company’s artistic director. The shows will include live music, with a score by Ron Kurti and performed by Classical Revolution Quartet and guest artist saxophonist Richard Howell. “Gregory Dawson’s precision and ingenuity are hallmarks of storied and soulful craftsmanship,” says Marc Bamuthi Joseph, YBCA’s chief of program and pedagogy.

SF Playhouse takes ‘The Christians’ seriously

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:21:25 UT

In this age of cultural polarization, Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians,” now in its Bay Area premiere at San Francisco Playhouse, offers a chance to escape what can feel like San Francisco’s atheist and agnostic bubble. On the page, Hnath writes those lines in increasingly indented free verse, as if the pastor’s speech itself were crumbling. The pastor’s crisis of faith over what he perceives as a flaw in Christian philosophy: that even the best of non-Christians are hell bound. For the rest of us, deliverance comes as a theater ticket.

A bold addition to the cello repertoire

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:20:04 UT

When Mason Bates’ Cello Concerto had its world premiere in 2014 with the Seattle Symphony, it was hailed as a crowd-pleaser, with a strong rhythmic undercurrent and plenty of opportunity for soloistic display. The soloist on that occasion, Joshua Roman, had spent time as the orchestra’s extremely young principal cellist before setting out to launch a well-merited solo career, and he’s championed Bates’ concerto in performances across the country. [...] the concerto has arrived in the Bay Area — Bates’ own home turf — as Roman joins the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra to give it a local premiere.

Czechs, please! at Davies Hall

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:17:59 UT

Whether you call it Bohemia or Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic or (in the latest twist of geopolitical nomenclature) Czechia, the land that looks to Prague as its capital has always been fertile ground for music. Both the pastoral strains of the Czech landscape and the urban traditions of its cities make themselves felt in the work of its native composers. The powerful French cellist Gautier Capuçon will be the soloist in the Dvorák concerto, and Emmanuel Villaume conducts.

Mark Eitzel’s latest hits another creative peak

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:15:58 UT

Mark Eitzel’s latest hits another creative peak There’s a chance — well, a remote one anyway — that “Hey Mr Ferryman,” the latest album by the former lead singer for the San Francisco gloom rockers American Music Club, will bring in a fresh round of devotees. Produced by former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, the new material contains some of Eitzel’s most accessible work since his old band released classics like 1988’s “California” and 1991’s “Everclear.”

Sail away with Pacific Coast’s ‘Anything Goes’

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:58:05 UT

“Anything Goes” at Firehouse Arts Center this weekend, when Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre stages the Cole Porter musical about the high jinks of lovelorn sailors and passengers aboard the SS American. The show features the catchy tunes “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “It’s De-Lovely,” as well as the title number. Mistaken identities, disguises, botched entrapments, strip poker, an affair with a Chinese woman named Plum Blossom and, incongruously, a religious revival drive the screwball plot.

No quiet in ‘Silence! The Musical,’ only baas

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:53:30 UT

No quiet in ‘Silence! Lambs don’t actually appear in the 1991 thriller “Silence of the Lambs”; they’re a metaphor for the lifelong inner suffering of Jodie Foster’s character, FBI agent Clarice Starling. [...] boy do they ever appear in Silence! The Musical, the show’s “unauthorized parody,” which begins previews this weekend at the Victoria Theatre in a production by Cloud 9 Theatricals, in association with Lang Entertainment Group and Ray of Light Theatre. In the musical, which has a book by Hunter Bell and music and lyrics by Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan, lambs make up a chorus, “haunting Clarice,” the stage directions say, “but also helping to motivate her.” Silence!

With ‘Walls,’ Kings of Leon reign over the charts

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:44:43 UT

With ‘Walls,’ Kings of Leon reign over the charts Following a three-year break, Kings of Leon are ruling the charts with “Walls.” The Nashville group’s seventh studio album is its first to hit No. 1, packing blockbuster singles “Waste a Moment” and “Around the World.” Working with producer Markus Dravs, whose previous clients include the likes of Arcade Fire and Coldplay, the Kings have finally risen from a scrappy Southern rock band to sultans of the arenas. Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St., S.F.

Jekabson Quintet plays ‘A Brand New Take’

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:43:24 UT

The trumpet player leads his own ensembles, is an in-demand freelance musician, as well as composer, arranger and educator who has managed to find time to make a new CD with the Erik Jekabson Quintet. “A Brand New Take,” Jekabson’s fifth CD under his name, includes new compositions by Jekabson, as well as head-turning arrangements of standards, and will be celebrated with a concert on Friday, Jan. 27, at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. Erik Jekabson Quintet: CD release concert for “A Brand New Take.”

SF Ballet launches ambitious New Works Festival

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:00:00 UT

The San Francisco Ballet and Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson have always been in the forefront of promoting innovative new works. Next season, there will be double the number of premieres in a New Works Festival that will feature many of the best choreographers from the Bay Area and beyond. “To ensure that ballet as an art form continues to evolve, we need to support and showcase choreographers who display ingenuity, passion for the art form and fresh thinking — and who are willing to take risks,” Tomasson said. Complete festival details, including special events and activities, will be announced along with the 2018 regular season in April.

'Hit the Lights' on this ambulance-turned-Metallica party van for sale in Calif.

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:51:52 UT

A vintage 1970s fire department ambulance got a rocking second life, thanks to big Metallica fan living in San Diego.

Dear Abby: Family friend hurt by sulky teen’s attitude

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:01:00 UT

Family friend hurt by sulky teen’s attitude When her mom and dad invite me for dinner or a family get-together, she barely acknowledges me when I say hi or ask how she’s doing. On one hand, I tell myself this is just a phase she is going through and to change nothing, hoping one day she realizes that I’m her biggest cheerleader and recognizes the love I have for her. [...] I think she’s acting like a spoiled brat, and if she doesn’t know how to treat people, then I want nothing to do with her. How can I ask them to stop without alienating them and losing my brother and his friend? In recent decades there has been a coarsening of the language many individuals use on a daily basis, and it’s regrettable. [...] that doesn’t mean you must listen to it and remain silent. The next time it happens, tell your brother and his friends that when they use the f-bomb, it makes you and your sister uncomfortable and ask them to please refrain from dropping it when they are with you.