This Week's Picks: March 26 - April 1, 2014

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WEDNESDAY 26

Carcass

For nearly 30 years now, British metal titans Carcass have been a pioneer in the grindcore and melodic death metal genres, from their musical style and sound to lyrical content and artwork. After releasing a slew of records now considered classics, including 1993's landmark Heartwork (Earache) the band eventually called it quits for 10 years before reforming in 2007. With original members Jeff Walker and Bill Steer still bashing out vocals, guitar, and bass, the foursome released Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast) last year, their first new record in a decade and a half. The Black Dahlia Murder, Repulsion, Gorguts, and Noisem also appear tonight, as part of the Decibel Magazine Tour. (Sean McCourt)

6:30pm, $28.50-$30

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF

www.theregencyballroom.com

 

Linda Perhacs

In 1970, a dental hygienist living in LA's Topanga Valley cut a record called Parallelograms. This album, Linda Perhac's debut, went on virtually unlistened-to for the next 35 years. Dug up by diligent audiophiles, the record was passed around, becoming a cult-classic gem of hippie-era folk. One of these newfound fans was indie musician Devandra Banhart, who coaxed Perhacs into the studio with him in 2003. Seven years later, she would play her first live show...ever. Now Perhacs has been sampled by Daft Punk, covered by Opeth, and adored by many more fans than anyone could have predicted. This year, the 44-years-in-the-making follow up to Parallelograms has finally been released on Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label, and Perhacs is hitting the road, finally getting the recognition her deeply resonant and ethereally beautiful songwriting deserves. (Haley Zaremba)

9pm, $20

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157

www.thechapelsf.com

 

THURSDAY 27

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Last year, just three months before the Dap-Kings' fifth studio album was slated for release, frontwoman Sharon Jones was diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer. But Jones is a fighter. A former bank security guard, corrections officer, and starving artist, Jones is no delicate flower. Now, after surgery and chemo, Jones and company are back on the road to support the rip-roaring Give the People What They Want, the most unintentionally aptly titled album ever. For those who have never seen Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings over the course of the band's 12-year career, know this: they are inhuman. Their musicianship is impeccable, their energy unstoppable, their groove makes it impossible to stand still. And then there's Jones. She didn't achieve commercial success until middle age, and she dances like she's been storing up her energy and radiance for her entire life. As she's proven through her career and in her battle with cancer, she is a force of nature — wild, unflappable, and unbeatable. (Zaremba)

With Valerie June

8pm, $35

Fillmore

1805 Geary, SF

(415) 346-3000

www.thefillmore.com

 

Madonna Look-Alike Night

"Only when I'm dancing can I feel this free." Cat Club is honoring our favorite material girl this Thursday night. While you can't truly re-live the Reagan years without Madonna's top hits, SoMa's favorite cat-themed nightclub is hosting a special rendition of its weekly "Class of 1984" dance party, and this tribute goes way beyond the music. Strap on your Boy Toy belts, cone bras, and fingerless leather gloves for the Madonna Look-Alike Contest. (The $6 cover charge is waived for all those in costume before 11pm, and the contest begins at 11:30pm.) Madonna's most iconic songs and music videos along with many other New Wave and pop one-hit wonders will be playing all night long. Gyrate the night away in your favorite queen of pop fashion, whether it's the corseted wedding gown and lace veil of "Like A Virgin," the Marilyn Monroe-inspired silhouette from "Express Yourself," or the boyish bad girl look à la "Papa Don't Preach." Make Madge proud! (Laura B. Childs)

9pm, $6

Cat Club

1190 Folsom, SF

(415) 703-8965

www.sfcatclub.com

 

FRIDAY 28

Mamma Mia!

Disco is back and very much alive! One of Broadway's most acclaimed musicals makes its way to SHN Orpheum Theatre tonight through April 6. Mamma Mia! is one of those feel-good shows for everyone, whether you're a newcomer or a cult-following veteran. With a soundtrack by immortal Swedish pop titans ABBA, exuberant disco costumes, and slapstick comedy, the musical follows a young girl's quest to find her father on the eve of her wedding. The audience is the winner during this 150-minute performance. Expect to sing along to chart-topping hits such as "Super Trouper," "Take A Chance on Me," and others — you'll leave the show with a smile across your face and (careful) "Dancing Queen" in your head for days. (Childs)

8pm, $40-$160

SHN Orpheum Theatre

1192 Market, SF

(888) 746-1799

www.shnsf.com

 

Johnny Guitar, the Musical

Calling all railroad tramps! There are no other Westerns quite like Nicholas Ray's 1954 Johnny Guitar. Starring Joan Crawford (as a brazen saloon owner), Mercedes McCambridge (as a feisty local who hates her; conveniently, the actors hated each other in real life, too), and Sterling Hayden (as the titular outlaw), Johnny Guitar also features a bank robber named "the Dancin' Kid," unintentionally(?) hilarious dialogue, and a helluva theme song performed by Peggy Lee. Campy and action-packed, it's perfect fodder for a musical; first adapted in 2004, the Off-Broadway hit makes its Bay Area premiere at the Masquers Playhouse. (Cheryl Eddy)

Through April 26

Runs Fri-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm (no show Sun/30), $22

Masquers Playhouse

105 Park Place, Point Richmond

www.masquers.org

 

Work MORE! #6

Under the guiding hand of founder and creative director Mica Sigourney, Work MORE! aims to "provide a platform for collaborative artmaking that utilizes drag to disturb traditional notions of beauty, femininity, and masculinity while promoting interdisciplinary collaborations among artists," according to its mission statement. Its latest incarnation: drag queens paired with fine artists. The resulting non-performative works go on display at an opening that features (what else?) a drag show; future events include a "fake docent tour" with Laura Arrington and Phillip Huang, and a panel discussion on "Illegitimate Art" with co-curator Cara Rose DeFabio. (Eddy)

Exhibit runs through April 24

Opening party and performance tonight, 7pm, free

SOMArts Gallery

934 Brannan, SF

www.cargocollective.com/workmore

 

SATURDAY 29

 

Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation

"I am not a creator," the architect Antonio Gaudi once said. "I only copy." Purely original or not, Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, an enormous church that blends Gothic and Art Nouveau forms that imitate the rolling hills and landscapes of the Catalan countryside, is not exactly a common sight to behold. With only eight of its 18 steeples built and an ambitious blueprint, the Sagrada Familia has been under construction for 132 years with no end in sight. Stefan Haupt's documentary Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation explores the cathedral's construction — delayed by Gaudi's death and by the complexity of the building's designs — through the voices of the artisans working on the cathedral and its historical and philosophical context. Like the construction itself, the film moves slowly, pondering the unfinished masterpiece Gaudi left behind, and delivers sublime cinematography exploring Sagrada's unusual shapes and meditative history. Get caught up in the rapture at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Childs)

7:30pm, $10

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

701 Mission, SF

(415) 978-2787

www.ybca.org

 

The Apache Relay

Since getting their start just a few short years ago, Nashville-based band The Apache Relay have come a long way — they've released several well-received albums, and toured with acts such as Mumford and Sons. Mixing Springsteen-esque rock with the sweet country sounds of their adopted hometown, the band's new, self-titled album, out on So Recordings, was put to tape at Fairfax Recordings — the former location of legendary Sound City Studios. The first single from the record (which hits stores April 22), "Katie Queen of Tennessee," takes inspiration from another icon of the recording industry, namely Phil Spector and his "Wall of Sound." With The Lonely Wild and The Soil & The Sun. (McCourt)

9pm, $12

The Chapel

777 Valencia, SF

(415) 551-5157

www.thechapelsf.com

 

SUNDAY 30

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Come and relive your childhood — assuming your childhood included adults in princess-themed costume contests — at the best Castro Theatre sing-along event of the year. At 23 years old, Disney's Beauty and the Beast on a big screen is still, well, beautiful — from the rich, ahead-of-its-time animation and cinematography to Angela Lansbury's tear-jerking rendition of the title song to non-stop, grown-up-funny quips from an ensemble cast that, for a brief moment, made us all covet furniture that came to life and gave us advice in French accents. In addition to the aforementioned costume contest, all attendees receive a goodie bag with bubbles, noisemakers, and other accessories to be used en masse at exciting points in the film. It's tradition — and as Cogsworth always says, "If it's not Baroque, don't fix it." (Emma Silvers)

2:30pm and 7pm, $16 general/$10 kids

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

www.castrotheatre.com

 

MONDAY 31

Opening Day Viewing Party at AT&T Park

Giants fans, we can stop counting down the days, obsessing over every news nugget about Timmy's mustache that comes out of Spring Training — the 2014 baseball season is on. Though the boys are on the road for Opening Day, the Giants organization isn't one to miss the chance to throw a party (er, cash in on fandom), so they're opening the ballpark to fans who want to watch the season opener, with sweetheart Madison Bumgarner pitching against the Diamondbacks, on a very big screen. Admission is free, as are hot dogs for the first 5000 orange-and-black-clad die-hards through the door. Beers, we assume, will still be roughly $40 a pop. (Silvers)

5:30pm, free

AT&T Park

24 Willie Mays Plaza, SF

www.giants.mlb.com


TUESDAY 31

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

One of the most encouraging things that can happen to a highly successful, well-established dance company is a willingness to change gear. When Robert Battle assumed the artistic directorship of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, you immediately felt a new spirit entering the much beloved ensemble. The dancers have always been astounding; now to see them in appropriately challenging choreography is simply exhilarating. These three programs are bringing the best of Ailey, but also some of the best of this generation's choreographers. The astoundingly inventive and also deeply spiritual Ronald K. Brown's Four Corners is not to be missed. Yes, Revelations is still with us; but perhaps one of these years it can be retired for a while, and Ailey will still be Ailey. (Rita Felciano)

April 1-5, 8pm,

also April 5, 2pm, April 6, 3pm

$30-92

Cal Performances

Zellerbach Hall

Berkeley

(510) 642-9988

www.calperformances.org

 

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