Two things you might not have otherwise associated — the ongoing tragedy in Japan and the impending arrival of Britney Spears in the Castro this weekend — are now loosely connected.The public has until midnight tonight to enter an auction to win two VIP passes to the pop star’s outdoor performance being filmed this weekend outside the Castro Theatre for an upcoming segment on “Good Morning America.” The proceeds benefit the Salvation Army Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Read More
Coppélia is a mechanical doll, without a heart, but around her, San Francisco Ballet’s production of “Coppélia” sparkles with live and lively dancers, miles of heart — and muscles not to be believed.In Sunday’s Program 5 matinee, Vanessa Zahorian danced the lead role of Swanilda with charm, grace and what must be called superhuman strength.Each of the three acts of this spectacular piece is a different ballet, and Zahorian, partnered well by Taras Domitro, danced three roles, each the equivalent of a complete work. Read More
Goth rockers are apt to experience déja vu with a spooky new trio from Brighton, England called Esben and the Witch.
The group — which took its moniker from a creepy fairy tale, in which an evil crone is repeatedly outfoxed by a sly child — has bowed in with “Violet Cries,” a debut that combines the ethereal Cocteau-Twins-ish guitar/keyboard textures of Daniel Copeman and Thomas Fisher with Rachel Davies’ otherworldly, Siouxsie-Sioux-evocative vocals.
Even the spectral album photographs are reminiscent of Vaughan Oliver’s vintage work at the label 4AD. Read More
Like many a gay man — and a few straight ones — Matthew Martin has always had a Bette Davis line or two ready in his hip pocket. This week he brings her and a posse of other divas to the Rrazz Room, noting that they are “All Singing, All Dancing, All Dead!”Singing live and working the Tom Shaw Trio’s onstage musicians, Martin picks up the feather boa that long rested on the shoulders of Charles Pierce, San Francisco’s most famous “male actress” — an appellation Pierce preferred over “drag.” Read More
In some ways, the apple fell far from the tree with Lukas Nelson. While the singer-guitarist’s father happens to be reigning king of outlaw country Willie Nelson, Junior has taken a bluesier approach with his band’s debut, “Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.” Yet he does share dad’s Zen-like aesthetic: He believes that a good song is out there, floating through the stratosphere. “You should allow it to come to you when it’s supposed to and not worry about it,” he says. The avid surfer hangs ten at Café Du Nord on Sunday. Read More
Unlike her last Las Vegas extravaganza, “A New Day,” Celine Dion’s new show at the Caesars Palace theater, created just for her, is “all about the songs.” Her previous five-year gig at The Colosseum broke sales records with its wild Cirque du Soleil-style theatrics. This time, after a world tour and the addition of twins Nelson and Eddy, she is returning for three years with a set list of varied tunes backed by a 31-piece orchestra. Read More
Mark Mothersbaugh had no idea his Hollywood neighbors were country rocker Shooter Jennings and actress Drea de Matteo until their 3-year-old daughter, Alabama, raced up to him recently, gushing and calling out his name. Read More
Most babies are born in nine months. For singer and songwriter Amanda McBroom, who appears at the Rrazz Room this weekend, her newest arrival only took about a decade to debut.“I started on it in about 2001,” she says of “Dangerous Beauty,” a musical written with longtime collaborator Michelle Brourman that recently made its premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse. “I’m very, very proud of it,” says McBroom. “There was ‘yea’ press and ‘boo’ press — it’s one of these pieces that people are either gonna love or hate — but I think she’s a winner!” Read More
She’s flying in from Portland rehearsals with Dave Frischberg and he’s coming off a recording session, but when longtime couple Jessica Molaskey and John Pizzarelli return home from their two concerts at the Fairmont’s Venetian Room this weekend, they will enjoy a rare treat.
“We’ll actually sit next to each other on the flight home from San Francisco,” says Pizzarelli, adding, “and without a child between us!” Read More
At 65, Texas twangsmith Jimmie Dale Gilmore has become a philosopher who teaches courses at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in New York. So he’ll consider the question — what exactly has gone wrong with country music today? — with precision. Read More