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Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes play the Rrazz Room

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Classic soul: Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes sing their hits “If You Don’t Know Me By Now
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Who’s in town

Former New York Times reporter Daniel Simpson talks about “A Rough Guide to the Dark Side,” a memoir. [7 p.m., Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th St., S.F.]

Lectures

‘Spotlight on Iran’: The series presents a talk on U.S. policy regarding Iran. Former U.S. ambassadors William Luers and Frank Wisner and retired Adm. Eric Olson speak. [6:30 p.m., Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., S.F.; RSVP: www.worldaffairs.org]

State budget: Speakers discuss the findings of a six-state study examining how state budget and accounting procedures can threaten fiscal sustainability, and how this affects California. [Noon, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

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Jonathan Canick: The neuropsychologist discusses how some mental abilities improve, rather than decline, in the aging brain, and how cognition-boosting activities are vital for healthy aging. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Naomi Wolf: The social critic and author of “The Beauty Myth” discusses “Vagina: A New Biography.” [7 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

Marty Brounstein: The local writer talks about “Two Among the Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust,” the true story of a Christian couple in the Netherlands who risked their lives to save more than two dozen Jews. [7 p.m., Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

NoViolet Bulawayo: The Zimbabwe-raised fiction writer discusses “In America” and other works, appearing in conversation with Sarah Ladipo Manyika. [6:30 p.m., Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission St., S.F.]

Michael J. Cooper: The novelist talks about “Foxes in the Vineyard.” [7 p.m., BookShop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., S.F.]

Lawrence Norfolk: The novelist reads from “John Saturnall’s Feast.” [6 p.m., Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, S.F.]

At the public library

Book discussion: West Portal Book Club discusses “The Sense of an Ending,” Julian Barnes’ award-winning novel. [2 p.m., West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way, S.F.]

Great Teen Book Swap: Teens receive free books with the understanding that they will give the library a bookmark review by the end of the month. [3 p.m., Parkside Branch, 1200 Taraval St., S.F.]

Local activities

Classic soul: Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes sing their hits “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Bad Luck,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and more through Sunday at the Rrazz Room. [8 p.m., Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]

Spoken word: Hip-hop artist and slam poet Saul Williams presents “Chorus,” his spoken-word tour. [8 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.]

Faculty Artist Series: Violinist Ian Swensen, joined by pianist Jeffrey LaDeur, appears in recital. [8 p.m., S.F. Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

Benefit show: “The Concert for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital” features headliner Lady Antebellum, at right, and comedian Dana Carvey, along with refreshments and an after-party at City Hall with MC Hammer. [6:30 p.m. reception; 8:15 p.m. performance. Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Larkin St., S.F.]

Dining out

Bocadillos: The king-salmon collar with sherry-soy glaze and Espelette (a Basque pepper) kimchi is recommended. Also try the heirloom tomatoes with preserved-lemon vinaigrette. [710 Montgomery St., S.F. (415) 982-2622]

Film

French new wave: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts screens “Celine and Julie Go Boating,” filmmaker Jacques Rivette’s seminal 1974 meditation on the art of cinema and the nature of fantasy. [7 p.m., YBCA screening room, 701 Mission St., S.F.]

‘City Scenes’: (((FolkYeah))) and CinemaSF present the sixth installment of the series pairing films with musical performances. The lineup includes “It Came From Beneath the Sea,” the Cold War monster movie in which a giant octopus wreaks mayhem on San Francisco, and the Brothers Comatose, a local folk and bluegrass band. [8 p.m., Vogue Theatre, 3290 Sacramento St., S.F.]

Dino night: NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences presents “Jurassic NightLife,” a dinosaur-themed evening featuring cartoonist Michael Capozzola, Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” and more. [6 to 10 p.m., 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]



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