R&B great Gladys Knight sings her hits and holiday tunes with the San Francisco Symphony today. (Courtesy photo)

Dec. 13-14: Gladys Knight, Radar Reading Series, Christian Gerhaher, David Bazan, Chris Garcia, Oakland United benefit concert


TUESDAY, DEC. 13

Gladys Knight: The “empress of soul” joins the San Francisco Symphony for an evening of R&B classics and seasonal favorites. [8 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Radar Reading Series: The monthly program sponsored by the James C. Hormel LGBTQI Center featuring emerging and underground writers presents Maya Pindyck, Katherine Agard, Chloe Caldwell and Grace Rosario Perkins, with host Julian Delgado Lopera. [6 p.m., Latino/Hispanic Room, S.F. Public Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Cookies & Comedy Night: This installment of the free twice-a-month showcase features Mary Bushee, Ahmed Abdelrahman, Valerie Vernale, Ian Levy and host KC Scannell. [6:30 to 8:15 p.m., Brainwash Cafe, 1122 Folsom St., S.F.]

Ghost Ship Benefit: Alcoholocaust presents the show, with performances by Murder, Murder, Jackal Fleece, Shame Wave and Voco. [9 p.m., Knockout, 3223 Mission St., S.F.]

Rabih Alameddine
: The National Book Award finalist discusses his new novel “The Angel of History,” which is about an Arab American poet whose adult life in San Francisco spans the AIDS decades. [7 p.m., Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera]

Christian Gerhaher: San Francisco Performances presents the baritone, accompanied by pianist Gerold Huber, in an all-Mahler program including excerpts from “Das Lied von der Erde.” [7:30 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

David Bazan: The indie singer-songwriter (of Pedro the Lion fame) sings songs from his Christmas album “Dark Sacred Night.” [8 p.m., Swedish American Hall, 2174 Market St., S.F.]

Chris Garcia: The standup comic is known for his vivid storytelling on This American Life and WTF with Marc Maron. [8 p.m., Punch Line, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14

Oakland United-A Benefit for Oakland Fire Relief: The lineup includes Primus, Christopher Willits, Dan Deacon, Hieroglyphics, Rogue Wave, Geographer, Jay Som, Sidecar Tommy, Tune-Yards, Thao Nguyen, Tycho, Boots Riley and Josette Melchor. [7 p.m., Fox Theatre, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland]

Sarah Jaffe: The independent journalist and co-host of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast launches “Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt,” described as “the definitive book on the movements that are poised to permanently remake American politics.” [7 p.m., City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave,, S.F.]

Kids Club Holiday Arts & Crafts: Youngsters are invited to create a snowflake ornament, candy cane ornament, jingle bell necklace or bracelet at the session; visit http://theshopsattanforan.com/info/kids-club/ to sign up. [4 to 6 p.m., Shops at Tanforan, upper level near JC Penney’s, 1150 El Camino Real, San Bruno]

Holiday Lights Illumination Ceremony: Visits with Santa, performances of “A Richmond Nutcracker” and caroling round out the Christmas festivities [4 to 8 p.m., East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St., Richmond]

Ethan Rafal: The San Francisco-based artist, photographer and performer, whose book “Shock and Awe” deals with the individual and collective experience of violence, appears in a free event he calls “equal parts story-telling, show-and-tell and group discussion.” [6 p.m,, Latin Hispanic Room, S.F. Public Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Dava Sobel: The former New York Times science reporter discusses “The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars,” about a group of 19th cenury women whose work as “human computers” made extraordinary contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy. [6:30 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 555 Post St., S.F.]

Amy Hānaiali’i: Hawaii’s top-selling female vocalist of all time opens a two-night run of her show, featuring jazz, R&B and classic Christmas songs in Hawaiian. [7 p.m., Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]

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