Sometimes a problem can be a good thing. Take this coming weekend in San Francisco, for example. Father’s Day is on Sunday, which means many will be making sure to spend some time—or at least give a call—to dear old dad. Sunday is also Juneteenth and the second installment of this summer’s Stern Grove Festival series (featuring none other than Oakland chillwave pioneer Toro y Moi).
Attempting to choose among those three events would be challenging enough—without factoring in the Sofi Tukker and Cool Ghouls concerts, the Nina Simone tribute, the local showing of the Obama portraits and the unveiling of the new Skatin’ Place roller rink mural.
And we haven’t even gotten to the two Carlos Villa shows or the San Francisco Opera’s production of Dream of the Red Chamber. We wish you the best of luck attempting to plan your weekend.
BTW… Looking for more ways to get involved? This summer we’re launching a public events calendar packed full of events that can help connect you to the city. You can check out a preview of the calendar here.
Thursday | Friday | Saturday
Thursday, June 16
The Greek Theater, 2001 Gayley Rd, Berkeley
6 p.m. | $50.50
After putting down one of the best party sets of last year’s Outside Lands festival, Florida electro pop duo Sofi Tukker return to the Bay Area with a new album in tow. Released in April, Wet Tennis follows up the pair’s debut, Treehouse, which established them as Grammy-nominated purveyors of anthemic, worldly dance floor tunes. The group is made up of producer/singer Tucker Halpern and lead vocalist Sophie Hawley-Weld. Born in Germany, but raised in Canada, a global approach has never escaped Weld, who often sings in Portuguese as well as in English. Among the highlights on Wet Tennis, is “Mon Cheri,” a collaboration with Mali’s Amadou & Miriam, which also served as the lead single to the Red Hot Organization’s latest Red Hot +Free benefit album for LGBTQ+ equality and those affected by HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, “Original Sin” is movement-inducing perfection. You won’t find a bigger, more bombastic outdoor dance party in the Bay this weekend. The Knocks and Mary Droppinz open the show. (AS)
June 16 – 26 | $17.50+
The world’s largest and longest-running LGBTQ+ film festival takes over the Bay Area with 132 films, including 46 features, 30 documentaries and 61 shorts showing everywhere from the Roxie Theater in the Mission to SFMOMA to Oakland’s New Parkway Theater. This year’s theme is “The Coast is Queer” and spotlights films from around the world as well as local filmmakers. A few of this year’s highlights include the premiere of Amazon’s video series reboot of A League of Their Own, the Sundance Film Festival award winner Girl Picture and Coline Abert’s documentary Last Dance—about SF-reared drag performer Lady Vinsantos’ last performance in Paris. Click here for more Pride-related events throughout the month of June. (CJC)
Margaret Jenkins Dance Company: Global Moves
Presidio Theatre, 99 Moraga Ave.
June 16 – 19 | $20+
Lauded Bay Area dance veteran Margaret Jenkins brings together artists from China, India and Israel for Global Moves, a collaborative choreographic endeavor cultivated across countries through letters, conversations and video recordings. The cross-cultural dance work imagines a world without borders and features the talents of China’s Cross Move Lab, India’s Tanusree Shankar Dance Company and Israel’s Kolben Company. (CJC)
Friday, June 17
Kim Nalley Tribute to Nina Simone
Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave.
8 p.m. | $35+
Whether she sang folk songs or American Songbook standards, contemporary pop tunes, original compositions, or social justice anthems, pianist Nina Simone transformed every tune she touched into a soul-steeped cri de coeur. Kim Nalley, a creative force on the Bay Area music scene for three decades, is ideally equipped to celebrate Simone’s expansive legacy. She’s been thinking deeply about Simone’s music and muses since at least the mid-aughts, when she released the acclaimed album, She Put a Spell On Me: Kim Nalley Sings Nina Simone. The connection has grown more potent over the years, as Nalley uses the music and between-song commentary to evoke a singular artist. She’s joined by pianist and master accompanist Tammy Hall, bassist Michael Zisman, guitarist Greg Skaff, veteran drummer Leon Joyce Jr. and dancers Coral Martin and Jetta Martin, sisters deeply engaged with Black American history and culture. (AG)
Carlos Villa: Two Exhibitions
Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St.
Through Oct. 24 | Free – $20
SF Arts Commission, War Memorial Veterans Bldg., 401 Van Ness, Ste. 126
Through Sept. 3 | Free
A pair of San Francisco exhibitions honor the the life’s work of groundbreaking Filipino American artist Carlos Villa. The longtime San Francisco Arts Institute instructor with deep ties to San Francisco’s Filipino and Tenderloin communities died in 2013, but his legacy lives on and is celebrated in the Asian Art Museum’s Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collision (billed as the “first major museum retrospective dedicated to the work of a Filipino American artist”) and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery’s Carlos Villa: Roots and Reinvention.
Worlds in Collision dives into Villa’s multicultural mixed-media works of feathers, capes, photographs, masks, bones and tattoos inspired by his Filipino heritage and global indigenous influences. Roots and Reinvention looks at the artist’s departure from the large abstract paintings and feathered works for which he had become known, delving into the large-scale works he created by painting with his body.
Want to see both? You can dance—literally—from the Worlds in Collision at the Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin St.) to the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery’s public reception for Roots and Reinvention on Saturday, June 18, in a procession led by multidisciplinary artist Rachel Lastimosa at 3:30 p.m. featuring live music and dance. (CJC)
Dream of the Red Chamber
San Francisco Opera, 301 Van Ness Ave.
June 17 Through July 3 | $26-$370
The most talked about love triangle in Chinese literature is coming to the War Memorial Opera House in a lavish, English-language production of Dream of the Red Chamber. This modern adaptation, composed by Bright Sheng and written by librettist and playwright David Henry Hwang, follows the romantic entanglements of Bao-yu, a boy born into the wealthy Jia family—not with a silver spoon, but with a literal piece of jade in his mouth. Whether you come for the wrenching love triangle, the lush orchestration or the Chinese garden suspended over the stage like a floating maze of pavilions and rock formations, the production offers something for opera lovers and Red Chamber aficionados alike. (BF)
Cool Ghouls & Chime School
Rickshaw Stop, 115 Fell Street
8 p.m. | $15
For more than a decade now, SF’s own Cool Ghouls have been crafting their modern-day take on garage rock and psychedelia. Their latest release, 2021’s At George’s Zoo finds them sharpening their approach and making fuller use of the recording studio as an instrument. It’s adventurous and accessible all at once, with a Side Two reminiscent of Abbey Road’s suite of songs. Also on the bill is like-minded SF janglepop band Chime School. Leader Andy Pastalaniec draws inspiration from similar ’60s sounds, but filters them through a sensibility built upon 1980s indie/alternative rock and ’90s Britpop. (BK)
Popscene: The Range & Demotapes
Starline Social Club, 2236 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland
8 p.m. | $16+
While Popscene continues to be one of the most storied club nights in San Francisco at it’s usual Rickshaw Stop home, the club’s beginnings were at the erstwhile 330 Ritch in SoMa. Point is, Popscene has never been confined to one set of walls. These days, the party—helmed by local icon DJ Aaron Axelsen since 1996—is booking unique events beyond the Rickshaw Stop on occasion. Enter IDM producer The Range’s upcoming show at Oakland’s Starline Social Club. The Range’s James Hinton is touring behind his latest (and excellent) album, Mercury, an electronic exploration of liquid sounds, with vocal samples carefully stitched into riveting nods to atmospheric drum and bass, footwork and other forms of mid tempo dance music. Performing at the the Social Club’s smaller Crystal Cavern room, this show is sure to feel as intimate as a Boiler Room set. And Hinton, who moved from Brooklyn to Vermont’s Green Mountains six years ago, has a penchant for delivering life-affirming electronic music when he’s on the decks. (AS)
Saturday, June 18
Portrait unveiling of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Feb. 12, 2018. | Pete Souza
The Obama Portraits Tour
De Young Museum
June 18 – Aug. 14 | Free – $15
Stare into the eyes of a former U.S. president and first lady at the de Young’s showcase of the Obama Portraits, opening this weekend. (Tickets for this special exhibition are free on a first-come, first-served basis this weekend.) The epic artworks by master portratist Kehinde Wiley and realist painter Amy Sherald of President Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama, respectively, showcase the political power couple in groundbreaking lights. Breaking from presidential portraiture tradition, Kehinde’s image of Obama shows the U.S.’s first Black president, noticeably tieless, in an approachable pose leaning forward against a verdant backdrop of flora and fauna. Sherald’s elegantly minimalist portrait is a simple yet powerful statement on the U.S.’s first African American first lady. The Obama Portraits’ visit to the de Young is the only Northern California stop on the exhibition’s national tour. (CJC)
Skatin’ Place Mural Community Celebration
Golden Gate Park Skatin’ Place, JFK Promenade near 6th Ave. & Fulton St.
Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m. | Free
As if the Skatin’ Place could be any more bright and fun, longtime skater Aimee (Bruckner) Stevland’s bold new psychedelic mural takes Golden Gate Park’s skating destination to a new level of happy. Grab your skates, head to the dedication party on Saturday, and roll all over the new 28-foot by 93-foot piece that now covers the resurfaced outdoor rink. Developed by SF Rec & Parks and Church of 8 Wheels founder, David Miles Jr., with input from the community, the mural’s simple design offers a focus for your Salchow and evokes the history of skating in SF, which actually dates all the way back to the 1891 Golden Gate Park Childrens’ Playground. (MJT)
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