This Week's Hottest Events: Yang Fudong, 20th Street Block Party, and First City Fest
Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers
Coined as the It Girl of the San Francisco music scene, Nicki Bluhm delivers with her rocking brand of country soul, channeling equal parts Grace Slick and Karen Carpenter. She'll be playing with The Gramblers in support of her new self-titled album, out August 27. As of now she's so hot the show has sold out, but scan Craigslist for extra tickets.
When: 8 p.m., Tues. 8/20
Where: The Lodge at The Regency, 1300 Van Ness Ave.
"Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise"
Awash in film noir beauty, Yang Fudong's films, photographs, and multichannel videos portray youth struggling to define themselves after China's Cultural Revolution. This survey shines the spotlight on a force in Chinese independent cinema who is still largely unknown stateside. Consider it a must-see.
When: Wed. 8/20–Sun. 12/8
Where: Berkeley Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Oh Hayes! A Hayes Valley Microhood
Free Guatemalan coffee from Ritual, on-sale Sonia B jewelry, and Timbuk2 Custom Bags? Yes, please. Be tempted by multiple vendors’ wares at The Bold Italic's Microhood party, a celebration of all things Hayes Valley.
When: 6 p.m., Thurs. 8/22
Where: Various locations in Hayes Valley
Speaker Series: "Celebrating Charles and Ray Eames and Their Legacy of Ideas"
Explore the newly opened Museum of Craft and Design and take in a lecture hosted by the Eames’ granddaughter Llisa Demetrios. It will reveal the history and candid stories about the late, great designers, and will include images of their creativity in the realm of architecture, furniture, film, and more.
When: 7 p.m., Thurs. 8/22
Where: Museum of Craft and Design, 2569 Third St.
Noise Pop Presents 20th Street Block Party
This free end-of-summer block party has it all: indie bands and DJs, craft vendors, performing arts curated by Z Space, and delicious food and drink courtesy of local businesses like Sightglass and Asiento. Stick around for Dark is the Night, the Official After Party at Mission Dispatch, and hear the Bay Area band Hot Einstein play Bowie covers.
When: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m., Sat. 8/24
Where: 20th St., between Harrison St. and Bryant St.
The Goat Rodeo Sessions with Yo-Yo Ma
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins forces with bluegrass virtuosos Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and singer-songwriter Aoife O'Donovan. Together they play songs from their collaborative new album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions. Expect a melting pot of musical talent on The Greek's stage.
When: 8 p.m., Sat. 8/24
Where: Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Rd., Berkeley
Tom Marioni and Tony Labat
Conceptual artist and self-dubbed "father of the relational aesthetics movement," Tom Marioni will give a special one-night performance, introduced by Tony Labat. Entitled "Name Dropping Stories Off the Top of My Head," this will be an old-school San Francisco celebration at one of the city's hippest galleries.
When: 7 p.m., Sat. 8/24
Where: Ever Gold Gallery, 441 O’Farrell St.
Monterey First City Festival
It's like Outside Lands #2—Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, Neko Case, Toro y Moi, The Hold Steady, Devendra Banhart, etc. In between indulging in rides and games, take in the indie showcase of bands, including the dreamy sounds of Beach House and the cosmic pop of MGMT. This festival not only has music and a carnival but a Vaudeville variety stage, as well as local craft beers and food vendors. And it's an excuse to head down to Monterey for the weekend.
When: 1 p.m., Sat./Sun., 8/24/25
Where: Monterey County Fair and Event Center, 2004 Fairground Rd.
Collaborative Art Project Discussion
A vigorous investigation into the artistic process, led by Danny Spitzberg of coFED, will challenge the idea that art-making has to be a solitary and isolating endeavor. A culminating exhibition and silent auction on Sept. 26 will further meditate on the importance of community involvement when it comes to art.
When: 6 p.m., Tues. 8/27
Where: Makeshift Society, 235 Gough St.