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Arts + Culture

A Serious-Minded ‘Robin Hood’ Stays Grounded

Don’t look to Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood for men in tights, or the preponderance of swashbuckling heroics seen in previous incarnations of the populist daredevil’s story.

Here, a brooding Robin, played by a somber Russell Crowe, is a valiant opportunist driven to greatness by a birthright he inherits well into adulthood. He’s an expert archer, of course, but as a guerrilla warrior, he is closer to Rambo than to the dashing adventurer portrayed most famously by Errol Flynn and Sean Connery.

Blue Bear Youth Music Benefit

San Francisco's Blue Bear School of Music is a non-profit center offering pop music lessons to aspiring musicians of all ages. It's sort of like "School of Rock," offering classes like "Singing For People Who Can't Sing," "Classic Rock Bass Lines," and "Shred Guitar" as well as private lessons for people really looking to hone their skills. The school will hold Blue Bear Live V, a benefit show at Bimbo's this Friday night starring Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with two openers and a few special guests. Proceeds will support Blue Bear's youth music programs all over the Bay Area. General admission is $75 and VIP tickets are available for $150.

Upcoming Show Roundup: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, Fuck Buttons, Rank/Xerox, Starfucker and more

Wednesday, May 12th

Fuck Buttons
and Clipd Beaks at Great American Music Hall [$16]

While Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion may have been the go-to critic's pick last year, Fuck Button's sophomore LP Tarot Sport was a more than worthy contender for 2009's album of the year. Armed with an array of drum machines and synths generally associated with electro, the duo inexplicably managed to create a post-rock masterpiece in the spirit of Mogwai, God Speed You Black Emperor! and Explosions in the Sky -- if you slept on this one, we strongly recommend giving it a listen. Be sure to catch the Bristol, England-based duo tonight at Great American Music Hall.

Other picks:

Beehive Spirit, Common Loon and Alright at Elbo Room [$6]

Neighbors, Organ Trail and Psychic Handbook at Uptown [free]

Jakob Dylan and Three Legs, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan and The Felice Brothers and honeyhoney
at The Regency Ballroom [$25]


Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day!

Tomorrow is San Francisco's annual Bike to Work Day and the only excuses to not join this year's festivities are being bikeless or jobless. Then again, even if you are jobless, grabbing some coffee and a bag from an SFBC energizer station is a great reason to wake up before noon, especially with weather as awesome as this. Several of the energizer stations will have bike doctors ready and willing to do some quick and basic maintenance on the bike you've had collecting dust in your hallway since last year's Bike to Work Day, and SFBC will provide valet parking downtown (Market & Battery, 8a-6p) for cyclists whose employers aren't bike-friendly. First timers unsure of how to get from home to work can find a nearby commuter convoy departure location and ride downtown with a group of fellow commuters. If you work in the South Bay, are in good riding shape, and like waking up at the crack of dawn, join SF2G's group ride from the city to various peninsula destinations. And, of course, there's the annual Bike Away from Work party and fashion show at Rickshaw Stop, free for SFBC members, even those who join at the door. If you're not convinced why you should ride at all, check out the Exploratorium's special section on the science of cycling.

Smuin Ballet's French Kiss

Known for snaps of personality and unexpected twists one doesn't often find at Swan Lake, Smuin Ballet has outdone itself this season. Scoring a much-coveted Jiri Kylian piece - arguably the best choreographer in the world, receiving permission to use one of his works is a Herculean feat - Smuin's dancers perform an elegantly articulated seduction with sharp props and lots of bare skin. (The dancers handily avoid skewering any toes, if you're worried.) Erotically charged and expertly composed, Kylian's Petite Mort (why, yes, that IS French for orgasm) is not to be missed - whether you're a ballet fan or not.

Round and Round the Garden

American Conservatory's latest proves your average English garden can play host to a maelstrom of romantic peccadilloes, from lovers lurking in the ivy to oblivious would-be lovers shamelessly using not-so-ailing family cats as an excuse to appear each and every day. Round and Round the Garden is Alan Ayckbourn's comic ode to family entanglements, where "family entanglements" equal "Norman the librarian trying to seduce his two sisters-in-law." While he also attempts to cajole his estranged wife back into marital harmony. Predictably, things go south.

SFMOMA Announces Announces Finalists for Expansion

SFMOMA announced four firms that are the finalists in the museum’s hunt for an architect to design its forthcoming expansion, which will triple the size of its galleries. Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Foster + Partners, and Snøhetta, made the final cut based on their past work and interviews conducted over two-days last month (as opposed to design proposals for the new expansion).

Photos: 7x7 Celebrates The Joys of Travel at Coda Jazz Supperclub

7x7 continued our "Happier Hours" series with a lovely cocktail reception at Coda in the Mission. A stylish crowd gathered to mingle with "The Wanderers" -- some of the Bay Area's savviest travelers who were featured in our April issue -- including Ami "The Spiritual Seeker" Mehta, Clay "The Chowhound" McLachlan, and Harlow "The Adventurer" Salvador Newton. Guests enjoyed delectable bites, specially-made Karlsson's vodka cocktails, and ice-cold Peroni and Pilsner beers -- plus cool grooves from DJ Emdee of Debaser!

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