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Kimberly Chun

Gifted: Art On Sale At Creativity Explored

Dropped into the opening of the annual holiday sale at Creativity Explored Friday night, and it was packed with artists and art lovers roaming the studio, plastic cups of vino in hand, perusing the many, many artworks by developmentally disabled artists for sale. It was, truly, like being let loose in a store chock-full of eye candy: paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, textiles, digital art, poster-size paintings of R2D2 and Batman, and 3-D paper pieces depicting American Indian life. 

Basking In The ‘Afterglow’ At Nickie's

Ah, yes, winding down amid the holiday stress and mess -- doesn’t that sound like the ticket?

Kontrol honcho Greg Bird tipped me to his upcoming event, “Afterglow,” a first-Sunday, evening-after get-together at Nickie's that he describes as “bone-crushingly mellow” with an emphasis on chill sounds that don’t fit into the usual dust-up on dancefloor: ambient, deep house, downtempo, dreamy drum ‘n’ bass, dub techno, future jazz, IDM and other less-than-definable genres.

New At Night: Som

Pink is dead -- long live Pink. The dance spot last owned by house DJ Franky Boissy once lured well-heeled clubbers past the ragged hookers and rock-slingers of 16th and Mission, into the supposed sketch zone. And Boissy and company brought in house music names like Louie Vega, Vikter Duplaix, DJ Spinna, and Dimitri From Paris, as well as locals like David Harness. Pink, alas, bit the big one not long ago, another recession-era casualty.

Heartbreaker: Luke Rathbone Plays Hotel Utah

A young man on the rise - that’s Luke Rathbone. The 21-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., songwriter will soon be joining his chum Devendra Banhart on the road (he fielded a sweet array of props from guest editor Banhart in a recent edition of Magnet) and is looking forward to the release of his debut, Hello Dark Prince.

Bootie Shakes It, Post-Thanksgiving

Is the mash-up dead?

Not according to Bootie, which throws its post-Thanksgiving party and latest bimonthly pop deconstructo-fest tonight, Nov. 28, at DNA Lounge.

Still providing “the soundtrack for the A.D.D. generation,” the bash centers on a mano-y-mano mash-up DJ battle set by DJs Adrian and the Mysterious D. Upstairs, DJ Mykill, Kidhack, and Mario Muse put the focus on electro remixes, covers, and bootlegs. And there are live mash-ups for all when Smash-up Derby, Bootie’s live house band, performs at 11-ish, while Monistat chases the whole shebang at midnight.

On The Road: Following Isabel Rucker’s ‘Unfurling’

The spare landscapes, highways, and byways -- running from San Francisco to Wyoming -- of Isabel Rucker’s Unfurling graphic novel speak loudest to me: their skewed perspectives, more evocative of emotional states than photorealistic, and the smoky, rippling vistas. The work is on display at “Unfurling: This Land” at SOMArts Gallery through Friday, Nov. 27.

Cool Rules: Cold Cave Revives The Specter of Synthpop

It’s more than a mere ‘80s revival at this point: the pulsing beat and almost Afropop-like rhythm guitar of the title track of Cold Cave’s newly reissued full-length, Love Comes Close (Matador). Are you listening to a great, new track by New Order, returned to its old form, rather than a coolly hot Iladelphia/NYC threesome? Like La Roux, Glass Candy and umpteen Yazoo and Human League acolytes, the group hews that closely to the chilly mechanics of Reagan-era pop. Frankly faux, sharply minimal keys are intertwined in an icy clinch with ennui-laden, art-damaged vocals.

In Le Club: Gin And Cherry Juice At The Bold Italic Soiree

Lord, I love a good midweek party -- and I especially adore discovering a new nightspot.

The relatively new Bold Italic site -- a Yelp-ish online entity dedicated to insider tips -- complied with an event at Le Club. I’d never been to the Nob Hill venue -- once a private club and now helmed by the owner of Bambuddha Lounge -- but my, oh, my, it was a deco revelation. The vibe was ‘20s-era speakeasy with chandeliers, plenty of cozy corners and a hideaway pool room. I felt like I had been spirited away to a posh lounge overseen by my coquettish, ex-Ziegfeld showgirl grandma.

Girls, Girls, Girls: The SF Band Plays Bottom Of The Hill

Who doesn’t love Girls? Even better than the real double-X-chromosome dealie is the all-boy SF band of androgynous charmers, which performs at Bottom of the Hill Saturday, Nov. 21.

On Fire: Talking To Matthew Friedberger of Fiery Furnaces

It’s always fun to encounter Fiery Furnaces Matthew Friedberger -- the man is not only one of the most wildly prolific songwriters of his generation but he seems like a genuinely nice, intense fellow, who just happens to be overflowing with interesting ideas and projects (proof: 2009 saw the release of Fiery Furnaces’ I’m Going Away as well as two other shorter releases including Take Me Round Again, which saw FF covering itself).

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