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This Week's Hottest Events: Broken Bells, Beer Pairing Dinners at Monk's Kettle, and Judd Apatow

Music: Broken Bells and Van Morrison
Power alt rock/indie duo Broken Bells—Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) and The Shins' lead James Mercer—has been tearing it up on the music scene since their self-titled debut album release earlier this year. Rolling Stone even flagged the cd "the year's coolest left field pop disc" and they've been on perpetual repeat at the 7x7 offices. You want tickets to this one. $30; Tuesday 10/5; The Fox, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, apeconcerts.com. But, if cutting-edge, new music isn't your scene, you can always splurge on an oldie but goody. Van Morrison's making a stop in SF. Start singing "Brown Eyed Girl" now. $84+; Friday 10/8; Nob Hill Masonic Center, 1111 California St., livenation.com

This Week's Hottest Events: Litquake, Hardly Strictly, Open Studios, + Arcade Fire

Film: McSweeney's Wholpin Issue #12 + Spike Jonze's I'm Here

This Week's Hottest Events: Free Art, Free Opera, and Oktoberfest by the Bay

On Tap: Oktoberfest by the Bay
Take part in the 11th annual Oktoberfest by the Bay, a festival of fine German food, the world's best beer, and authentic German music that will stick in your head through next year's celebration of our favorite European culture. As if you needed an excuse for weekend day drinking … $25-$30; Thursday, 9/23 - Sunday, 9/26; Pier 48, across from AT&T Park, oktoberfestbythebay.com

This Week's Hottest Events: Lit King Jonathan Franzen, PARK(ing) Day, Paramore and More

Lit: Jonathan Franzen
Confession: I've not yet read best-selling novel The Corrections. But, when I saw author Jonathan Franzen on the cover of Time magazine the other week carrying the heady title of "The Great American Novelist" for his latest book Freedom, I decided I had to get my hands on everything he's ever written, stat. Now, we all have the lucky chance to see this brilliant writer in person for a City Arts & Lectures discussion with CCA provost Dr. Mark Breitenberg. The event is not yet sold out (gasp!), so get your tickets now while you still can. $20; Monday 9/13; Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., cityarts.net

This Week's Hottest Events: Aida, Altered Barbie and Power to the Peaceful

Art: Altered Barbie Exhibition
Look at America's favorite plastic plaything in a whole new light—the 8th annual San Francisco Altered Barbie Exhibition is back. It's weird, it's warped, and it's definitely worth your time. Local artists from all over the Bay Area take this icon and turn her into not-so-everyday art reflective of our current society in an effort to create dialogue sparked by a doll. Check it out. Free; Thursday, 9/9 - Friday, 10/1; Shotwell 50 Art Space, 50 Shotwell St., alteredbarbie.com

This Week's Hottest Events: Bob Dylan, Wallpaper and Rear Window

Music: Bob Dylan
Chances are you don't have tickets to Bob Dylan's sold-out show at the Fox tomorrow. Lucky for you, the legendary musician who single-handedly redefined song as poetry, is playing a second show at the Warfield on Wednesday, and tickets are not being sold in advance. Bring your sleeping bag, camp out at the box office on Tuesday night and come prepared with $60 cash. If you call yourself a music lover, this is your duty. $60; Wednesday, 8/25; The Warfield, 982 Market St., 800-745-3000, thewarfieldtheatre.com

This Week's Hottest Events: The Killers' Brandon Flowers, Mortified and Stern Grove

Music: Brandon Flowers
We all know him as frontman of The Killers, but Brandon Flowers is now trying his hand at the solo thing. His solo debut Flamingo is due out in September, and he's already begun his tour supporting the forthcoming album. It's no surprise that the intimate Slim's show is already sold-out, but we're betting someone will get sick and have to sell their tickets. $27.50; Thursday, 8/19; Slim's, 333 11th St., 415-255-0333, slims-sf.com

This Week's Hottest Events: Blondie, Ferris Bueller and the SF Ballet

Music: Blondie
If you're a child of the '80s and don't consider Debbie Harry as your premier pop idol, get your head checked. The ultimate fair-haired frontwoman will hit the stage at the Fillmore for a rare intimate show during which you'll surely hear favorites like "One Way or Another," "The TIde is High," and "Heart of Glass." Be there. Wednesday, 8/4; The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., 415-346-0600, livenation.com

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