Let Me Down Easy
West Wing and Nurse Jackie vet Anna Deavere Smith lights up the stage with her solo performance Let Me Down Easy. The two-time Obie Award winner takes on all characters—from a rodeo rider and doctor to Lance Armstrong and Lauren Hutton—in what the Today show hails as a "Run—don't walk" performance.
When: Wed. 8/10 – Sun. 9/4
Where: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley
Sade: sexy, soulful, smooth. This is the woman responsible for staging romantic date nights and fulfilling love fantasies. One could even say she's every man's ticket to the bedroom. And it all started with her '80s hit "Smooth Operator." She's since become the most successful solo female artist in British history.
Mavis Staples was put on this Earth to sing. She’s been performing since the age of 8, starting with her family’s group The Staple Singers, known for classic hits such as “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” Over the years, she’s used her deep, soulful voice to bring gospel to the mainstream and even marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., helping spread the civil rights message through song. Today, Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient. She’s worked with musicians as varied as Bob Dylan and Prince. And in 2008, Rolling Stone named her one of the 100 greatest singers of all time. In essence, she is a living legend.
Conjure up memories of lonely Alice finding her way through an unfamiliar magical world in Alice in Wonderland, or relive James Henry Trotter's surreal, peachy adventure with strange insects in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach. Now, hold tightly onto that vision, and take a gander at the images here by LA-based artistic duo Jeff Charbonneau and Eliza French. The similarities are striking, so much so that Photograph magazine referred to their work as "Fellini's take on Lewis Carroll."
This indie Brit band made quite a splash onto the scene with their self-titled debut earlier this year. Some are calling them a mix of Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. Now's your chance to catch them at an intimate show before they get too big to play the Indy.
When: 8 p.m., Tues. 7/26 - Wed. 7/27
Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St.
On a whim, Zach Rogue of local favorite Rogue Wave bought a ticket to Bloomington and booked time at a friend's recording studio. After years of being on the road with his band, he felt the urge to try something new. And that's when his latest project, Release the Sunbird, was born. The result of his time in the Bloomington studio is Come Back to Us, which makes its debut on July 26. New faces and voices are behind this album, and the project's members—Pete Shreiner on drums, Kenny Childers on bass and vocals, and Kate Long on vocals—brought out a side of Zach Rogue as a singer and songwriter that we haven't seen in a long time. Have a listen and decide for yourself—Release the Sunbird is playing the Swedish American Hall on Thursday, 7/28, and we're giving away 2 pairs of tickets to the show. Check out our Q&A with Zach Rogue and leave a question for him about this new project in the comments section below. We'll pick 2 winners at random on Monday, 7/25.
The Science of Baseball
This one's for the bona fide sports geek. Test your reaction time with a bat, gauge your aim through prism goggles, find out what's inside a baseball, and more. True bro-venture material.
When: Now through 9/5
Where: Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon St.
Everyone's still reeling from the Avett Brothers' folky 2009 album I And Love And You. If you like what they can do on an album, you'll love what they do onstage.
When: 8 p.m., Tues. 7/19 - Wed. 7/20
Where: Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
The bad news? After 50 years in business, Braunstein/Quay Gallery in SoMa will be closing its doors as Ruth Braunstein retires.
The good news? Massively discounted art. Over the years, Braunstein/Quay has shown an impressive roster of artists, so this is your chance to score great work for can't-beat-it prices. The exhibition will be hung salon-style, and new work will be added as works are sold straight from the gallery's walls.
Peace, love, freedom—these are the hallmarks of the San Francisco lifestyle. But let's not forget about the sex. Not surprisingly, SF became the first city to legalize pornography in 1969, and our pretty little progressive town became the epicenter of porn production in the early '70s.
In a nod to our notorious past, filmmaker Michael Stabile has documented the history of the sex industry in SF in a forthcoming documentary called Smut Capital of America. On Thursday, YBCA will screen the flick, which includes interviews with the legendary John Waters (of course) and other sex revolutionists. The documentary will be followed by a discussion with Stabile himself. I imagine it's going to be one interesting Q&A.
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