While our canine companions may tremble with anxiety as fireworks erupt overhead, their furry feline counterparts can often be found casually staring out the window—indifferent to (or perhaps revelling in) the cruelty of the universe. You can knock those little floofs down a peg or two by taking them out of their comfort zone at First Caturday in Dolores Park.
Also on the docket this long holiday weekend: Femi Kuti at The Independent, the John Waters-hosted Mosswood Meltown in Oakland, the “worst movie ever made” at the Balboa Theatre, and a whole pig roast at Abacá. Read on for all this and more.
Punchline SF, 444 Battery St.
7:30 p.m | $25+
Emotional turmoil isn't supposed to be funny. But for Ismael Loutfi, it has long served as the inspiration for his standup act. Case in point: He married the love of his life when he was just a senior in high school. Though the union only lasted six months, he managed to turn his heartbreak into hilarity, and he’s been at it ever since. Loufti began his comedy career performing in his hometown of Gainesville, Florida, where he endured racist jeers from plenty of hecklers who weaponized his Muslim heritage. Looks like the joke’s on them. Loutfi is no longer playing for smalltown happy hour crowds. He’s been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and The Ringers to name a couple of his higher-profile appearances. Loutfi performs Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (MM)
The Makeout Room, 3225 22nd St.
7-10 p.m. | $10
On the heels of the release of Baz Luhrmann’s larger-than-life Elvis biopic, SF’s annual tribute to The King returns for the first time since the pandemic started. The San Francisco Elvis All Stars Band headlines with special guest vocalists Carmen Getit from Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums,world famous drag king Elvis Herselvis (aka Leigh Crow), “Bollywood blues man” Aki Kumar, and charismatic roots and country performer Mitch Polzak taking the mic. DJ Cammy spins Elvis records and famed rock journalist Ben Fong-Torres stops by. (CJC)
The Independent, 628 Divisidero St.
9 p.m. | $45
Femi Kuti has never shied away from his Afrobeat legacy. The eldest son of the late Nigerian activist and musical innovator Fela Kuti, he started performing with his father’s Egypt 80 band as a teenager, and led the group when Fela was imprisoned for speaking out against government corruption. Honing his own expansive take on the Afrobeat sound with his band Positive Force since the late 1980s, he’s simultaneously moving ahead and passing the torch. Last year he released the Grammy-nominated double album Legacy +, which featured his new project, Stop The Hate, with For(e)ward, the debut album by his eldest son Mádé Kuti. Setting clarion calls for justice to propuslive grooves is a Kuti family tradition and Mádé will be on hand Friday playing his own music and joining his father’s ecstatic funk. (AG).
David Ireland House, 500 Capp St.
Various Times | $20 - $150
Artist David Ireland famously turned his house into an artwork for living in after purchasing a classic San Francisco Victorian at the corner of Capp and 20th streets in 1975. Ireland died in 2009, but his legacy of artistic experimentation within the home’s many walls (some in fact curved) continues at the site, where Bay Area dancers and visiting resident artists Megan Lowe and Johnny Huy Nguyen will explore the meaning of home in their hour-long dance experience moving through the home’s salons to the strains of musical artist Peekaboo’s cello. The show runs through Sunday. (CJC)
Neck of the Woods, 406 Celement St.
7 p.m. & 8:45 p.m. | $15+
Neck of the Woods celebrates comedians who have also served in the armed forces with this “Veterans of Comedy” lineup—featuring U.S. Marine alum Tammy TeaLove and Navy vets TK Moyer and Lonni Teranova. The summer-themed specialty cocktails should make the two-drink minimum go down smooth. Raise a Mystical Mule with fresh ginger and butterfly pea tea, a lychee violette spritzer or a hibiscus margarita to these silly and sardonic servicemembers. The laughs continue for two nights—Friday and Saturday. (CJC)
ODC Theater, 3153 17th St.
8 p.m. | $16+
The San Francisco International Arts Festival closes out its Summer Series with the world premiere of Kiandanda Dance Theater’s creative and critical take on a segement of Congolese fashion culture known as La Sape or La Sapologie. As part of this fashion movement, working-class dandies, or “sapeurs,” dress up in decadent designer fashions often at great expense. Kiandanda Dance Theater choreographer and artistic director Chanel “Byb” Bibene reexamines this fashion trend through the lens of colonialism and creativity. Two shows: Friday and Saturday. (CJC)
Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St.
8 p.m. & Midnight | $30
The Room (2003) has been dubbed one of the worst films ever made. But in an odd twist of fate, the project’s disjointed plot, cringeworthy performances and seriously cheesy green-screen backdrops ended up transforming what might have been a total flop into a cult classic. It even inspired James Franco to turn the story of The Room into a biopic with The Disaster Artist (2017). Originally categorized as a drama, but now frequently billed as a dark comedy, The Room is set in San Francisco and is centered on the life of a wealthy banker, Johnny, who values his friendships and the love of his life but later learns he cannot trust them. These screening will be accompanied by a live Q&A with Tommy Wiseau, the man behind the madness. Runs Friday-Sunday. (MM)
Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St., Oakland
Noon - 10 p.m. | $99+
What was once known as the Burger Boogaloo, Mosswood Meltdown represents the rebirth of a beloved punk-centric indie fest after a rocky period. Promoter Total Trash Productions severed ties with former partner Burger Records, amid a flood of sexual abuse allegations within the maligned label. Now, the maiden voyage under the Mosswood Meltdown moniker is turning over a new leaf.
For starters, both of the festival’s two days feature female headliners, a rarity on the summer festival circuit. Each are icons in their own right: Alpha Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna closes the show on Saturday, while Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth shuts the whole thing down on Sunday.
Other performances include surging femme-fronted AAPI teen punks The Linda Lindas and Detroit garage rock band Dirtbombs. As well Bay Area bands like Pansy Division, Flipper and two iterations of Shannon Shaw projects in her solo performance (Sat) and with Hunx & His Punx (Sun). Fabulous filmmaker John Waters is back as the festival’s emcee. Tickets are $99 for a one-day and $149 for the whole weekend. (AS)
Midway SF, 900 Marin St.
2 p.m. | $70+
Kaskade currently boasts 50 million Spotify streams for a reason. Simply put, it’s hard to resist bobbing your head and moving your feet to the epic synth crescendos and dance-floor rattling bass of the Chicago-bred electro house producer and DJ. Since his first release in 2001, Kaskade has built a dedicated following with his hypnotizing melodies and cathartic drops. This Saturday, the Midway kicks off Illum, its inaugural Fourth of July block party, with a headlining set from the Grammy-nominated party rocker—and Los Angeles electronica DJ Le Youth and Parisian deep house artist Zimmer help round out the bill. (XL)
California & Taylor Streets
8 p.m. | $30
Walking tours are a great way to learn about the history of a city. But spending hours on your feet, pounding the pavement in the sun sure has a way of sucking the life out of you. At least “The Vampire Tour” is up front about its intentions to drain you of your essence. This nighttime excursion weaves authentic San Francisco history together with spooky vampire lore. Stalk through Huntington Park while learning about the Railroad Barons—some of the Golden State’s thirstiest bloodsuckers. Get the 411 on the ghosts haunting Alcatraz and the vampiric rectors of Grace Cathedral. And get up close and personal with shooting locations from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. This tour is neither gruesome nor dark, and is appropriate for all ages. You can also wear a costume if you desire. (MM)
10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
If your indoor cat is longing to be outdoorsy, consider leashing them up for a feline social this Saturday. Whether it's climbing palm trees, sunbathing on the grass or just glaring aloofly at passersby from the safety of a stroller, this is a great chance to get your cat off the windowsill and onto the windy slopes of Dolores Park. Just like dogs, cats need time and training to acclimate to being walked on a leash, so if your cat isn’t fully ready consider bringing them in a carrier and letting them enjoy the birdsong. (BF)
Crybaby 1928 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
10 p.m. | $25
This past March, The Uptown in Oakland gave way to a new nightclub: Crybaby. While the look and feel of the venue has morphed, the old mahogany bar and its adjacent partitioned showspace remain. And it’s become a reliable proving ground for energetic local hip-hop talent to hold court. This Saturday, Drew Banga & Friends are putting it down for The Town. Joining Drew—the in-house producer for the Mission District’s workhorse indie label Text Me Records—are local DJs Millions, Shellheart, ButtaSmoove and Yohiness; Bosslife Big Spence,10 Piece Tone, Amen Auset, Chance, Raynelle and JstBrittany are also on the bill. This true turn-up function promises a killer cross-section of real local hip-hop cats. (AS)
San Francisco’s longtime avant-garde “guerilla theatre” troupe that loosely defines the art of mime to create “anything but silent” political satire brings its new musical creation to Dolores Park on Independence Day. The new show, which will make the rounds through SF and Bay Area parks through September, tackles the nostalgia of middle-aged liberal parents Ralph and Alice as they wistfully yearn for a time before Trump and the pandemic as well as the despair of their twentysomething daughter Zoe, who can’t remember a time before climate change, a housing crisis, crushing student debt and the the perilous teetering of democracies around the world. The musical cheekily questions whether there’s a “better” to go back to or is it just easier to lose hope. (CJC)
Abacá, 2700 Jones St.
Seatings at noon and 1 p.m. | $60
The Fourth isn’t just America’s Independence Day; it’s also the day the Philippines declared their independence from the U.S., shortly after World War II. What better way to acknowledge both nations’ culinary traditions than with Monterey squid paella and s’mores at a lechón-style pig roast at Abacá, Chef Francis Ang’s celebrated Filipino-Californian restaurant near Ghirardelli Square? With two seatings early in the afternoon, you get slushies, all-you-can-eat pancit and rice plus a live DJ. Then head home, chill for a bit and plot the best position for fireworks-viewing. (PAK)
El Rio, 3158 Mission St.
2-8 p.m. | $15-25
The Fourth of July can be a tricky time of year, especially when you come from a community that has been historically marginalized by mainstream American culture. If fireworks and the “Star-Spangled Banner” don’t feel like the move this year, consider stopping by El Rio for a night of hip-hop, R&B and community. Hosted by Mahle Balenciaga, this event will benefit three local queer organizations, including Culture Shock Oakland (a youth dance group), Oakland to ALL Kiki Ball (a staple of the Bay Area’s vogue ballroom scene), and Arm the Girls, which provides safety equipment to trans women. (BF)
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St.
Wednesday, July 6, 8 p.m. | $69.50+
Kraftwerk cast a long and wide shadow. Formed in 1969—back when synthesizers were the size of upright pianos—the German electronic pioneers would go on to inspire ambitious prog-rockers, chart-topping pop stars and vinyl-collaging hip-hop producers alike. And that’s to say nothing of knob-twiddling legions of electronic musicians that followed in their footsteps. Led by surviving founding member Ralf Hütter, the quartet formally established its legacy with a re-mastered reissuing of its entire catalog in 2009 (and a 2014 U.S. tour in support of it). They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. Kraftwerk’s 3D concerts utilize technology that is at once retro- and futuristic—not unlike the band itself. (YK)
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