Spring Standards

The musicians who comprise the Spring Standards got their start playing small folk festivals and around the campfire back in high school. After a break from their collaboration, Heather Robb, James Cleare, and James Smith found themselves in Brooklyn, inspired to pick up where they left off. It's difficult to pin a genre on this trio. "We're accessing old school harmony-driven folk rock music that was big in the 1970s," Robb explains, "but sometimes we'll play a heart wrenching ballad or a really loud White Stripes song." The Spring Standards released double EP yellow//gold in May. (Mia Sullivan)

With Dylan Champagne, Ed and the Red Reds

8pm, $8

Hotel Utah

500 Fourth St., SF

(415) 546-6300



Pierrot 2012

It's been 100 years since poet Albert Girard's eternally moonstruck clown Pierrot first took to the stage to sing about sex, love, death, and religion in composer Arnold Schoenberg's atonal masterwork Pierrot Lunaire. The score, full of crepuscular squiggles and elegant mood swings, made Pierrot the 20th century's resident existential harlequin, both the hero and the fool of those violently artistic times. Lively sextet Nonsemble 6, composed of recent graduates of the SF Conservatory of Music, will help revive that indelible clown for a new era – he's even on Facebook! – with new video, art, and staging and costumes by Brian Staufenbiel (and possibly clown makeup. You've been warned). Two other pieces, Dan Becker's 1996 "S.T.I.C. (Sensitivity to Internal Conditions)" and Hans Eisler's Hanns Eisler's "14 Ways of Describing Rain, Op. 70" from 1941, are also on the program. (Marke B.)

8pm, $15-$20

SF Conservatory of Music Concert Hall

50 Oak, SF

(415) 864-7326


Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Alone in the Dark

The Vortex kicks off an October of cinematic frights with two seldom-revived but golden oldies. First up is the original Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, a 1973 TV movie that's still creepier than the disappointing, Guillermo del Toro-produced 2010 remake. Kim Darby plays a housewife whose fears that something is very wrong with her new house are dismissed as neurosis by the husband (Jim Hutton) she's having problems with. Then 1982's seriocomic slasher Alone in the Dark features the inimitable Jack Palance and Martin Landau amongst a quartet of asylum escapees who make life very hairy for their new therapist's family. (Dennis Harvey)

9 and 11pm, $7 (suggested donation)


1083 Howard, SF

Facebook: TheVortexRoom

Mount Eerie

Phil Elverum's output as Mount Eerie doesn't flow like the vast majority of indie rock; it moves like the weather. Erratically structured songs about the moon, the ocean, the meaning of life, and the universe are recorded into precarious analog equipment, creating an ambiance of fog, mildew, and tape hiss that evokes the misty Pacific Northwest with Twin Peaks-ish potency. On Clear Moon and Ocean Roar, both released this year, Elverum weaves meditative acoustic folk, buzzy quasi-metal, tribal drums, and Lynchian drone with a coherence and sense of purpose he hasn't shown since his acclaimed recordings as the Microphones. Yet, when performed solo with just voice and guitar, the Mount Eerie songbook somehow retains every ounce of its existential weight. (Taylor Kaplan)

With Bouquet, Tortured Genies

9pm, $12

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455


Niki and the Dove

Sweden is exporting a lot more than bedframes and meatballs. Stockholm's Niki and the Dove is an electro duo giving a dark depth to pop music. Vocalist Malin Dahlström and keyboardist Magnus Böqvist met when writing music for the theater, giving their recorded music and their live shows a dynamic, dramatic quality that pop so often lacks. Dahlström's sugary voice soars above the churn and chime of Böqvist's catchy and sometimes unsettling beats. Their 2012 debut album Instinct was nominated for BBC's Sound of 2012 poll, which seeks to highlight each year's best new artist. Though they finished fifth, Niki and the Dove are just getting started. After all, pop never really goes out of style. (Haley Zaremba)

With WOLF GANG, Popscene DJs

9:30pm, $15

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011



Mix Master Mike

Continually evolving and rising to the top of his game before, during, and after his time with the Beastie Boys, Mix Master Mike is keeping his act fresh by fusing hip-hop with dubstep. His latest album, Napalm Rockets, mixes global dubstep, new electronic, and classic hip-hop samples, aggressively organizing and layering them with "hardcore psychedelic scratching" to keep the signature hip-hop attitude. Still quick at the tables as he works up a sweat, changing records and ripping his famous tweak scratch, he'll be performing alongside the Low End Theory residents to welcome back the equally innovative Gaslamp Killer from his summer tour. Come prepared for a night of psychedelic, glitch, IDM, and avant-rap. (Molly Champlin)

Low End Theory with Daddy Kev, Nobody, the Gaslsmp Killer

10pm, $20

1015 Folsom, SF

(415) 742-1015


Laetitia Sadier

French singer-songwriter Laetitia Sadier's deep, velvety voice may sound familiar to you. I'm not referencing the fact that she sometimes sounds deliciously similar to Nico. You've probably heard her before as the voice of British post-rock band Stereolab or as the French vocals in Blur's radio hit "To the End." Though Stereolab entered the dreaded "indefinite hiatus" in 2009, Sadier has been far from dormant. 2012's Silencio is her second solo album in two years. The album is a politically charged collection of protest songs with perfect timing for an election year. Never before has political commentary sounded so gentle. (Zaremba)

With Orca Team, Pageants

9:30pm, $14

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St, SF

(415) 626-4455



Pancakes and Booze Art Show

Curator and cameraman Tom Kerlin understands exactly what is missing in the gallery art scene: fun. And he is serving it up by the plateful. This is the antithesis of your high-end, half empty art gallery opening. Kerlin's brainchild, "Pancakes and Booze," began in LA and has traveled to cities across the country, drawing out crowds for all-you-can-eat pancakes and walls full of raw, up-and-coming, local artists. But the art doesn't end there; bodies are canvases for live art and will portray the living dead in Friday night's Zombie Fashion Show. Pair this with DJs and drinks and you've put the fun back into art function. (Champlin)

8pm, $5–$10

Gallery and Bar 4N5

863 Mission, SF

(415) 522-2440



Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis doesn't mess around. At 36 years old, the LA singer-songwriter has acted in over a dozen films (mostly in her teens) fronted indie rock band Rilo Kiley for a decade, formed a duo with her boyfriend called Jenny and Johnny, and released two solo albums. She's also provided a stunning amount of backing vocals for rockers such as Elvis Costello and Bright Eyes, and shines as the female voice in many of the songs on the Postal Service's beloved one-and-done album Give Up. Her most recent solo release, 2008's Acid Tongue is an Americana tour-de-force that only improves in concert. If you don't catch her at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this weekend, make sure to catch her night show. (Zaremba)

9pm, $21

Great American Music Hall

859 O'Farrell, SF

(415) 885-0750



"Two Guys from Chicago"

Is there such a thing as simultaneously humble and sardonic humor? Maybe it's the self-awareness of their cynical tendencies or a shared belief in challenging the status quo, but it seems like both Daniel Clowes and Dave Eggers have mastered it. Both authors are creative minds who never cease to find new outlets for their love of literature. Eggers takes his passion for writing beyond the novel with his free-thinking publishing company, McSweeney's, and nonprofit projects promoting literacy while Daniel Clowes upset his Pratt Institute art teachers and the whole comic book genre with his seriously literary graphic novels. Together they have quite the story to tell about letting creativity run rampant through all that you do. (Champlin)

8pm, $15

Z Space

450 Florida, SF

(415) 626-0453


Radio Ambulante LIVE!

In a country where we're still fighting for our children's right to even learn about Latino culture and history (major side eye, Arizona), the idea of a public radio show featuring stories from the Latin American diaspora — en español no less — is tragically radical. But local writer, Lima-born Daniel Alarcón and his partner Carolina Guerrero aren't worried about Fox News readying the cannons. The two head up a team spread over the Americas that will be bringing to the airwaves important stories that won't lose an ounce of potency due to translation. Join the two and ZYZZYVA managing editor Oscar Villalon for a live taping of the show, presented through those intrepid Litquake types. (Caitlin Donohue)

7pm, $12-15

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

2868 Mission, SF


Grizzly Bear

In a globalizing music world, where the cross-pollination of genres and influences has become the norm, Grizzly Bear's multifaceted approach still sounds quite strange. Over a foundation of shaggy, dusty indie-rock, the Brooklyn four-piece blends elements of Yes-style prog wankery, anachronistic glee-club vocal arrangements, and heady, spacey production values, with an old-school, album-rock continuity. Whereas Yellow House (2006) was defined by its ambiance and sense of space, and Veckatimest (2009) presented itself as a straightforward song-cycle, this year's Shields displays a deft balance between these tendencies, emboldened by the most dextrous musicianship and airtight hooks of Grizzly Bear's tenure thus far. Sharing the bill is Baltimore's Lower Dens, whose Lou-Reed-meets-Autobahn zen-rock generated sizable buzz on this year's Nootropics. (Kaplan)

8pm, $33

Fox Theater

1807 Telegraph, Oakl.

(510) 302-2250


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