Mill Valley Film Festival
Despite Metallica as this year's artists-in-residence, the Mill Valley Film Festival is known as a pretty laid-back affair. The venerable Marin County bash smoothly blends character-driven dramas accompanied by glamorous stars with incisive documentaries introduced by their (often local) filmmakers. New Bay Area films with local subjects include Christopher Beaver’s Racing to Zero: In Pursuit of Zero Waste, William Farley’s Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Barrish and Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman’s States of Grace. Australia sends the acclaimed Aborigine saga Charlie’s Country, while African master Abderrahman Soudais presents his Cannes triumph Timbuktu. Details and ticket information here.
'@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz'
In a massive, site-specific installation, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei makes artistic use of Alcatraz's history as a federal penitentiary, site of Native American protest, and tourist destination. Alcatraz and Weiwei make a natural pairing—detained for nearly three months in 2011, Weiwei has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, and is currently prohibited from leaving China. The exhibition is part of the regular Alcatraz tour; tickets are available through the Alcatraz Ferry site up to three months in advance. Details and ticket information here.
No Harry Potter jokes, please. The Los Angeles garage rockers recently released Ganglion Reef on the record imprint of garage-pop darling Ty Segall, with whom they've been touring for the past few months. Right now, catch them at Rickshaw Stop before they head back into the L.A. foothills. Details and ticket information here.
'Yatra: Masters of Kathak and Flamenco'
Pandit Chitresh Das and Antonio Hidalgo Paz go foot-to-foot to present this amazing collaboration, featuring two distinct yet complimentary styles of regional dance—Kathak and Flamenco. The syncopation of these two master artists will set your heart beating faster. Details and ticket information here.
Locals Meric Long and Logan Kroeber, who have performed together as the Dodos since 2005, just released their fifth record, Carrier, on Polyvinyl. The duo have kept busy playing shows all over the place, but just not here in the Bay Area. If you're a fan of their big sound, don't miss their first local appearance of 2014 at the Chapel in San Francisco. Details and ticket information here.