Bhi Bhiman is an all-American kid who grew up in St. Louis wanting to play baseball, but his parents are Sri Lankan immigrants, and accordingly, he's infused many of his R&B grooves with lyrics about the plight of African expats looking for a new home. Bhiman has drawn comparisons to everyone from Woody Guthrie to Bruce Springsteen for his songwriting -- and now he's poised to break nationally with the release of Rhythm and Reason on May 19. He kicks off a national tour this month, opening for Carolina Chocolate Drops front woman Rhiannon Giddens in Napa; he'll also perform June 27 at the Independent and Aug. 2 at Stern Grove. Get details and tickets for the City Winery show here.
Marc Maron was doing podcasts before podcasts were cool. Actually, you name the medium, he’s probably done it — bringing his signature brand of biting political commentary and irreverent, sometimes poignantly personal cultural observations to stand-up comedy and late-night television, in addition to his long-running podcast, WTF With Marc Maron. Expect raw honesty and some quick-cutting barbs when Maron takes the stage at Davies Symphony Hall for a sure-to-be-cathartic comedic experience. Details and ticket information here.
Brentano Quartet and Vijay Iyer
Pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the most electrifying and distinctive voices in modern jazz, from his piano trio to explorations of South Indian Carnatic music and collaborations with electronic, hip-hop, and spoken word artists. The Brentano String Quartet applies its lush lyricism to centuries of composition, from modern works to music that pre-dates the string quartet format. In addition to the West Coast premiere of a piece specifically written by Iyer for this ensemble, the performance includes works by Haydn and Debussy, encompassing a broad range of chamber music. Details and ticket information here.
Robert Moses Kin at YBCA
Artistic director and choreographer Robert Moses makes dances that look like no one else’s about politics and relationships, and then he challenges audience to figure them out. Moses describes ‘Silt,’ which includes original choreography alongside excerpts from Moses’ considerable repertory, as a “dance of relationships … the silt of our shared racial, social and economic histories.” The performance takes place to music composed by Michael Manring as well as Moses, and encourages audiences to move around throughout the experience. Details and ticket information here.
Earl Sweatshirt, a member of hip-hop collective Odd Future and one of the most compelling, urgent young voices in the genre, is back in the Bay for the “Not Redy 2 Leave” tour. Sweatshirt has spent the last year recovering from exhaustion and finishing his third album, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, which Columbia released last month (though Sweatshirt told NPR he wasn’t too thrilled with how they handled the release). He shares the stage with friend and frequent collaborator Vince Staples and Queens rapper Remy Banks of World’s Fair Collective. Details and ticket information for the rapper's Santa Cruz and Sacramento shows here.
The Kronos Quartet, the Bay Area's premiere, up-for-anything string ensemble, performs a special daytime Mother's Day show at SFJAZZ this Sunday, May 11. Listen to the Kronos Quartet on KQED Forum here, and get details and ticket information here.
Gary Snyder -- one of the last living beats and a poet who seems to be in constant communion with nature -- reads from his new book, The Present Moment, at City Arts and Lectures this Thursday, May 14. Details and ticket information here.