Breaking news, dear readers: The Bay Area is an expensive place to live these days. We're guessing you don't need another trend story about $4 toast or $8 coffee or $15 cocktails to understand this, either -- your ludicrous rent or mortgage payment is due in just a few days' time!
But take heart: contrary to popular belief, it is still possible to go out and have a good time in these parts without selling your organs for cash on the black market. Cheap Date is a new column in which we will round up ways to do just that. All events featured here have a strict cap of $20, with a special emphasis on parties, shows, and screenings that are actually -- gasp -- free of charge.
So go on out. Pack a flask. Save your dollars. You'll need 'em for tomorrow's toast and coffee.
Wednesday, Sept. 23: Tunnel Vision, SF Punk Renaissance Kickoff. In the early days of San Francisco punk rock, as bands like the Dead Kennedys and the Avengers forged a sound that would shape West Coast punk for years to come, even those who couldn’t play an instrument were instrumental in helping the scene stand out. V.Vale’s zine Search And Destroy, with its in-depth interviews and pro-level photographs was just one way these exciting times were documented. The Tunnel Vision photography exhibit has pushed photographers and documentarians to dig through their archives and pull out some amazing footage from those days, including the still-in-progress film Buried In The Mix. The $10 entry fee for this opening party includes a drink ticket. Read more about the exhibition from KQED's Kevin L. Jones here.
Friday, Sept. 25: Kool A.D. at The New Parish. Das Racist, the New York based hip-hop collective, is still the project for which San Francisco native Victor Vazquez (aka Kool A.D.) is best known. But it doesn't take much digging to realize that's only the tip of the hyper-literate rapper/musician's creative iceberg: Through a slew of solo projects and guest appearances that run the gamut from hardcore noise-punk to nerd rap (and, recently, visual art), he's established himself as an artist who's not afraid to take chances. Which is to say: thoroughly Bay Area to his core. $10 - $15; details here.
Saturday, Sept. 26: Back to the Future in Dolores Park. Summer ain't over 'til everyone has a sunburn, a slight hangover, and a sense of nostalgia for days gone by -- whether they were three weeks ago or three decades ago. Achieve all of these elements and more at the season's last outdoor movie screening in Dolores Park, featuring the 1985 classic in all its Delorean-esque glory. Best of all, it's free! Come early to snag a spot; last year's Clueless screening filled up faster than you could say "As if." Details here.
Saturday, Sept. 26 - Sunday, Sept. 27: Bay Area Blues Festival. This is one of those cases where a merger is a great thing: The longstanding Downtown Martinez Italian Street Painting Festival and San Francisco’s Polk Street Blues Festival have combined forces, and the result is this sprawling multi-day music celebration on the streets of Martinez (which have a little more room to spread out, one might note, than those in San Francisco). Hear performances from local blues staples like Frankie G and the Conviction, Buckaroo Bonet, the West Coast Playboys, and more. Free; details here.
Sunday, Sept. 27: Folsom Street Fair. If you've been to the Folsom Street Fair, well, there's no need for us to describe this gleefully irreverent celebration of all things kink and leather, with some 400,000 enthusiasts lining Folsom between 8th and 12th Streets in downtown SF. If you haven't? Consider it a requirement before you can call yourself a San Franciscan. This free S&M fest isn't for the faint of heart, to be sure -- but that's kinda the whole point. Grab a paddle and come prepared to see a politician or other locally famous figure in a whole new light. Haters not welcome! Details here.