June 10: Eli "Paperboy" Reed is from Brookline, Massachusetts, but his music was shaped more by his time in Chicago, playing organ at a South Side Church for Chess Records hit-maker Mitty Collier. He's one of the most talented among a group of young performers helping to keep old-fashioned soul (with a hint of Roy Orbison) and the swinging, brass-heavy bands of that genre alive. Details on his DNA Lounge show are here.
Frameline is the self-declared "king of queer film festivals," and it's earned that title as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. It's not so rare now to find LGBTQ characters featured on film and TV, but Frameline is still breaking new ground, with LGBTQ filmmakers behind the camera, and characters who aren't just the sidekick. Frameline opens with Kiki, from directors Sara Jordeno and Twiggy Pucci Garçon, about dance and politics among LGBTQ youth of color in New York; and the festival closes with a film wrapping up the plot lines from the HBO series Looking, set in San Francisco. Gay marriage is a theme, but don't look here for spoilers. Co-writer and co-creator Michael Lannan wouldn't spill in our talk with him. Details for Frameline's run at theaters in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland are here.
June 12: The singers of the San Francisco Girls Chorus have more active careers than many adults. Credit for that goes to the adventurous music programmed by Artistic Director Lisa Bielawa and the fine conducting from music director Valérie Sainte-Agathe. The chorus is wrapping up its season with Luminous Premieres, a concert featuring new work by Aaron Jay Kernis, Gabriel Kahane, Theo Bleckmann, and Bielawa‘s "My Outstretched Hand." Details here.
June 10-18: Mission CTRL is a very funny "startup" sketch comedy troupe, that specializes in mocking life in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. They're staging their most ambitious production yet with Duck Lake, billed as "the world’s first ballet-horror-comedy" (think Black Swan meets Hitchcock's The Birds meets Wet Hot American Summer). Details for their shows at PianoFight in SF's Tenderloin are here.
Through Sept. 18: The San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art always has something amazing going on. This tiny gallery run by Executive Director Cathy Kimball is opening three new shows featuring works on, with and about paper. They're full of surprises. And did mention admission is free, so it's a Do List Cheap Thrill. Our colleague Rachael Myrow has a nice preview here. And more details for the shows are here.
June 11 - 12: Huichica is like the Goldilocks and the Three Bears of Bay Area music festivals, not too big, not too small, just the right size. Since 2010 it's perfected its indie band mix, with Bay Area greats like Kelly Stoltz and Sun Hop Fat (Ethiopian funk and jazz), plus national stars like Fruit Bats (above), Dengue Fever, Vetiver, Radio Fliers and more. Plus expect lots of food and wine from Gundlach Bundschu; that's the winery that co-sponsors the event and a summer concert series. Details of the weekend fest just outside the town of Sonoma are here.