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The Do List: Agnes Varda, Ghostface Killah and More Picks for the Year's End

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Looking for things to do in the Bay Area this weekend? The Do List has you covered with concerts, festivals, exhibitions, plays, performances and more.

You can listen to this week’s episode with KQED’s Gabe Meline, Sarah Hotchkiss and Nastia Voynovskaya above, or read about our picks below.

Ghostface Killah: This Wu-Tang icon comes to town this Sunday, but he’s not playing a hip-hop nightclub—he’s performing at Yoshi’s in Oakland. Yoshi’s, a jazz supper club, has been broadening its booking into rap lately, which makes sense. Let’s face it, rap is getting older. Now 49, Ghostface has always had a wonderfully throaty tone, and a beautiful surrealism. (As part of a bad review, the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates once derided him as “Amiri Baraka tripping on bathtub acid.” I don’t know about you, but that’s a plus in my book.) Ghostface Killah plays Sunday, Dec. 22, at Yoshi’s in Oakland. Details here.—G.M.

Agnès Varda Retrospective: Agnès Varda, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 90, was often called the “grandmother of French New Wave cinema.” She was the only female director in the scene, and hugely influential in its development, so it’s appropriate that it takes two Bay Area institutions to do her career justice. BAMPFA and SFMOMA have teamed up to co-present Agnès Varda: An Irresistible Force, a national touring retrospective of her films that spans six decades, including her final work, Varda by Agnès. (Don’t know where to start? Try one of our favorites, Cleo from 5 to 7.) The series starts at BAMPFA this Friday, Dec. 20, and at SFMOMA on Thursday, Jan. 9. Details here.—S.H.

SOB x RBE Bay Holiday Ball: It’s been awesome watching the rise of Vallejo rap group SOB x RBE in recent years. They’re three young guys who have this really explosive chemistry: Daboii and Slimmy B rap in a gruff bark, while Yung T.O.’s smooth, melodic delivery makes think of him as Gen Z’s version of Nate Dogg. Their new track “Ain’t Got Time” is produced by superstar producer Zaytoven, a San Francisco native, and the trio celebrates the holidays this year Bay Area style with opening acts 24KGoldn, Pimp Tobi and more. That’s on Friday, Dec. 27, at the Warfield in San Francisco. Details here.—N.V.


‘Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks’: I want to quickly plug this show I just saw at the Asian Art Museum, which, yes, is all about art recovered from shipwrecks. It uses two particular shipwrecks as case studies to talk about how objects get into museum collections, and what those various journeys can tell us about trade routes, colonial practices, international maritime law and underwater archeology. It’s a super small show, but it’s packed with provocative questions that will change the way you look at historical objects on pedestals forever after. It’s up now and on view at the Asian Art Museum through March 22, 2020. Details here.—S.H.

John Oliver: Late night talk show hosts haven’t had it easy these past three years. You know what all comedians say about the Trump era—“How can you satirize something that’s already satire”? But night after night, John Oliver pulls it off, and at the end of this year he settles in for a residency at the Masonic on Nob Hill, doing standup, social commentary, and—I’m sure—talking about the impeachment in D.C.. He’s at the Masonic in San Francisco for three nights, Dec. 31 through Jan. 2. Details here.—G.M.

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