This Week in Arts

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Our lead critics recommend the latest and greatest in culture. 


We all know what week this is. It’s Treasure Island week! The Treasure Island Music Festival this coming weekend includes the likes of M83, Girl Talk, Best Coast, Public Enemy and the Gossip. The highly anticipated London indie pop band The xx will also be at the festival, marking Treasure Island as their only U.S. festival appearance for the year. A wide variety of Bay Area artists will also be there, such as Toro Y Moi, Dirty Ghosts and K.Flay. If you’re planning on going, make sure to catch the free shuttle at AT&T park in San Francisco.
In addition to night shows from various Treasure Island artists this weekend, other concerts this week include local pop rock act Thee Oh Sees, who will be playing this Friday at Slim’s in SF. Also playing that night are the ever-changing Smashing Pumpkins at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

— Ian Birnam


We are currently in the midst of Art Gallery Week, 10 days of art events at 36 participating Bay Area galleries in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. Events run now through Oct. 13 and are intended to engage the community through art-related programs and interaction with artists and galleries.

Wednesday is Happy Hour at the 251 Post Street Art Galleries in San Francisco. Featured artists will be giving talks and participating in Q&A sessions. Thursday evening, eight prominent San Francisco galleries will be holding special events, such as a poetry reading at Gallery Paule Anglim, a curator talk at George Krevsky Gallery and a talk by LSD legend Mark McCloud with innovative drink mixing. The closing party for Art Gallery Week will be Saturday at Yerba Buena Gardens’ event Yerba Buena Night, the free outdoor arts festival in downtown San Francisco.


— Anna Carey


The Alternative Press Expo (APE) returns this weekend as one of the few festivals that focuses on publishing. Taking place at the Concourse in San Francisco, the same organization that puts on San Diego’s always-sold-out Comic-Con honors its roots of independent and self-publishing comics with APE.
The weekend’s practice-oriented featured workshops are guaranteed to attract up-and-coming artists. Hands-on workshops teach how to create fantastical characters, develop comic strip ideas and actually sell your comics.

Perhaps the most time-worthy program for rising artists or writers is the Comic Creator Connection event. It is basically a speed-dating service for writers looking for an illustrator counterpart or vice versa. Not only is it an easy way to network, but it is also a way to see the strength and breadth of the literary and comic community of the Bay Area.

— A.J. Kiyoizumi


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ear, for there are two classical works premiering this week in Berkeley.
Beginning Oct. 12, UC Berkeley’s own student-run theatre company BareStage Productions will open the 2012-13 season with playwright Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.” Staged as a series of interwoven vignettes, the play presents a modern and abstract spin on the classic Greek myths. With its intimate setting and knack for animated acting, BareStage’s version should prove transformative.
From Greek myths to Greek epic poems, Berkeley Repertory Theatre premieres Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare’s adaptation of Homer’s semi “An Iliad.” Previews begin this Friday, Oct. 12. With classic themes of love, wrath, war and drinking (I’m looking at you Bacchus!), it will certainly be worthy of the Latin title “magnum opus.”

— Jessica Pena


The Palestinian film “Man Without a Cell Phone” will open the Arab Film Festival this Thursday at the Castro Theatre. The film is about a man without (surprise, surprise) a cellphone because his father attacked an Israeli cellphone tower he suspected of poisoning the villagers who lived near it. Arrive at 6 p.m. to to meet the filmmakers.
The San Francisco Film Society will get its Taiwan Film Days  showcase off to a fine start this Friday with a special screening of “Din Tao: Leader of the Parade” at the New People Cinema on Post Street. The film follows  the story of Ah-Tai, an aspiring guitarist who ruffles a few feathers by applying his American ideas of rhythm to traditional “Din-Tao” drumming. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Fung Kai and a special presentation involving eight-foot-tall puppets fashioned in the likeness of the Taiwanese deity Prince Nezha.

— Thomas Coughlan

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