East Bay resident and legendary troubadour Jonathan Richman seems wary of technology, publicity, and, inexplicably, guitar straps, but he’s delighted to give ecstatic performances at modest local clubs — as evidenced by three consecutive shows starting this week at the Make-Out Room (3225 22nd Street, San Francisco). For the last interview he granted to a local paper, Richman provided handwritten responses to handwritten questions exchanged through the mail. While mid-song at his Burger Boogaloo performance in 2013, Richman used one hand to shoo away a photographer and clutched a strapless acoustic guitar in the other. In fact, Richman spontaneously changes his songs a lot in concert. He’ll pause, raise an eyebrow, and gaze longingly through the crowd during poignant moments, or ad-lib extended lyrics with feverish intensity during others. With only his acoustic guitar and Tommy Larkins’ minimal percussion, Richman commands more charisma and grace than any amount of gadgetry, spectacle, and hype can possibly garner.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of nostalgia to fire up one’s desire to dance. That was the thinking behind the long-running Nineties-themed party “Debaser,” which was hosted by DJs Emdee and Jamie Jams at The Knockout in San Francisco. But earlier this year, they called it quits, and instead decided to “apply the same intellectual rigor, commitment to period accuracy, and creative selection” to the Aughts, Jamie Jams wrote in an email. Expect to hear songs from bands such as Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MIA, Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, and Basement Jaxx. To kick off the party — which will take place at The Night Light (311 Broadway, Oakland) every fourth Friday, beginning this month — the LCD Soundsystem tribute band North American Scum will perform.
$5 before 11pm, $10 after
Oakland failed to attract competitive bids for its garbage franchise and is now pushing a proposal that critics say includes exorbitant rate hikes, weak local job protections, and an inadequate composting plan.