Night + Day: Calendar Picks for 5/15

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SFBC Bike Away from Work Party, 6-10pm
w/ DJs EmDee & TophOne, plus raffles & door prizes
Rickshaw Stop - 155 Fell at Van Ness

People who drive to work know the hazards cyclists face - they're often the cause of those hazards. So the Bike to Work Day is using, as bait, free coffee and snacks, and a tote bag at 25 Energizer Stations peppered throughout the city. It's also running Bike Buses departing from eleven neighborhoods, for those who own bicycles but hate bicycling. And there's a raffle (first prize: shiny new bicycle) along with the prospect of blowing through a stop sign in the slipstream of the mayor or Board of Supervisors, all of whom are expected to saddle up. But much of this pales next to the real takeaway: unadulterated righteousness, along with a very real shot of getting on the news. After work, relive your moment of glory at the Bike Away from Work Party with DJ Toph One (a regular SF Weekly contributor), and make a vow to do it all again some day. --Michael Leaverton

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16th Mission Five-Year Anniversary, 9pm
16th St. and Mission SW BART Plaza

Is it the Critical Mass of poetry? Short answer: No. But the 16th & Mission reading series is, like the illegal bike ride, a beautiful, anarchic, streetside takeover of public space, and you're invited. The 16th & Mission Five-Year Anniversary celebrates half a decade of Thursday night sidewalk readings open to everyone, inspired by and feeding into the BART plaza's already loud mix of evangelists, families, junkies, and … well, you've been there. Sounds like a recipe for the world's worst poetry, right? But it isn't; little-d democracy produces quality at the mic-less open mic, same as it does wherever people are allowed to do what they do unfettered. Proof is in the unexpectedly great 16th & Mission Review chapbook, which lays out the excellence of some (okay, not all) of the participants. Copies of the last six issues are for sale tonight, and the one we looked at was some of the best bus reading we've come across in a long time: philosophical, unpretentious, observant, and funny. Regular performers also include MCs, comedians, and performance artists (organizers point out that "participation from passerby and audience members is common"), all of whom enjoy the no-time-limit, no sign-ups, and no-judging atmosphere. --Hiya Swanhuyser

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Gordon Gano & the Ryan Brothers, 9:30pm
Boom Boom Room - 1601 Fillmore at Geary

If you need to be told who Gordon Gano is, hang your head in shame. We still love you, but come on. The lead singer of the Violent Femmes should need no introduction, since he wrote and sang "Blister in the Sun," "Add it Up," "Kiss Off" (how did people make it through adolescence without these?), and a few thousand other whiny, mean-spirited, damnably beautiful songs. He also invented alt-country when he was in tenth-grade study hall by writing the Great American Novel in rave-up form, "Country Death Song." Currently, he's been recording with former members of the Bogmen, a Replacements-esque group from Brooklyn with ties to the New Pornographers. Together, Gordon Gano and the Ryan Brothers' music is solid alt-rock with an Irish-folk streak, possessed of epic themes and featuring Gano's pretty, nasal syncopation front and center. --Hiya Swanhuyser

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