10 Things to Do This Weekend For Under $10

Photo of Toshio Hirano (see Fri.) by Paul Trapani
There's more cheap stuff to do this weekend besides craning your neck at blue airplanes and making countless Top Gun jokes. To wit:

Sherman Alexie @ the Women's Building (Fri.)
Sherman Alexie wrote one of the funniest pieces of fiction I've read in the New Yorker. The droll piece, War Dances, mixes up the author's hypochondria, his Native American identity, his feelings about fatherhood and his own father, and his numerous visits to doctors and hospitals. It's a great read--as is, we assume, his new book, also called War Dances.  It's a collection of "short stories, microstories, fictional interviews in an absurdist vein, rhyming verse, and longer stories." Alexie reads at the Women's Building ( 7 p.m., $8)

Roadhouse @ Workshop (Fri.)
Patrick Swayze's death didn't incite the same sort of pop culture wakes as Michael Jackson, but the man has inspired plenty of movie nights in his honor. Tonight the Western Addition's new indie store/ground zero for cool classes, Workshop (1798 McAllister St. @ Baker ), hosts the first of many Friday movie nights with Roadhouse. They'll be serving Roadhouse themed treats and drinks, and making beer bags from old flannels before the movie starts. All brought to you by the good folks who run Indie Mart ($5, 9 p.m.)

Toshio Hirano documentary screening @ Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (Fri)
Two indie movie nights go down in Bernal Heights this weekend. The first is indoors at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, which hosts screenings of movies focused on old timey music. Waiting for a Train tells the story of everyone's favorite local yodeler from Tokyo, Toshio Hirano. That 20 minute short will be followed by the feature length, Always Been a Rambler about New Lost City Ramblers (Mike Seeger, John Cohen, Tracy Schwarz and Tom Paley). Both films screen on Friday, starting at 7:30 p.m. More info here. (Free)

Litquake @ Various Venues (All weekend)
It's feeling very much like fall in San Francisco, a good time to fill your head with books. This weekend is the kickoff for Litquake, which boasts events ranging in speaker topics from music to sci fi and the open sea. Most of Litquake's gigs are free to very cheap. Full schedule here

Open Studios Weekend 1 @ Various Locations (Sat. & Sun.)
October is an excellent month to wander around the city, map in hand, hunting down various art styles and studios. Open Studios offers art fans a chance to get inside the work spaces of a diverse array of sculptors, painters, jewelry makers, ceramists, and more--all for the price it takes you to get between close to 200 locations. Our advice: map out a neighborhood or two, and set aside a couple hours to explore. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free)

Sonny & the Sunsets @ Mollusk (Sat.)
No matter the weather, Saturday afternoon should be a good time to catch a little Sonny (Ok. Terrible joke. Sorry). Sonny & the Sunsets provide a free folk-pop matinee at 4 p.m. for our favorite art gallery/surf shop Mollusk; walk down the street a bit to the Carville Annex (4035 Annex) to check out the art opening for "Hello Neighbor." (And if you are in need of refreshments, Trouble has its coffee & coconut & cinnamon toast deal for under $10 too.)

Tormenta Tropical @ Elbo Room (Sat.)
Disco Shawn and Oro 11 clocked time down in Buenos Aires soaking up the cumbia. In the years since their return to the States, this DJ team blends the South American music with hip-hop, electro, and globe-trotting genre-skippers from around the world for their Elbo Room club night, Tormenta Tropical. This weekend, the pair pays host to New York's Afro-beat/house/funk DJ Sabo.  (10 p.m. Arrive before 11 and it's only $5 to get in--$10 after).

Maus Haus @ Amnesia (Sat.)
Maus Haus performs pop bent through the surreal lens of krautrock and cosmic psych, laying down a thick, disorienting atmosphere without smothering its sugary melodies and off-kilter rhythms. Check out their track "Rigid Breakfast," which sounds like Stereolab with new urgency and hushed male vocals until it jerks around rougher post-punk territory. The group performs at Amnesia. (9 p.m., $7)

Kush Arora @ Elbo Room (Sun.)
San Francisco is a city of dubstep enthusiasts, and Kush Arora has risen to the top of the pack by producing music filled with sonic schisms. We have a full piece on the DJ/producer in this week's issue, where writer Ron Nachmann notes that the tracks on Arora's new CD, Boiling Over, "pit dubstep and techno rhythms against Punjabi melodies and industrial cacophony. Full of furtive minor-key string stabs and trilling drum fills, the album's foregrounding melodic parts battle swirls of audio detritus and oncoming tidal waves of rumbling, low-end feedback." Check out Arora live at Elbo Room. (9 p.m., $8 if you grab tickets in advance). 

Joe Goldmark & the Seducers (Sun.)
Joe Goldmark is an incredible pedal steel player. As the leader of the casual Seducers crew, Goldmark sets the tone one Sunday of the month at Riptide, where the group flirts with everything from country to '60s R&B and reggae. The music is excellent, the vibe is low-brow, and the songs will warm you up better than the fireplace hidden behind the Riptide's red velvet curtains as they play. Joe Goldmark & the Seducers are not to be missed. (Free, 7 p.m.)

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