St. Valentine Sweetie Pie Fest, Literary Death Match, Fool's Gold, and Vegan Cooking Demo

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Marianne Williams
Fools Gold plays the Clift Hotel this Saturday
The pre-Valentine's Day weekend: If you're in a relationship, spend it smooching and taking in a romantic folk show, art exhibit, or do whatever it is you young lovers like to do. If you're on the prowl, hit the clubs and flash that sweet wad of cash you've saved -- thanks, of course, to our handy-dandy list of 10 things to do this weekend in San Francisco for less than the price of a red velvet-dressed box of drugstore chocolates:

Literary Death Match @ Elbo Room (Fri.)
The stereotypical literary reading is about as thrilling as televised fly-fishing, with tweed-jacketed professorial types mumbling through their work. Unlike many stereotypes, there's more than a bit of truth to this one, which is why we're grateful for the literature-as-bloodsport approach of the Literary Death Match. It introduces cutthroat competition and high stakes to readings, like an Ultimate Fighting Championship for word nerds. At this LDM, queer pulp novelist Monica Nolan, poet Geoff Bouvier, self-avowed straight male expert John Scott, and The Aristobrats author Jennifer Solow each have seven minutes to assert their storytelling dominance. The panel of judges includes former Chronicle book editor Oscar Villalon, novelist April Sinclair, and Sam Barry of HarperOne books. ($7, 7 p.m.) -- Paul M. Davis


Lydia & the Projects @ Thee Parkside (Fri.)
Lydia & the Projects is a hand-clap-worthy garage rock act from our very own city by the Bay. The hand clapping won't be the only percussion -- the band makes ample use of the tambourine, as any good 1960s throwback act should. Picture Strawberry Alarm Clock and you're on the right path. Lydia & the Projects shakes up the Thee Parkside with Ogres.
($6, 9 p.m.)

San Francisco History Expo @ Old Mint (Sat. and Sun.)
Anyone who can walk around the Old Mint and not be swept into the romance of city history needs to go back to their rathole in the Mission, eat a final burrito, pack the duffel, and move two BART stops south. Most residents crave local history like a drug. Did you know that the S.F. Seals' baseball stadium used to be where the Potrero Safeway horror mall now sits? If you answered, "Yes, and third base is next to the frozen Hot Pockets" -- congratulations. The rest of you can visit the San Francisco History Expo, where more than 20 neighborhood historical associations haul out memorabilia for mini-museums of their own slices of the city, including photos, videos, and storytelling events. Groups such as the Prelinger Library and Archives, the GLBT Historical Society, and the Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry attend. (Free, 11 a.m.) -- Michael Leaverton

Free Vegan Cooking Demo & Book Reading @ The Ferry Building (Sat.)
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a rock star in the vegan world. She co-hosted the popular community access vegan cooking show "The Post-Punk Kitchen" in New York (available online and through DVD), and has co-authored and authored five books on the subject, including the definitive roundup Veganomican. This Saturday she'll discuss her brand new, equally groundbreaking cookbook Appetite for Reduction: 100 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. She also will present a cooking demo, which means free vegan nibbles.
(Free, 11:45 a.m.)

St. Valentine Sweetie Pie and Art Fest @ 111 Minna (Sat.)
The pie vs. cake divide is huge. It tears apart families (we'd imagine) and shakes up restaurant menus across this great land. There's a crew in San Francisco that isn't afraid to let it be known: they're pie people to the end. To prove it, the Pie Extremist Group hosts its second annual St. Valentine Sweetie Pie and Art Fest this Saturday at 111 Minna. The event includes art, drinks and obviously, the dessert that divides. Attendees are encouraged to bring a pie of their own for sharing. (Free, 5-9 p.m.)

Weird TV @ Thrillhouse Records (Sat.)
Once described as the "punkest band in Olympia," Weird TV comes to us courtesy Thrillhouse Records. The "best punk record store in San Francisco" (SF Weekly's own quote) hosts the occasional awesome and awesomely loud show, and this time around they were clever enough to mix local acts with revered out-of-towners. Weird TV plays with San Francisco's Brilliant Colors, Culture Kids and Nosedive. The female-fronted hardcore band has the fast beats and driving guitars you'd expect at a quality punk show. We wouldn't have it any other way. (Free, 7 p.m.)

Valen-tiny Night @ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (Sat.)
It appears the folks behind Valen-tiny Night are employing the age-old nicknaming conventions of Opposite Day. A fat guy named Slim! A tall guy named Shorty! So it is with "-tiny" in the title of this fabulously multifarious and indeed huh-yooj evening of entertainment. Witness feelings, nothing more than feelings from Portland synth-pop supertalents Lovers. Singer Cubby Berk's danceable poetry gets you gazing in the eyes of your OkCupid hookup and hoping for long days, sparking spliffs, and listening to Dylan on your hi-fi. Drink in dreamy local artist and playwright Dave End's po-mo peep show in the elevators. Nibble some snacks, regard a performance by Jess Curtis, and check out the exhibits. (Free, 8:30 p.m.) -- Tara Jepsen

Fool's Gold @ Clift Hotel (Sat.)
Start with poppy guitar lines, throw in African drumming, exotic instruments and the occasional Hebraic lyric sung with gusto by dynamic lead singer Luke Top, and you've got Fool's Gold. The vibrant Los Angeles band come to our fair city to participate in the ongoing Clift Sessions hosted by IAMSOUND Records at the Clift Hotel. The show's absolutely free, but you must RSVP to cliftsessions@morganshotelgroup.com. (Free, 9 p.m.)

Bare Wires @ El Rio (Sun.)
In an interview for last year's SXSW (yep, it's already almost here again) Bare Wires described its sound as "slop-pop," adding "we take a lot from power-pop and even some glam elements, but it's pretty much just smooth punk." The minimalist Oakland trio does hit a lot of the last 40 years of music, all rolled up into one -- no easy feat. It's the glam vocals that really set it apart from its contemporaries, and all that shaky posturing that gets the ladies going wild. The pretty boys in leather jackets and feathered hair don't hurt either. Bare Wires plays El Rio this Sunday with Dirty Cupcakes and Baby Talk. And the show is dirt cheap. ($6, 6 p.m.)

Ash Reiter @ Hemlock Tavern (Sun.)
There's nothing to snarky to be said about a demure vocal beauty such as Ash Reiter. She's got the kind of achingly sweet voice that purrs even on seemingly innocuous lyrics like "ain't got not money, ain't got shit." She drags it out, hitting each note with a hint of that indefinable, magical pixie dust known to bless ladies like Cat Power and Mirah. All this plays out above a somewhat unexpectedly danceable folk-pop sound. Ash Reiter plays Hemlock Tavern this Sunday with Cowboy & Indian ($6, 9 p.m.)

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