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Hit List: Best Music, Art & Culture Feb 1-8

In Clubs, Culture, Music
PROPER P. FUNK: Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One are Tuxedo—at The Continental this week.

PROPER P. FUNK: Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One are Tuxedo—at The Continental this week.

The slick and soulful sounds of Mayer Hawthorne’s choicest selections return to The Contiental this week—and this time Mayer’s bringing his buddy, Seattle-based producer Jake One. Together they form the P. Funk revivalist duo Tuxedo. Also this week, rethink everything you’ve ever learned about puppet shows as the performance art collective Manual Cinema bring their gripping new production, Ava/Ada to Stanford.

Yellow Face
Wed, 8pm, $18+
Bus Barn Theater, Los Altos
From Katharine Hepburn in Dragon Seed to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, American filmmakers have a poor track record when it comes to casting Caucasian actors to play Asians. This unfortunate practice is lampooned in Yellow Face, when an Asian-American playwright, DHH, accidentally casts a white man, Marcus G. Dahlman, to play the role of an Asian in his own play. After first lapsing into denial—insisting the actor qualifies as Asian, because of his Jewish-Siberian heritage—DHH comes to realize his error. But it’s already too late, as Marcus has become an activist for Asian rights. Runs through Feb. 19. (NV)

Wed, 7:30pm, $15+
Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Deploying actors, overhead projectors and a live orchestra, the Chicago-based puppetry ensemble Manual Cinema use shadow and music to tell compelling stories. The artist collective is currently touring it’s latest production, Ada/Ava, described as a “gothic melodrama, a puppet show, a slide show, a shadow play set to live jazz, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the magic is made.” Watch as these wizards of light and shadow use vintage overhead projectors, transparencies and live action to tell the story of elderly twins pulled apart by death—or maybe not. The production runs through Feb. 4. (NV)

Manual Cinema’s ADA | AVA (Official Trailer) from Manual Cinema on Vimeo.

Spectral Hues
Wed, 7-10pm, Free
Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto
A continuation of Palo Alto Art Center’s 45th anniversary celebration, “Spectral Hues” harkens back to one of the center’s very first group shows. This exhibition will showcase a diverse selection of work by Bay Area artists who are exploring the optical and emotional impact of color. Featured works include musical scores, abstracted landscapes and architectural blueprints. Open through Apr. 9, the colorful exhibit seeks to evoke emotional responses through personal, institutional, formal and intuitive meanings. (BS)

Wed, 7:30pm, $30+
San Jose Stage Company
Penned by Pakistani American playwright Ayad Akhtar, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama centers around a dinner party gone terribly awry—resulting in the divulgence of deep secrets and the revelation that even the most progressive among us are not above resorting to tribalist tropes. Disgraced explores Islamophobia and what it means to be an upwardly mobile Muslim living in America. The play’s protagonist, Amir Kapoor, is a lawyer who has distanced himself from his heritage in the interest of advancing his career. Aasif Mandvi—of The Daily Show fame—played Amir during the play’s acclaimed off-Broadway run. Runs through Feb. 26. (NV) 

Thu, 9pm, $25-$35
The Continental, San Jose
Mayer Hawthorne is a breakfast enthusiast who enjoys his waffles with a side of bacon and Steely Dan. A soulful singer and adept songwriter, Hawthorne played nearly every instrument on his latest album, Man About Town, released last spring. With 5 million Soundcloud followers and a Grammy nomination, the Michigan native is equal parts Bob Marley and Shuggie Otis. He is also an excellent DJ. Hawthorne performs at The Changing Same second anniversary party at The Continental with partner in crime—Seattle-based hip-hop producer Jake One. Together they form the P. Funk revivalist duo Tuxedo. Stay classy, San Jose. (DSJ)

Fri, 10pm, Free
Pure Lounge, Sunnyvale
Atlanta native Daniel Pollard, the mastermind behind HXV, started his electronic music project in 2009. Makes sense. HXV’s debut EP features all the hallmarks of Dirty South-spawned “witch house” sound—from the collection’s name, “Chapel,” to its boiling cauldron of trap drums and industrial synth patches. After some time off, HXV is working to recapture that initial momentum on his syrupy new single, “Novocaine”—a narcotic slurry of submarine keys, sleeping-limb kick drum and the muffled punches of slumping ATL bass. The guest list is free before 11pm. (NV)

Fri, 8pm, $12+
The Ritz, San Jose
Formed in 1995, San Jose-bred Monkey earned a strong local following with an upbeat two-tone sound. Their prestige on the local scene led to them winning a Bay Area Music award—or Bammy—back in 1999. Despite ska’s waning popularity in the years that would follow, the band kept true to its original vision—and they have been rewarded for their conviction. These South Bay ska veterans are still skanking along, 21 years later. To celebrate their first legal drink, they are playing The Ritz with Oakland’s “rocket roll” outfit The Phenomenauts. (NV)

Black Arm Band
Tue, 7:30pm, $15+
Stanford Bing Concert Hall
Set against a stunning backdrop of moving imagery and text, Dirtsong is a powerful musical journey that takes the listener through Australia’s cultural heartland. Featuring songs performed in 11 languages by the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander musical ensemble Black Arm Band, the production is backed by some of Melbourne’s finest jazz musicians. Dirtsong speaks of endurance in the face of difficult challenges, unity, and the triumph of the spirit. The performance is meant to serve as a series of conversations in which the musicians reflect on their homeland. (BS)

These Streets
Tue, 8:30pm, $10+
X-Bar, Cupertino
These Streets put a modern twist on the formula perfected by Pantera in the mid-’80s. As guitarists Trevor Peeples and Walid Gad deliver bone-crushing, bottom-end-heavy riffs, vocalist Cameron Grabowski struts about—toggling between guttural growls and barely-in-key, Phil Anselmo-style melodic lines. But the Modesto-bred hardcore outfit betray their contemporary influences when they drop into punchy, hip-hop-infused rhythms, stutter-stepping breakdowns and breakneck, galloping punk beats. Mugshot, Mara, Fight The Tide and Split Lip round out this Pin Up Productions bill. (NV)

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