San Francisco is home to a breathtaking diversity of cultural events. Between our fair city’s world-class museums, restaurants, bars, art galleries, music scene, festivals, and clubs, between all that is weird and quirky and purely San Franciscan, there’s something going down, somewhere, every single day of the year. Check out our Flavorpill social discovery engine, where you can create and share events with friends, and follow our carefully curated editors’ picks. Below, you’ll find Flavorpill’s top picks for this week — just a little bit of help as you set out into this beautiful wide world of SF’s happenings.
Monday, May 20
PERFORMING ARTS: Pop-Up Magazine: The Song Reader Issue The future of journalism is not happening online, but onstage. After a stunningly successful debut and subsequently successful follow-ups, the salon-esque Pop-Up Magazine returns with a Song Reader-themed live “issue” in which the audience will be treated to what promises to be a ridiculously talented group of live musicians and storytellers playing their interpretations of Beck’s latest album. Grab your seat fast; this is one issue that doesn’t stay on the newsstand for long. — Bonnie Chan
Tuesday, May 21
BOOKS: Eduardo Galeano: Children of the Days Eduardo Galeano — journalist, writer, historian, and author of the Memory of Fire trilogy, Open Veins of Latin America, Soccer in Sun and Shadow, and The Book of Embraces, among many others — is one of Latin America’s most celebrated writers, by turns commanding the page with fiery condemnations of the atrocities committed throughout history and politics, and tender vignettes about beauty in all its forms. Galeano’s newest work, Children of the Days, tells a moving story about each day of the calendar year. For all lovers of literature and words, this reading and speaking engagement is not to be missed. — Bonnie Chan
Wednesday, May 22
MUSIC: Björk As artists go, few have lived in their element as thoroughly as Björk. Performing since she was a child, the Icelandic musician continues to be inspired by the possibilities of sound, intent on further pushing boundaries even after influencing countless others with her often unorthodox approach. Her latest album, Biophilia, went beyond simple musical exploration to incorporate science, technology, and visual art — an undertaking that is even more apparent in its live incarnation. Performed in the round, Björk’s Biophilia live show is set within a massive installation, featuring a series of custom-designed instruments, a two-dozen-strong choir, and video screens with mesmerizing displays. The Icelandic powerhouse performs three intimate shows at Richmond’s Craneway Pavilion on May 22, 25, and 28. — Doug Levy
Thursday, May 23
MUSIC: Philip Glass at 75: Easily one of the most influential music makers of our time, Philip Glass, now celebrating his 75th year, continues to set new trends, this time creating an entirely new performance genre: opera-accompanied film. This is something that has been done the other way around, time and time again, but as a first, you can watch Jean Cocteau’s classic Beauty and the Beast (1946) set to a live operatic performance courtesy of the Philip Glass Ensemble. Arrive early Saturday night for an hour-long conversation with Philip Glass himself, and be sure to catch the second half of the weekend-long Philip Glass at 75 celebration on Sunday, with a screening of the groundbreaking classic film scored by Glass, Koyaanisqatsi (1982). — Joshua Wyatt
Friday, May 24
MUSIC: SF Popfest SF Popfest, not to be confused with Noise Pop, is an emerging Memorial Day weekend festival featuring up-and-coming power pop, Britpop, dream pop, and basically all kinds of pop bands from all over. Well, mostly the West Coast. For the festival’s fifth year, the three-day event hosts the Ramones-like Colleen Green, Slumberland Records’ Sea Lions, Sisu (featuring members of the Dum Dum Girls), San Francisco’s Permanent Collection, a free indie-pop dance party, and many more bands and DJs. — Cooper Berkmoyer
Saturday, May 25
CITY GEM: Masturbate-a-Thon 2013 In 1994, U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was fired by President Clinton for suggesting that masturbation should be taught in schools. In response, SF’s Good Vibrations created National Masturbation Month. Today the Center for Sex and Culture hosts its 13th annual Masturbate-a-thon, with the goal of “ending the stigma around self-pleasure” and raising money for the Center for Sex and Culture’s sex-positive education and library. You can be a voyeur or a participant (open-minded friends can sponsor by the minute or by the orgasm). No faking though: sexologists check flushes and breathing patterns to make sure that participants are keeping it real. — Joey Stevenson
Sunday, May 26
FESTIVAL: Carnaval SF Grand Parade Grab your finest feathered tail-piece, some timbales and chains of plastic beads, and get ready to shake your coconuts for Carnaval. The two-day street party features a nonstop lineup of the Bay Area’s top Latin and Afro-Caribbean musical ensembles dishing out more soca, calypso, salsa, samba, hip-hop, and cumbia than your feet can possibly handle. But the main event is Sunday’s Grand Parade, which transforms Mission Street into a movable feast for the eyes, with enough rainbow colors and gyrating, bared flesh to give next month’s Pride festivities a run for their money.