There's no shortage of weird, fun, and delicious things to do in San Francisco to kick off 2016. Attend David Bowie's birthday party (kind of), or lend your ears to an experimental tape music showcase. Check out a new restaurant by the same people who run some of our old favorites, and venture out to Tahoe for a reason other than skiing. (But you should totally ski, too).
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
January 8 | Comedy
The annual comedic extravaganza known as SF Sketchfest is presenting more than 200 different events at various San Francisco venues through January 24. This week, one of the best bets for the fest is a special tribute to Comedy Central’s cult TV series Drunk History. Host Derek Waters will reveal behind-the-scenes secrets, present unaired clips, and talk with a group of special guests including actors Steve Berg and Eric Edelstein and comic Kyle Kinane. You’ll want to get your buzz on beforehand, though; the Castro Theatre doesn’t serve alcohol.
10 p.m. | Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco | (415) 621-6350 | From $25 | website
January 8 | Performance
The First Church of the Sacred Silversexual performs Ziggy Stardust
January 8th marks David Bowie’s swingin’ 69th birthday, the perfect occasion for the world’s self-proclaimed Bowie “worship band” to pay tribute. The glammed-up First Church of the Sacred Silversexual will perform his 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars in its entirety, followed by a blasphemous midnight mass. This will also serve as the fifth annual Bowie birthday bash from this church, whose members probably sleep in on Sunday mornings.
9 p.m. | The Chapel, 777 Valencia Street, San Francisco | (415) 551-5157 | From $20 | website
January 8–10 |Music
The San Francisco Tape Music Festival
A unique sonic festival in a city filled with concerts and club events, the San Francisco Tape Music Festival spotlights local experimental artists showcasing sound in a space equipped with multichannel surround sound—24 speakers, to be exact. The events feature both contemporary works as well as tributes to early tape recording pioneers and would make for a novel evening out for anyone interested in opening up their ears to possibilities they’ve never heard before.
Gray Area Grand Theater, 2665 Mission Street, San Francisco | From $15 | website
From the culinary minds behind the popular Financial District hotspots Perbacco and Barbacco comes Volta, a bold new restaurant featuring a blend of French and Scandinavian cuisine from acclaimed Swedish-born chef Staffan Terje. Offerings include a flight of herring and fried herb gnocchi with wild mushrooms—a large leap forward in innovation (and flavor) when compared to the restaurants located above Volta at the Westfield Centre mall.
868 Mission Street, San Francisco | (628) 400-6200 | website
Through January 15 | Escape the city
Tahoe South Restaurant Week
Now that the holiday crowds have left Lake Tahoe behind, you can sneak up there for a few days of R&R. But don’t get too relaxed, because there are lots of great eating options during Tahoe South Restaurant Week, when two dozen restaurants offer special menus and prix-fixe meals at a fraction of their normal price. Head to the alpine chateau-like Edgewood Restaurant for breathtaking views that will help you switch out of city mode post-haste.
Locations vary, South Lake Tahoe | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.