Thomas J. Story
Amnesia. Hot jazz of the '40s comes alive on the first Sunday of the month at this dim, red-walled Mission District dive. A boho crowd in pinstripes and leopard coats gets down on the tiny dance floor. Gaucho, a tribute to gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, performs on Wednesdays. Cover charge varies. 853 Valencia St.; www.amnesiathebar.com or 415/970-0012.
Cafe Royale. Located in the gentrifying stretch known as the TenderNob, this laid-back lounge hosts film screenings, open-mic poetry slams, and jazz. Shelby rehearses in the basement studio. 800 Post St.; www.caferoyale-sf.com or 415/441-4099.
Dalva. Candlelight, an excellent jukebox, and a cozy upstairs nook (open Fri-Sat nights) set this narrow little bar apart from the usual grimy Mission watering holes. 3121 16th St.; 415/252-7740.
Enrico's. Steeped in North Beach history, with a heated patio for surveying the sidewalk scene. On Monday nights, kittenish crooner Lavay Smith performs with a trio including jazz veteran Allen Smith on trumpet. $$$; lunch and dinner daily. 504 Broadway; 415/982-6223.
Intersection for the Arts. Find theater, music, literary readings, and a gallery at this venue for alternative arts in the Mission. This month, the resident Campo Santo theater troupe debuts Haze (Thu-Sat Apr 13-29; from $9 Fri-Sat, no set fee Thu), a play featuring the work of local literary titan Dave Eggers, among others. 446 Valencia; www.theintersection.org, 415/626-2787, or 415/626-3311 (box office).
Jazz at Pearl's. Sultry diva Kim Nalley, who owns the North Beach supper club with her husband, is a throwback to a more glamorous era. Some Monday nights, she makes a guest appearance with the phenomenal Contemporary Jazz Orchestra; on occasional Tuesdays, she leads her own quintet. $; dinner daily. Two shows every night; cover charge from $10. 256 Columbus Ave.; www.jazzatpearls.com or 415/291-8255.
Red Poppy Art House. "One of the coolest spots in town," Shelby says of the intimate performance space, working studio, and gallery in the Mission. An artsy house-party vibe and acts from around the world make it feel like a discovery. 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sat and by appointment. 2698 Folsom St.; www.redpoppyarthouse.org or 415/826-2402.
Tosca Cafe. Storied North Beach hangout, with the urban legends to prove it. Red vinyl booths and a checkered tile floor set the scene for after-hours celebrity shenanigans. Closed Mon. 242 Columbus; 415/986-9651.