Good Day: July 13, 2010 


Rock and blues singer, songwriter, and pianist Leon Russell performs with his band. Russell’s 50-year career has included collaborations with hundreds of artists, including Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and John Lennon. [8 p.m., Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]


California economy: A panel discusses how the Golden State can regain its competitive edge. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Haight history: The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society presents a program on the history of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. [7 p.m., Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., S.F.]


Hal Ackerman: The novelist talks about “Stein, Stoned.” [7 p.m., “M” Is for Mystery, 86 E. Third Ave., San Mateo]

Book launch: Event, with author Janet B. Thiessen, celebrates the publication of the biography “Dorothy Erskine: Graceful Crusader for Our Environment.” [6 p.m., SPUR, 654 Mission St., S.F.; info/RSVP:]


Starbelly: The restaurant hosts “Patio Picnic Tuesdays” ($25) weekly through the summer, and family-style urban picnics are on the bill. Every Tuesday, from 5 to 8 p.m., chef Adam Timney explores a different American culinary tradition, and main courses are served with vegetable sides, salad and dessert. Today’s theme: Cajun catfish and jambalaya. [3583 16th St., S.F.; (415) 252-7500]


Brass music: Bay Brass and Robert Huw Morgan present a program of brass and organ music by Gabrieli, Mahler, Shostakovich and others. [8 p.m., Stanford Memorial Church, Stanford University, Stanford]


Artist lecture: Photographer Robert Dawson talks about his photographs of water in the U.S. West, which are featured in the library exhibit “Empire of Thirst.” [6:30 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Insect Discovery Lab: Program, for ages 3 and up, offers a chance to see and learn about giant and unusual insects. [11 a.m., North Beach Branch, Joe DiMaggio Playground Clubhouse, 661 Lombard St., S.F.]


Stand-up comedy: Comic Dennis Gaxiola performs at the Punch Line. Gaxiola’s credits include the Latin Kings of Comedy tour and Comedy Central. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Toy theaters: The Museum of Performance and Design hosts an opening reception for its new exhibit, “Toy Theatres: The World in Miniature.” [6:30 p.m., Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.; RSVP/tickets: (415) 255-4800]

Working life: LaborFest hosts “Labor Storytelling in the New Depression,” a night of words and music exploring today’s workforce. Featured writers include Alice Rogoff and Nellie Wong. [7 p.m., Farley’s, 1315 18th St., S.F.]

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