June 2: Gerald Beckett and other SF events 

click to enlarge Gerald Beckett
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  • Jazz flutist Gerald Beckett, appearing with his quintet, performs a concert celebrating the release of his new album, “The Messenger.”
Who's in town

Soul and R&B singer-songwriter Kelis performs songs from her new album, “Food.” [8 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.]

Lectures

Political roundtable: Discussion features a panel of political journalists commenting on current events, plus an audience discussion and a news quiz. [6:30 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Lisa Deng: The founder of GreatSeed Inc. discusses her mission to preserve China’s traditional folk arts and shares some of the traditions and customs she has experienced in the process. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Ask a Scientist: “Placebo and the Illusory Nature of Perception” is the lecture series’ June theme. UC San Francisco neurology professor Howard Fields shares his expertise. [7 p.m., SOMA StrEat Food Park, 428 11th St., S.F.]

Literary events

Edward St. Aubyn: The author and journalist, whose novels include “Lost for Words” and “Bad News,” appears in conversation. [7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F.]

Latin American stories: Editor Daniel Gumbiner and translators Katherine Silver and Joel Streiker discusses McSweeney’s latest issue, “Thirteen Crime Stories From Latin America.” [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Book discussion: Session features a discussion of Julius Caesar’s “Commentaries” on the Gallic War and the Civil War. [5:30 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Books about oceans: Authors Iain McCalman (“The Reef”) and Stephen and Anthony Palumbi (“The Extreme Life of the Sea”) discuss their books. [5 p.m., Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall, 424 Santa Teresa St., Stanford University, Stanford]

At the public library

Movie screening: “He Walked by Night,” a 1948 film noir loosely based on real-life criminal Erwin “Machine Gun” Walker, is the featured film. [3 p.m., Golden Gate Valley Branch, 1801 Green St., S.F.]

Older Writers Laboratory: Poetry-writing group welcomes seniors. [10 a.m. to noon, Bernal Heights Branch, 500 Cortland Ave., S.F.]

Album-release concert

Jazz flutist Gerald Beckett, appearing with his quintet, performs a concert celebrating the release of his new album, “The Messenger.” [8 p.m., Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]

Local activities

New theater: The Magic Theatre’s Virgin Play Series features new plays performed in an intimate setting, plus a Q&A. “Dogeaters,” by Jessica Hagedorn, is on the bill today. [7 p.m., ACT’s Costume Shop, 1119 Market St., S.F.]

Environmental cinema: The San Francisco Green Film Festival continues through Wednesday. Today’s films include “Seeds of Time,” a documentary about agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler. [6 p.m., Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F.; www.sfgreenfilmfest.org]

Punk band: The Canadian punk band SNFU performs in San Francisco. [9 p.m., Elbo Room, 647 Valencia St., S.F.]

Dance class: “Swing or Nothing” classes teach how to dance the Lindy Hop. A four-week session starts today. [7 p.m. (beginner) and 8:30 p.m. (intermediate), Women’s Building, 3543 18th St., S.F.; www.swingornothing.com/mondays]

Le P’tit Laurent: Chef Julio Caceres’ Neighborhood menu ($27) features three courses of French cuisine. For an entree, diners can choose sauteed trout, with white beans and white-wine lemon sauce, or roasted baby chicken, with fries and mustard sauce. [699 Chenery St., S.F.; (415) 334-3235]

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