Martin Amis This year's British literary brouhaha came when Martin Amis fired one agent, hired another, then sold his new novel for close to a million bucks. That's petty cash for the likes of Danielle Steel, but an unheard-of sum for a work of "literature." Adding to the drama, the novel in question -- The Information -- details the rivalries of literary London. Likened to Flaubert and Joyce by Christopher Buckley (son of William F.), Amis (son of Kingsley) reads at 7:30 pm at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight, S.F. Call 863-8688.
Birth of Perception RU-486 -- the French "abortion pill" -- is unavailable in the U.S.: Birth of Perception, a new documentary by Kristine Clark, explores why. Join Clark for an evening featuring music, dance, comedy and a screening of Birth of Perception's trailer. Proceeds pay for the film's completion and distribution. The event runs 7-10 pm at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, S.F. Tickets are $10-20; call 392-4400.
Foo Fighters Eddie Vedder's top-secret super-obscure side-project, Hovercraft, is playing, and Vedder will probably join headliner Mike Watt for some turgid funk-punk jams, but the highlight of this bill at Slim's is Foo Fighters, the new band led by ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Grohl is headed for glory, not obscurity: With low-bottomed riffs and a raspy growl, he channels the ghost of a former bandmate, adding some pop and subtracting some angst. Hear for yourself 9 pm at 333 11th St, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 621-3330.
Girls in the Garage The souped-up instrumentals of the Trashwomen have garage-rock connoisseur Domenic Priore -- host of the Shindig-inspired local-access cable show It's Happening -- foaming at the mouth; Cockpit -- formerly known as P.M.S. -- take a twisted John Waters approach to eating disorders with binge-and-purge originals like "Feeding Frenzy" and a ravenous cover of "Yummy Yummy Yummy"; the Inhalants are part three of a garage-rock triple threat at 8 pm at Club Kilowatt, 3160 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 861-2595.
Out of Bounds In Travels With Lizbeth, Lars Eighner provides a first-person account of homelessness, mixing wry character studies and tips on Dumpster-diving with a scathing critique of America's health and welfare system. Just out in paperback, Travels With Lizbeth was one of The New York Times Book Review's best books of 1994. Join Eighner and novelist Singrid Nunez for Out of Bounds: In Bounds, a discussion of nontraditional writing; Wendy Lesser, editor and publisher of Threepenny Review, moderates. The event takes place at 7:30 pm at Delancey Street Foundation, 600 Embarcadero, S.F. Admission is $4; call 338-2227.
June Watanabe in Company An evening of abstract and concrete dance works, Woman-Water-Time ... and other memories features three world premieres. Daniel Nagrin's Apartment 18 C and Rebecca Fuller's A Valentine Out of Season are choreographed for Bay Area dancer June Watanabe; Jo sui. Je suis ... as water, I am ... is choreographed by Watanabe herself. Profiled on KQED's special series The Creative Mind, Watanabe employs video, scenic design, movement and music within an Eastern temporal and spatial framework. She's joined by Helen Dannenberg, whose My Reindeer Flies Sideways conveys a single woman's take on life. Woman-Water-Time ... and other memories plays 8 pm, then Fri-Sun 8 pm, at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $13-15; call 621-7797.
Dr. Susan Love Dr. Susan Love's plain speaking hasn't won her friends in the medical community, but it has helped save women's lives. Though a trained surgeon, Love believes political action -- not surgery -- is the best hope for halting the increase in breast cancer. Criticizing the current emphasis on self-examination (which she feels implicitly blames women for problems), Love has helped make lumpectomy a viable choice. As part of City Arts and Lectures' On Arts and Politics series, the director of the UCLA Breast Center and author of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book is interviewed by Sadja Greenwood 8 pm at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $15; proceeds go to the Women's Foundation. Call 392-4400.
Raw Sex and Deep Thought Producers Miranda Mellis and Allison Hennessy know how to mix postmodern wordplay with a carnival barker's hyperbole: They describe The Switch Show as "three nights of potent performance" by "femme-fag-females, proud bi-criminals, dykes who fuck men and other nomads of sexuality," who will "confront and entice you with an array of erotic, hilarious and tragic per/mutations of desiring and powerful queer flesh." The fun runs Fri-Sun at 8:30 pm at Luna Sea, 2940 16th St, Room 216-C, S.F. Tickets are $7-10; call 863-2989.
Family Performance Festival Presented by Circuit Network, the Family Performance Festival aims to provide quality arts programming for Bay Area children. This year's event features two groups: Tandy Beal and Company, who weave dance, circus, theater and music together in Imagine If ..., and Br'er Rabbit Speaks!, a company that brings oral traditions to life in African American Stories and Songs. The festival takes place at 3 pm Sat-Sun at the Center for the Arts Forum, Yerba Buena Gardens, 701 Mission, S.F.; a free family workshop led by Tandy Beal runs noon-1:15 pm Sun. Tickets for the festival are $6-9; call 978-2787.
Fine Art vs. Putt-Putt Golf Already one of America's greatest cultural assets, miniature golf gets a face lift as The M.H. de Young Memorial Museum unveils two nine-hole courses designed by 18 local artists. With titles like 1906 Earthquake Revisited and 5,000 Fingers of Doctor T, the designs represent a wide range of techniques and styles -- not just minimalism. Bogey Down With the Fine Arts Museums happens noon-5 pm at the Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, S.F. The fee is $5 for children 10 and under, $10 for adults. Call 750-3668.
Priscilla, Queen of the Castro Cue up ABBA's "Mama Mia," cake on the Day-Glo makeup and sashay to the Castro for a one-night sing-along screening of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a fund-raiser for the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center. Ex-presidential candidate Joan Jett Blakk hosts the event, which will also feature a raffle and a drag contest: Judges include Pussy Tourette, Elvis Herselvis and Mabel Maney, creator of the beautiful Nancy Clue and Hardly Boys mystery books. Finally -- if mass chants of CeCe Peniston's "Finally" haven't rendered you catatonic -- a "Post-Priscilla Party" can drag your evening to a close. The film screens/screams at 9 pm at the Castro, Castro & Market, S.F. The party starts at midnight at DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, S.F. Tickets for the film are $15-20; tickets for the party are $10. Call 241-8880.
A Festival of Freethinking Folks, if you want to lose your lunch, read Rush Limbaugh's latest "essay" in Newsweek, an attempt at distancing his hate politics from the Oklahoma bombing, replete with references to the "common" folk who make America great. (Who wants to be common, anyway?) If, however, you'd like to laugh (and, as an added bonus, think), head to the Marsh for "A Festival of Freethinking," benefit performances of Charlie Varon's one-man show, Rush Limbaugh in Night School, featuring free food and cameos by "wackos" like Susie Bright and Jon Carroll. Continuing each Sunday through June 25, the fest begins with special-guest Starhawk at 6:30 pm at 1062 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $25; proceeds benefit the freethinkers' favorite charities. Call 641-0235.
WHOOTY Q: What does WHOOTY stand for? A: "We'll Hold Our Own Thank You." Q: What's a WHOOTY? A: It's a benefit by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, to raise funds for the Women and Cancer Walk June 11 at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park. It's also an example of gay men helping feminist women, something that should happen more often. Featuring performance art, a raffle and spankings by donation, WHOOTY occurs noon-6 pm at the Caf, Market & Castro, S.F. Donations are sliding scale; call 255-6455.
Iranian Short Films Presented by the Iranian American Film Forum, The International Tournee of Iranian Short Films debuts this year with six works by Iranian-born filmmakers from Sweden, Norway, Canada and the U.S. Reflecting the transition to new cultures, the program addresses generational conflict, emigration and Western materialism; on the light side, it also features animation and claymation. The International Tournee of Iranian Short Films screens at 7 & 9 pm at the Pacific Film Archive's George Gund Theatre, 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Tickets are $5.50-7; call (510) 547-1350.
Sherman Alexie The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven brought Alexie's bitter but humorous tales of contemporary Native American life to a broad audience; Reservation Blues, Alexie's first novel, returns to the Spokane Indian Reservation where many of his earlier stories are set. Hear the author at 7:30 pm at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness, S.F. Call 441-6670.