Night+Day

Blondes Have More Angst Part of the Roxie's program of strange noir films, The Blue Gardenia is a little-known effort by Fritz Lang, director of Metropolis and M. The plot: A slimy lothario is murdered and the last woman who spent the night with him is assumed to be the killer. The visuals: bleached blondes in extreme anguish. Ann Baxter and Raymond Burr star. See femmes fatales with dye jobs scheme and cry at 2:30, 5:50, and 9:20 p.m. at the Roxie, 3117 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 863-1087.

What a Racket Once upon a time (the early '80s), F.M. Einheit was the drummer for industrial-strength ear-torturers EinstYrzende Neubauten. Today, he's teamed up with Dan Fogelberg. (Just kidding!) Einheit's latest project, Einheit Brstzmann (a collaboration with fellow German Caspar Brstzmann) is noisy as ever: "You need nerves of steel to listen to this kind of music, and you need courage," the group's promotional material boasts. Industrial may have gone pop with Helmet and Nine Inch Nails, but artists like Einheit Brstzmann continue to chart the genre's extremes. Hear them (if you dare) at 7 p.m. at the Trocadero, 520 Fourth St, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 995-4600.

saturday
october 21
The Rice Is Right Taiko drumming (by San Francisco's Taiko Dojo), rice-pounding ceremonies (by Kagami-Kai), and tea ceremonies (by Omote Senke) are all part of Japantown's Fall Festival. The fest also features cooking demonstrations, song and dance, and audience participation events like tug of war and karaoke. The festival lasts from noon to 7 p.m. (continuing Sunday) at Japantown, Post and Buchanan, S.F. Free; call 202-0353.

Tag-Team Surf Rock Two classic pop-cultural phenomena -- surf rock and Mexican wrestling -- in one: That's the magical musical formula offered by Los Straitjackets, a masked quartet hailing from Nashville. The group's debut LP -- demurely titled The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets -- features tracks like "Itchy Chicken." They'll rock out and S.F.'s own La Chingona will kick ass during the latest installment of "Incredibly Strange Wrestling"; the showdown starts at 10 p.m. at the Transmission Theater, 314 11th St, S.F. Tickets are $7; call 861-6906.

I Like Spike One of this year's best films is a video: Spike Jonze's clip for Bjsrk's "It's Oh So Quiet," a comedic, colorful short that mirrors the song's abrupt mood shifts. Chocolate, an earlier spaghetti-western skateboard flick by Jonze, is among the entries in this year's Low Res Film and Video Festival -- all shot on super 8, 16mm, and hi-8, the festival highlights technology's influence on low-budget cinema. The lights go down at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at 111 Minna, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 995-2363.

sunday
october 22
Angry Tigger An adult magazine cover girl/centerfold and frontwoman of the polymorphously perverse Bay Area band Hyperdrive Kittens, Tigger LeTwang is angry that our "breast-obsessed society isn't doing more to maintain the health and well-being of its supposed objects of desire." She's talking about breast cancer, and her approach to the problem is Breast Fest '95, a series of concerts to raise money for Bay Area women's health organizations. Breast Fest '95's finale features Hyperdrive Kittens, Van Gogh's Daughter, Color Puddy, and the vivacious Veronica Klaus at 8 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 885-0750.

Word Perfect Stephen Beachy's contemporaries present the road novel as a he-man adventure, but Beachy's 1991 debut, The Whistling Song -- a hitchhiking epic in which bizarre coincidences form patterns -- uses the form to interrogate America. Beachy is just one of a group of writers involved in "Notorious," an evening of reading/performance. Others include Lawrence Braithwaite (whose first novel, Wigger, "deals with white nigger wannabes"), Margaret Crane, and Wayne Smith. The spoken word starts at 8 p.m. at the LAB, 2948 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $5-7; call 864-8855.

Show and Tell With Jennie L. Best-known as the director of Paris Is Burning -- you know, that documentary about an obscure practice called drag -- Jennie Livingston is also a film curator. In conjunction with S.F. Cinematheque, she'll present an evening of shorts by gay/lesbian directors. Early efforts by Gus Van Sant, Maria Maggenti, Todd Haynes (Dottie Gets Spanked), and Livingston herself (Hotheads, featuring comedian Reno and Diane DiMassa, creator of the hilarious Hothead Paisan comic) are all part of the program. Scope things out at 7:30 p.m. at the S.F. Art Institute, 800 Chestnut, S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 558-8129.

monday
october 23
Spooky and Kooky "Frankenstein, Dracula, and even the Mummy/ Are sure to wind up in somebody's tummy!" Lon Chaney sings gleefully over rockin' piano at the start of Jack Hill's 1964 Spider Baby. Actually, Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Mummy don't even appear in Spider Baby; starring Chaney, Hill's eccentric horror/comedy pits a sweet family of oddball cannibals against greedy relatives who want to take their mansion away. You can see this obscure gem at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. (also on Tuesday) at the Red Vic, 1727 Haight, S.F. Tickets are $3-5.50; call 668-3994.

Pop Quiz Yo La Tengo is a trio from the East Coast. Their latest album has rock critics in a tizzy. And their frontguy -- Ira Kaplan -- used to be a critic himself. They play -- along with fellow Matador act Run/On -- at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Tickets are $8.50; call 885-0750.

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