All Systems Go! Rocket From the Crypt is from San Diego. Rocket From the Crypt is handsome. Rocket From the Crypt is Speedo on vocals and guitar, N.D. on guitar, Petey X on bass, Atom on drums, Apollo 9 on sax, and J.C. 2000 on trumpet. Rocket From the Crypt rocks. The Rocket From the Crypt agenda, 1995: "a series of venomous attacks against the sudden crop of mediocre rebellious rockers who ... try desperately to tear their way out of the piss-soaked paper bag they've gleefully climbed into." (I think they're talking about trendy corporate punks.) Rocket From the Crypt makes some noise at 9:30 p.m. at Berkeley Square, 1333 University, Berkeley. Tickets are $8; call (510) 841-6555.
The Greil World As usual, the latest essay collection from cultural critic Greil Marcus, The Dustbin of History, transforms minuscule artifacts into earth-shatteringly important events. But Dustbin also contains some of his crankier insights; pithy essays on Susan Sontag and Robert Altman throw those celebrated artists into the titular trash heap. Other Dustbin topics: John Wayne, Camille Paglia, The Book of J, Robert Johnson, The Manchurian Candidate, and -- surprise, surprise -- punk pioneer Guy Debord. Hear Marcus at 7:30 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight, S.F. Free; call 863-8688.
Rock for Choice Party Pro-Choice benefits the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. It features food, prizes, comedy, and music by Sally Ann, Spike 1000, and a mystery acoustic guest star from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at Miss Pearl's Jam House, 601 Eddy, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 546-7211.
A Nightmare on Post Street By the time Joan Crawford made Berserk (1967), her hair -- a stone-solid bouffant -- was sturdier than her career. One of many low-budget '60s chillers starring Crawford, Berserk is the centerpiece of "Nightmare at the Kabuki," a fund-raising shindig for AIDS Emergency Fund and Immune Enhancement Project. Joan Jett Blakk, Tom Ammiano, makeup artiste Jerome Caja, and others host the event, which includes a cocktail party, a Crawford look-alike competition, and rare movie trailers. Go bonkers at 7 p.m. (cocktail party) and 8 p.m. (contest/film) at AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres, 1881 Post, S.F. Tickets are $20-25; call 437-5794.
Macho Man An L.A. beauty queen who won't give up her crown. A TV newscaster who channels Desi Arnaz. In The Pain of the Macho, Rick Najera plays both these characters, and (six) more. See the many faces of Najera at 8 p.m. at Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro, San Rafael. The Pain of the Macho continues through Sunday. Tickets are $16-18; call 472-3500.
So Sue Me Bono and Casey Kasem star (as themselves) in Craig Baldwin's latest film, Sonic Outlaws. A look at U2's infamous copyright infringement lawsuit against Negativland, Baldwin's documentary cannibalizes the contested material and much more, offering a collage commentary on stealing and sampling in contemporary American pop culture. See it at 6, 8, and 10 p.m. (also Friday) at the Roxie, 3117 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 863-1087.
Scary Monsters, Super Freaks Denise Uyehara is a writer and performance artist. Her works include Hello (Sex) Kitty: Mad Asian Bitch on Wheels and Headless Turtle Neck Relatives: The Tale of Family and a Grandmother's Suicide by Fire. Justin Chin is a writer and performance artist. His works include M. Cockroach, And Judas Boogied Until His Slippers Wept, and Attack of the Man-Eating Lotus Blossoms. Uyehara and Chin combine their title-making talents in "Sex Ghosts, Latex Apparitions, & Other Frightful Things About the Freaky-Freaky." A showcase of new individual pieces, the evening starts at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at Luna Sea, 2940 16th St, Room 216, S.F. Admission is $8-10; call 863-2989.
Mutton-Chop Bop You can hear bits and pieces of British rock history in Supergrass' sound: the dumb, young, and proud energy of early Who; the helium falsetto vocals of glam acts like Sweet; the short, sharp, catchy songwriting of the Buzzcocks. The group's debut LP, I Should Coco, has a lotta teen-age energy, and -- unlike most commercial punk these days -- it really is fronted by a teen-ager: 19-year-old Gaz Coombes. The Figgs and the Daisies open at 9 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus, S.F. $10, 474-0365.
Gimme Gimme Gimme Shot on the streets and in bars, Midnight Dancers is the first Filipino film to address AIDS. A look at the lives of sibak (male prostitutes) in Manila, the film has inspired a strange mix of voyeurism and empathy in American reviewers. Take Stephen Holden of the New York Times: One minute he's praising director Mel Chionglo's "big heart," the next he's salivating over the "nubile" strippers. The film screens at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, Castro & Market, S.F. Midnight Dancers continues through Tuesday. Tickets are $6; call 621-6120.
More Mark The Mark Morris Dance Group's California visit continues this week with three new works, choreographed to contemporary music. "Dances to American Music" features the premiere of World Power, commissioned by Cal Performances from Morris and composer Lou Harrison. Another Harrison composition and a piece by Michelle Shocked and Rob Wasserman complete the program. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. The program continues through Sunday. Tickets are $18-32; call 776-1999.
Lost in a Masquerade An S.F. tradition started in the '70s, the Hooker's Masquerade Ball returns to a more "intimate" setting this year. The event's founder, Margo St. James, promises a costume contest, an amateur strip show, bondage demonstrations, and a huge cast of revelers. Wavy Gravy, Elvis Herselvis, Scarlet Harlot, and local icons without rhyming monikers will be there -- Peter Tork and Peter Coyote are just two of many peters attending (ouch). Preceded by a VIP reception (7 p.m.), the bash -- a fund-raiser for COYOTE, WORLD, and the Street Survival Project -- begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Galleria Design Center, 101 Henry Adams Place, S.F. Tickets are $45-75; call (510) 869-5030.
Audio Oddballs Tape loops, found sounds, and odd instrumentation: These elements, increasingly trendy in indie rock circles, have long dominated the compositions of Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Somehow, the S.F.-based group's recordings are simultaneously growing weirder and poppier. Listen up at 8 p.m. at the Kilowatt, 3160 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $7; call 861-2595.
Strange Bedfellows Q: What do James Darren, Klaus Kinski, and Manfred Mann have in common? A: They're all in Venus in Furs, an incredibly strange sexploitation flick from American International Pictures. Jess Franco's 1970 creation shares a double bill with The Deadman, Peggy Ahwesh and Keith Sanborn's local adaptation of a Georges Bataille story, recently deemed "the most exciting and accomplished experimental film ... in ages" by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. It all starts at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.
King of Outer Space "Being that I'm from other worlds," says Bootsy Collins, "I've always been a cryptic cat." Bootsy's New Rubber Band reunites the King of Outer Space and another sampled funkster: fellow ex-Parliament member Bernie Worrell. Bernie, Bootsy, and Bootsy's many alter egos -- Casper, Bootzilla, Boot-Tron, and King of the Geepies -- are the main musical act at this year's Exotic Erotic Halloween Ball; Jeff Stryker will also make an appearance. The tacky, wacky event lasts from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Concourse Exhibition Center, Eighth St & Brannan, S.F. Tickets are $36.50-40; call (510) 762-2277.
All's Fair A carnival with 18 rides, the S.F. OctoberFAIR also offers food, exhibitions, and games of skill. Be a proud all-American: Consume not-so-nutritious edibles, spin around and upside down on humongous mechanical beasts, then throw objects at tiny targets to win stuffed animals from noon to 10 p.m. at Pier 32, S.F. OctoberFAIR continues through Tuesday. Admission is $6-10; call 703-2729.
The Terrible Twos Center for the Arts Yerba Buena Gardens are turning 2, and the site's birthday party is a daylong festival of free events. Arturo Galster (as Patsy Cline), Super Diamond (a Neil Diamond impersonator band), and Talk of Da Town (a Motown/Presley revue) will perform musical tributes. Storytellers will share ghost tales from various cultures, dancers will teach everything from disco to jitterbug, and a chalk art exposition allows Joe and Jan Q. Public the chance to be artistes. Get creative from noon to 6 p.m. at 701 Mission, S.F. Free; call 978-2787.
Color Me Blood Red Cash prizes of $6.66 go to the winners of costume contests for funniest and scariest drag at La Klubstituta's "Ruby Horror Show." The fake fur and fangs will fly at 10 p.m. at La India Bonita, 3089 16th St, S.F. Admission is $4; call 331-1500.
Mr. Bill When Bill T. Jones' latest dance piece -- Still/Here -- debuted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, it sparked a national debate about "victim art," New Yorker critic Arlene Croce's disdainful label for art about AIDS and mortality. In conjunction with a recently published memoir -- Last Night on Earth -- the choreographer appears in conversation with David Gere (of the Talking Dance Project); presented by City Arts & Lectures, the evening starts at 8 p.m. at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.
Green Pea Soup Horror films --especially ones about demonic possession -- tap into (male) fears about the female body, and William Friedkin's The Exorcist is no exception. One minute Linda Blair's a timid little girl, then suddenly she's a foulmouthed, head-spinning, projectile-vomiting beast who sounds frighteningly like Mercedes McCambridge. Talk about a tough puberty! See the movie that made split-pea soup (in)famous at 7 and 9:30 p.m. (same times Tuesday) at the Roxie, 3117 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 863-1087.
Monster Mash It's Halloween, and while neither El Vez nor Stone Fox are very scary, both know plenty about good costumes. Backed by the Elvettes and the Mexican Mariachis, El Vez flavors Presley tunes with salsa; Stone Fox dresses up hard rock with feather boas and other glam trappings. Hear them at 9 p.m. at DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, S.F. Tickets are $7; call 626-1409.
Look if You Dare There's some spooky art on the streets of S.F. right now. Paintings about consumer fantasy and desire, Gretchen Vitamvas' "Have/Have Not" exhibit includes lovely images like a skinny supermodel (with a hamburger for a mouth) wearing her guts on the outside. Presented by Ansel Adams Center for Photography, "Street Gallery" includes Cindy Sherman's weird mix of real and artificial body parts. You can see "Have/Have Not" for free all day and night at 24 Gannett kiosks, between Embarcadero & Van Ness, S.F. You can see "Street Gallery" for free at 10 illuminated bus shelters on Market Street and in the Yerba Buena arts district, S.F. "Have/Have Not" continues through Dec. 3; call 252-2586. "Street Gallery" continues through Nov. 5; call 495-7000.
Scary But Safe Since Halloween in the Castro has grown increasingly dangerous and just plain yucky, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are offering an alternative in a friendlier, indoor location. A benefit for numerous organizations, "HallowQueen" promises cabaret acts, costumes galore, and all-night dancing. Dress up, then show up at 8 p.m. at Pleasuredome, 177 Townsend, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 552-0220.