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Wednesday, Dec 13 1995
december 13
Portrait of Oscar Today they're called soundbites, but once upon a time they were epigrams, and Oscar Wilde had a knack for them. "It is an odd thing," Wilde wrote, "but everyone who disappears is said to be in San Francisco." One century after Wilde's trial and conviction for dallying with "innocent" young Lord Alfred Douglas, TERRAIN Gallery pays tribute to the witty aesthete with a group show, "Oscar Wilde: A Man of Great Importance." Featuring pieces by 31 artists, the exhibition comments on the literary bon vivant's tragicomic life and work. You can see it from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 165 Jessie, S.F. The show continues Tues-Sat through Jan. 6. Free; call 543-0656.

Tuesday on Wednesday The subject of a new biography, cult icon Tuesday Weld plays the perky blonde to perfection in flicks like Lord Love a Duck and Pretty Poison (where she's a matricidal cheerleader). In Thief, a stylish, time-obsessed noir by Michael Mann (Manhunter, Miami Vice), Weld negotiates a love affair with expert safecracker James Caan. See a new 35mm print of the 1980 caper at 7 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft, Berkeley. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call (510) 642-1124.

Rock Over Japan The goofiness factor of songs like "I Wanna Eat Choco Bars" and "Catnip Dream" obscures a simple fact: No group fuses '60s girl pop and '70s punk as effectively as Japan's Shonen Knife. The trio make that Ronettes-meets-Ramones sound at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. The Mr. T Experience opens. Tickets are $10-12; call 522-0333.

december 14
Dancing Doll A work-in-progress by the celebrated Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company, The Nutmeg Project offers an alternative to countless productions of The Nutcracker. Set in 1995, the piece concerns a young African-American girl who dreams of receiving a black doll for Christmas. Guest artists Will Power, Awana Nzinga, and Midnight Voices join the performance at 7:30 p.m. (continuing through Sunday) at Buriel Clay Memorial Theatre, 762 Fulton, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-4782.

Separate But Equal A four-part documentary series on the lesbian/gay rights movement in America, A Question of Equality wisely pinpoints hot topics instead of pretending to present a definitive history. Broadcast this summer, the show generated high ratings (KQED used it to attract the pink dollar); it also spawned a book called -- surprise! -- A Question of Equality. Writer Jewelle Gomez hosts a presentation of the book/series at 7:30 p.m. at A Different Light, 489 Castro, S.F. Free; call 431-0891.

The Duke and the Hunk John Wayne plays a tyrannical cattle baron and Montgomery Clift is his kindhearted, quick-trigger son in 1948's Red River, one of director Howard Hawks' famous manly man psychodramas. (Trivia: The Duke called Clift "an arrogant little bastard," while Clift found the Duke's "machismo thing" to be "forced and unnecessary.") The Oedipal western screens at 7 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft, Berkeley. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call (510) 642-1124.

Happy Holidays A music-theater performance with traditional and new tunes, "Animal's Positive Christmas 4: A Viral Celebration" aims to unite HIV-positive people with the rest of the gay community and the world at large. Hosted by flutist/vocalist/performance artist/composer "Animal" Joe Smith, the show's first night benefits the AIDS Emergency Fund; it starts at 8 p.m. (continuing Fri-Sat through Dec. 23) at the Lennon Studios, 271 Dore Alley, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 561-1441.

december 15
Songs for Pictures Acclaimed for its sly original scores for silent classics, S.F.'s Club Foot Orchestra also composes and performs music for animated films: Currently, it provides arrangements for The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, a new cartoon on CBS. Felix cartoons precede a return engagement of the orchestra's live soundtrack for G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box, the film that launched -- thanks to Louise Brooks -- a thousand bob haircuts. Listen and look at 8 p.m. through Sunday at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 621-6120. (The Club Foot Orchestra also performs a soundtrack to Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. Sat-Sun at 2 and 4 p.m.)

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves As its title suggests, "The Gypsy Trail" follows the path of Gypsy culture, through various centuries and countries (including India, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Spain). Hosted by S.F.'s 10-piece FatChanceBellyDance troupe, the show includes juggling, shawl dancing, and, of course, abdominal rolling. The movement starts at 8 p.m. (continuing through Sunday) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $12.50-15.50; call 621-7797.

Groovy Movies "The Bay Area Multicultural Film/Video Festival" spreads 30 works over three evenings and six programs; highlights include Jane C. Wagner's award-winning Tom's Flesh and Jacquie Jones' Bay Area female rap doc Freestyle. "Feltch Films" features film/video collages of found imagery from porn flicks and physique mags; highlights include Lewis Klahr's Downs Are Feminine (melancholy '70s nekkid guys floating through an alternate universe), Sikay Tang's My Idols (a tribute to XXX Asian women), Texas Tomboy's Friendly and Hot Blooded, and Nguyen Tan Hoang's Forever Jimmy!. The film/video festival begins at 6 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 978-2787. The blue movie party starts at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $5; call 824-3890.

A Little Bit Country, a Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll You know a rock group has arrived when cranky Village Voice critic Robert Christgau deigns to take aim at them: Gentle Creatures, the debut LP by S.F.'s Tarnation, is part of the Christgau Consumer Guide's Thanksgiving turkey shoot this year. For some reason, Christgau doesn't like women with acoustic guitars and pretty voices; don't let that stop you from enjoying Paula Frazer's Southern Gothic ballad-dramas. You can hear her at 10 p.m. at Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St., S.F. Tickets are $5; call 421-8308.

december 16
Sister, I'm a Poet A frightening number of poets-per-square-foot invade Fort Mason Center. "Poets in the Schools" presents readings by young Bay Area authors (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.); "Annual Poetry Marathon" gives wordsmiths five minutes to wow listeners with their eloquence (1 to 8 p.m.); "The 20th Annual Poetry-Film/Video Festival Award Winners" showcases works selected via audience and jury balloting (7:30 to 11:30 p.m.). All three programs are at Fort Mason Center, Landmark Building A, S.F. Admission to events ranges from free to $10; call 776-6602.

Last Dance Perhaps the Bay Area's best-known dance studio, the Avenue Ballroom closes its doors for good at the end of 1995, after a 16-year run. The site's final dance party, "Save the Last Dance for Me," features swing, Latin, and ballroom dancing from 8:30 p.m. to midnight at 603 Taraval, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 681-2882.

Web Site Written by E.B. White, Charlotte's Web is one of those children's tales that gets emotional mileage out of the impending death of a humanized creature -- in this case, a spider with a fondness for pigs. Actually, there are some good lessons about courage and friendship in the story; the Children's Theatre Association of S.F. presents a musical version at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Trustees' Auditorium, M.H. de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $7; call 387-7089.

Boyz and Girlz Q: Are drag events the S.F. equivalent of bingo nights in the Midwest? A: Maybe, but at least they're fun. "Club Confidential & Contemptuous" offers a video/performance freak show with contributions by Pussy Tourette, Arturo Galster, Nao Bustamante, David Hawkins, Crack-Baby, and more; it's a benefit for Please Louise Productions and Museo Contempo. "DragStrip" offers its second monthly installment of drag and strip performances by the FishStix, Elvis Herselvis (as Liz Taylor), and more; it benefits Electric City Network. "Club Confidential" lasts from 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Embassy Lounge, 600 Polk, S.F. Tickets are $10-20; call 864-5453. "DragStrip" runs 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Transmission Theatre, 314 11th St., S.F. Tickets are $7-11 (with "free drink over ice if you're in Billie or Judy Holiday drag" or "encrusted in ice" à la Liberace); call 621-7923.

Gleaming the Cube The monthly skateboard bible Thrasher magazine celebrates its 15th birthday this year with its annual "Skater of the Year" party. Musical entertainment will be provided by M.I.R.V., Slish, and U.S. Bombs (skater Duane Peters' band). Who will win the prized bronze statuette? Find out at 9:30 p.m. at the Trocadero, 520 Fourth St., S.F. Tickets are $7; call 995-4600.

december 17
Hard Nut to Crack Performed to music by the S.F. Winds of Freedom (the seated version of the S.F. Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band), "Dance Along Nutcracker" features a loopy comic version of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf: Drag empress Jose Sarria plays the sugarplum fairy and comic Marga Gomez plays the nut. You can see it at 2:30 and 6 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Admission is free at 2:30 p.m., $10 at 6 p.m.; call 978-2787.

Krazy Klezmer Koncert Klezmer: a musician who performs instrumental Jewish folk music derived from Eastern European folk songs, Hebrew melodies, and polkas. "Klezmermania": an evening concert featuring Finjan, Kitka, the 15-piece Third EARchestra, and more. The musical Hanukkah celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. at Calvin Simmons Theatre, 10 10th St., Oakland. Admission is $12-18; call 392-4400.

Before Jane Roe An entry at next year's Sundance Film Festival, Jane: An Abortion Service documents the history and spirit of Jane, a Chicago-based women's organization that helped provide safe illegal abortions between 1969 and 1973. (Working before Roe vs. Wade, Jane members -- ranging from housewives to student activists -- learned to perform abortions themselves.) A benefit screening for BACORR begins at noon at the Roxie, 3317 16th St., S.F. Tickets are $6-10; call 437-4032.

december 18
Viva Zapata "Go ahead and slash me up, spread me all across this town," Mia Zapata of the Gits once sang. " 'Cause you know you're the only one who won't be found." Prophetic words: Two years ago, Zapata was raped and murdered in Seattle. Outrage over her death has spawned self-defense groups, including the Seattle-based "Take Back the Night"-style Home Alive. It's also inspired benefit concerts, albums, and Evil Stig ("Live Gits" backward), a new manifestation of Zapata's old band, with Joan Jett singing Zapata's lyrics. Evil Stig plays at 9:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. Tickets are $8; call 621-4455.

december 19
Far as the Eyes Can See No American director has filmed this country's open roads, fields, and prairies as beautifully as Terrence Malick. In 1978's Days of Heaven, Malick even makes migrant farming look good. A love triangle featuring Richard Gere and Karen Allen/Margot Kidder look-alike Brooke Adams, Days of Heaven showcases Malick's trademarks: dry narration (by incomparable tomboy Linda Manz), spare dialogue, and wide-screen vistas that dwarf the characters. All three of these traits also dominate 1973's Badlands, a retelling of the Charles Starkweather-Carol Ann Fugate murder spree with a great James Dean imitation by Martin Sheen and a wonderfully listless performance by Sissy Spacek. Days of Heaven screens at 3:30 and 7:20 p.m.; Badlands screens at 5:25 and 9:15 p.m. at the UC Theatre, 2036 University, Berkeley. Tickets are $6.50; call (510) 843-6267.

Indoor Drive-In "The First Annual Cacophony Drive-In Movie Short Film/Video Festival" began as an actual drive-in event this summer, but it's chilly now, so it's moving inside. A program of strange, oddball, and just plain goofy short films -- including the first work by Burden of Dreams director Les Blank -- it also includes an original trivia quiz on U.S. presidential assassinations. Watch weird stuff and talk about Squeaky Fromme at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. at the Red Vic, 1727 Haight, S.F. Tickets are $3-5.50; call 668-3994.

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Johnny Ray Huston


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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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