january 20
Loving Blubber Seven years ago, those playful pinnipeds known as sea lions first arrived on the K-Dock of Pier 39. Since then, the "sea-lebrities" (ouch) have multiplied, alternately feasting on herring and striking languid poses for an adoring public. You can see the creatures (and hear a guided talk) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, S.F. Free; call 705-5500 for more information.

Beware of Big Hair New wave fashions age with varying degrees of success. High on the silly meter is the scarecrow-hair-and-smudged-lipstick look of the Cure's Robert Smith. Still, lots of people worship Smith's whiny voice and whimsical goth poetics: New Wave City presents a tribute night to the Cure from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at the Trocadero Transfer, 520 Fourth St., S.F. Admission is $5-8; call 675-LOVE. Those who prefer eyeliner-free American '80s revivalism can check out the Plimsouls (Peter Case's band, whose big moment was "A Million Miles Away," on the Valley Girl soundtrack. By the way, when's the Moon Unit Zappa revival gonna happen?). They play -- along with the Idlewilds -- at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. Tickets are $10; call 621-3330.

Art for Dollars "Plump" is a group of artists pitching in to help the High Risk Group raise money; it includes Mission performance regulars like Ron Kelly, Stanya Kahn, Charles Herman-Wurmfeild, Johnna Schmidt, Hank Hyena, Steamroller Dance, and Rachel Kaplan. "Plump" is also a multistage event that roves from studio to studio; it starts at 8 p.m. at Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, 1519 Mission, S.F. Admission is $5-15; call 554-0402.

Silver Jubilee To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Pacific Film Archive has commissioned an original score for a recent acquisition, Boris Barnet's 1928 satire The House on Trubnaya Square. Barnet's film is filled with stylistic tricks and treats, including stop-motion, surrealism, and a sendup of Eisenstein; under the direction of Dennis James, Musica Curiosa Ensemble accompanies it with music featuring unusual '20s-era instruments like marxophone and flexatone. The sights and sounds start at 7:30 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Tickets are $8-10; call (510) 642-1124.

More Rockers With Big Hair In 1989, Testament had a gold record and was on a major label, Atlantic. Now, headbanger culture has been usurped by "alternative" culture, and Testament's fire-and-brimstone metal (Slayer and Megadeth are apt reference points) has literally been forced underground: The band's on an indie. Still, Testament is the music of the future according to film director Kathryn Bigelow -- she features the group in Strange Days. Interested parties can hear it, along with opening bands Release and Hetch Hetchy, at 9 p.m. at the Trocadero Transfer, 520 Fourth St., S.F. Tickets are $10; call 995-4600.

january 21
C.I.A. = T.R.O.U.B.L.E. U.S. lawyer Jennifer Harbury's tireless campaign to uncover the circumstances behind her Guatemalan husband's disappearance -- including three hunger strikes, one in front of the White House -- has garnered national media attention, much to the chagrin of the CIA and State Department, which withheld information about his death from her for months. Harbury speaks about CIA links to the Guatemalan army's human rights injustices at 7 p.m. at the Women's Building, 3543 18th St., S.F. Tickets are $10 for the lecture, $25 for the lecture and a 6 p.m. reception (benefits go to the Guatemala News and Information Bureau and Global Exchange); call 255-7296.

Rock for Jesus Christian (or Christian-like) spirituality is subtly invading the devil's music, what with the popularity of artists like the Innocence Mission and songs like "One of Us" by Joan Osborne (who looks exactly like Chloe Webb in Tales of the City). It's hard to tell whether Osborne is joking when she talks about the pope reaching God on the phone, but whatever the case, people want to hear her. Like Osborne, the 77's play gospel-tinged bluesy rock; along with Dimestore Prophets and the Philbillies, they perform at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. Tickets are $12; call 621-3330. Those who love rock but have reasons to dis Christianity can find solace in the punk-dyke attack of Tribe 8, who might just prefer Satan to Sappho. Celebrating the release of a new EP, Lynn Breedlove and friends headline a bill (including Cameltoe, who are fun, and Pachinko) at 7 p.m. at Kilowatt, 3160 16th St., S.F. Tickets are $5; call 861-2595.

Bike Till You Drop The Cycle Messenger World Championships, to be held locally over Labor Day weekend, will bring in hundreds of bike messengers from around the globe. Previously, the grueling competition has taken place in Berlin, London, and Toronto, but S.F. is hillier than any of those sissy cities. The route won't be announced until closer to race time, but it's bound to include blocked-off sections of the Financial District and North Beach. A benefit for the event -- featuring messenger-punk bands Fuckface, Thunderchimp, and STD -- starts at 9:30 p.m. at the Paradise Lounge, 11th St. & Folsom, S.F. Tickets are $4; call 861-6906.

january 22
Goin' South Sharing a preoccupation with fierce family bonds, many of the best-known gay/lesbian novelists of recent years -- Dorothy Allison, Blanche McCrary Boyd, Fenton Johnson, and Jim Grimsley, to name four -- have Southern roots. Grimsley (author of Winter Birds) and Johnson (author of Scissors, Paper, Rock) take part in "A Conversation About Contemporary Queer Southern Writing." Moderated by Charles Wilmoth, the art chat starts at 8 p.m. at the Women's Building, Audre Lord Room, 3543 18th St., S.F. Suggested donation is $5; call 626-2787.

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