Texas Twang Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown began his career in the late '40s, when his first stage performance generated $600 in tips in 15 minutes; his original big-horn-section blues hits for the Duke and Peacock labels bankrolled '50s recordings by artists like Big Mama Thornton. A traveling man, Brown moved from Texas to Nashville (in the '60s) to New Mexico (in the '70s) to Europe (in the '80s), recording songs about love, drugs, and alligator-eating dogs. He plays at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Tickets are $12; call 885-0750.

Green Ink and Hams St. Patrick's Day arrives a few days early with "Club Paddy a Go-Go," featuring Delta O'Hare, Bern, Eoin Murphy, and others. The celebration -- complete with torch songs, soliloquies, spoken word, and other subdued forms of madness -- begins at 8 p.m. at New College Multicultural Center, 766 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 626-0884. The Irish writers weekend continues with a second program, "The Importance of Being Elsewhere," on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Bearded Baby Nahum B. Zenil's self-portraits aren't traditional: In 1988's Mam‡ Nina, for example, a baby-size version of Zenil's grown-up self (beard and all) is cradled by his grandmother. Zenil's self-portraits comment on family and gay male identity; his other paintings and drawings use icons like the Mexican flag to tweak nationalism. An opening reception for "Nahum B. Zenil: Witness to the Self/Testigo del Ser" (which opens tomorrow and continues through Sept. 1) lasts 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mexican Museum, Fort Mason Center, Bldg. D, S.F. Admission is $2-3; call 441-0404.

march 16
Through a Lens Darkly Manthia Diawara's new documentary, Rouch in Reverse, is an example of "reverse anthropology," where former subjects of investigation turn the cameras on their investigators. The 51-minute film examines the renowned French ethnographic filmmaker (and father of cinŽma vŽritŽ) Jean Rouch. "Rouch has played a key role in the representation of Africans on film," states Diawara in a press release. "I wanted to pass through Rouch in order to render visible new African voices and images: the ones that defy stereotype and primitivism." Rouch in Reverse screens -- along with two works by Rouch -- at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.

Social Motion "Hip Hop to Cuba" is a cultural exchange fund-raiser to bring hip-hop dance to the Cuban dance companies Ache-Iya and Raices Profundas. Featuring performances by Jose Francisco Barroso, Aluadomar, and others, the program lasts 8 p.m. to midnight at Rhythm & Motion Studio, 1133 Mission, S.F. Admission is $8-15; call 621-0643. "Dancing for Women's Needs" benefits the Women's Needs Center, a free health care and support service. Choreographers Mae Chesney, Kimiko Guthrie, Marti Johnston, Emily Keeler, Kristin Lemberg, Rebecca Salzer, and Tracy Vogel will perform at the event; it begins at 8 p.m. at New College, 777 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $5-25; call 626-4479.

march 17
Alcoholiday Following the 144th St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Embarcadero Center hosts a humongous "family-oriented" outdoor shindig. The party -- which includes traditional Irish music and dance, food and refreshment (i.e., lager and stout) booths, and a World Internet Center -- spans 2 to 5 p.m. at 2, 3, and 4 Embarcadero Center, S.F. Free; call (800) 733-6318.

Neighborhood Narrated by local performer/author Charlie Chin, Chinatown traces the 150-year history of the oft-mythologized, oft-misunderstood S.F. neighborhood. Archival photos, home movies, firsthand recollections, and poetry (by Genny Lim) are all part of the locally produced documentary; it shows at 4:30 p.m. on KQED, Channel 9.

Romantic Contract Adultery, betrayal, and revenge are the happy-go-lucky themes of Ripples Across Stagnant Water, a 1992 feature that opens the Red Vic Movie House's three-day Chinese Film Festival. In Ripples (directed by Ling Zifeng), a woman marries a man she despises under the condition that she can see former lovers whenever she likes. Sounds reasonable. The drama screens at 2, 4, 7:15, and 9:15 p.m. at 1727 Haight, S.F. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call 668-8999.

march 18
Patti Rocks Due sometime this summer, Patti Smith's next album features a cameo appearance by a younger romantic -- Jeff Buckley. Smith fans can see and hear the legend's first Bay Area performance with a band in 10 years at 8 p.m. (also Tuesday) at the Warfield, 962 Market, S.F. Tickets are $25; call 775-7722.

Criminal Conduct The first feature by director Lars von Trier (Zentropa, The Kingdom), Element of Crime is based around modern cinema's favorite type of criminal: the serial killer. Strange colors and stranger plot twists are part of the 35mm whodunit, which gets its San Francisco premiere at 7 and 9:15 p.m. (through Wednesday) at the Roxie, 3117 16th St., S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 863-1087.

Rainy Days and Mondays Since Galaxie 500's 1991 breakup, the group's rhythm section has continued to record slow songs for sad lovers -- under their first names, Damon and Naomi. Unlike Galaxie 500 lead singer Dean Wareham, though, they've avoided working with major labels. Damon and Naomi's second LP is just out; the duo also has a small publishing house, which recently revived Denton Welch's fab, hilarious novel In Youth Is Pleasure. They play -- along with Angel'in Heavy Syrup and Pluto -- at 9:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-4455.

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