The House of Tudor

A genius on anything you blow, Ralph Carney has bestowed his humor and exceptional talent on countless local projects -- among them Oranj Symphonette, Rubber City, and Pluto -- all of whom have managed to subvert common musical constructs by taking advantage of Carney's decidedly off-kilter ear. During the wee hours, when bland-as-dishwater musicians like Tom Waits or the B-52's are not pestering Carney for contributions, he finds additional ways in which to stretch his aural epidermis. His latest project, Ralph Carney's Partial Parrot -- with drummer Kevin Mummey, guitarist Lenny Patterson, and bassist Eillie Schoenwetter -- may prove to be far-out enough that even folks who are hip to experimental collaborations will feel like preschool finger painters among postmodern cubists. Expect the music to be unique and exhilarating, but utterly confounding. This show celebrates the release of Ralph's Sounds, the first exploration of Carney babel released on the daring Birdman label. Also, keep your ears open for Carney on upcoming Waits work, including a contribution to Geffen Records' Jack Kerouac tribute album and to a soundtrack for Wim Wenders' latest film. The fantastical din fills the Hotel Utah on Wednesday, June 4, at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 421-8308. ... In 1994, the first Supergrass album firmly planted the impish, slightly gangly trio among Britain's pop elite. This was no prefab Spice Girls fad; the boys were not quite old enough to vote, but they had real talent. I Should Coco was a literate, witty gobful of youthful vim not witnessed in England since the Buzzcocks' three-minute heyday. Sadly, the lads have all grown up now and singer Gaz Coombes' voice has changed. Perhaps it was unavoidable (nature and all that), but it's depressing just the same. Now, rather than thumbing their noses at the class system with precious entreaties like "We're not supposed to/ Make friends with you/ Because you look so lonely/ So we're going to," Supergrass have fallen prey to their attitudinal compatriots, naming the title track of their second album "In It for the Money." Utterly despite Supergrass, In It for the Money falls short of proper English cynicism; it is still sweet, but completely lacking in carbonation. Supergrass perform with the Pulsars at Slim's on Thursday, June 5, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.50-11; call 255-0333. ... The "Blue Bash" celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Phoenix "We Cater to Rock Stars" Hotel; the opening of the aquatically themed Backflip Bar & Restaurant (formerly Miss Pearl's Jam House); and the release of Big Blue Hearts' self-titled Geffen release. Comparisons between BBH and Chris Isaak will be unavoidable -- the vocal similarity of frontman David Fisher is downright uncanny and Geffen certainly wasn't interested in taking any risks. While the album may suffer from familiarity, Isaak has let his crown slip over the years, leaving more than enough room for another bayside crooner. Even Isaak alum Mark Needham is in agreement; he mixed the album, adding the finishing touches to the work of engineer Susan Rogers (Prince, Geggy Tah). Besides two performances by BBH, the "Blue Bash" will offer big, blue froufrou drinks; a blue swimming pool surrounded by blue candles; an auction of rock 'n' roll memorabilia; and seaside cuisine. The "Blue Bash" benefits the Bill Graham Foundation, which awards grants to "community-based organizations which represent the philanthropic ideals of Bill Graham" (whatever that means). There are only 100 tickets available to the party at the Phoenix Hotel on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. Ticket price is a $10 donation ($185 with hotel accommodations for two); call 776-1380. ... You may have noticed the Cyberbuss rolling through San Francisco's underbelly, documenting all things bizarre and freakish (the bus is easily recognized by its silver-faced groupies). After years of networking and documenting, the absurdists in charge have decided it's high time for all the loons to gather together in one place to wave their freak flag, dance till dawn, and eat pancakes. The Cyberbuss Costume Ball will feature live musical entertainment, Burning Man and Defenestration slide shows, and video footage of the Urban Circus, Portland Santacon, and the Merry Pranksters. DJ B))merang will keep the Nub Chai Tea Lounge cookin' under the stars while folks partake of drum circles, hot tubs, bonfires, cozy couches, and surrounding gallery warehouse spaces. Worldwide cybergeeks may freak in the privacy of their own home at http://www.cyberbuss.com. The Ball will be held in the Bayview Warehouse District on Griffith (between Quesada and Revere streets) on Saturday, June 7, from 6 p.m. until breakfast is served. Tickets are $10; a "fhREaKy" costume is absolutely mandatory. ... Johnny Legend has been around. In the '50s, he hung out with the Three Stooges; in the '60s, he shared stages with Iron Butterfly and the Animals; in the '70s, he and Rollin' Rock Records reintroduced rockabilly to the world; and in the '90s, he became a staple on The Jon Stewart Show (appearing with Quentin Tarantino and Brooke Shields), recorded music for Children of the Corn 3, and toured with Incredibly Strange Wrestling on Lollapalooza. The missing years were spent moonlighting as an actor (Bride of Re-Animator), a journalist (LA Weekly and Fangoria), a wrestling manager (of the real-life Mexican masked variety), a video producer (the Sleazemania series is his), a film director (see the X-rated rock classic Teenage Cruisers and Andy Kaufman's My Breakfast With Blassie), and a theatrical distributor (Spiderbaby and the Bettie Page movies). If not quite a legend, he is definitely king of the B-rates! Johnny Legend & His Rockabilly Bastards perform with the Sloe Gin Joes and the Torpedos at the Kilowatt on Sunday, June 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 861-2595.

-- Silke Tudor

 
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