Slippery When Wet The bidding war to push big shots into the pool should be fierce at this year's TNDC Celebrity Pool Toss -- candidates include San Francisco 49ers President Carmen Policy (considered in some quarters to be slippery even when dry), Police Chief Fred Lau, and Esprit offspring Summer Tompkins. Smart money says the guest most likely to suffer repeated baptism is the participating San Francisco meter maid. Tossers, tossees, spectators, and guest MCs like actor Don Johnson will be further entertained by the Santa Clara Aqua Maids Synchronized Swim Club and the Bud E. Love Show, and may partake of snacks and drinks from painfully hip joints like Backflip and Zuni Cafe. The evening, a benefit for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation's After-School Program, begins at 6 p.m. at the Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy (at Larkin), S.F. Admission is $50; call 776-2151, ext. 117.
Kick Off the Jam Guided by Voices and Pavement fans should feel at home with the loopy, tuneful pop of Creeper Lagoon, who highlight the Huckleberry House 30th Anniversary Jam and CD Release Party, joined by Billy Pilgrim, Ryan Downe, and other guests in a showcase-style live bill. The show, and the sale of a limited-edition benefit CD featuring these acts along with Cake, Peter Gabriel, the Charlie Hunter Quartet, the Meices, the Dead, and other bands sharing little musical common ground, benefits the House's programs for at-risk youth. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. with live jazz, snacks, and spirits at the Huckleberry Pre-Party, followed by more snacks and spirits, CD and T-shirt giveaways, and the concert at 8 p.m., held at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $25-500; call 668-2622.
Read It With Someone You Love Didja see the "X-Voter Files" one, about the new stadium construction on sacred burial grounds? How about the Critical Mass/Roots one, where oppressed bicyclists suffered latte withdrawal in jail? As San Francisco Comic Strip creator Don Asmussen himself puts it, the strip "only sucks every other week"; readers who missed any weeks, or who yearn to reread their favorites, will be gratified to learn that Russian Hill Press has culled the first year of the topical strip into a book, The San Francisco Comic Strip of Big-Ass Mocha, the title of which refers to a coffeehouse satire within and the cover of which features a pool-size mocha attended by a lifeguard. Asmussen celebrates the book's release with a slide show parodying the Learning Annex class "How to Be a Successful Cartoonist," followed by a book-signing. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670. If the idea of seeing Asmussen in action doesn't make you laugh, note that National Depression Screening Day offers free mental health screenings throughout the day at various Bay Area sites; call (800) 573-4433 for the location nearest you.
Stop and Smell the Rosas Not all dancers get the Peter Greenaway treatment, as Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her company Rosas did when Greenaway directed Rosas, a short black-and-white film of their work. Then again, not all dance-makers have preserved their fleeting medium on film as often as Keersmaeker has. San Francisco Performances kicked off a new film series, Dance/Screen, at the Center for the Arts Oct. 6 and 7 with three independent films of her work, and will open the dance series of their 1997-98 season when her company performs here. Rosas presents Woud, three emotionally charged movements set to the music of Berg, Schoenberg, and Wagner, accompanied live by England's Duke String Quartet, whose reputation for collaborating with dancers is rivaled only by their collaborations with the Pretenders and Blur. The show begins at 8 p.m. (also 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday) in the Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $15-25; call 392-4400. The film and performance series continue with work by DV8 Physical Theater, Eiko & Koma, Wim Vandekeybus, and Stephen Petronio; call 398-6449 for more information.
Science! Most of us know Thomas Dolby Robertson simply as Thomas Dolby, the pop star whose quirky hit "She Blinded Me With Science" featured British TV scientist Dr. Magnus Pike in its video and peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. charts in '83. Robertson, who has since resumed using his last name, started out as a sound-mixing techno geek with Bruce Woolley's Camera Club; after experimenting with film scoring (remember Howard the Duck?), producing Prefab Sprout, and creating an audio-based virtual reality installation at the Guggenheim, he's struck a balance between music and science with his company Headspace, which has developed a software-based audio engine to deliver sound and music through cyberspace. As part of SFSU's NTT New Media Minds Forum "Intelligence, Technology, & ARTificial Society: Who or What Are We Becoming?" Robertson will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $13-18; call 978-ARTS.
A Different Drummer Expect a lesbian feminist edge when Dance Brigade revamps Cinderella's ballroom scene on opening weekend of the second annual Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival, where they'll share "Mixed Program A" with the High Risk Group, among others. Former Ballet Troc dancer Arturo Fernandez parodies the classics himself with Giselle, a spoof on gender roles and classical ballet that plays closing weekend (Oct. 24 & 25) with ODC dancer Kevin Ware's piece about sexual couplings, Triptych, and CORE member Keith Hennessy's Thaw, about a gang of thugs who cool their heels after pushing a 300-pound block of ice down an alley. Dykes Do Attitude are among the guests on "Mixed Program B" (Oct. 17 & 18) and Wigman scholar M. Koob revives German expressionism with Still Waters Run on the "Emerging Artist Program" (Oct. 19). The festival, which features 30 artists over four weekends, is capped by a cabaret reception following each Saturday night performance. Tonight's show begins at 7:30 p.m. (and repeats tomorrow night) at Brady Street Dance Center, 60 Brady (at Market), S.F. Admission is $13.50-15; call 558-9355.