Psychobilly, que'est que c'est? "Squares always find ways to make a joke out of the things that threaten their lame lifestyle," spouts Cramps vocalist Lux Interior. Thank god for punk rock. The best way to describe the Cramps is by a term they coined themselves back in '76: "psychobilly." It's kitschy, kinky, carnival, and barely legal. Big Beat From Badsville is as bad as they wanna be and their show is not for the faint of heart or spirit. Demolition Dollrods and Guitar Wolf open at 8 p.m. at the Warfield, 982 Market (at Sixth Street), S.F. Admission is $20; call 775-7722.
Halloween Parties See Calendar on Page 38 for listings.
Things That Go Punk in the Night More bad-boy, ass-kickin', hard-rockin', anarchist-lovin' punk for the soul. The Humpers' latest album, Plastique Valentine, is just what it sounds like: an ode to a relationship gone bad ... and wanting to blow her head off. Naturally. There's apparently an awful lot of heartache (and bitterness!) in Long Beach, the band's stompin' grounds. The Neckbones and the Loudmouths will warm up the stage at the Kilowatt for the club's second-to-last live show. It starts at 9 p.m. at 3160 16th St. (at Albion), S.F. Admission is $6; call 861-2595.
It's Crafty Folk art is older than the hills, but never seems to die, thanks to places like the San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum. This month the museum is bringing in "Straw Trails" to the main hall and "Navajo Folk Art" to the mezzanine. "Straw Trails" includes Asian rice straw objects, African coiled baskets, and Indo-European artifacts (like baskets and bonnets). It's the first exhibit of its kind. "Navajo Folk Art" is also a first, the first survey exhibition in Northern California. The show includes textiles, jewelry, dolls, rugs, pottery, and hand-carved wood figures -- some for trading and others for play. "Straw Trails" and "Navajo Folk Art" both open at 10 a.m. (and continue through Jan. 4, 1998) at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Building A, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 775-0990.
On the Catwalk Get your felines gussied up for the the International Cat Association's Allbreed Championship and Household Pet Cat Show. (N.B.: Cats 8 months or older must be spayed or neutered to enter.) The new breeds this year are pixiebob and munchkin, but the tried-and-true -- Angoras, Siamese, Maine coon, etc. -- are more than welcome. Even household cats and kittens can enter. The more the merrier! The household pets will be judged on health, condition, grooming, purrsonality, and what each judge thinks is a purrty cat. The competition, which will bring together fiendish felines and their doting owners from across the United States and around the world, begins at 10 a.m. at the San Francisco County Fair Building (formerly the Hall of Flowers), Golden Gate Park at Ninth Avenue & Lincoln Way, S.F. Admission is $3-12; call (916) 889-0829.
Kul'cher An evening of champagne, hors d'oeuvres, and readings from George Bernard Shaw should bring the finishing school out in just about anyone. The Aurora Theater Company presents an evening of "Shaw and Champagne: An Inspired Folly"; John Argue, Joy Carlin, Nancy Carlin, Peter Donat, Penelope Kreitzer, and others will read from Saint Joan, Getting Married, Major Barbara, and Heartbreak House. Aurora is smitten with Shaw for his love of words and ideas; the company has performed four of his plays in six seasons. Proceeds from the tonight's program will help upgrade the upstairs ballroom of the Berkeley City Club for some of Aurora's larger-scale productions next season. "Shaw and Champagne" starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berkeley. Admission is $15.75; call (510) 848-7800.
No Ilk Like Johnny Dilks When Willie Nelson crooned to all the "mommas" out there not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys, he was not talking about Johnny Dilks. Having just finished backing up Charlie and Ira Louvin for their string of gigs at Yoshi's, Johnny and his Visitacion Valley Boys are hitting Bruno's Cork Club. Honky-tonk and western swing are their specialties, and how sweet they are. Hank Williams and Jimmie Rivers should be honored to have influenced Johnny and his Boys. Itchy Kitty open with their oh-so-chick sass at 10 p.m. at Bruno's, 2389 Mission (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is $3; call 550-7455.
Literary Jeopardy Howard Junker, editor of Zyzzyva (the San Francisco-based journal of West Coast writers and artists), will be the Alex Trebek of the San Francisco Public Library's Literary Quiz Show to kick off the Bay Area Book Festival. There will be three teams: librarians, booksellers, and authors, all showing off their literary knowledge. Questions will run along the lines of biographical and historical data, spot quotes, and first lines. Although SFPL staff are actually preparing the questions, it says here that they aren't slipping the answers under the table to the librarian team members. Uh-huh. The Literary Quiz Show starts at 6:30 p.m. in the New Main Library's Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin (Civic Center), S.F. Admission is free; call 557-4277.
Om-ing the Night Away Om recording artists Beth Custer, a 13-year Club Foot Orchestra veteran, and Christian Jones, the local jazz producer and engineer, are mixing their grooves in a new project, Eighty Mile Beach, that's touted as organic and primordial; not quite jazz and not quite dance music, but somewhere in that mix. Following their Oct. 25 debut show, they've set up ritual Tuesday night gigs (at 11 p.m.) for the month of November at Bruno's, 2389 Mission (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is $4; call 550-7455.
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