By Cory Sklar
By Alee Karim
By Christina Li
By Dave Pehling
By Ian S. Port
By SF Weekly
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
When most rockers would be busy deconstructing the eye hooks on some bimbo's bra strap, the five overeducated lads in Jonathan Fire*Eater probably sit around on their tour bus debating the merits of Celine and Nabokov. Intentional intellectuals blessed with cute butts and good ears, the New York boys possess seven palatable qualities that may herald a new musical era for the East Village. First, JFE are aesthetically pleasing: They all wear black suits, a holdover from their private-school days at St. Albans. Second, they're reverent: Their major label debut, Wolf Songs for Lambs, contains homages to the Velvet Underground and Johnny Thunders, minus the druggie hedonism. Third, their songs are catchy: '60s pop informed by the Sex Pistols. Fourth, they're friendly: They don't bombard people with heavily distorted walls of sound. Fifth, they are intelligent: See above. Sixth, they're theatrical: JFE believe that everyone should get his money's worth, which means shows are shows. And seventh, they're accessible: Jonathan Fire*Eater perform at the Great American Music Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7-8; call 885-0750.
From Romagna, Italy (the birthplace of Federico Fellini), Checco and Chicco Montefiori are Montefiori Cocktail, brilliant contemporary interpreters of easy-listening tunes like "Tekila Bum Bum," "Lazy Busy," and "Un Uomo, Una Donna," which were popular in their country during the early '60s. They are also twins. A Montefiori cocktail is 1/3 strawberry juice, 1/3 prosecco, and 1/3 vodka. Raccolta No. 1, Montefiori Cocktail's first album, is 1/2 fancy drink parties and 1/2 bubble baths. Montefiori Cocktail perform at Cafe Du Nord on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 861-5016. Don't miss the performance: It may be quite a while before they cross the sea again.
Nothing says Christmas quite like shoulder pads and John Hughes (artificial fibers and goodwill toward men). Knowing this, the Red Vic Movie House and the promoters of the "New Wave City" club nights combined forces to present a New Wave Film Fest for your holiday enjoyment. There's a little something for anyone who lived through the '80s: Pretty in Pink, Repo Man, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger, and Sixteen Candles should about cover it. For those who want the visceral rather than the vicarious experience, don your creepers and dash on down to the Covered Wagon on Saturday, Dec. 6, where DJs Skip and Shindog will be spinning all your favorite new wave soundtracks and hosting a Molly Ringwald look-alike contest at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5-8; call 675-5683. The film festival will be held at the Red Vic Thursday through Monday, Dec. 4-8; call 668-3994 for ticket prices and show times.
The final installment of Projexpo '97: The Art of Projection invites people to travel through a maze of over 200 projectors that will re-create the environment of Hiroshima's Peace Park. (It's based on Museo Contempo's similarly themed current film project, The Deconstructed Woman.) The virtual garden will then dissolve into a "full immersion" party environment where people can dance away the demons. Projexpo '97 will be held at the Lab on Friday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7-10; call 864-8855.
Feel the call for spicy gumbo, a shot of bourbon, a warmblooded dance partner, and some sweaty swamp rhythms? No need to travel to Louisiana. Every year since 1984, the Grand Alligator Ball has treated the Bay Area to a six-hour masquerade of Cajun revelry and Mardi Gras-style abandon. This year, the party includes the music of Motordude Zydeco, Johnny Dilks & the Visitacion Valley Boys, Mal Sharpe & His "Big Money in Dixieland" Swing Band, Pee Wee & the Safecrackers, Billy Jack Wilson & His Western Swing Band, and Wall of Gumbo. East Texan chef Bobby Gradney, of Richmond's Backdoor Cajun BBQ, will supply authentic Creole flavors, and the person with the finest Mardi Gras costume wins a $50 prize. The event will open with the Loonies Humor Salon, with guest Mr. Boffo creator Joe Martin. The Gator Ball will be held at Eagle's Hall in Alameda on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12-15; call (510) 652-3833.
-- Silke Tudor