Rock and Roll Over Time hasn't exactly been kind to the former members of the Stray Cats. As his New Year's Eve appearance in San Francisco revealed, Brian Setzer, now the leader of a swing band, has gone soft around the middle, puffy around the face, and a tad ragged in the pipes. "Slim" Jim Phantom briefly reunited with former bandmate Lee Rocker in Big Blue, which led to a couple of CD releases and a Top 40 single called "Men Without Shame," but then disappeared. Rocker himself, the heavily tattooed stand-up bassist who was just 17 when the Cats hit it big, is finding that the comeback trail is rarely smooth, especially for former teen heartthrobs; but since Rocker began in rockabilly rather than in the unforgiving arena of bubble-gum pop, he can find hope in the careers of veteran musicians like Link Wray, who proved locally just months ago that he's still a rebel-rouser even in his 70s. Though he's still playing rockabilly and blues with his new band, Rocker seems ready to put the past behind him; he played on Carl Perkins' album Go Cat Go and his own album No Cats is forthcoming. Billy Bacon & the Forbidden Pigs open the show at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Harrison), S.F. Admission is $7.50-8; call 522-0333.
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down Slick is an erotic fetish ball, not a sex club, so shoe fetishists who find themselves hot and bothered by all the spiky heels and pointy toes will have to take it outside; ditto for the rubber lovers who overheat amid the shiny, squeaky, skintight minis, and the leather fans who work themselves into a lather over the whips, chaps, and masks. Period-costume enthusiasts will find an appreciative audience for their dramatic vampiric capes, waist-cinching velvet corsets, and cleavage-enhancing bustiers, but that appreciation must manifest itself on the chaperoned dance floor and in supervised "playspaces" and scheduled events like the latex body painting "for the smooth and newly shaven." Stormy Leather unveils its wares in a fashion show and the Collapsing Silence butoh troupe will perform, which should satisfy folks with fetishes for agonizingly slow movement and extreme facial contortions. Guests who can't restrain themselves are subject to hosts who can, and will, using a variety of elaborate accessories in the process. Midori and Michael Manning also perform at the event, which begins at 9 p.m. at 1015 Folsom, 1015 Folsom (at Sixth Street), S.F. Admission is $15-20; call 536-9424.
They, Too, Have a Dream With the exception of certain Riverside residents, many Americans will celebrate the activism of Martin Luther King Jr. today, whether that means sleeping late for government employees or tuning into King's "I Have a Dream" speech with which TV news stations will invariably conclude their evening broadcasts. Vermont's Belizbeha play tonight, and while this isn't officially a Martin Luther King Jr. Day show (that one happens the day before), these are singers and musicians of all stripes creating a harmonious cultural confluence of jazz, R&B, soul, and hip hop. The posse, as they bill themselves on their album Charlie's Dream, is ambitious in size and scope, boasting turntablists alongside fluegelhornists and a rhythm section with bass and congas. The lyrics, which rely on loopy wordplay, aren't particularly political (unless you count the Sonny Bono reference), but they're not divisive either, and in the grand scheme of the dream, that ought to count for something. The show starts at 10 p.m. at the Elbo Room, 647 Valencia (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is $4; call 552-7788.
Attorney Sarah Weddington's career began auspiciously when, as a young and relatively inexperienced attorney, she went before the U.S. Supreme Court and successfully argued for legalized abortion in the landmark case Roe vs. Wade. Twenty-five years ago this week, the court, in a decision written by Justice Harry Blackmun, who based it on a right of privacy, ruled that a woman may, by federal law, terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester. (It allowed states to intervene in cases involving the second and third trimesters.) The case has been the bete noire of fanatic anti-choice groups and members of Congress, some of whom will try again next month to pass a ban on dilation-and-extraction ("partial birth") abortion, although President Clinton has vetoed such a ban twice already. Weddington, who served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives and has also worked on rape-statute reform, parental-custody law, and a pregnancy-leave bill for teachers, discusses the ups and downs of women's reproductive rights over the course of her long law career at a luncheon sponsored by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate and the Professional BusinessWomen of California, which begins at noon at the Sheraton Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery (at Market), S.F. Admission is $75; call 202-7383. (Prior to Weddington's appearance, "Roe vs. Wade: 25 Years and Still Fighting for Women's Lives" celebrates the law with speakers, workshops, panel discussions, and films. The event is held at noon Saturday, Jan. 17, at La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck (at Prince) in Berkeley, and at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, at New College, 777 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission to both is free; call 386-3840. For more on the issue, see "The Illusion of Roe vs. Wade" on Page 9.
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