Take a Hike
Edward Hasbrouck, a world traveler and sometime travel agent, debunks the myths about getting the cheapest plane tickets ("Myth No. 5: Airline fares are cheaper locally") and offers packing tips for extended trekking in his book The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World. Other advice to be had when Hasbrouck discusses his work at a local in-store appearance: international finger signs used to indicate numbers; choosing travel in the First, Second, Third, and Fourth worlds; alphabet- and language-deciphering hints; and how to make border crossings and travel document-shuffling easier. The reading and discussion begins at 7:30 p.m. at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 282-9246.
They Just Clicked The winners of this year's James D. Phelan Art Award in Photography pushed past technical and cultural boundaries in their search for new photographic territory. Erin O'Neill messes with our collective perception of the powder room in her series Gender and Bathrooms, as men wearing skirts and bustiers, and sporting fake facial hair (and very real leg hair), render the little symbols on the restroom doors irrelevant. In her series it is the beauty of the yam to carve a dark path slowly, Kim Brown comments on the awkward modern relationship between humans and nature, creating large-color images in which yams function as a natural presence in an artificial world. And David Berg, the third in the winning trio, doesn't even use a camera in the experimental process; he paints faux negatives on mylar plastic cells and enlarges them to create faux photographic images. The work of artists who received honorable mentions will also be shown at the exhibit, which opens at noon (a reception will be held Friday at 5:30 p.m.) at S.F. Camerawork, 115 Natoma (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free; call 764-1001.
Makes Me Wanna Holler Glaswegian playwright Sharman MacDonald has gotten lots of mileage out of the rocky Scottish coast, the setting for her mother-daughter drama The Winter Guest, which was adapted by Alan Rickman into a new film starring Emma Thompson, as well as the backdrop to her 1984 mother-daughter debut drama, When I Was a Girl, I Used to Scream and Shout, which the Center for Performance Studies will stage locally. In The Winter Guest, a mother admonishes her daughter to get on with her life after her husband dies; in Scream and Shout, an unmarried, childless, 32-year-old woman (Fiona) digs her feet into the rugged seaside landscape and confronts her aging mother (Morag), who often comments on her lack of grandchildren. As the drama unfolds, MacDonald switches back and forth between 1960 and 1983, to reveal that the 15-year-old Fiona and her best friend Vari plotted to have 17-year-old Ewan father Fiona's child so that Morag wouldn't go abroad with a new man. Pacific Sun theater columnist Lee Brady plays Morag in the show, which opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through Jan. 31) at 450 Geary Studio Theater, 450 Geary (at Sutter), S.F. Admission is $14; call 673-1172.
And By the Way, If You See Your Mom This Weekend ... Just when Satan reveals himself as Billy Crystal, along comes "Say You Love Satan! The Devil on Film," a program of pure cinematic evil from which Crystal and baby-snatching co-conspirator Woody Allen are conspicuously absent. (Insert Rosemary's Baby joke here.) Satan shows up in shorts -- short films, that is -- with Spook Show Trailers, a collection of ads for Halloween horror shows, and the 1960 trailer for A Date With Death, which introduced "psychorama," an audience manipulation technique using subliminal words and symbols on-screen. Satan kicks Cupid's ass in Tex Avery's Don't Look Now, and scantily clad German freuleins frolic their way through bondage, S/M, and the black arts in the 1928 film Black Mass. Kenneth Anger materializes in Invocation of My Demon Brother, with music by Mick Jagger (who once fashioned himself as a Satanic Majesty of sorts), and Lucifer Rising, the story of the famous fallen angel, featuring Marianne Faithfull and a soundtrack by ex-Manson family member Bobby Beausoleil. And what would a program devoted to Satan be without both sets of Mansons? Marilyn Manson casts a satanic spell on a young boy in Richard Kern's music video Lunchbox, which was banned from MTV, and when the series continues at 8 and 10 p.m. on Jan. 30, Charles Manson and his nutty adopted relatives take center stage in Jim VanBebber's Charlie's Family, which backtracks through the murderous Manson tale. The screenings begin at 8 p.m. tonight (and continue at 10 p.m. tonight with the Boris Karloff-Bela Lugosi vehicle The Black Cat and 8 p.m. Jan. 23 with Where Evil Dwells) in the Center for the Arts Screening Room, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 978-ARTS. Meanwhile, Satan makes a cross-town appearance at the Asian Art Museum's documentary and animation film series "Touched by the Hand of the Devil (Akuma No Te)," showing in conjunction with the museum's exhibit of graphic, modern-themed paintings by Masami Teraoka. This week's films include Space Adventure Cobra, about the titular character's battles with the evil Crystal Boy (not Billy) showing at 7 p.m. tonight, and Night on the Galactic Railroad, about a boy who takes a trip on a mystery train showing at 2 p.m. Sunday. Screenings are held in the Trustees' Auditorium of the Asian Art Museum in Golden Gate Park. Admission is free after museum admission (free-$7); call 379-8879 for more information.
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.