If the Spirit Moves You Axis Dance Company won't be the only thing moving this week as Center for the Arts inaugurates a new round of exhibits. Alan Rath's "New Robotic Sculpture" show includes Robot Dance, a kinetic installation of robot couples fitted with 5-foot arms made with shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints; and Friends and Acquaintances, a collection of tripod-mounted, computer-controlled, smartass creations with a penchant for unfurling their long metal tongues at onlookers. Rath's robots share the space with painting, installation, and print exhibits opening today, followed by this evening's showcase "Fierce Spirits & Hearts on Fire: Celebrate the Power of Women." The Loco Bloco Dance and Drum Ensemble, Will Power and Mohammed Bilal of hip-hop band Midnight Voices, SHE Girls Rock Band, and gay and lesbian theater collective Drama Divas are among the youthful talent slated to perform. And on Tuesday, Bill Shannon and Axis Dance Company, which spotlights work by variously physically-abled dancers, bring crutches, mime, and break-dancing to the stage in a "Keeping Critical" performance series and discussion about the aesthetics of awkwardness. The galleries open at 11 a.m.; "Fierce Spirits" begins at 6 p.m.; and Axis Dance Company performs at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free-$10; call 978-ARTS.
The Chronicles of NARMia "I left my heart in San Francisco," declares Garageland singer/guitarist Jeremy Eade in "Fire Away," "and I'll be fucked if I'm going back." As it turns out, Eade will be back when Garageland plays a crazy-full bill tonight at a National Association of Record Merchandisers (NARM) showcase. Sprung from New Zealand's Flying Nun Records, the label that foisted Tall Dwarfs on the world, Garageland offer more echoes of the Pixies than the new, unreleased Frank Black album in a bracing blend of chiming guitars and ghostly choruses met with blistering percussion, a moody outlook, and traces of reverb. Notable, too, are Texas trio Fastball, whose sophomore album All the Pain Money Can Buy gives rampant insecurity and a yen for escapism and the open road a tuneful polish that has "road movie soundtrack" written all over it. The Flies, the Ghost of Tony Gold, JoJo, Action Plus, Gloritone, and Systems of a Down join in the show, which begins at 9 p.m. at the Paradise Lounge, Folsom & 11th Street, S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-6906.
Hip-Hop Happening Call it a busier-than-average day in the life of Will Power, Renaissance man. The longtime Fillmore resident has kept himself occupied teaching literature classes with Writer's Corp and drama with Midnight Shakespeare, and is now overseeing the production of 2017, his hip-hop musical about AIDS in the African-American community playing at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater and featuring his hip-hop band Midnight Voices among the 30-member cast. He and the band recently released their third CD, Howling at the Moon, and will give the folks who missed their performance at the Center for the Arts opening (see Saturday) a taste of their style during an improv jazz and hip-hop set with DJ IJ on the turntables. The show begins at 9 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-5016.
In Bloom Huge floral designs will spill over the entryways at "Bouquets to Art," while more modest arrangements may be found in less obvious spots, peeking out of corners and crevices, or poking their heads up from under paintings at the Legion of Honor. Over the next four days, nearly 100 floral designers will converge on the museum, where they'll scour their surroundings until they find the perfect place to create designs inspired by a favorite work of art or a wash of good natural light. The public is invited to watch them in action, although the allergy-prone are advised to arrive drugged to combat the pollen from thousands of roses, carnations, tulips, and the like. Among the lectures to be presented throughout the day during the show's run: Kim Haworth's "Backyard Bouquets," today at 10 a.m., for locals who actually have yards. The show opens to the public at 9:30 a.m. (through Friday) at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 34th Avenue & Clement, S.F. Admission is $7; call 750-3504.