Abbey's Road The title track from jazz diva Abbey Lincoln's most recent Verve album, Who Used to Dance, is an experiment that might be considered a misfire: Lincoln enlisted tap dancer Savion Glover to provide percussive illustration to the song, one of her own, about a man worn ragged by life's travails. It's a lengthy ballad, but without actually seeing Glover, it loses something in the execution. Still, it's a testament to Lincoln's professional stature that she attracts talented artists who are more than willing to take those risks in her company. Lincoln commands a loyal international following for her warm, mellifluous contralto and the depth of feeling with which she imbues her musical storytelling, but her decades-long career has also included groundbreaking roles in the critically acclaimed films For the Love of Ivy and Nothing But a Man, the 1964 portrait of prejudice directed at African-Americans in a small Southern town. Lincoln runs through a catalog of her own work and that of other jazz greats like Billie Holiday, and may even throw in a cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man," when she and her trio perform locally. The show begins at 8 and 10 p.m. (and continues through Sunday) at Yoshi's, Jack London Square, 510 Embarcadero, Oakland. Admission is $5-22; call (510) 238-9200.
Oh Henri! The phrase "big in Europe" is mostly employed as a music industry punch line, but in the case of singer/guitarist Henri Dikongue, it has serious applications. The Cameroon-born, Paris-based former law student has topped the European world charts and CMJ world music charts this year with C'est la Vie, a collection of pretty acoustic guitar ballads and Latin-flavored dance tracks. Like fellow West African musicians Cesaria Evora and former Zap Mama member Sally Nyolo, Dikongue has eschewed the driving Afro-pop nightclub staple makossa in favor of a more thoughtful, full-bodied jazz classicism with cosmopolitan polish and international influences like reggae, bossa nova, and Cuban son. Audiences who don't speak French or Duala will miss out on some of the lyrics, but Dikongue's honeyed delivery invites moody introspection nonetheless, as well as a shuffle or two around an open dance floor. He'll play three 45-minute sets with a stand-up bassist, percussionist, and backup singer beginning at 10 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-5016.
Outside In In Richard Kim's film Kungpao Chicken, a restaurateur embarks on a personal mission to educate his customers on the use of chopsticks, but David Fourier's film Majorettes in Space is about cosmonauts, majorettes, and homosexuals. What's the connection between the works? There isn't one, except that they're both playing at "One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)," a program devoted to short films that explore various permutations of difference, whether that applies to characters, themes, or the cinematic technique itself. There's more: David Chartier and Avi Zev Weider's adaptation of Joe Brainard's book I Remember gets into the head of a very odd boy, using flashbacks and flash forwards to look at the associative mechanisms of memory, while the late Dean Snider's film Stink uses found footage to retell an autobiographical tale. The show begins at 8 p.m. at 111 Minna Street Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $6-7; call 552-3456.
Latin School The benefit show for the Latino Dance Consortium is sort of like a performance grab-bag, with hip hop from Culture Shock, Aztec dance by Teokhile, samba by Fogo Na Roupa, and a preview of the Latina Theater Lab's new play Last Stop Ranchera. The Consortium, founded just last year by dancer/choreographer Priscilla Regalado and nicknamed LaDaCo, is intended to support the work of local Latino artists; this show is a good one-shot opportunity to find out what many of those artists, dancers, musicians, and others have in their repertoire. A reception and raffle, with baseball tickets and gift certificates, follows Saturday's show. The event begins at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), S.F. Admission is $12-25; call 863-9834.
A Touch of Haight It hasn't been all rock 'n' roll art since the Soft Touch Artist Collective formed over 22 years ago, but the music and its makers have played recurring roles in the work that hung at the space. There was the time gallery members dressed like Janis Joplin for the opening of an exhibit featuring paintings and drawings of Joplin. There was Lee McHose's embroidered rock album, and later, Jason Mecier's bean-and-noodle portraits of rock stars. There was the John Flores show devoted exclusively to Beatles paintings. Flores' current exhibit of papier-máche figures and watercolor paintings of dragons and castles -- mythology is big in heavy metal, after all -- will be shown when the gallery throws in the towel at the Nineteen Ninety-Haight Finale Party. Gallery representative Robin Lewis attributes the venue's demise to rising costs, collective burnout, and a growing reluctance on the part of artists to volunteer their time. Party guests are encouraged to wear creative costumes or groovy '70s outfits (evoking, perhaps, a more sharing and caring time). The gallery will serve free refreshments and offer a slide show highlighting past exhibits. The party begins at 6:30 p.m. at Soft Touch, 1580 Haight (at Ashbury), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-3279.
Cliff's Variety With a little help from his friends, Cliff Hengst has crafted a show that was actually years in the making. Inspired by TV comedy programs dating back to his childhood, including the Benny Hill and Carol Burnett shows, Hengst stages Cliff and Co., a laid-back multimedia variety show that isn't quite ready for prime time. Hengst's guests include Kevin Killian, Anne McGuire, Craig Goodman, Scott Hewicker, and other visual artists, performers, and videomakers from the S.F. Art Institute orbit. They'll be featured in over a dozen experimental, tongue-in-cheek skits loosely linked by a narrative thread and incorporating theatrical improv, music, dance, film, and comedy. The show begins at 8 p.m. at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom (at Ninth Street), S.F. Admission is $6-8; call 626-5416.
People Get Ready After the monthlong Queer Arts Festival and the S.F. International Gay and Lesbian Film Fest, along with the Dyke March, the pool parties, the rock shows, the themed benefits, and the warehouse and street dances, the anticipation for the last weekend in an already very gay June has built up to a fever pitch. It all culminates at 11 a.m. this morning when Dykes on Bikes rev their engines at Eighth Street and roar down Market to the Embarcadero at the front of the Pride Parade. For more information on the weekendlong Pride Festival and related events, see our coverage on Page 29.
Elvis, Reheated Over the years, a handful of films have announced their own vivaciousness and verve in one important title word: Viva! There was Louis Malle's comedy Viva Maria!, starring Brigitte Bardot as a shapely entertainer-turned-revolutionary; Viva Zapata!, a Marlon Brandon picture about the steely-eyed Mexican revolutionary; and the self-explanatory Viva Knievel!, which was revolutionary in a brazenly awful moviemaking kind of way. But the best-known Viva! is Viva Las Vegas, in which Ann-Margret almost single-handedly supplies the film's va-va-va-voom as the dancing dervish who jump-starts a race car driver, played by Elvis Presley. Elvis' real life, meanwhile, indirectly provides the dramatic thrust of the second feature on the bill, Bye Bye Birdie, another musical starring Ann-Margret, this time as the lucky teen-ager chosen to receive one last stateside kiss from a recently drafted rock 'n' roll idol. Viva Las Vegas screens at 3:50 and 8 p.m., with Bye Bye Birdie at 1:45 and 6 p.m., at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $3-6.50; call 863-1087.
She's in Parties East Bay record label COP International, organizer of the second annual Female Industrial Goth Awards, couldn't have hoped for better timing -- its show takes place just three days after goth godmother Siouxsie Sioux and her partner Budgie play the Maritime Hall. The FIG Awards begin with dancing to goth and industrial cuts spun by local DJs Fuschia, Lucretia, and Melting Girl, followed by an announcement of which female DJs, industry players, and musicians won in a global online survey. (Siouxsie seems as likely a candidate as anyone, although COP couldn't confirm a Siouxsie appearance.) The FIG Awards, which also hint at the breadth of the local scene by honoring 20 women who've contributed to it, coincide with the release of Diva X Machina, Vol. 2, a compilation CD showcasing the second wave of somber, scary music by women-fronted bands. There's more to industrial and goth than the Bauhaus reunion or a greasy-haired Trent Reznor chasing David Bowie, and bands like Clan of Xymox, Lucid Dementia, Tapping the Vein, and the RaZor Skyline (who will play live) drive that message home with stuttering dance beats, ethereal vocals, and lots and lots of keyboards. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. at "Death Guild," Big Heart City, 836 Mission (at Fourth Street), S.F. Admission is $6; call 777-0666.
Big, Bad Wolf Link Wray is their role model, but the Ramones and MC5 have exerted significant influences on Tokyo's Guitar Wolf as well. On their third U.S. release, Missile Me!, this trio of Matador punks pack a whole lot of speed, grit, screaming feedback, and lyrical confusion into just half-an-hour's worth of music. If some of the Japanese-to-English translations seem loopy (what does "Kung Fu Ramone Culmination Tactic" mean anyhow?), the cover of "Kick Out the Jams" comes through loud and clear, and everybody understands when singer/guitarist Seiji shouts, "Lock and loll!" Fans of the trashy punk cult film The Sore Losers, which made its local debut some months back, will recall Guitar Wolf's contribution to the soundtrack as well as their on-screen appearance as intergalactic mercenaries. The women of the 5,6,7,8's, another Japanese punk trio, fill out the bill with originals like "I Was a Teenage Cavewoman" and covers of American garage classics including "Wooly Bully." Sir Dance-a-Lot opens the show at 9:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas), S.F. Admission is $7; call 621-4455.