Madcap They've toured with Helmet and Rage Against the Machine, and shared top billing with Prodigy, Beck, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Fuji Rock Festival. They're celebrities in their native Japan, where their eight records have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and their videos enjoy regular rotation on MTV Japan. Despite all that, the Mad Capsule Market's (the apostrophe is the band's) remain relatively unknown in the States, despite the group's fondness for American noisemakers like Biohazard and Sick of It All. Muscular guitar handling, raspy vocals, and a percussive onslaught taken to hyperkinetic speed give the Mad Capsule Market's the afterburner quality of a DC-10. They'll play with Bimbo Toolshed, MCM & the Monster (who play their first big show in two years before heading off to the Fuji Festival), and Big Shrimp, who'll be celebrating their CD release. The show begins at 9 p.m. at the Transmission Theater, Folsom & 11th Street, S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-6906.
Music to Wake the Dead The Chapel of the Chimes, a columbarium and mausoleum adjacent to the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, is said to have great acoustics. It's generally hushed, as buildings full of dead people's remains tend to be, and famed local architect Julia Morgan incorporated meditative elements like winding passageways, stained glass skylights, fountains, and gardens into its design. It's a natural spot for a concert, and 20th Century Forum, a nonprofit group that gives composers and musicians opportunities to perform new music, is taking advantage with its third annual Garden of Memory: A Columbarium Walk-Through Event. Roaming guests will be treated to new music literally at every turn in a program featuring simultaneous performances in different parts of the building, with glass music composer Miguel Frasconi, pianist Sarah Cahill, Tibetan singer Te Chung, Balkan ensemble Panacea, and saxophonist Dan Plonsey, among others. The event begins at 5 p.m. at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont (at Pleasant Valley Road), Oakland. Admission is $8-10; call 255-8225.
The Taxman Returneth Central Works Theater Ensemble offers a break to everyone whose pockets were recently picked by Uncle Sam: a free preview of IRS -- I Want You. Inspired by recent congressional hearings filled with public testimony about IRS collection quotas and armed raids conducted by agents with drug-sniffing dogs, scriptwriter Gary Graves created a political satire on the federal government's most unpopular arm. Parodying bureaucratic red tape is by no means new, but Graves tries to inject a bit of novelty into the tale by changing the protagonist from a likable average guy to a journalist. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through Aug. 23) at Santa Fe Bar & Grill Performance Space, 1310 University (at San Pablo), Berkeley. Admission is $10-13; call (925) 798-1300.
It's How You Play the Game Ex-geeks who were hoping to work through, or at least laugh off, the anguish of high school with Steamroller's theatrical dance performance Loserville lost their chance when the company canceled the show at the last minute due to an overbooking problem. In its scramble to find a replacement, the Lab came up with AWD, a 12-member performance band whose reckless physicality and arty urban antics should fill Steamroller's slot nicely. Their show, which melds trance rhythms, live vocals, and spoken word with video and athletic dance, begins at 9:30 p.m. (and runs through Sunday) at the Lab, 2948 16th St. (at Capp), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 864-8855.
Dutch Treat Named for a Dutch expression that loosely translates into English as "Act normally and you'll be weird enough," the exhibit "Do Normal: Recent Dutch Design" highlights over 200 examples of works that might take American eyes by surprise, although they are commonplace in the Netherlands. Studio Dunbar's orange-and-blue-striped police cars, Total Design's roadside signs, and Jaap Drupsteen's graphics for the Dutch monetary system are among the bold and colorful images to which the Dutch are accustomed; the show also includes such eyebrow-raising pieces as Henk Stallinga's bookcase supported by electric screwdrivers and Piet Hein Eek's geometric furniture, which incorporates everyday materials in unusual and sometimes ironic new ways. The show opens at 10 a.m. (and is up through Oct. 20) at the SFMOMA, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$8; call 357-4000.
Book Smart Expect less Princess Di and chicken soup for the soul at Books by the Bay, and more tomes on science, language, history, and travel. Over 40 independent bookstores will be setting up shop at the open-air fair, including locals like Green Apple, the European Book Co., and A Different Light, as well as visitors from the Monterey Bay Aquarium store and Capitola's Seeds of Change, which specializes in children's books. Authors Dorothy Allison (Cavedweller, Bastard Out of Carolina), Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres), and Alison Lurie (Foreign Affairs) will be reading and signing their work, while Thom Gunn and August Kleinzahler will declaim during the poetry hour. Walter the Giant Storyteller entertains kids and investment expert Suze Orman offers tips at the fair, which begins at 10 a.m. at Pier 32 between Bryant & Brannan, S.F. Admission is free; call 927-3937.