You Ain't Cine Nothing Yet Cine Accion's sixth annual ACine Latino! Festival, a four-day movie marathon, doesn't arrive for another month, but tonight's sneak preview offers a sampler of this year's entries. Mission born-and-bred filmmaker Veronica Majano explores gentrification through the eyes of a 15-year-old Ohlone/Salvadoran girl who watches familiar surroundings disappear in Calle Chula, Majano's debut picture. The Emmy-nominated, L.A.-based performance artist Luis Alfaro creates a series of character sketches that tap into Chicano identity in Chicanismo. Along with Cinema Alcaza, Nicaraguan director Florence Jaugey's documentation of homeless life in the ruins of an earthquake-wracked movie house, the festival also offers shorts by Brazilian director Joel Pizzini and Mexican director Ximena Cuevas. The preview screening begins at 8 p.m. at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 553-8140.
Reach for the Beach There are helicopters flying around inside Beth Custer's head, but she seems to be coping pretty well. The clarinetist for the Club Foot Orchestra, the eclectic group that has provided popular live scores for the silent film classics Metropolis and Nosferatu and the animated series Felix the Cat, has had plenty of ideas flying around inside her head, certainly, which she's translated into scores for theater and dance groups as well. Since the dissolution of her band Trance Mission, Custer has teamed with Christian Jones, a former hip-hop DJ and multi-instrumentalist, for Eighty Mile Beach, a music and spoken-word collaboration named for a desolate stretch of sand and surf in Western Australia. With their album Inclement Weather, Jones puts a bass line, drums, or hip-hop beats to Custer's sung-poems, which foray into strange new territories where stories about helicopters and hemp hum with tropical birds and didgeridoo, funky jazz licks, and low-slung dance grooves. Spoken word and music from Lilith veterans the Beth Lisick Ordeal open the show at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $10; call 885-5075.
Style Council The over-40 set knows the Stylistics from Philadelphia's '70s soul boom, while the younger crowd at least knows of them from secondhand records, soul compilations, and heavy rotation on the oldies stations. It would be hard not to have heard at least one Stylistics song at least once in one's lifetime; although they were never part of the Motown hit machine, their catalog is crammed with 12 consecutive Top 10 hits, sweetly smooth and mostly benign chart-topping ballads like "I'm Stone in Love With You" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and the enthusiastic "Betcha by Golly Wow." Original lead singers Russell Thompkins Jr., Airrion Love, and Herb Murrell, who've been touring internationally with the Chi-Lites, break out the love songs and the dance routines as the nostalgia brigade descends. They perform two sets at 8 and 10 p.m. (also Friday through Sunday) at Kimball's East, 5800 Shellmound, Emeryville. Admission is $24-26; call (510) 658-2555 ext. 4.
Amy Carter Meets Bigfoot A whole generation of kids who suffered through braces, glasses, geeky relatives, and other adolescent terrors in the late '70s silently commiserated with Amy Carter, the first daughter who had less of a private life than most kids her age, and who arrived at the nation's most prestigious address with less self-assurance than her '90s counterpart, Chelsea. Painter Steven Brown, a frequent contributor to the arts journal Great God Pan, has long been fascinated with Carter because of the parallels in their lives: They were born the same year to Southern parents, and though they never met, they shared a childhood fascination with the cartoon character Snoopy, and later, with cartoonlike musical icons the Butthole Surfers. Both studied children's book illustration, and while Carter went on to be expelled from the Ivy League, Brown went on to paint pictures of Carter, which will be shown publicly with new work by graffiti artist Bigfoot -- he's the one who tags city buildings with giant pictures of Sasquatches, fir trees, and other Pacific Northwest motifs. The show opens with a reception at 7 p.m. at ESP, 305 Valencia (at 14th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 252-8191.
... And All the Children Are Above Average The news from Lake Wobegon -- where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, the Powdermilk biscuits are piping hot, and the modern age has only just begun to collide with Midwestern small-town eccentricity -- comes to Berkeley live for the first time in 13 years with the appearance of Garrison Keillor & the Hopeful Gospel Quartet. Keillor, who began hosting the radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion 24 years ago in a St. Paul, Minn., theater, will provide summer news and stories from the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, which he has further immortalized in 10 books, including his most recent, Wobegon Boy. Between accounts, he'll join bluegrass artist Kate MacKenzie and country-folk musicians Robin and Linda Williams, all frequent Prairie guests, in singing four-square gospel, some folk, a hymn to sweet corn, a dash of R&B, and some Sanctified Brethren standards. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, Berkeley. Admission is $28-40; call (510) 642-9988.