Khan Man Bluesman Paul Pena first heard Tuvan throat-singing after he tuned into Radio Moscow on shortwave. He spent the next nine years researching and teaching himself the style, which creates the otherworldly sound of several tones generated by a single voice. In 1993, he surprised visiting Tuvan artists by serenading them with a traditional Tuvan number. Their surprise gave way to admiration, and eventually, Pena traveled to the remote central Asian locale to visit his new friends and compete in a throat-singing contest. The documentary Genghis Blues captures the personal, professional, and considerable geographic leap as a blind American musician goes from gigging with B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt to hanging out with throat-singing master Kongar-ool Ondar in a place where residents claim descendancy from Genghis Khan. The sneak preview of Genghis Blues screens at 8 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $6-7; call 978-ARTS.
Chat Room Computer jockeys and Web surfers will be leaving the sickly pale glow of the monitor behind tonight and interfacing with real live people at Geekapalooza 1.0, a party for Internet professionals thrown by the San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and East Bay chapters of the Association of Internet Professionals. Besides obvious networking opportunities and the chance to put faces with e-mail addresses and Web sites, the party offers a sneak preview trailer of Girl Geeks? The Female Side of Computing: A Multimedia Documentary, featuring interviews with some of the best-known women in the industry talking about the correlation between women's and geeks' issues. The Venusians, dubbed "the champions of the Jetsonian Set," add to the space-age ambience with live sets mixing jazz, funk, and rock with electronica, ska, and world music. Prize drawing participants could win high-end geekware (people who know what a 3Com Palm Pilot 3 is should be very excited) and Geekapalooza T-shirts. The party begins at 7 p.m. at the Transmission Theater, 314 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 642-5795.
Fringe Element Lunacy reigns at the Fringe Festival, the annual monthlong performance event where viewers race from one venue to the next, soaking up as much experimental performance from international companies as they can. At the 1998 "Fringe Benefit Party," a fund-raiser for this year's festival, the addition of make-your-own wine has upped the lunacy factor. The Wine Brats will be pouring wines outside the fund-raiser mainstream, including pinotage and viognier, and setting up an educational table on the art of blending, where guests can mix barrel samples from several grape varieties to make their own style of wine in the glass. The rest of the evening will be spent trotting through a series of theatrical stations, watching performances by mask artist Nina Barlow and toothsome musical duo the Whistleaires. When the actual Fringe Festival gets under way next month, viewers can look forward to the antics of the Troubadour Theater Company in the bawdy, gender-bending musical Butt Pirates of the Caribbean, along with local sketch comedy group Killing My Lobster, Linda Brokenshire's one-woman clown show about the motivational industry, and a dozen others. The party begins at 7 p.m. at the Exit Theater, 156 Eddy (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $15; call 673-3847.
Adulto Entertainment Outside Europe, Nobel laureate Dario Fo doesn't get much play, except in the Bay Area, where in 1979, the S.F. Mime Troupe distinguished itself as one of the first American companies to stage We Can't Pay! We Won't Pay!, a theatrical satire Fo wrote with his wife and creative partner, actress Franca Rame. The Italian anti-capitalist's comic treatment of social institutions and class goes over well here, and the city has staged several other Fo/Frame productions since, including this spring's "Fo Fest," a weekendlong celebration with plays, film, and symposia. The international love affair continues with Orgasmo Adulto Escapes From the Zoo, a one-woman Fo/Frame show that has arrived after a healthy Southern California run. Italian-born actress Francesca Fanti plays four different women in the show, which dissects man's inhumanity to woman in four swift strikes, as an impoverished factory worker juggles the demands of a hot-tempered husband and a newborn, an institutionalized prostitute recounts poverty and abuse, a housewife is driven mad by her brother-in-law's obscene phone calls, and a profanity-spewing doll liberates her owner. The show opens at 8:30 p.m. (and continues through Sept. 20) at the Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $8-15; call 826-5750.
Sight Lines To poke fun at the mostly macho notion of action painting, artist Laurie Long will strap on her "Live Action Painting Bra" at the fourth annual group show "The More You See" and squirt colored ink from strategically placed jets onto her canvas. Six locals are participating in the exhibit, which is open to emerging artists in all media: This particular crop invites a double take on the work that inspired the show, as well as the work itself. Besides Long, "The More You See" spotlights Reanne Estrada's "soap drawings," a creative commentary on cleanliness that deliberately sullies a bar of Ivory soap by wrapping long, thick strands of hair around it in intricate, and obsessive, patterns. Photographer Maizie Gilbert freezes fleeting gestures and expressions, and the writer/artist collective South to the Future raise questions about technology, culture, and politics with Virtual Tomagutchi, a 6-foot-high interactive installation that's part arcade game and part dialogue instigator. (It's named for those bleeping, omnipresent digital toy pets.) The show opens with a reception at 6 p.m. at Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-2141.