Bring the Beat Back Meat Beat Manifesto's Jack Dangers is among the special guest performers at a celebration of breakbeats and a record release party for Tino's Breaks, featuring mysterious mixmaster Tino -- heard by many, but seen by few. In the new Tino video, produced by Ben Stokes of the multimedia company H-Gun, the "star without a face" appears as G.I. Joe, so that won't really answer anyone's questions. But by the time the show is in full swing -- with Bo Square DJ Mike Powell on turntables and an electronica-techno-hip-hop jam featuring Dangers and other guest musicians, some of whom may also hail from Meat Beat Manifesto -- guests will probably have divined Tino's true identity. Until then ... the show starts at 9 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-5016.
Hits Parade "Touch Me I'm Sick" is the Seattle sound that never quite reached arenas, even though Mudhoney, the 10-year-old band that wrote that most blistering of post-punk anthems, had a hand in nearly every project that exploded the city's music scene. That was singer Mark Arm snarling "Everybody loves us/ Everybody's gettin' kinda old" for the soundtrack to Singles, in which the group good-naturedly let itself be parodied as Citizen Dick, a grunge band led by Matt Dillon (the ignominy!). That was Mudhoney rocking with the crackling amps in Seattle music documentary Hype! while San Diego transplant Eddie Vedder whined about out-of-towners ruining his local scene. Those were Mudhoney members scattered through bands that didn't quite make commercial radio, despite loyal followings: the Fastbacks, Monkeywrench, the Screaming Trees, Thee Headcoats. A decade after their first album yielded the dirgy ballad "When Tomorrow Hits," Mudhoney has released Tomorrow Hit Today, with Replacements producer Jim Dickinson at the controls. Though it's not as raw as previous efforts, Arm's unholy howl echoes through "Poisoned Water," and the band's self-effacing sarcasm emerges in the slide guitar-driven barroom blues of "Try to Be Kind." Kent 3, followed by the Urinals, open the show at 8 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F. Admission is $12; call 474-0365.
Wings of Desire French choreographer Anjelin Preljocaj approaches the meeting between the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel with one simple but significant question: What if Mary didn't want to be the mother of God? Instead of serene acceptance, as typically rendered in classic art, what if she were terrified? With Annonciation, Preljocaj repaints the scene with the angel as a seductive authority figure who leans into the frightened virgin, then spirits her away to an overwhelming destiny, set against the awful rattling crunch of heavy machinery. When Ballet Preljocaj makes its long-awaited local stop, Preljocaj offers his take on two ballet classics as well: Fokine's Le Spectre de la Rose and the Nijinska/Stravinsky piece Les Noces, retitled Noces. The original Spectre portrays a girl's dream of a rose that transforms into a handsome stranger, but where most danseurs waltz the girl around her bedroom after magically hovering outside her window, this revision finds the specter of fear lingering over the characters' fiercely physical interaction. Danger also creeps into Noces, as the original Eastern European bridal suite of dances (staged by Nijinska revivalists like Oakland Ballet) is transformed into a dark comment on wedding tradition with a series of breathtaking, often violent duets (flying leaps off benches, roughneck partnering) between men, women, and rag dolls in wedding gowns. The show starts at 8 p.m. (also 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $18-28; call 392-4400.
Doin' It for the Kids Who are El Destroyo? Proud wearers of Japanese schoolboy outfits and purveyors of the Jonathan Richman/Leonard Cohen/Elvis Costello pop tradition, as legend has it. They're also 4 Non-Blondes guitarist Roger Rocha, Sister Double Happiness guitarist Ben Cohen, and Plastic Ono Band drummer Shig-33, among others. They'll replace a temporarily sidelined Jello Biafra in the headlining slot at a benefit for the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics Youth Outreach Program, where they will join forces with the Lawn Vultures and Princess Special (featuring the raging women of Bimbo Toolshed and Stone Fox). Audience members can win skateboards and CDs in a raffle at the show, which begins at 9 p.m. at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas), S.F. Admission is $8; call 621-4455.
Focus on the Family We've all complained about our crazy kinfolk, but the average family will seem sane compared to the units in Titanic, staged by In the Fridge ... Productions, and Raised in Captivity, staged by the ACT Master of Fine Arts Program. The former isn't James "I'm King of the World" Cameron's Titanic or The Chambermaid on the Titanic: It's a farce by Christopher Durang, who specializes in satiric lunacy, as his comedy of neuroses Beyond Therapy proves. This ship plays host to bad parents, adulterous affairs, the ghost of Nietzsche, and kids who keep hedgehogs in unlikely places. It opens at 8 p.m. (and runs through Oct. 18) at the Next Stage, 1668 Bush (at Gough), S.F. Admission is $12-15; call 641-5247. Nicky Silver's Raised in Captivity, meanwhile, is an absurdist tragicomedy about estranged twins Sebastian and Bernadette Bliss, whose reunion at a funeral sparks a confrontation among Sebastian's unbalanced analyst, Bernadette's teeth-phobic dentist husband, Sebastian's convicted felon pen pal, and the ghost of their abusive mother. It previews at 8:30 p.m. (and runs through Oct. 17) at the Magic Theater, Building D, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $8-10; call 749-2ACT.