Skid Marks on My Heart It's purely coincidence that country crooner Neko Case shares a birthday (Sept. 8) and birthplace (Virginia) with the late Patsy Cline, but Case's similarly heart-sore delivery and vintage arrangements are an intentional divergence from new country. The child of nomadic parents, Case straddled the Canadian-American border for years, drumming with Vancouver punk trio Maow before assembling a cast of Canadian indie musicians including former Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet guitarist Brian Connelly and Softies singer Rose Melberg for boy-girl alternative country combo Neko Case & Her Boyfriends. Between the lonesome and lusty originals on their debut album, The Virginian, the band covers "Honky Tonk Hiccups" without irony, and puts a boogie-woogie spin on the Everly Brothers' "Bowling Green." Add 'em to a bill with the fried chicken-hucking, limbo-dancing punk hillbillies Southern Culture on the Skids, and let the hoedown begin. The Crosstops open at 8:30 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $12; call 255-0333.
Campaign Trail Ron Taylor's firsthand knowledge of homelessness began when he suffered a severe injury and lost his truck-driving job, then his family. Taylor lived on the streets of Santa Monica until he was able to find work and shelter; when the city started cracking down on homelessness, the newly minted advocate ran for a city council seat despite the fact that he was still essentially broke. In the 75-minute documentary Taylor's Campaign, filmmaker Richard Cohen weaves Taylor's run with a personalized portrait of homelessness, following people through days of bottle collecting, dumpster diving, and hassles with police rousters and shelter waiting lists. Santa Monica's scenic beaches and upscale malls provide a stark contrast to makeshift homeless encampments, and interviews with solvent social Darwinists (sample: "If people can't support themselves, maybe they shouldn't exist") border on alarming. This sorry situation will certainly look familiar to local viewers, although there are moments of comedy and genuine decency in the video, which Martin Sheen narrates. It screens at 7 p.m. at the Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero (at Brannan), S.F. Admission is $7; call 552-FILM.
On the Mark Beastie Boys keyboardist Money Mark is used to going it alone -- the quirky selection of grooves on his full-length solo album Mark's Keyboard Repair picks up where the Ill Communication brothers left off -- but with his more recent Mo' Wax release Push the Button, Mark does more than just noodle around. Push the Button is a weirdly endearing collection of musically far-flung tunes that rely as much on acoustic guitars as samples, from the Sprockets-like parody of drum 'n' bass in the title track to the loopy, sing-along sweetness of the pure pop ode "Too Like You." The fourth Beastie, as he is sometimes known, takes advantage of his connections with "Hand in Your Head," a hustle-worthy number featuring guest appearances by Sean Lennon and Jon Spencer drummer Russell Simins (see Saturday). Mark plays with Japanese electronica trio Buffalo Daughter, the sometime Dust Brothers collaborators and Grand Royal family members who have a penchant for American pop culture detritus (listen for commercial samples) and a talent for tweaking English, as evidenced by their album Socks, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. The show begins at 9 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F. Admission is $15; call 474-3606. (Money Mark and Buffalo Daughter will also play in-store sets at Amoeba Records on Haight Street; see Club Listings, Page 54, for details.)
Up, Up, and Away! Try not to look surprised if a businessman in the next phone booth over re-emerges in tights and a cape; he's probably just one of the superheroes participating in the Community Spacewalk, a 24-hour South of Market happening. In fact, anyone who ever harbored superhero aspirations is invited to join in this "living comic book"; a superhero soap opera will unfold into the wee hours and comic book imagery will be displayed across the walls of San Francisco buildings. Over 300 artists and performers (including the usual Burning Man and Cacophony Society suspects) will be making art and prankstering around in colorfully outre processions; local businesses have created and will display art along the course. Walkers armed with maps will make their way through an urban maze of attractions, becoming part of the soap opera and encountering as they go the Silent Radiowave Rave (dancers can only hear the music over their own personal headsets) and the 3 A.M. Tip-Toe Procession, a very quiet gaggle of clowns, stilt-walkers, and flag-wavers. It begins at noon (and concludes at noon Saturday with the Roving Stone Soup Reception) in South Park (Third Street between Brannan and Bryant) and occurs throughout SOMA, from Mission Bay to Market and from First Street to Sixth Street, S.F. Admission is free; call 677-3261.
Blues Explosion! Don't take it personally when Jon Spencer instructs you to "throw your hands up in the air and ... kiss my ass, because your girlfriend still loves me," even though your girlfriend does, and there's nothing you can do about it. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is the devil's music, as promulgated by Elvis, James Brown (see following item), and the Cramps' Lux Interior: It inspires twitching hips and inappropriate touching. It goes well with drinking and smoking and taking the Lord's name in vain. Spencer, the former frontman of Pussy Galore (and a regular family man, incidentally), gets away with this and hoary rock cliches like city shout-outs and repeated exclamations of "Blues Explosion!" because he, drummer Russell Simins, and guitarist Judah Bauer are good at shaking down old-fashioned Delta blues with punk abandon and funk's nastiest grooves. They've enlisted assistance from talented friends, too, including Beck, old-school bluesman R.L. Burnside, and Andre Williams, who produced their new album, Acme. London Moog synthesizer specialists Add N to X open the show at 9 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F. Admission is $15; call 775-7722.