Muse News Two local art centers -- the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum and the Asian Art Museum -- celebrate new digs this week, although the Asian won't be fully moved in until 2002. PALM boasts one of the country's largest collections of arts memorabilia, and now, a new skylit research room and expanded AV facilities. Arts buffs and scholars can tap into a rich vein of old programs, photos, playbills, and press clippings about local performers and international artists who've visited, along with set and costume designs, arts books and magazines, and rare performance videos. PALM's leap from its former Grove Street home to the fourth floor of the War Memorial is a logical one, bringing it closer to the performing arts and giving it more space for its collection, which has doubled in the last decade. It reopens at 1 p.m. today in the War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is free; call 255-4800. Later this week, the Asian Art Museum hosts a community street fair and celebration near its future home, where it will treat guests to free green tea ice cream, Asian folk tales, Chinese brush painting lessons, and Indian mehindi body painting. The White Crane Lion Dance Company and S.F. Youth Taiko will perform at the fair, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Fulton Street Mall, Fulton between Larkin and Hyde, S.F. Admission is free; call 379-8800.
Think Fast What happens when you put a group of well-known improvisers together in a room and let 'em improvise with each other? No one really knows, but the idea of Red Diaper Baby monologuist Josh Kornbluth getting loose with former Margaret Jenkins dancer Nina Wise at the Z Space Festival of Improvisation sounds inviting, as does a battle of wits between Kornbluth and the Serfs, a theatrical music group featuring the S.F. Mime Troupe's Ed Holmes and the Magic Theater's Bob Ernst. Storyteller Joya Cory and violinist Yehudit get in on the action as well. The series features different combinations of performers; it begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 15) at Z Space Studio, 1360 Mission (at 10th Street), S.F. Admission is $15; call 437-6775.
Reach Out and Touch Yourself Besides free love and tough love, romantic and brotherly love, there's self-love. The most frequently practiced and ridiculed of all loves gets its due during National Masturbation Month, beginning tonight with "Teaching Masturbation: Local Luminaries of Sex Education," a screening of educational and erotic video clips, with live commentary from Carol Queen and company. Friday's "Masturbate-a-Thon," a fund-raiser for HIV prevention groups, encourages safe solo sex for a good cause; family and friends make pledges and monitor progress if need be. Call (800) 289-8423 for information and sponsorship forms. Additional events include the "One-Handed Reading" reading (May 20 at New College) and a reprise of the clip show May 22 at Oakland's Parkway Theater. "Teaching Masturbation" runs at 7 and 9 p.m. tonight at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $10; call 974-8980. Meanwhile, the three-day San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Video Festival includes House O'Chicks' Masturbation Memoirs (6 p.m. Friday). Other highlights include the 35mm feature A Gun for Jennifer, a film about stripper revenge, created by actual strippers (8 p.m. Friday); the story behind Boogie Nights in Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes (midnight Friday), and a screening of Annie Sprinkle's Herstory of Porn (4 p.m. Saturday), where donations will be collected to help Sprinkle recover from a recent houseboat fire. The festival opens at 2 p.m. Friday with the video compilation Porn'Im'Agery, a benefit for the Tenderloin Self Help Center at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $7 each show; call 751-1659. A panel discussion and video screening begin at noon Sunday at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia (at 21st Street), S.F. Admission is $10-50; call 751-1659.
Goth Talk In the beginning, before goth's name was by besmirched by trench-coated ghouls, there was Bauhaus and Siouxsie & the Banshees, and it was good. From Bauhaus' seminally spooky "Bela Lugosi's Dead" to Siouxsie's mournful cry in the psychedelia-etched "Israel" and "Cities in Dust," each band's imprint on primitive punk was both eerie and immutable, but there were periodic hints that the good times couldn't last forever (recurring rumors that Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy had OD'd, even during the band's reunion tour last year; Siouxsie playing Lollapalooza, in full makeup, in the daytime), and members of both groups eventually pursued other outlets. Bauhaus' Daniel Ash tinkered with dreamy, druggy pop and seductive club mixes, first in Tones on Tail, then with former Bauhaus bandmate David J in Love and Rockets, who teamed up with KMFDM and deep house duo Deep Dish for remixes of their Resurrection Hex tracks last fall. Some samples in this heavily electronic pastiche echo the old days: Adam Ant's "Kings of the Wild Frontier" and Bauhaus' "Stigmata Martyr." Listen for both when CelloPhane Masses open for Love and Rockets at 8 p.m. at the 7th Note Showclub, 915 Columbus (at Lombard), S.F. Admission is $20; call 522-0333. After the Banshees disbanded in 1995, Siouxsie and husband Budgie hit the road with the Velvet Underground's John Cale, evoking the sinister loveliness of the early albums with concessions to aging rockerdom: pop licks, sitars, VU covers. The Creatures play at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Maritime Hall, 450 Harrison (at First Street), S.F. Admission is $20-22; call 974-0634.
Like a Virgin The last silent film Hollywood ever produced was the 1935 love story Legong: Dance of the Virgins, which director Henri de la Falaise shot on location in Bali with an all-native cast. Bali's beauty, and the rich sound and movement that the film captured there, continues to inspire: The UCLA film archive restored Legong in 1994, and now, Balinese orchestra Gamelan Sekar Jaya and the Club Foot Orchestra have created an eclectic and unprecedented original score to match the film's strong visual appeal. Club Foot has already put new music to silent classics including The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, and Pandora's Box -- many of these old-timey creations debuted at the Castro before playing the rest of the country. The 35-member Gamelan's chiming metallic percussion will be woven with the Club Foot Orchestra's score for winds and strings; both groups will play live, and Balinese dancers will perform onstage after each screening. Legong shows at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. (also Saturday and Sunday) at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro (at Market), S.F. Admission is $12; call 392-4400.
Runnin' With the Devil Could it be ... Satan? Well, yes. "The Devil's Ass! An Evening of Art and Music Inspired by the Dark Lord" shows just what type of work the devil makes for idle hands: Low-self-esteem stickers by Mari Kono, for example, along with People Hater robots and the primal scrawl of black Sharpie on linoleum, as rendered by Chucho. Some of the contributing artists, like Answer Me! illustrator Jim Blanchard, seem just unbalanced enough to have actually communed with the Prince of Darkness, while Muppet creator Jim Henson apparently turned to the light after making his early film Time Piece, which screens tonight. A guest band promises "Black Metal From Hell" under an assumed name at the show, which begins at 8 p.m. at Mission Badlands Gallery, 2811 Mission (at 24th Street), S.F. Admission is $2; call 920-0896.
Roman Holiday The sweaty-palmed terror generated by airplane turbulence or the sudden irrational fear that you could fall (or be pushed) in front of an oncoming BART train fit into the general scheme of Lizz Roman & Dancers' new work Always Falling. Using a 12-foot staircase as a startling set piece, the company finds the vertiginous echoes of brawls that end in long, spiraling tumbles. Dancers jump, fall, rebound, and reappear, chasing a literal balancing act with a fantasy of flight. Kassy Kayiatos' rhythmic spoken word and the ethereal sounds of chamber pop group Amber Asylum buoy the proceedings. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. (and continues through May 15) at Brady Street Dance Center, 60 Brady (at Market), S.F. Admission is $12; call 558-9355.
Luv, American Style The pills and booze and utter degradation that made Hollywood horror shows A Star Is Born and The Valley of the Dolls such a hoot enliven Ann Magnuson's Luv Show, too. To the aspiring starlet-goes-to-hell formula, the former Bongwater chanteuse and performance artist has added film noir and spaghetti western soundtracks, cha-cha songs about sex with the devil, and a nightmarish passage invoking Ethel Merman. This campy, 4-year-old cabaret show (a sequel is in the works) rocks and rolls and dreams and cries over cocktails before it totters offstage in dangerously high heels. A comment on female archetypes, you say? Well, that's Magnuson's forte: She recently went undercover as a bucktoothed, bespectacled frump for Allure magazine, to write an article called "Ugly Like Me" about New York's unforgiving beauty industry. The Luv Show begins at 8 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $15; call 885-0750.
King for a Day Every gal who ever wondered how the other half lives can find out firsthand by entering the fourth annual "DragStrip" S.F. Drag King Contest, a benefit for Pets Are Wonderful Support. Girls who would be boys flocked to last year's competition sporting cowboy hats and paste-on chest hair spilling over stained wife-beater T-shirts; to confuse matters, many of these fellas were draped in lovely ladies, too, not all of whom were born female. Drag King '98 Arty Fishal and a panel of celebrities judge this year's categories -- Rocker Dude, Country Cousin, etc. -- and a talent competition where entrants demonstrate their flair for live and lip-sync performance and manly arts like beer guzzling and fire eating. Fabulous Disaster plays live in drag, and KUSF DJ Jet spins post-show dance sets. The competition begins at 8 p.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. (at Harrison), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 313-3772.
Grace Under Fire A sneak-preview screening of Bernardo Bertolucci's new film Besieged, which opens in June, takes place tonight at a benefit for the exhibits and programs of nonprofit arts organization Southern Exposure. The director, whose long career has been marked by acclaim (The Last Emperor) and controversy (Last Tango in Paris) filmed this moody love story in his native Italy, which he shot so eloquently in his last release, Stealing Beauty. Naked's David Thewlis portrays an English loner who lives in a Roman mansion and idles away his hours playing passionate classical works on the grand piano; Thandie Newton (Beloved) is the African housekeeper who listens to Papa Wemba downstairs and pines for her jailed husband. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas, 1 Embarcadero, S.F. Admission is $15; call 863-2141.
Unh! Hurts So Good! Say you were a part of the new roots music movement known as No Depression, when you startled fans by adding a distorted electric buzz to vintage instruments and countrified songs of the open road. Or, say you were a stocky leather-jacketed singer from Indiana who left frat party gigs behind for New York with a cover of Paul Revere & the Raiders' "Kicks" in your repertoire. Say you later returned to the heartland, physically and metaphorically, and parlayed songs about little pink houses and football players who groped their girlfriends in the back seat into a career. Say you married a model, settled down on a farm, had kids, suffered a heart attack, then gingerly made your way back to performing. Now say that each of you took your version of Americana -- lap steel guitars, harmonicas, sepia-toned videos of married couples -- on a cross-country tour together. You would be Son Volt, opening for John Mellencamp. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Shoreline Amphitheater, 1 Amphitheater Pkwy. (at Rengstorff), Mountain View. Admission is $22.50-45; call (650) 962-1000.