It's a Snap In typical kid fashion, Edwin Land's young daughter wanted instant gratification, and she wanted it now. On a family vacation to New Mexico in 1944, Land the younger asked her dad why she couldn't see the picture he had just taken right away. She got her wish -- since her dad happened to be a scientist who could calculate the chemical process and equipment that one-step photography would require. Three years later, Land, now known as the founder of the Polaroid Corp., introduced instant sepia film to the world. Obviously, Land's invention revolutionized photography for tourists and drunken partygoers, but the company collaborated with established and emerging artists, too, exchanging film and cameras for fine art prints demonstrating the Polaroid range. Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, and Robert Mapplethorpe are among the artists whose work will be displayed in the group show "Innovation/Imagination: 50 Years of Polaroid Photography 1947-1997," which opens at 11 a.m. (and runs through July 18) at the Ansel Adams Center for Photography, 250 Fourth St. (at Howard), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 495-7000.
What the World Needs Now ... is a 71st birthday bash honoring the man who gave the world "Walk on By," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Always Something There to Remind Me," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," "What's New Pussycat?," and the theme from The Blob, just to name a few of his many hits. The 10-piece band Casino Royale, named for one of those hits, does the honors at the "Back-to-Back Burt Bacharach Birthday Bash." With an all-Bacharach set, they add their names to a long list of musicians who've already admired the prolific songwriter's knack for pop hooks, including people whose careers were boosted immeasurably by it (Dionne Warwick comes to mind; so does Elvis Costello). Guests sign a giant birthday card and join in the trivia contest beginning at 9 p.m. at the Hi-Ball Lounge, 473 Broadway (at Kearny), S.F. Admission is $8; call 397-9464.
Six Degrees of Tinky Winky What gives a fundamentalist Christian apoplexy faster: people licking substances off seminude performance artist Karen Finley, or a band of Internet renegades singing about cyberporn? This would be the week to find out, if we could just lure one to Shut Up and Love Me! and Cyberotica! Subtitled "A Low-Tech Rock Musical About a High-Tech World," Cyberotica! celebrates the sexual shenanigans and religious fanaticism that chat rooms inspire. The story is propelled by an all-American single searching for love online, sort of like a mean modern revision of Beach Blanket Babylon; the gender-bent cast includes members of Enrique and the Sick and Twisted Players, as well as Leigh Crow (aka Elvis Herselvis) as a heterosexual agoraphobic exhibitionist cross-dresser who posts self-portraits online. Look for the Teletubby at the show, which begins at 9 p.m. (and runs Thursday nights through July 29) at the Transmission Theater, 314 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-6906. Finley brings us an update on the spoken-word cabaret show that earned her a place among the NEA Four, dishing dirt about her experiences with Jesse Helms and Orrin Hatch, and inviting viewers to give her a tongue bath throughout the night. The show, a benefit for this summer's Celebrating Women Festival, opens Friday at 8 p.m. (and runs through Sunday) at the New Conservatory Theater Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), S.F. Admission is $25; call 861-8972.
Let 'Er Rip When former Didjits frontman Rick Sims sings "Brainwasher" with his new project the Gaza Strippers, you can bet the washing's being done with a kerosene-soaked sponge. This is the same Sims who utterly destroyed Devo's "Mr. DNA" and married high camp to wrestling with "Full Nelson Reilly." In his undertaker's suit and colored spectacles, Sims doesn't really seem nuts until he leans into a mike stand and lets loose a high-pitched yelp and a flurry of glam-punk hooks that unfailingly unhinge everyone around him. The mantra of "Short, fast, loud, and catchy" that served him well in both the Didjits and the Supersuckers (with whom he guested for a time) guides the Strippers' Laced Candy, a sloppy but entertaining trip through dive bars, gun shows, and other cheap rock thrills. Loaded, Phoenix Thunderstone, and Custom-Made Scare open for the Gaza Strippers at 9 p.m. at the CW Saloon, 917 Folsom (at Fifth Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 974-1585.
Go East, Young Man The crash of cymbals will herald the arrival of the Kei Lun Martial Arts Chinese lion dancers and mark the beginning of the two-day public concert "Made in San Francisco: An Asian Pacific Heritage Month Celebration at City Hall," which kicks off at 10:30 a.m. today. Hanmadung: Korean Youth Cultural Center Drumming Group is part of Saturday's wildly divergent lineup, which begins at 1 p.m. and includes the 30-member California Chinese Orchestra, poet Genny Lim, hip-hop DJ Vinroc (a two-time International Turntablist Federation champion), and the Asian American Jazz Orchestra performing Duke Ellington's "Far East Suite." Both concerts will be held at City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (between Fulton and McAllister), S.F. Admission is free; call 221-2608.