Night & Day

Wednesday
May 26
Trouble in Mind Never say Mike Johnson doesn't have a sense of humor. Following the breakup of his marriage to Juned bassist Leslie Hardy, the dissolution of his musical partnership with Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis, and the abrupt end to his dealings with TAG (the label that released Year of Mondays), Johnson resurfaced with I Feel Alright, a collection of mostly melancholy ballads and a cover photo of some poor sap slumped face-down in front of a Budweiser. Johnson's otherwise compelling set last January at Noe Valley Ministry was beset by technical problems -- but somehow, adversity seems to work in his favor. Minus the egomaniacal Mascis, Johnson's talents as a first-rate crooner emerge: Like his Screaming Trees pal and frequent musical collaborator Mark Lanegan, Johnson's guitar work is lush and echoey, his husky baritone elegantly careworn, suggesting his admiration for Leonard Cohen (whose "Leaving Greensleeves" he covers here). Johnson shares a bill with former Hazel singer/guitarist Pete Krebs, who opens at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Amoeba Records, 1855 Haight (at Stanyan), S.F. Admission is free; call 831-1200. They'll play again at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $6; call 647-2877.

Thursday
May 27
Spin Cycle The intricate dance of bike messengers through downtown traffic requires the same sort of agility and timing, balance and speed, that propel the average dance piece. OnSite Dance Company choreographers Paul Benney and Jessica Lutes made that inevitable connection and have included actual bike messengers, and bikes, in the world premiere of their piece Freewheel. OnSite's MO is to stage athletic site-specific work, be it a roving tour of the "dance factory" that is ODC Theater or an alfresco performance in a parking lot. In this new hourlong work, they've transformed Yerba Buena into a velodrome in which the company -- along with messengers, kids, and a security guard -- will encircle the audience in an exploration of the two-wheeled lifestyle. The show begins at 8 p.m. (and continues Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10 p.m.) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $13-15; call 978-ARTS.

Ewan, We Hardly Knew Ye Those krazy Klubstitute kids like to celebrate Valentine's Day with their "Whack an Ex" dummy, and prom season with boys in ball gowns, so naturally they've decided to salute a culturally and commercially momentous event like The Phantom Menace with a theme party called "Star Whores!" Alien makeovers in the Hi-Lite Zone and the Gay'lien Costume Contest put a gay spin on outer space; expect a few too many lightsaber jokes between the Area 69 probe and performances by the cast of Cyberotica! DJs Mars Galaxy and Quest/Vision send guests into orbit beginning at 10 p.m. at the Stud, Ninth Street & Harrison, S.F. Admission is free-$3.98; call 331-1500.

To the Moon! The antidote to hyped-up, watered-down, prepackaged, overproduced, and just plain wimpy rock finally arrives in the form of Portland trio Dead Moon. Husband-and-wife team Fred and Toody Cole have been playing garage rock the DIY way since 1964 (remember the Lollipop Shoppe's "You Must Be a Witch"? That was Fred). They record their albums in mono -- with the same Presto lathe used to cut the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" -- and use no effects other than a powerful amplified buzz, a head-bobbing backbeat, and a piercing wail, especially in the band's de facto theme song "54-40 or Fight." Together with drummer Andrew Loomis, they command a modest but fiercely loyal American following and a larger, more vociferous European contingent (the fact that they're big in Europe actually won them special mention in the New York Times Magazine). 440 Sixpack and Lost Goat offer support beginning at 9:30 p.m. at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas), S.F. Admission is $7; call 621-4455.

Friday
May 28
Who's Your Daddy? Neanderthal Man seems more inclined to frequent Johnny Love's than one of our city's many fine museums, but he'll most certainly be hanging around "Missing Links Alive!," along with Cro-Magnon Man and many of their sloping-foreheaded brethren. Trace human evolution over the last 4 million years or so at this touring exhibit, which pairs scientific findings (compiled by some of the world's top paleontologists and anthropologists) with interactive displays and massive dioramas populated by moving and speaking Homo erectus and his predecessors. Art and artifacts from the Czech Moravian Museum, including the ancient Dolni Vestonice Venus sculpture, will also be shown. By way of introduction, paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey (daughter-in-law of Louis and Mary) discusses fossil findings in Kenya and the evolution of apes in the lecture "The Search for Our Earliest Ancestors," which begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the California Academy of Science's Morrison Auditorium, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 750-7097. "Missing Links Alive!" opens at 10 a.m. Saturday (and runs through Sept. 6) at the CAS. Admission is free-$8.50; call 750-7145.

Saturday
May 29
The Lullaby of Broadway Like a live sampler of Broadway's best, the American Broadway Music Festival offers songs that are too rarely played without a Broadway musical behind them or a dance floor in front of them. A Duke Ellington centennial showcase with MoodSwing Orchestra and a live lindy hop demonstration open the monthlong series tonight; from there, fluegelhornist Dmitri Matheny leads a 17-piece big band through chestnuts from Gershwin, Ellington, and Count Basie (June 5); East Bay jazz musicians including Faith Winthrop and Ann Dyer run through "Night and Day," "From This Moment," and other hits from the Cole Porter catalog (June 12); and selections from Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King and I, and other Broadway standards spotlight the musical genius of Richard Rodgers and his lyric collaborators Hart and Hammerstein (June 25-26). The Ellington show begins at 8 p.m. at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College (at Derby), Berkeley. Admission is $10-20; call (510) 883-7018 for a complete schedule of events.

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