It's not like the San Francisco Symphony needed Metallica to prove they were hip: Rock stars have always played their block party benefit, the Black & White Ball, and this year is no exception. They may not have gotten Elvis Costello, who had a previous engagement with the touring Fleadh Festival, but they got Todd Rundgren! They got Jefferson Starship, too, and the Isley Brothers, along with geriatric rock 'n' roll rebel Jerry Lee Lewis & His Killer Band. More than 50 groups will be playing on 12 stages around Civic Center, so if dancing in the street to Motown hit-maker Martha Reeves & the Vandellas doesn't sound appeal-ing, there's always George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars, or the symphony itself. The kids will go for ska band Hepcat and swingin' honky-tonk from Wayne "The Train" Hancock; that is, kids who can shell out $125 for a ticket. The ball begins Saturday at 9 p.m. around Civic Center at City Hall, the Performing Arts Center, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and the California State Building, Van Ness & Larkin, S.F. Admission is $165 ($125 for guests aged 21-30); call 864-6000.
"New Wave City" 's annual Black and Black Ball, which has offered a cheap alternative to the symphony shindig ever since new wave was actually popular, is less glamorous, more glam. Romeo Void's Debora Iyall plays mistress of ceremonies and guest DJ, spinning '60s and '80s hits that just might include her own "Never Say Never." No couturier gowns or penguin suits here, just black and more gothic black, from the pointy tips of your witch shoes to the sorrowful drape of your black lace veil (NaNa and Lip Service offer style tips in the ball's first-ever fashion show). The Black and Black begins Saturday at 9 p.m. at King Street Garage, 174 King (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 675-