Surround Sound The electro-acoustic collective Aural Fixation kicks off the Lab's midsummer night performance series "Sound and Vision" with the experimental AV show "Sonic Voyagers: Women at the Helm." This all-female crew of singers, sound engineers, producers, musicians, and filmmakers tickles your neurotransmitters with a blend of live instrumentation, MIDI, vocals, prerecorded mixes, video, and film projection broadcast in a specially designed quadraphonic environment. It's the first of four challenging productions: After this one, look for Radiosonde/Scott Arford, Death Squad, and Test (image montage and acts of self-mutilation, June 25); the "Midsummer Grit" benefit with the Cyberbuss gang and the Space Cowgirls (June 26); and the Knittles' rock opera Helen: The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships (July 2). "Sonic" begins at 9:30 p.m. at the Lab, 2948 16th St. (at Capp), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 864-8855.
It Hadda Be You There are echoes of Jimmy Scott's experience in the story of boogie-woogie pianist and torch singer Hadda Brooks. Like Scott, a jazz singer whose career saw its share of heartbreak and professional obscurity before a new generation of singers publicly rediscovered him, Brooks, who serenaded Bogart in The Lonely Place four decades ago, was hauled out of retirement in her senior years and is now wowing hip kids at the Viper Room. And like Scott, who recently put out an album of standards and covers from the youthful likes of Sinead O'Connor, Brooks has released the new double CD I've Got News for You, which finds contributions from Bessie Smith -- the sly "Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl" -- as well as the Geraldine Fibbers' Carla Bozulich. The octogenarian Brooks brings a lifetime of lost love and hard work into her music, which is raucous one minute and utterly lovely the next. She performs at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. at Biscuits & Blues, 401 Mason (at Geary), S.F. Admission is $15; call 292-BLUE.
Sprinkle System Real Astrology columnist Rob Brezsny, fetish diva Midori, Fat Chance BellyDance, and porn star Nina Hartley will demonstrate their special talents at the "Annie Sprinkle Fire Show," a benefit for the Post-Porn Modernist author and performance artist who lost her houseboat and her pets in a fire while she was showing her cervix to the folks in Washington state. Partygoers can bid on goods at a silent auction or play carnival games between theater acts at the event, which begins at 3 p.m. at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $20; call 392-4400.
Garden Parties Berlin's Inchtabokatables will be interrupting today's lunch with a musical mishmash of electronic-medieval-punk music for strings; tomorrow it's Filipino kulintang music, followed on Wednesday by classical Indian music and dance, and so on. Thank your local consulates, which host Spirit of Music: International Music Week this Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission & Third Street, S.F. Admission is free; call 978-ARTS. Later tonight, Yerba Buena's Forum hosts the National Ensemble Theater Festival, where A Traveling Jewish Theater represents the city among groups including the Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble in Patchworks: Life and Legends of the Coal Towns and the Irondale Ensemble Project in You Can't Win: Memoirs of an Outlaw in the American West. The show starts at 6 p.m. (also Tuesday) and admission is $15-30; call 399-1809.
Full Monty Someone was bound to adapt "I Shot the Sheriff" as a jazz ballad sooner or later, and that someone turned out to be Kingston-born pianist Monty Alexander. In fact, Alexander extends the jazz treatment to Marley standards "No Woman No Cry" and even "Jammin'" with his Telarc tribute record Stir It Up: The Music of Bob Marley. Though revolutionary roots music as supper-club fare has major cringe potential, Alexander's tenure with Jimmy Cliff and an ear for the reggae and calypso idioms of his native Jamaica are points in his favor. Stir It Up is actually kind of a musical homecoming for Alexander, whose storied jazz career included playing time with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins, as well as contributions to the Charlie Parker biopic Bird. Alexander plays at 8 and 10 p.m. (also Tuesday through Thursday) at Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero, Oakland. Admission is $18; call (510) 238-9200.
Zydeco a Go-Go An unwritten local law somewhere dictates that summer solstice rituals must include Goddess invocations, incense offerings, and grit in the eyes at an Ocean Beach bonfire, but laws were meant to broken. Spend the longest day of the year tucking into a bowl of jambalaya on the patio or whirling around a spacious dance floor at Cafe Cocomo's "Summer Solstice Dance Party." Gourmet Cajun and Indian dishes will be served, and Dana DiSimone will be giving partnered dance lessons. After that, Tom Rigney & Flambeau play live to celebrate their new CD, Red Boots and Rice, a collection of swampy zydeco tracks, Celtic reels, and Cajun two-steppers shot through with Gypsy melodies. The party begins at 8 p.m. at Cafe Cocomo, 650 Indiana (at Mariposa), S.F. Admission is $8; call 641-4858.