House Of Tudor

Fortune Cookie Compilations, "Stinky's Peep Show," Artists Ball, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Sergio and Odair Assad

"The music scene here is really dying, man." My father said it, his father said it, and, if he'd had the time, his father would have said it. Ignore the doomsday criers and pick up the first of what I hope will be many Fortune Cookie Compilations. Put together by former Paradise Lounge moguls Toni Isabella and Jim Greer, this insightful confection includes, among others, Etienne de Rocher, Deadweight, Gun & Doll Show, Sixkiller, Eric McFadden, 20 Minute Loop, Amber Slam, Ian Brennan, Small Wonder, Bart Davenport, and John Vanderslice. All those artists and more will be performing on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at Bottom of the Hill at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and include Chinese food and fortune cookies; call 621-4455.

With "Stinky's Peep Show" celebrating its third anniversary, we decided to interview the man behind the trench coat, Mr. Stinky himself, but being a somewhat nefarious character with outstanding warrants in several states, Stinky would only agree to an interview with Big Butts Magazineconducted through the mail. So, in keeping with Stinky's preferred literary form, we offer Stinky Stats. Age: old enough to do some damage. Birthplace: my dear, departed momma. Height: 5 feet 1 inch. Weight: depends on the trench coat. Hair: mostly. Eye Color: Dickle. Bust, Waist, and Hips: bring it on! Turn-Ons: big butts, big titties, and cauliflower. Turn-Offs: bones, politics, and dirty nails. Dream Date: $1.50 beer-and-a-shot happy hour, followed by a messy peep show and an early morning hand job. Preferred Sexual Position: I'd have to demonstrate. Ambition: to have a large-and-lovely-girl empire. Tonight's peep show is tentatively titled Stinky: The Formative Years. The Dickies, the Idiots, and Three Years Down will play on Thursday, Jan. 27, at the CW Saloon at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 974-1585.

Salerno-Sonnenberg with Sergio and Odair Assad.
Marina Chavez
Salerno-Sonnenberg with Sergio and Odair Assad.

What's more fun than doing the frug after consuming a bellyful of booze? Watching political columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross do the frug after consuming a bellyful of booze. At this year's Artists Ball, not only do you get to rub elbows with the city's upper crust, you get to watch them make fools of themselves. Community personalities like Supervisor Gavin Newsom, socialites George and Charlotte Shultz, and television's Jan Yanehiro and hubby Robert Eves have agreed to take part in a '60s-style dance contest judged by celebrities, including Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins. As added enticement, Michael Franti will perform with Spearhead, and DJ Polywog will be laying down some swank, moddish beats. Of course it's expensive, but there's art, liquor, buffets, and the ticket price is tax-deductible. The Artists Ball will be held on Friday, Jan. 29, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $250 with sit-down dinner, $75 with buffet; call 978-ARTS.

"It takes a lot of guts to be happy," says virtuoso violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, walking down a wintry road only a short time after she put a loaded gun to her head and pulled the trigger. It is one of many moments that linger on a tender psyche during Speaking in Strings, the documentary about Salerno-Sonnenberg recently short-listed for an Academy Award nomination. If director and lifelong friend Paola di Florio had had the money to finish Speakingin the year she began it, our impression of the "bad girl of violin" might be just that: a hard-talking, hard-headed New Jersey tough with a heavenly gift. As it is, we meet an outsider from Rome with a childhood passion for opera whose talent becomes isolating and whose instrument becomes redeeming. One can certainly hear the hard-bought possession of Salerno-Sonnenberg playing on the soundtrack of Speaking, but it's equally important to see Salerno-Sonnenberg play. Her feet pound, her back arches, her guts wrench, her face becomes wracked with the emotion of every note, and tears threaten to spill down her cheeks. It's a delight to hear her now performing with Brazilian guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad on their collaborative self-titled album. Inspired by the widespread music of the Gypsies, Sergio Assad included a traditional Andalusian song attributed to Garcia Lorca, in addition to the well-known Russian "Dark Eyes," Django Reinhardt's "Nuages," and original compositions that offset traditional Romany rhythms with the virtuosity of the individual players. Classical purists may balk at Salerno-Sonnenberg's involvement, and the subsequent "club tour," but she sounds inspired, and at home. Salerno-Sonnenberg performs with Sergio and Odair Assad on Monday, Jan. 31, at Bimbo's 365 Club at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18; call 474-0365.

-- Silke Tudor

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