Don't Quit Your Day Job

Best-selling authors moonlight as rock stars

THURS 4/24

Anyone who thinks rock 'n' roll is no longer dangerous must never have witnessed the Rock Bottom Remainders. That rare privilege is available tonight at the hallowed Fillmore Auditorium, which has hosted so many distinguished rockers over the years that it can be forgiven for booking these people on a school night.The band is composed of best-selling authors, including Amy Tan, Roy Blount Jr., James McBride, Scott Turow, and Dave Barry, who put their collective enterprise in perspective by explaining it this way: "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels."

"We're pretty terrible," adds Kathi Kamen Goldmark, who founded the group in 1991 when her job as a San Francisco media escort introduced her to writers who admired her tape collection.

So why see the Remainders? Because the show benefits America Scores, an after-school program for inner-city kids. And because Goldmark appreciates the unique receptiveness of San Francisco audiences: "We like it when there's a seven-cocktail minimum." The concert also features Roger McGuinn of the Byrds; doors open at 8:30 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F. Call 346-6000 or visit www.rockbottomremainders.com. -- Jonathan Kiefer

Ten and Counting

FRI-SUN 4/25-27

A 10-year-old hound is considered mature in dog years, but when referring to the age of a dance company, 10 is ancient. Given that, Scott Wells should be ready to hang up his dancing shoes right about now, but the local choreographer shows no signs of slowing down. For the past decade, Wells and his band of sure-footed hoofers, Scott Wells & Dancers, have knocked audiences out with their brand of high-powered athleticism and accessible works based on sports like skateboarding, wrestling, and boxing. An evening of old and new dances, "at 848," commemorates the troupe's 10th anniversary with the return of classic pieces and two premieres. Shows start at 8:30 p.m. at 848 Community Space, 848 Divisadero (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is free-$15; call 931-8648 or visit www.848.com. -- Lisa Hom

Vic Chesnutt's Comic Observations

TUES-WED 4/29-30

The first song on Vic Chesnutt's new album, Silver Lake, is "Zippy Morocco," a long, sad story about a lost boy. It's like his other songs: narrative, bitter, lyrical country-folk featuring that wavering, scratchy, inimitable voice. But it serves to remind us that Zippy the Pinhead and Chesnutt each do something complex within a simple medium -- the comic-strip character and the singer/songwriter use the power of observation to shake us and entertain us simultaneously. M. Ward opens for Chesnutt at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $15; call 621-4455. -- Hiya Swanhuyser

 
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