This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Brits aren't exactly known for their lusty sexuality or their culinary prowess, but celebrity chef and sex symbol Nigella Lawsonisn't lacking in either department. The "domestic goddess" is easy on the eyes, but, more important, she's not stingy with the butter and cream. (Her motto is "to achieve maximum pleasure through minimum effort.") With three best-selling cookbooks (How to Eat, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, and Nigella Bites), a cooking show on the Style Network, and a biweekly column for the New York Times, Lawson could be compared to Martha Stewart. She's certainly got the right pedigree -- she's the daughter of British Conservative Party politician Nigel Lawson -- but she's no ice princess: Her cookbooks include instructions on how to make such plebeian goodies as Elvis' fried-peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches and ham cooked in Coke. Lawson discusses her recipe for success -- and her new book, Forever Summer -- at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Turk), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com.

Thursday, May 1, 2003
Here in the United States, we usually celebrate May Day with a maypole, dancing, and flowers. In the spirit of solidarity, however, the International Workers Day 2003 "skillshare and community gathering" plans instead to offer knitting workshops, stilt-walking demonstrations, face-painting, soccer, music, and more, in a festival of do-it-yourself celebration. "Create your own world" is one of the event's slogans, and that's the fun part: Everyone is encouraged to bring a personal project to share with others. Bring your zine-making, yodeling, or break-dancing skills, and be prepared to learn something new as well. The day's organizers are aware of ancient traditions, too -- the affair's subtitle is "Beltane Celebration of Rebirth and Resistance." Meet at the 24th Street BART station (Mission and 24th streets) at 1 p.m. for a procession to Dolores Park (Dolores between 18th and 20th streets), then get sharin' from 2 to 7 p.m. Admission is free; visit www.communitybooks.org/mayday.

Friday, May 2, 2003
You won't believe your ears at the Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival. No, really. The annual concert of all sounds weird and funky has in the past included such experimental musicians as Pauline Oliveros and Peter Whitehead. This year, multi-instrumentalists like Jorge Boehringer and Eric King make beautiful music using found glass and metal objects, and composer Laetitia Sonami generates electronic sonics using quirky inventions like the "lady's glove," a glove hooked up with sensors that feed signals to synthesizers. Ever wonder what noise emanates from bamboo or rocks rubbed together? Find out when the performers offer demonstrations and answer questions after tonight's show, which starts at 8 at Venue 9, 252 Ninth St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 289-2000 or visit www.venue9.com. If you can't make this one, don't miss the free concert tomorrow at noon outside the Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way (at Roosevelt).

Saturday, May 3, 2003
San Francisco Cinematheque, that champion of experimental moving pictures, is at it again. Always contriving some way to foist odd movies on an unsuspecting public, the 'theque has this time lassoed the dignified and bizarre Jun Jalbuena and his "Bridge Pattern for Apology," a seven-hour marathon of eight video pieces. "He's extremely knowledgeable about the history of avant-garde film and video," says SFC Executive Director Steven Jenkins. "He's usually hanging around the back rows of all our events." Jalbuena has been working on this particular sequence for the past 10 years, like a good obsessive, and appears in person for this screening -- all 420 minutes of it. Show time is 4 p.m. at the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut (at Jones), S.F. Admission is $4-7; call 552-1990 or visit www.sfcinematheque.org.

Sunday, May 4, 2003
In a city where it seems that every other person is working on a screenplay, recording a demo, or slapping paint on a canvas, you'd think there'd be more than one Expo for the Artist & Musician per year. But there isn't, so today's the day to haul ass to the fourth annual networking fair, which 80 organizations -- Black Rock Arts Foundation, Institute for Unpopular Culture, and Southern Exposure, among them -- are expected to attend. Organized by the community arts nonprofit Independent Arts & Media, the grass-roots event brings artsy-fartsy types together with the folks who can help them. For just $2, artists can take advantage of an all-day portfolio review in addition to seminars on booking, promotions, and grant-writing. Practically the only workshops not on offer are ones on how to paint or write: The Expo can teach you how to get your work out there, but it can't supply the talent. Schmooze from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cell Space, 2050 Bryant (at 18th Street), S.F. Call 820-1607 or visit www.artsandmedia.net/expo.

Monday, May 5, 2003
Once upon a time in the year 2000, music promoter Eric "I love Bread" Shea had a crazy idea: "What if open mikes were by invitation only? That would be so cool. I think I'll try it." And so he did, and behold, the mighty "Monday Night Hoot" was born. In the ideal environment of Cafe Du Nord's back room, each musical aggregation takes the stage for a mere three songs: long enough for audience members to fall in love if the band is good, short enough to endure if it's otherwise. It's a brilliant plan that encourages independent music, it's unique to our fair city, and it's more fun than you deserve to have on a Monday. This installment features Wayde Blair, the "Brokedown Opry"'s Amy Koucky, John O'Brien (who's got a new album out), and a slew of others. Check it out at 9 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com.

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