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Squeezebox Celebration 

Give the accordion a hand

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SUN 6/15

Admit it, you've laughed at the accordion. Americans generally associate the instrument with Lawrence Welk, bar mitzvahs, and kitschy polka, but the versatile squeezebox figures in a dizzying variety of international music, from Tejano to zydeco to French folk songs -- and, yes, polka. Sample them all at the Cannery's family-friendly 14th annual Day of the Accordion.

Why the accordion? For one thing, it's been the city's official musical instrument since 1990. Tom Torriglia, the man responsible for its certified status, explains that the keyboard accordion was invented here in 1907, and it's "as quirky and romantic as San Francisco itself." Judging from the event lineup, we're inclined to agree.

From noon until 5 p.m. attendees can hear traditional polka from the Golden State Accordion Club Fun Band, Italian pop from Bella Ciao, Tejano from Conjunto Romero, and even Dead Kennedys covers from soloist Duckmandu. "You haven't lived until you've heard 'California über Alles' on the accordion!" crows Torriglia, who expects "spontaneous dancing to erupt" in the Cannery's courtyard, 2801 Leavenworth (at Columbus). Admission is free; call 771-3112 or visit www.ladyofspain.com/NAAM.html.
-- Joyce Slaton

Musical Genes

SUN 6/15

Parents spend a lot of time teaching kids their ABCs, but Junior's musical tastes shouldn't be ignored, either. Start your child off on the right foot by broadening his melodic horizons. Being accustomed only to a purple dinosaur's nonsensical songs is a sure-fire path to adolescent social oblivion, whereas with a discerning ear, a kid can breeze through life. (The hippest 2-year-old we know is a huge fan of They Might Be Giants and Mary J. Blige.) Nurture your youngster's aural preferences with local duo Orange Sherbet; the group's CDs, Jackson's Lullaby and Ridin', are full of stuff little ones are fond of, like dinosaurs, dogs, and tiny umbrellas. But Tamsen Fynn and Jill Pierce introduce a wide range of styles -- everything from jazz to folk to blues -- during their interactive concerts, so you can lose the earplugs and kiss Barney goodbye. The performance starts at 4 p.m. at the Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez (at 23rd Street), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call 454-5238.
-- Lisa Hom

Daddy Dearest

Papa won't preach about our lineup of Father's Day events

SUN 6/15

It's summer in the Bay Area, and nobody wears ties. So this year, instead of sending Pops to the Macy's exchange line, send him to the San Francisco Zoo's Father's Day BikeAbout. This morning ride gives fathers and kids the chance to take a casual docent-led pedal through the grounds and to learn how "dads" in the wild parent their offspring -- no matter how much human fathers may yell, they rarely eat the kids. (8-10 a.m. at the S.F. Zoo, 1 Zoo Road. Admission is $20-25; call 753-7073 or visit www.sfzoo.org to preregister.)

The bike ride ends just in time to race over to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where staff members are celebrating Family Day. Live performances by Hawaiian musicians and dancers entertain the folks while the young'uns take part in hands-on art projects led by local professional instructors. (11 a.m.-4 p.m. at 151 Third St., S.F. Admission is free-$2; call 357-4097 or visit www.sfmoma.org.)

In case Dad isn't into biking or art, there's always the old stand-by -- golf. Tee off at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay with the resort's Father's Day Golf Outing. Old pros can take advantage of the swing-doctoring clinic, young Tigers-in-training can pick up tips at a putting workshop, and the two generations can face off during a good-natured competition. Afterward, kids feast on hoagies and make their own sundaes while Dad recovers in the upscale hotel. (1-3 p.m. at 1 Miramontes Point in Half Moon Bay. Admission is $75 for a father-and-child pair; additional children are $25 each. Call [650] 712-7000 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.)
-- Jack Karp

Not-So-Tiny Bubbles

WED 6/11

You may know the Bubble Man, aka Louis Pearl, for such favorites as the square bubble, the spinning bubble, or the giant bubble with a kid inside it, but he's got many more bubblicious tricks up his sudsy sleeves. We think he ought to be known as "Sausalito's Bill Nye the Science Guy" -- he even owns his own toy company! Pearl shares his love of soapy spheres with kids of all ages at 7 p.m. at the Parkside Branch Library, 1200 Taraval (at 22nd Avenue), S.F. Admission is free; call 753-7125 or visit www.sfpl.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Shadow Play

FRI-SUN 6/13-15

Set during the Ottoman Empire, The Metamorphosis of Karaghiozis is a play in the dramatic Greek storytelling tradition. But the actors are made of thin air -- this is a large-scale shadow-puppet presentation from ShadowLight Productions. Creator Leonidas Kassapides performs the piece at 7 p.m. at the Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, S.F. Admission is free-$15; call 648-4461.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

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