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The Filth and the Fury 

The Hemlock gets down and dirty

WED 10/29

Whether you're talking about the raunchy innuendo of early belters Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, the '70s smut-peddling of musical comedian Blowfly, or the mainstream lasciviousness of Prince and 2 Live Crew, sex has always been a popular topic for blues, funk, and soul musicians. Mendocino-based rapper/vocalist Lord Nasty may not be as well known as some of the above artists, but he does his damnedest to live up to his self-proclaimed title, "the Nastiest Muthafucka in showbizness."

Though he's been busy releasing self-produced discs full of egoistic odes to bustin' nuts and waxin' big ol' butts for a number of years (titles include Glory Whorealluia and Sweet Phat Ass Filth), the good Lord didn't have a live outlet for his music until local scenester and drummer Chris "Fozzy" Holden (formerly with the Double U) decided it was time to spread smutty thoughts to the masses. Holden put together the Seekers of Perversion to provide a funky, stripped-down backbeat that would fuel the Lord's tales of back-door spelunking to new heights of ridiculousness. Badder than Andre Williams and funnier than Redd Foxx, Lord Nasty is sure to deliver at the Hemlock.

Show headliner the Ricky and Del Connection features two founding members of the late, lamented, shoulda-been-massive Sacramento band Kai Kln. Taking a step away from the bludgeoning riffs of their old act, acoustic guitarist/vocalist Ricky Ranchero and circus sideshow drummer Del Nelipez veer into a wildly righteous mélange of funk, blues, jazz, and balls-out rock with help from alto saxman Flamp Sorvari and frequent guest bassist Larry Boothroyd (of Victim's Family fame). The show starts at 10 p.m. at the Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk (at Post), S.F. Admission is $5; call 923-0923 or visit
-- Dave Pehling

Step Into Liquid

FRI-SAT 10/31-11/1

Imagine moonlight pooling on a windless lake and you'll have a feel for Moon Water, the modern movement work that Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre is now touring nationally. Artistic Director Lin Hwai-min, known for incorporating Asian folklore into his dances, based Moon Water on the measured grace of tai chi, and set it to the melancholy strains of Bach cello concertos. Inspired by the company's meditative practice, the piece flows like liquid as dancers in rippling white silk costumes arc and tumble against the set's shimmering mirrors. Cloud Gate performs at 8 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $26-46; call (510) 642-9988 or visit
-- Heather Wisner

Facing East

SAT 11/1

Almost three decades after the Vietnam War's end, more than a million Vietnamese-Americans make their home in our country -- but even in this most Asia-centric of U.S. cities, you wouldn't know it from our pop culture. SFSU aims to even the score a bit with "East Coast West Coast: Vietnamese-American Writers, Poets, and Performers," a night of dance, comedy, and culture from artists such as choreographer Minh Tran, journalist/storyteller Andrew Lam, and MC Tony Bui, director of the Sundance award-winning film Three Seasons. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. at the McKenna Theater, 1600 Holloway (at 19th Avenue), on the SFSU campus. Admission is $10; call 338-2467.
-- Joyce Slaton

Cirque du Soul

WED-SUN 10/29-11/2

"Hip Hop under the Big Top" was the vision of UniverSoul Circus founders, and if 10 years of national and international touring are any indicator, it's been a runaway success. The only black-owned circus in the country, UniverSoul carries a message of love and community solidarity along with the glittering showmanship of its latest extravaganza, Poppin' Soul. Elephants, clowns, and trapeze artists thrill the kids, while adults get high-energy live music and plenty of eye candy. Join charming Ringmaster "Casual Cal" at 10:30 a.m. in the lot at 5601 Oakport (at 66th Avenue), Oakland. Admission is $10-30; call (866) 576-8524 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser


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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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