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 Whorealluiaand 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 www.hemlocktavern.com.
-- Dave Pehling
Step Into Liquid
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 www.calperfs.berkeley.edu.
-- Heather Wisner
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
"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 www.universoulcircus.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser