This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Tabloid writers had a field day in 1999 envisioning the potential for turn-of-the-millennium cataclysm. On Y2K, they predicted darkly, computers around the globe would melt down, inaccessible bank accounts would spark international financial ruin, and failed electronic security systems would send hordes of looters into the streets. Doomsday cults even prophesied a fiery Armageddon that would destroy the Earth. The world held its breath as midnight approached on that Dec. 31. And of course, we all know what happened next: nothing. Filmed entirely on the last day of the 20th century (and yes, we know that some of you think that was Dec. 31, 2000), A Day in the Hype of America picks apart the ballyhoo, exposing this country's lily-livered heart with flawless hindsight. Relive it all starting at 2 p.m. (and again at 7 and 9:30) at the Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is $4-7; call 668-3994 or visit www.redvicmoviehouse.com.

Thursday, April 22, 2004
Bob Dylan in a Victoria's Secret ad, Janet's "wardrobe malfunction": Are we to be surrounded by underwear (or the lack thereof)? Apparently. About 50 artists received pairs of plain white drawers to "decorate," and they responded by silk-screening, spray-painting, photographing, ripping, and (ye gods, no!) embroidering those innocent panties, among other customizations. The reimagined skivvies are on display tonight at "Underpants Party!," for all the world to see. Have these people no shame? Well, duh, no -- they're artists. Promoter Lisa Mezzacappa e-mailed us recently about it: "From one NY artist we received a photo of her wearing the undies on her head, with her foot somehow coming out of one of the leg holes." The evening's entertainment, in case altered unmentionables don't do it for you, is provided by Crack: We Are Rock, DJ Saiman, Madeline Minx, and Tussle, starting at 8 p.m. at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is $5-10; call 626-5416 or visit www.newlangtonarts.org.

Friday, April 23, 2004
While a good DJ pulls listeners onto the dance floor as if it were magnetized and the crowd were wearing steel shoes, the spectacle of a headphone'd hipster behind a set of turntables is about as exciting as watching a tax preparer work a spreadsheet. But things are different at the "Future Primitive Soundsessions," which have been pairing dueling DJs with live and improvising visual artists for almost a decade. This time around, the "Soundsession" has pulled in a particularly choice lineup: MC P.E.A.C.E. (best known for his work in the Freestyle Fellowship crew) mixes up a sound collage with Rascue, while Vin Roc of Triple Threat DJs does his thing with a newly minted four-piece band, Tracklives. And those are just the headliners -- 8 Bit Era and graffiti artist Buder provide the visuals, starting at 9 p.m. at Mighty, 119 Utah (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is $10; call 551-2328 or visit www.futureprimitivesound.com.

Saturday, April 24, 2004
One of the fun things about reading press releases is that when you're perusing an artist's history you'll invariably discover he was responsible for a bunch of wonderful things you'd almost forgotten. Take, for instance, Michael Ian Black, the straight-faced smartass who liberally festoons VH1's I Love the 80's with wry commentary on such past cultural icons as Rubik's Cubes and Gene Simmons. Not only was the guy the high point of the show's sequel, I Love the 70's, but he was also the voice of the Pets.com sock puppet and one of the brilliant comic minds behind the '90s MTV sketch show The State and Comedy Central's much-mourned series Viva Variety. There aren't enough exclamation points in the world to proclaim our excitement at this inspired string of coups. Tonight Black brings his sketch-comic co-horts Michael Showalter and David Wain to the Independent, as the "Stella Comedy Show" cranks into gear at 9 p.m. at 628 Divisadero (at Hayes), S.F. Admission is $16; call 771-1421 or visit www.independentsf.com.

Sunday, April 25, 2004
On first listen, Devil Makes Three's easy, twangy melodies seem custom-made for country evenings, when you're sitting on the porch with a Mason jar of moonshine in your hand and a jug band picking and grinning nearby. But throw in the raspy Tom Waits-ish riffs of vocalist Pete Bernhard, the ska-tinged thumping of stand-up bassist Lucia Turino, and the wandering guitar noodlings of acoustic axeman Cooper McBean, and what you have sounds a little like the bastard love child of Johnny Cash and Operation Ivy. It's good enough, in fact, that the Santa Cruz trio has pulled down rave reviews from both the New York Times' culture vultures and the hipper-than-thou abuse-flingers of Thrasher. Come hear songs perfect for drinking and sinning as the Real Sippin' Whiskeys open for DMT at 5 p.m. at Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St. (at Wisconsin), S.F. Admission is free; call 503-0393 or visit www.theeparkside.com.

Monday, April 26, 2004
Sold into virtual slavery by their impoverished parents, the girls of India's traveling Great Rayman Circus are held in cloistered women-only compounds, forbidden contact with men, made to perform painful and demanding stunts, and paid a mere $2 a week. But even these demeaning conditions are better than starving on the streets of Nepal. Starkiss: Circus Girls in India (the title comes from an act in which a girl holding a rope in her mouth spins wildly in the air) provides viewers with a backstage pass into the haremlike life of these mysterious performers, who are plucked from their family homes by recruiters, discarded when they get too old and inflexible to perform their astonishing tricks, and all too often end up as Bombay streetwalkers. See it tonight at 6, 8, and 10 at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Starkiss screenings continue through April 29. Admission is $4-8; call 863-1087 or visit www.roxie.com.

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