This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, June 9, 2004
There was a significant period in the early '90s during which we walked around feeling angry that we couldn't see the images hidden in those Magic Eye pictures. "Stand at arm's length and sort of blur your eyes," the punks at Spencer Gifts would say, as we squinted furiously at what seemed for all the world to be a random pattern of waves and splotches. "Focus behind the picture," they told us, but we never could. Which is one of the reasons we're enjoying "Summer Reading," a group exhibition of works incorporating text at the Steel Gallery. One needn't peer endlessly at these paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works to divine the artists' intended messages; instead, they're soothingly rendered in lovely, legible written words. Unblur your eyes as the show continues today at 10 a.m. (and runs through July 31) at the Steel Gallery, 3524 Sacramento (at Laurel), S.F. Admission is free; call 885-1655 or visit www.steelgalleryinc.com.

Thursday, June 10, 2004
In 1998 Mike Daisey was just another post-college drifter taking up space in the coffeehouses of Seattle. But then he saw a classified ad that changed his life. Within a matter of weeks Daisey was ensconced on the customer service desk at Amazon.com -- and privy to all the dot-com madness that ensued, as the minor Internet player transformed itself into a vast corporate entity complete with scarily enthused managers, rampant new economy geek-speak, hostile techies, and 14-hour days. The book he wrote about his experiences, 21 Dog Years: Doing Time@Amazon.com, is now an uproarious play starring the author as himself. Relive that go-go era as Dog Years previews tonight at 7:30 (it runs through July 2) at Berkeley Repertory's Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley. Admission is $25 ($35 on opening night); call (510) 647-2949 or visit www.berkeleyrep.org.

Friday, June 11, 2004
If ever there were an event suitable for, um, psychedelic enrichment, it's lightrhythm: R2, a night of music and visuals that seems custom-made for those with enhanced sensory appreciation. The party celebrates the release of Lightrhythm Visuals' new DVD of animation and film art intended to accompany sets of DJ'd tunes, and with the goal of fusing sound and vision the raver types throwing the R2 party have created a cavalcade of eye candy: live turns by performers like light sculpture artists Koil and aerial dance troupe Infinite Kaos combined with projected trippy visuals on the specially installed hanging screens scattered throughout the room, with thumping DJ dance riffs underlying the whole shebang. See the music starting at 8 p.m. at Cell Space, 2050 Bryant (at 18th St.), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 648-7562 or visit www.lightrhythmvisuals.com.

Saturday, June 12, 2004
Creating groovy effects by projecting films onto multiple screens is hardly a new idea -- perhaps most famously, Andy Warhol managed to pack extra sex and drugs into his 1966 film Chelsea Girls by using a split-screen presentation. But nobody does that sort of thing better locally than the Werepad, the SOMA movie palace that used to host side-by-side screenings of movies chosen to complement each other ironically. We've missed those programs so much that when we heard about tonight's Jukebox/Peepshow: I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy!, we knew we had to be there. A rarely presented work from low-budget iconoclastic filmmaker Andrew Repasky McElhinney, Jukebox uses five separate screens to reflect images that clarify McElhinney's dark notions about the political climate of America. Sit and stare starting at 8 p.m. at the Werepad, 2430 Third St. (at 22nd St.), S.F. Admission is $5; call 978-2787 or visit www.yerbabuenaarts.org.

Sunday, June 13, 2004
Ever since we got a gander at the magnificent lesbian skin flick Hard Love/How to Fuck in High Heels, we've been ardently interested in just about anything connected with Shar Rednour and Jackie Strano, the lusty ladies who produced, directed, and starred in that film and who continue to make girl-power pornos with their company, S.I.R. Productions. S.I.R.'s latest project, Healing Sex, is a bit of a departure for the organization, since the guide to sexual intimacy and health for abuse survivors downplays the smut in favor of a non-explicit educational approach. Learn all about it at tonight's "DVD Release Party and Screening of Healing Sex,"a celebratory bash with dance performances from Sistaz of the Underground and Simone De La Getto, spoken word, and appearances by Rednour, Strano, and Healing Sex actors. The party starts at 6 p.m. at Glas Kat, 520 Fourth St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is $10-100 (proceeds benefit the sexual abuse activism group Generation Five); call 495-6626 or visit www.healingsexthemovie.com.

Monday, June 14, 2004
Lemony Snicket appears tonight at an event for adults, so no more telling people you're going to see the author of the supposedly-for-children Series of Unfortunate Events books "with my little cousin from Niagara Falls." It's even in a bar! MoveOn.org/John Kerry Fundraiser host authors Stephen Elliott and Peter Orner welcome not only the reclusive Mr. Snicket to this reading, but a walloping lineup of other local writers as well. Our favorite is Kim Addonizio, known for Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos, but the evening includes four other smartypants readers and a short bit of political theater by Campo Santo, too. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call 647-2888 or visit www.makeoutroom.com.

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