Wednesday, June 16, 2004
"Fast and glyphic" is the way Bill Daniel described hobo tag art to us last year. Back then, he felt a long way from completing his obsessive, 12-years-in-the-making documentary Who Is Bozo Texino? He's done it, though, and the hotly anticipated result screens tonight. Although it looks like the film isn't going to settle on a simple answer to its titular question, we know a few things about ol' Bozo. For one, he's the person (or, likely, people) who makes one of the longest-running of the railroad logos in question, a placid face puffing on a smoke under a cowboy hat with an infinity symbol for a brim. He's also the representation of an old and fading code of ethics among train-hoppers, a code that the moviemaker implies made it feasible for folks to choose the tramping life without becoming sick, needing money, or bothering anyone too much. One thing's for sure: Bozo Texino is the guy Bill Daniel's been fixated on for a dozen years. Find out why at 7:30 p.m. in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $6-7; call 978-2787 or visit www.filmarts.org.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
June 19, 1865, was a good day. It was then that Gen. Gordon Granger stood up in Galveston, Texas, and read the following: "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation of the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free." He probably said some other things, too, but we bet hardly anyone was listening after that. Since it took a while for the news to travel (no IM back then), and since the event deserves more than one day's recognition anyhow, not only the anniversary of that day but also the whole week or month is taken to celebrate the government doing something right for once. It's also a time to commemorate African-American achievement. The San Francisco Juneteenth Festival offers carnival rides, a parade, and lots more at its four-day event, which begins at 11 a.m. today at Kimball Park, Geary & Steiner, S.F., and continues through Sunday at various locations. Admission is free; call 931-2729 or visit www.sfjuneteenth.org.
Friday, June 18, 2004
There's something of a science to putting together a weekly calendar. Fridays and Saturdays call for big parties and hot bands; Mondays and Tuesdays are reserved for quieter events like lectures and movies. So the presence of a reading on this go-out-and-get-drunk night should put you on notice that this particular author appearance is something special. Tonight, Chuck Barris, the '70s game show schlockmeister turned babbling former CIA assassin, reads from his latest, Bad Grass Never Dies: More Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. In the follow-up to his 1982 "unauthorized autobiography," Confessions of a Dangerous Mind-- in which Barris first alleged his past involvement with the CIA (since immortalized in a tragically underrated film) -- the author reportedly delves further into his duplicitous past. Is he a delusional nut job or the genuine article? Judge for yourself when he appears at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
It's hard to believe that the San Francisco Motorcycle Club has been around for 100 years. In fact, today marks the SFMC's "Centennial Street Fair": Imagine the sight of goggle-wearing, leather helmet-topped hellions vrooming down the road in 1904. The photographs alone must be stupendous. For this celebration, the two-wheeled gang has a seriously biker-friendly event lined up. The motorcycle show has classes for vintage, contemporary, scooter, and Mad Max type "rat" bikes, plus a special display by the SFPD. For those who need one, a "Dyno-Test Machine" is available (it's some sort of horsepower demonstrator, near as we can tell); if you don't, you can just browse the many moto-goods booths. In the evening, a "Midsummer Night's Old-Timers Dance" encourages the well-known biker love of shakin' it. The whole shebang starts at 11 a.m. at 2194 Folsom (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-1930 or visit www.sf-mc.org.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Surf music: stand-alone genre or haphazard mishmash? We lean toward the former, fans that we are of the reverb-heavy sound hailing from the early 1960s. But the case is sometimes hard to make. Local combo the Aquamarines, for example, describe their music on their Web site as "Surf, Sci-fi, Spy, Rock, Hawaiian, Film/TV Themes, Tex-Mex, Spaghetti-Western, and Jazz." Dude, that's a lot of different kinds of music, and the list doesn't even mention psychedelia, lounge, punk, or rockabilly, and they're all associated with surf, too. The truth is out there, all you goofy-footed kooks; if you attend the "Battle of the Surfing Bands" and survive all 14 pun-loving groups and the surf jam at the end, you may find it. KFJC radio's DJ Phil Dirt welcomes acts like the Sub-Mersians, the Neptunes, and Pollo del Mar starting at 4 p.m. at the Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is $8; call 546-6300 or visit www.thehotelutahsaloon.com.
Monday, June 22, 2004
We'd like to thank the academy for never showing its nominated short films. Seriously, it can be hard to know what's going on in the non-feature-length movie world, since there aren't a lot of venues for such work. Unless, of course, you live in a fabulous cosmopolitan metropolis like ours. All of the "Academy Award Nominated Shorts" from 2004 screen this week, including the winner, Harvie Krumpet, a Claymation comedy from Australia. Among the other animated entries is Nibbles, about a fishing trip; the live-action offerings include one about a choir in Sarajevo that must decide whether to help a cow or not. Show times are tonight and tomorrow night at 7:15 and 9:15 at the Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is $4-7; call 668-3994 or visit www.redvicmoviehouse.com.