This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
There was a period in the mid-'90s when anyone who threw a birthday party was certain to receive a magnetic poetry kit. Cheap, widely available, and possessing a certain cultural sheen, the stick-on words soon became ubiquitous on refrigerator doors across the country, making it suddenly a lot more fun to wait for the microwave to ding. Relive those days of non sequitur haiku at "The MagPo Show," a fund-raiser for Litquake 2004 that combines visual art and literature with a silent art auction and live performances. Chief among the latter is a turn from the Mr. T Experience's Dr. Frank (who bangs out the song he composed using writer Beth Lisick's poem "College Radio Playlist"); the event also screens a film depicting monologuist Josh Kornbluth's poetic effort. At the same time, attendees can bid on artworks that illustrate surreal stanzas by top-dog writers such as Jerry Stahl, Keith Knight, and Michelle Tea. Wax lyrical at 6 p.m. at Mighty, 119 Utah (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 626-7001 or visit www.litquake.org.

Thursday, July 29, 2004
Though Discovery Channel shows imply that archaeologists confine their excavations to ruins, in reality they're much more likely to dig in midden, the trash heaps left by ancient human settlements. It may be weird to consider dumpster diving a historian's art, but you can tell an awful lot about a culture from its rubbish. Local artist Eric Bodine chose a particularly intriguing virtual dump for his explorations: Craigslist's "free stuff" message board. For one month he monitored the board obsessively, collecting old carpets, shelving units, PVC pipes, a set of encyclopedias circa 1970, even a discarded hemorrhoid pillow. He presents photos of and artworks created with his finds -- as well as some of the objects themselves -- at his exhibit "FREE." The show opens today with a reception at 6 p.m. (and runs through Aug. 3) at the Playspace graduate gallery at the California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St. (at Wisconsin), S.F. Admission is (appropriately enough) free; call 703-9500 or visit www.cca.edu.

Friday, July 30, 2004
DJs Black, Olga T., and K-Bug and their buddies have a vision: "To create a space that celebrates the diversity of our sexualities and cultures." Some people, using that same vision, might wind up with a dry, boring academic conference or an earnest panel discussion. But the house, "diasporic hip hop," Asian underground, and bhangra beats promised at "PersuAsian" sound like a more stylish way to celebrate. The club's two rooms of music and über-hip venue bring thoughts of a light sweat breaking out on the pretty brows of sexy, blissed-out dancers -- kinda the opposite of dry and boring. The beats go on at 9 p.m. at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $7 before 11 p.m. and $10 after; call 974-1719 or visit www.111minnagallery.com.

Saturday, July 31, 2004
An old joke about rock shows goes like this: "How do you make all the girls in the front row disappear? Play an instrumental." But if women don't care that much about riffage, the reverse seems true, too. Men don't pay much attention to singing, and you could sure as hell clear the room of sausage with an a cappella number. Male vocalists shout and growl and whine, but they don't do a lot of, say, harmonizing. (Not all men are like that, of course -- we love the Velvet Teen.) To rescue rock from this unfortunate oversight, Boston's Muck & the Mires have taken the Dave Clark Five as a major inspiration. Sure, the garage rock thing is in full swing, but this is more like early, Nehru suit-wearing Beatles, complete with sugarcoated three-part harmonies. Way to buck the trend, guys! Bandleader Evan Shore cites the Ramones as another heavy influence, and sure enough, the group's first CD, Beginner's Muck, sports 12 songs, none longer than three minutes. Local rock goddesses the Husbands and Magic Christian open at 10 p.m. at Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St. (at Wisconsin), S.F. Admission is $3; call 503-0393 or visit www.theeparkside.com.

Sunday, August 1, 2004
Remember those hyperactive kids in your sixth-grade class, the ones who broke their arms, bounced in their seats, and shot milk out their noses? We always wondered what happened to them -- and then we met one recently, standing outside the Odeon Bar in hipster drag, screaming excitedly at a pretty girl. "S.C.A.M.! S-C-A-M! Get it? That's my show! Impossibleology, otherwise known as stunts, comedy, and magic! But see, you can make it say anything: Stupid Card Tricks and Metallica! Sri Lankan Communists Ate Manhattan! S.C.A.M.! S.C.A.M.!" Eric Cash is the performer's name, and "S.C.A.M." is his game, in more ways than one. The weekly spectacle offers nonstop cocaine jokes, implied barfing, all-in-good-fun harassment of audience volunteers, and Krista Ball as the helpful assistant. But the main attraction is the magic -- Uri Geller spoofs, prestidigitation, and card tricks that involve the whole crowd. One caveat: Cash shows World War II-era cartoons that were later banned for gross racial stereotyping. His point is to mock their bizarreness, but be forewarned. He's not really the sensitive type. This week's guest is fellow magician Chris Karney; expect madness, yuks, and checkered pants, starting at 8 p.m. at the Climate Theater, 285 Ninth St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $5; visit www.ericcash.com.

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