He's redefined an entire art form in the eyes of the public. He's attracted a lot of attention and new artists to a moribund scene. He's shaken up the comic-book world pretty seriously. Adrian Tomine (pronounced TOE-mee-nay) would probably be the first to tell you that he's just lucky, that his peers' work is better than his own (he's a big, big fan of Dan Clowes and Chris Ware), or that he isn't such a big deal. But he is. At the tender age of 29, Tomine's an important guy with a fascinating career. His Optic Nerve series, which he started when he was 16, is an international success; his art has appeared in major publications like The New Yorker and Esquire.
Tonight he discusses his professional life with McSweeney's Managing Editor Eli Horowitz as part of the release of Scrapbook, a collection of Tomine's poster art, illustrations, unpublished work, and other rarities that is sure to make the artist's many fans happy. The appreciation begins at 7:30 at Cody's Books, 2454 Telegraph (at Haste), Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 845-7852 or visit www.codysbooks.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Hear Them Roar
Why do kick-ass things from Olympia, Wash., become so tragically hip? Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, and now Ladyfest. Four years ago, Ladyfest started out as a grass-roots, corporate sponsorship-free, DIY event celebrating feminist culture. Its incredible success spawned a global frenzy of grrl-friendly festivals that currently span four continents and lure a captive audience of mainstream media. These days Ladyfest Bay Area's female-volunteer-organized festival features nearly a dozen independently produced films, more than 40 rockin' musical performances, and 18 workshops and panels on topics ranging from young women in politics to the fine art of female ejaculation. The fest also includes visual arts exhibits, spoken-word performances, and a bazaar offering crafts, clothing, and zines for sale. Tickets are on a sliding scale, so everyone can come out and play. The opening-night celebration kicks off Thursday at 7 at Cell Space, 2050 Bryant (at 18th Street), S.F. Events continue through Sunday at various locations; passes run $40-90, and admission to individual events is free-$12. For a complete schedule, visit www.ladyfestbayarea.org.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer
Who Are You?
Live at Leeds lives!
Pretend for a moment that we've returned to a time when the Who wasn't a graying cabal of two playing for bomber-jacketed boomers willing to pay $100 and up for milquetoast renditions of songs they could hear for free on classic rock radio. Let's pretend that the Who is still a quartet of sneering young rock gods, just months after a 1969 performance at Woodstock and the success of the rock opera Tommy lent them a monumental reputation. Let's pretend it's 1970 and, rather than culling the best versions of songs from an entire U.S. tour for a forthcoming live album, the band decides to tape one blistering U.K. show for the classic platter Live at Leeds.
But really, why pretend when the HO is ready to re-create the brash outfit's performance for you? The tongue-in-cheek tribute supergroup -- comprising members from Operation Ivy, Ramona the Pest, and the Dance Hall Crashers -- channels the Who's vintage badass spirit with wigs, campy costumes (including a John Entwistle-like creepy skeleton suit and Roger Daltrey's suede fringe), and note-for-note reduxes of Leeds tracks like "My Generation," "Can't Explain," and the soaring, operatic "A Quick One, While He's Away." Considering that the real Who limps into the Shoreline the very next week on what many wags have dubbed the "Who's Left" tour, why not pay a tenth of the ticket price for a snarling, pinwheeling, guitar-smashing, drum-upending accolade to the act's anarchic spirit of old? Opal Book Club and 20 Minute Loop open at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $11-13; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
The most brilliantly bad sci-fi biblical-allegory disco-rock musical ever made -- not that there's much competition -- The Apple is a jaw-dropper. This cockeyed 1980 cinematic vision of a glitter-drenched future smacks of a Rocky Horror/Godspell/Logan's Run amalgam and offers a cavalcade of nonstop wrongness, from ham-fisted schlock songwriting to one of the most mind-bending endings ever. Truly rotten but well worth a nibble, it screens at midnight at the Bridge Theater, 3010 Geary (at Blake), S.F. Admission is $10; call 751-3213 or visit www.peacheschrist.com.
-- Mike Rowell
Don't expect a twirling ballerina at Mary Armentrout's "Solo Musings on Complicated Topics in a Surreal World," a program that comments on love's illusory nature. The dancer's use of symbolic props and nonclassical movements results in dreamlike meditations. Join the musing at 8:30 p.m. at 848 Community Space, 848 Divisadero, S.F. Admission is $10-15; visit www.848.com.
-- Joyce Slaton