Wednesday, September 8, 2004
With bizarre influences like French synth innovator Jean-Michel Jarre and light jazzman Chick Corea, Crime in Choir leaves us with questions: How is this indie rock, when it sounds like some of Genesis' more weirded-out moments? The jazzy synthesizers and Rhodes piano could drive any self-described rock fan to fits of profanity. So what are these four guys doing playing at rock venues? We think "prog" might be part of the answer, and "musical virtuosity" might be another. With former members of At the Drive-In and Hella holding down guitar and drum duties, respectively, the band's gotten a lot of love from a music community not easily won over to light, instrumental, laid-back stuff. CiC opens for Thee More Shallows at "Shallow Friends," along with Ral Partha and Telecommunications, at 9 p.m. at the Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is $5; call 546-6300 or visit www.thehotelutahsaloon.com.
Thursday, September 9, 2004
The Bunny Girls are coming! Since this performance art troupe's aim is to "explore the stereotypes of being female by embracing them with a subversive sense of humor," it only makes sense that the group would start with the whole "bunny" thing: That iconic womanly stereotype is a good jumping-off place for reclaiming femininity. Tonight's performance is part of the opening reception for "I Feel Sassy," an exhibit of paintings by Claire Brandt, whose works address, among other things, the complexities of cheerleading and the well-documented loss of confidence that girls often feel at the onset of adolescence. We're going to guess the color pink won't be a stranger to this gathering, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Crucible Steel Gallery in Cell Space, 2050 Bryant (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 648-7562.
Friday, September 10, 2004
The movies at the third annual Frame by Frame Documentary Film Series are tough -- really tough. There's not a cheerful, escapist one in the bunch, so you don't have to worry about feeling dumber after you see them. In fact, after these screenings you'll likely feel scrubbed and ready for action, not stupefied and greasy from popcorn. Just a few of the important issues tackled by these in-your-face docs are HIV, Burmese refugee camps, and heroin use -- which is not to say the series doesn't have its inspirational moments. In Jornalero, for example, filmmaker Sara MacPherson follows Jose Echevarria through his last few days in San Francisco, where he has worked as a day laborer for 14 years, as he prepares to go home to Mexico to see his much-missed family, including the grandchildren he's never met. The series begins at 5 p.m. at the Brava Theater Center, 2789 24th St. (at York), S.F. Admission is $7; call 552-8760 or visit www.filmarts.org.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
St. Paul's Chapel in New York City stands across the street from what used to be the World Trade Center, now known as Ground Zero. After the events of Sept. 11, it became a 24-hour rest and refueling spot for search-and-rescue workers and other volunteers, a healing place where they could go to regroup. Now we can get a glimpse of that refuge in an exhibit called "Out of the Dust," which features photos, artwork, and memorabilia taken or gathered at St. Paul's during the eight months after the attacks. Think of it as a positive way to commemorate the date -- and a close-up of people helping each other. View the show through Oct. 31 at Grace Cathedral, 110 California (at Taylor), S.F. Admission is free; call 749-6300 or visit www.gracecathedral.org.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
The allure of the Gatsby Summer Afternoon is strong: gals in sleeveless, drop-waisted numbers, flirting wholesomely with big lugs in seersucker; and manly types in vests, two-tone shoes, and bow ties feeling natty and dashing. The Art Deco Society goes all-out twice a year -- once for its wintertime ball, and once for this party. On both occasions, expectations are high for all who attend: Wear athletic shoes and you ruin the fun for everyone. It's got that "no observers" attitude, which means that hair, accessories, and all details should be "period," or at least respectful. If that seems like too much work, then maybe you don't really lust for the fabulous picnic on the grass, bathing-beauty fashion show, and vintage automobile cavalcade that beckon to the rest of us. Bring parasols and ukuleles at 1 p.m. to Dunsmuir House and Gardens Historical Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court (at Peralta Oaks Drive), Oakland. Admission is $35-60; call 982-3326 or visit www.artdecosociety.org.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Kids, get Grandma a glass of bourbon and I'll tell you a story. Time was when there were no CDs or cassettes. Instead there were these things called records, and they were heavy and black and moved at 78 God-fearing revolutions per minute on a windup gramophone topped with a great big beautiful trumpet. Some of the best dang blues, jazz, R&B, and hillbilly hoo-has of all time were recorded on these platters, but these days you won't ever hear one played without vintage equipment. That is, unless you frequent the "Monday Night Shellac Shack," the monthly listening party with DJ Chas Gaudí (aka Chase Gowdy, who used to enliven the crowd at 26 Mix's bimonthly "Workin' Stiff" parties with his band the Rusty Nails) in the old-school splendor of the North Beach bar Tony Nik's. Enjoy the sounds of yesteryear starting at 8 p.m. at 1534 Stockton (at Columbus), S.F. Admission is free; call 693-0990.