Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Texas columnist Molly Ivins has been compared to Dorothy Parker more times than George Herbert Walker Bush ever shot at grammar and missed, and it's an apt comparison. But the literary witticisms of the urbane Miss Parker are on the delicate side of Ivins' hilariously roughshod left-wing politics. "Calling George Bush shallow is like calling a dwarf short," she wrote many years ago. Recently, she wrote, "More than a year after Mission Accomplished,' we still have not restored water or electricity in Iraq back to Saddam Hussein's pitiful standards," which isn't funny at all, because when things get really bad, she stops joking around. Parker did, too, come to think of it. Tonight, Ivins gives the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture, "The State of the Union," at 7 in Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is free; call (510) 642-9988 or visit www.savio.org.
Thursday, October 7, 2004
Apparently we weren't the only ones sitting up late at night in the '70s watching Carnival of Souls and Godzilla on Monster Island, introduced by smirking horror hosts like Florida's Dr. Paul Bearer and KTVU's Creature Features MC John Stanley, because the gig lives on in camped-up cable-access shows like The Hip Crypt of Döktor Göulfinger in Berkeley and Mr. Lobo's Cinema Insomniain Sacramento. Meet lugubrious hosts Stanley, Lobo, and Göulfinger -- and watch some truly horrific movies -- at Horror Host Palooza, the second yearly meet-and-greet from "Thrillville" host Will "The Thrill" Viharo. Tonight your dreadful fare includes a date with a Latino Wolf Man, in The Craving, and Dr. Jekyll's Dungeon of Death, a retake of the old Robert Louis Stevenson tale set in swinging free love-era San Francisco. The eye-rolling begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Parkway Theater, 1834 Park (at Lake Merritt), Oakland. Admission is $8; call (510) 814-2400 or visit www.thrillville.net.
Friday, October 8, 2004
Not everyone likes bicycles, you know. Some of us side with Calvin, of Calvin & Hobbes fame, who knows perfectly well that his bike is plotting his demise. But two wheels do tend to look beautiful on film, and there's little risk to life and limb at the Bicycle Film Festival. Originating in New York City, the fest features tons of arty shorts, two premieres about the recent mass arrests before the Republican National Convention, and the bike-movie classic Pee-wee's Big Adventure. A mysterious bonus is the Aeolian Ride, an art piece with 50 cyclists wearing specially designed wind-inflatable outfits. The programs begin tonight at 7 and tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is $10; call 668-3994 or visit www.bicyclefilmfestival.com.
Saturday, October 9, 2004
When Scott Thorson met Liberace, he was just a 16-year-old twink. But by the time their affair was over, Thorson was a notorious drug addict with a face freakishly altered to look like a young version of his aging lover. Daniel Barrow dramatizes Thorson's sad life story in The Face of Everything, a 45-minute "graphic performance" in which the artist uses an overhead projector, transparencies, and drawn-on-the-spot animation to encapsulate Thorson's fall from grace. Paired with Hypermodern Dress-Up, artist Adam Ansell's improvised fashion show, in which creepily made-up models are fitted paper-doll style with paper-and-tape clothes in a mockery of runway exhibitions, the evening's an unsettling departure from more staid gallery presentations, to say the least. See it at 8 tonight at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is $5-10; call 626-5416 or visit www.newlangtonarts.org.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
To its tortilla-throwing legion of fans, Incredibly Strange Wrestling is something of a religious experience: a big, dumb, preposterous spiritual happening in massively bad taste. In the tradition of Mexico's lucha libre wrestling leagues, the "athletes" of ISW wear full-head masks and gargantuan costumes to emphasize their chosen characters. The audience and media favorite is almost always the tutu-sporting El Homo Loco, but at the moment, we're captivated by the shiny-pated Oi Boy, whose biography on the ISW Web site reminds us that the ring is "the only place on Earth where you can see a skinhead fight it out one-on-one." (Emphasis theirs.) La Chingona, El Libido Gigante, and all their friends are accompanied by live music from the Briefs, Royalty, and the McCools, starting at 8 p.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $16; call 626-1409 or visit www.dnalounge.com.
Monday, October 11, 2004
The problem with geniuses is that they're not always comprehensible to the rest of us. At the Yo-Yo a Go-Go music festival in Olympia, Wash., a few years back, the Microphones' Phil Elvrum performed a piece that might have fit in more easily at an experimental chamber-music conference at some high-toned academy, and the gathered punk rockers were completely confused. But Elvrum's collaborative recordings at the K Records compound in Olympia are routinely devoured and adored by indie rock critics and fans; The Glow Pt. 2 is something of a fetish object in certain scenes. And the truth is, much of Elvrum's Beach Boys on-hallucinogens folk-type music is among the most accessibly lovable we've ever heard. Julie Doiron and Woelv open for Elvrum as Mt. Eerie (the Microphones) at 9 p.m. at Café Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
"Neal Pollack is the Norman Mailer of his generation, and Never Mind the Pollacks is his The Executioner's Song," or at least that's what Janeane Garofalo thinks, which is enough for us. We're sold. Bring on the Pollacks! For you doubters, though, the latest book from this widely published humorist is a satire of rock journalism, and that should be enough for you. Skewering every rock critic self-indulgence and showing its protagonist mysteriously appearing at every important moment in rock history, the novel traces the life of fictional and deceased "Neal Pollack" in interviews conducted by his archrival after his death. Bloated mythmaking and nearsighted hero worship have had it coming for a while now, so prepare to mock along with the author at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com.
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