This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Longtime cartoonist/ first-time author Ted Rall thinks "pussy" is a really good way to describe President Bush. It's not a sexist term, according to the SF Weekly contributor. We're not sure exactly how that works, but the rest of Rall's new book, Wake Up, You're Liberal: How We Can Take America Back From the Right, seems to have a good heart. Well, maybe "good" is the wrong word, considering that one of the main theses of this research-heavy screed is that Democrats are just too damn nice, and that's why they're such losers. In fact, with stories like the one about how easy it would have been for the Gore campaign of 2000 to smear Bush (remember all the drunk-driving convictions, allegations of illegal drug use, and insinuations of going AWOL?), Rall seems to be saying that leftists need to be bigger dicks. (Surely there's a sexual joke to be made here, but perhaps we're too nice to make it.) Anyway, Wake Up has a foreword by George McGovern, a too-nice left-winger if ever there was one. Steve Brodner, author of Freedom Fries, reads also, at 7:30 p.m. at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 282-9246 or visit www.mtbs.com.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
Fiends, wake from your graves, emerge from your fetid pits, and claw your way past crumbling headstones with only one thing on your decaying minds: getting to the Misfits show. It's been 25 years since the horror-movie-obsessed punk rock outfit slayed us with its enchantingly dark beat and strangulated vocals. Sexiest punk singer ever Glenn Danzig is no longer with the band -- what are you going to do? Gnaw off your arm about it? -- but founding bassist Jerry Only has put together a spooky lineup too interesting to miss: Marky Ramone on the mike and Black Flag drummer Dez Cadena. Plus, truly brilliant locals Thee Merry Widows open, so whip out those devillock hairdos, teenagers. Memphis Murder Men and Love Equals Death share the bill at this all-ages show at 8:30 p.m. at the Pound-SF, 100 Cargo (at Pier 96), S.F. Admission is $18-20; call 826-9202 or visit www.poundsf.com.

Friday, October 22, 2004
We understand that some of you have not yet made up your minds about whom to vote for in the upcoming presidential election. What, you don't like your choices? Perhaps you're pissed that neither of the candidates can bust out killer freestyle rhymes. Or you might be upset that those guys have no position on the self-destructiveness of mainstream hip hop. We've got your solution: Aya de León. This outspoken lady is a refreshing alternative to those two stuffed suits. "You misogynistic rappers can suck my dick!" she's fond of yelling. Her new show, Aya de León Is Running for President, showcases her slam-poetry brand of hip hop theater, which includes plenty of intelligent political analysis in addition to the funny stuff. Chola Priest joins de León onstage tonight at 8 at the City of Refuge Church, 1025 Howard (at Sixth Street), S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-6130 or visit www.ayadeleon.com.

Saturday, October 23, 2004
Why does music sound so much better with foreign vocals, the way the Streets' wry British delivery brings a dry, intriguing quality to their club-ready rap? Parisian band Operation S sounds kind of like the Runaways and kind of like Bratmobile, but vocalist Cecilia's sneery French wails -- occasionally joined by those of her ex No-Talents bandmate Iwan, producing an X-like yin-yang blend -- make the group's garage-rock guitars and swooping new-wave keyboards seem fresh. Is it that most lyrics are indescribably stupid, but because we're not French speakers we simply can't make these out? Maybe so, but to rephrase the famous maxim about obscenity, we know cool when we hear it. Operation S joins Smirk and the Wendy Kroys at 9 p.m. at Thee Parkside, 1600 17th St. (at Wisconsin), S.F. Admission is $7; call 503-0393 or visit www.theeparkside.com.

Sunday, October 24, 2004
Board an F-line train today and you'll find that your usual sense of wonder at the beautiful old streetcars will get an extra boost: modern dance. "Trolley Dances" is the brainchild of Epiphany Productions' Kim Epifano, and it must have been something of an epiphany to realize that she could dance on, around, and through these trains wearing cool vintage-looking costumes. We don't know exactly what went through Epifano's mind, but the result is that EP and three other dance companies will perform original works on and near the trains this weekend. Zaccho Dance Theatre, San Diego Dance Theater, and Steamroller Dance Company will all cavort, climb, and slither around the beloved public transportation system, with every intention of delighting you. Guided tours leave every 45 minutes starting at 12:15 p.m. from Civic Center Plaza, Polk & McAllister, S.F. Admission is free with train fare; call 267-4825 or visit www.epiphanydance.org.

Monday, October 25, 2004
The final "Independent Exposure" screening of the season, "Halloweird 2004," gets us in the end-of-October mood a little early, with 14 short films that fall into either "scary" or "weird" classifications. Actually, some of them look funny, too, but that's OK. Kevin C. Murray's Asking for It, for example, is explained on the Web site thusly: "A girl alone in a cabin at night. You do the math." But most of the movies stick to the above rules, like Carolyn and Andy London's contribution, which exploits a little-talked-about but deep-seated fear: It's called Poetry Reading. Then there's Thorsten Fleisch's computer animation, Gestalt, in which "quaternionic fractals are visualized by projecting them into threedimensional space." Could be weird, could be scary. Find out at 8 p.m. at the 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 864-0660 or visit www.microcinema.com.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Outrage. That's what Howard Zinn makes you feel, like a boil on your ass that won't let you sit still one second longer. A People's History of the United States, the author's classic history from the losers' perspective, has sold an astonishing million-plus copies since its publication in 1980, awakening legions of Americans to the misdeeds of our national sacred cows. In the stirring documentary Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, the still-vital Zinn traces the roots of his radicalism from the 1930s labor protests through the civil rights movement and on to his resistance against the Iraq conflict, while astonishing archival footage illustrates the activist's probing, unsettling opinions on the dangerous power of our government. Get a dose of righteous fury at 7:15 tonight (and continuing through Thursday, with Wednesday screenings at 2 and 4 p.m.) at the Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is $4-7; call 668-3994 or visit www.redvicmoviehouse.com.


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