This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Warm fuzzies, both literal and figurative, seem like an unusual subject for working artists -- cuteness has long been a hallmark of uninformed amateurs. But in the oddly titled exhibition "and now they aren't. but they are.," much of the work has just this sweet quality. It's not naive, though -- yarn, sparkly stuff, and even patio furniture fabric all transform into intelligent, compelling pieces. Sharon Engelstein's animal-esque plastic figures and Jonathan Tucker's odd rocks sporting birthday cake icing join Frank Yamrus' sumptuous photos of flowers (this is a guy best known for taking pictures of people's faces at or near the moment of sexual climax) and Barbara Takenaga's cosmic drawings and paintings, which she describes as "trippy." The show is up through Jan. 8 at the Gregory Lind Gallery, 49 Geary (at Kearny), Fifth Floor, S.F. Admission is free; call 296-9661 or visit www.gregorylindgallery.com.

Thursday, December 30, 2004
As retro crafts and fads come back into vogue -- the young, fashionable knitters, newly tepid (as opposed to ice cold) interest in tap dancing, and that online company selling cross-stitch kits so you can needlepoint a sweet little sign reading "Whatever" -- we're thinking that it would be great to see a revival of hamboning. "Body drumming" is the art's newfangled name, as decreed by its current local master, Unique Derique, and it's an apt term. It may sound simple to smack various parts of your body against each other to make sounds, but watching someone with real experience jam will humble upstarts. You heard it here first: The hambone revival is on. Derique performs the kid-oriented Cirque Do Somethin' along with his clown-show partner, Moshe "YooWho" Cohen, at 3:30 p.m. today (and through Jan. 9) at the Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $5-15; call 826-5750 or visit www.themarsh.org.

Friday, December 31, 2004
One of the finest megaparties in town tonight, "Sea of Dreams '05 -- Surrealia" offers so much to look at and listen to that we're not sure where to begin. Naturally, the Anon Salon organized spree features a raft of great DJs (Ellen Ferrato, Adnan, rave veterans galore), masses of musicians spanning genres from "pagan lounge" to hip hop to world trance groove, and dance troupes including belly dancers, burlesquers, and one intriguingly described as a "naughty aerial circus." Visual artists have been put to work, too, so keep an eye out for projections, fashion shows, and installations to bend your already dazzled mind. The very biggest treats, in our opinion? Sublimely talented beat-boxer Kid Beyond and exuberant vocalist Ruby Iron. Dress as your dream, say organizers, and show up at 8:30 p.m. at the Regency Center, 1290 Sutter (at Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $80; call 673-5716 or visit www.anonsalon.com.

Saturday, January 1, 2005
We first fell for the 5.6.7.8's when the Japanese rock 'n' rollers appeared on a compilation album called Today's Top Girl Groups Vol. 1, on which the most famous artist was Holly Golightly. We got ahold of it around 2000, so let's be clear: We were into the 5.6.7.8's way before that Quentin Tarantino brat put the band in his movie Kill Bill: Volume 1. Now that we've got that off our chest, we can tell you that these beehive-sporting chicks grind out primitive stomp-rock à la the Cramps, and they rule the school. This trio goes for garage, surf, rockabilly, and early Beatles-type pop, and nothin' else, man. Although rumored to have broken up a while back, the ladies are fully in action tonight. Don't be afraid to jump on the bandwagon, even if they are all famous now. The Flakes, the Fevers, and the Bobbyteens (who were also on that compilation) share the stage at 9 at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $10-14; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com.

Sunday, January 2, 2005
Think big when you think of Gus Bean. His vision is big, his friends are big, and his parties are massive, throbbing centers of dancing and entertainment that are often organized around a gay male sensibility -- but everybody's welcome. His company, Gus Presents, celebrates two big decades of throwing them at the "Gus Presents 20-Year Anniversary Retrospective and Exhibition," with video, fliers, press clippings, and photos of past events. Bean's favorite memories include Madonna's early-1990s appearance at "Colossus," Grace Jones' antics at the Endup, and the power outage during a Marky Mark performance at the Sound Factory. The opening reception (part of the "Colossus New Year's Weekend") starts at 5 p.m. at Ten 15 Folsom, 1015 Folsom (at Sixth Street), S.F. Admission is $15-20; visit www.guspresents.com.

Monday, January 3, 2005
While you could argue that most game shows are ridiculous spectacles already, their overwrought drama makes them ripe for spoofing. Fortunately, such spoofability is exploited monthly by comic Joe Klocek in the live quiz show "Get It!?" Here's how it works: Audience members watch stand-up sets, then get chosen at random to mount the stage and answer questions about the jokes they've just heard. Wrong answers elicit mockery from the host; right answers are rewarded with applause and prizes. Either way, you get to laugh at whatever's transpiring onstage. Get your game face on at 9 p.m. at the Punch Line, 444 Battery (at Clay), S.F. Admission is $5 (plus a two-drink minimum); call 397-4337 or visit www.punchlinecomedyclub.com.

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