Several years ago, a talented musician mentioned Matmos as one of his favorite bands, so I went unquestioningly to the record store and bought A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure. Matmos fans out there are already laughing: This album is not the right introduction to experimental found-sound electronic music madmen M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel. For one thing, it was made from noises recorded during various surgeries, mostly rhinoplasties and liposuctions. For another -- even though the pair took apart, slowed down, speeded up, and otherwise altered the squishing, suctioning, and sawing -- you can still tell what's going on. If you didn't know, you might just hear wonderfully odd techno. But I did know, thanks to the duo's open-door policy on source material (Matmos' liner notes are good reading, featuring lists such as "Bard Parker Scalpels, Draeger Anesthesia Ventilators, and Gramm's Medical Liposuction Equipment").
If you're thinking this band sounds like it got its start farting around in the Exploratorium, you're right. And as part of the science museum's "Situation Abnormal" series, Matmos performs tonight at 8:30 at the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon (at Marina), S.F. Museum admission is free-$12; call 397-5673 or visit www.exploratorium.edu.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Amour takes a holiday
Watching couples bill and coo at candlelit restaurants and bars around town during the sentimental season tends to make everyone not ensconced in such a cozy twosome feel both bitter and envious. Whether you're single or unhappily attached, find like-minded cohorts at the "My Sucky Valentine XI Open Play Party," a bash that celebrates love's darker side. Humiliating breakups! The intense pain of being cheated upon! That time you ran into your ex at the supermarket during a midnight ice cream run when he was holding hands with a new squeeze and purchasing condoms! It's not likely you'll ever forget the agony -- but watching a burlesque performance from Rose Pistola & Her Clitorotti, enjoying an adults-only play space, and hearing writers such as Violet Blue, M.I. Blue, and Daphne Gottlieb share their own experiences might ease your torment just a tad tonight. Pucker up at 8 at the SF Citadel, 245 Eighth St. (at Clementina), S.F. Admission is $15-25 (sliding scale); call 989-7370 or visit www.sfcitadel.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Hank III's hell-bound hybrid
Be afraid, be very afraid, for in the born-powerful figure of Hank Williams III two opposing forces come together: country and metal. Maybe it's fate that the grandson of Hank Sr. and son of Hank Jr. should combine these two outlaw styles into what he calls "hellbilly," a sound that spans both genres and shows off his incredible voice. No one else would dare put the two together, but you take a guy who grew up coon-huntin' with Waylon Jennings, and what else can he do? He's a lean, mean, Johnny Cash-and-Slayer-lovin' machine, appearing tonight with his band, Assjack. Hazard County Girls open at 9 at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $17; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
We miss the thriving zine scene that in the '90s left San Francisco littered with cut-and-paste personal epics culled from unremarkable lives. So you'll pardon our excitement over "Nomads and No-Zones: Western Essays by Greta Snider and Vanessa Renwick," a release party for a DVD jammed with intimate diarylike tales from local artists. Take a peek at 8 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia (at 21st Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 824-3890 or visit www.atasite.org.
-- Joyce Slaton