Wednesday, February 23, 2005
At this point, it's a given: The infamous WMDs the Bush administration used as a premise for the invasion of Iraq never existed. But at the time, the public didn't know whether Saddam Hussein had his finger on the button or not. It was a frightening moment, and just the kind of situation in which valiant investigative journalists are supposed to act as safeguards against governmental wrongdoing. In the documentary WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception, filmmaker Danny Schechter shows exactly how that didn't happen. Tonight's special screening is a benefit for progressive resource group Grassroots for America, and includes a wine and hors d'oeuvre reception with John McManus of Stanford University's Grade the News (www.gradethenews.org) at 6:45 at the Bridge Theatre, 3010 Geary (at Blake), S.F. Admission is $20; call 267-4893 or visit www.sf4democracy.com.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
The new-music world is an odd and marvelous place; in it, striking blond ladies play cellos made of ice as digital drum-pads amplify water droplets from the melting instrument. Here, songwriters become inspired by lint sculpture, or the Vietnam War, or the ambient noises of San Francisco. Not all of this is on the program at the 11th Other Minds Music Festival, but some is, and plenty more besides: Daniel Bernard Roumain, the "dreadlocked violinist," performs; Fred Frith and Sudhu Tewari use homemade instruments; and Charles Amirkhanian premieres a radiophonic tape piece. Joan Jeanrenaud, whom Bay Area new-music enthusiasts remember from her Ice Cello a while back, collaborates with composer Maria de Alvear and Indian Dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni at one of the event's several action-packed concerts. The festival also offers several movie screenings; one, as part of a celebration of composer Marc Blitzstein, is Tim Robbins' Cradle Will Rock, for which Blitzstein provided the tunes. The three-day fest begins tonight with a panel discussion at 7 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $18-40; call 978-2787 or visit www.otherminds.org.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Cross-pollinate the SuicideGirls with some musical theater -- let's say Show Boat, or Hello, Dolly. Allow Liberace to hover somewhere in the background, coat the whole thing in aggressive pink chiffon, and stick it in a dive bar. Voilà! You're all set to enjoy the sweetness of Cotton Candy's cabaret. The impossibly pastel band features shocking soprano Heidi Kooy hogging the spotlight in front; Tom Edler, a cute goofball of a stand-up bass player and very sporting in his rose-colored slacks; and Miss Accordion San Francisco 2004, Linda Robertson, whose hobbies include forcing audience members to spit beer on those around them, for which she uses the single word "stroker." Recently the trio's been joined by a smooth marimba operator, Matt Cannon, who comes complete with ruffled shirt; his unctuous xylophone-esque sound takes the show into uncharted territory. Fans of clown porn, Tim Burton flicks, and jewelry boxes with tiny spinning ballerinas should feel right at home. The Whoreshoes and Jug Free America open at 9 p.m. at the Odeon, 3223 Mission (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $7; call 550-6994 or visit www.cottoncandycabaret.com.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
The explosion of interest in crafts, from knitting to small-scale welding, means there are more independent fashion designers than ever. So many one-person companies making funky-chunky jewelry, screen-printed T-shirts, and metallic leather handbags, and so little time. How does the savvy clotheshorse deal with this dilemma? She checks out "Fashion Co-op SF," for one thing. Here shoppers can find shirts and jerseys from Lori Petty's Lawd Knows, big-dot ribbon belts by Cookie & the Dude, and baubles from Araceli Silva Jewelry. Our favorites are the fancy frilly dresses by Orquidia Violeta Velasquez, representing Silver Lake's Laborfruit workshop. Get the goods at 11 a.m. at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $3-5; call 974-1719 or visit www.fashioncoop.com.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Does it annoy you as much as it does us when you ask a heterosexual friend to rate the attractiveness of a person who shares his gender and your friend claims he can't judge that? What, you have to want to fuck a painting before you consider it lovely? You have to be turned on by a sunset in order to appreciate its magnificence? We call "bullshit" on this clandestine homophobia, and we won't be inviting such friends to "Miss Kitty's Raucous Romp," an evening of strip shows from folks who run the gamut of all possible genders and sexual orientations. Butch dykes, flirty transsexuals, hetero boys, bi chicks -- all are welcome to doff duds and do the bump-and-grind. Get inclusive at 8 p.m. at the Cherry Bar & Lounge, 917 Folsom (at Fifth Street), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 974-1585 or visit www.misskittysraucousromp.com.
Monday, February 28, 2005
Oh yes, the world is full of moronic tunes. "Open Arms," "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window," the deathless "MacArthur Park." It takes a special kind of person to appreciate these musical monstrosities and retool them for a scornful new generation of listeners. But that's just the thankless task Theee STUPEDS (aka the Society to Undertake the Preservation of Endangered Dumb Songs) has taken on. The group presents live stage shows entirely comprised of criminally bad ditties: At various times, its repertoire has included such travesties as "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," "Uptown Girl," and what it calls (ouch) the "Diabetes Medley," a string of tunes that include the words "sugar," "candy," or "lollipop" in the title. Accept the pain at the Dumb Songs Festival at 8 p.m. at Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $15; call 928-4320 or visit www.cobbscomedyclub.com.