Wednesday, March 9, 2005
We first witnessed the art of So So Many White White Tigers lead singer Liza Thorn on the sidewalk outside Balazo Gallery one night. She simultaneously screeched, fell down, drank beer from a can, and delivered a semicoherent monologue about her fascination with Courtney Love for a solid half-hour. We were impressed. It's rare to see a beautiful and obviously talented lady rolling around on the loogied bitumen. Plenty of people like to give the impression that they would, or might, get down and dirty for the sake of an artistic and cultural vision, but not too many will actually push over recycling bins on Mission Street. Oh, and the band? The band is excellent. Jeweled Cats open at 8 p.m. at El Rio, 3158 Mission (at Cesar Chavez), S.F. Admission is $5; call 282-3325 or visit www.elriosf.com.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
"There's something unbearably sad about a 60-year-old man who still takes drugs." That's Slate.com's deputy editor, David Plotz, in a 1998 article about the film version of Hunter S. Thompson's book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The piece leads off this way: "Thompson so belongs to a bygone era that he probably should have had the good sense to die along with it." To that we say: Congratulations, Mr. Plotz, you got part of your wish, but you may have also inspired the title of tonight's memorial -- "Vicious Bullshit: A Hallucinatory Wake in Honor of the Late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson." Here, Stephen Elliott, Ianthe Brautigan, Susie Bright, and many others gather to remember, toast, roast, and otherwise mourn the passing of a controversial writer. Former SF Weeklycolumnist Jack Boulware hosts at 9 p.m. at the Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary (at Larkin), S.F. Admission is free; call 885-4074 or visit www.castlenews.com.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Once upon a time, on a highway far, far away, the Extra Action Marching Band and a cohort of grimy oddballs hurtled along in a mid-1960s former Green Tortoise bus, minding their various businesses -- hogging road-stand fruit, clipping toenails, sewing. A naif suddenly piped up: "What are we listening to?" The entire contents of the large vehicle hollered, "The Billy Nayer Show!" With his songs of monkeys and psychedelics, bandleader Cory McAbee, backed up by Frank Swart and Bobby Lurie, regularly enchants fans of inebriation and absurdity. Suffice to say, this guy eats weirder things than you for breakfast. Tonight, in addition to the band's performance, McAbee screens his "space opera," The American Astronaut, at 9 at 12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $10; call 970-9777 or visit www.12galaxies.com.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Got a closet full of PVC and latex? Enjoy a good whupping now and again? Need a place to show off your scars and piercings? The San Francisco Fetish Ball 2005 has your number, with an explosive party featuring bondage and S/M demos, striptease and burlesque artists, fire dancers, fashion shows, and hundreds of kink-crazy attendees tarted up in pleasingly sleazy gear and loaded for bear. DJ Dimitri, Dutch master of "soul-techno" spinning, is the evening's dance-floor maestro, while stage turns by performers like Kumi and Storm (who promises an onstage "sanguinarian sacrifice") keep the crowd warmed up. The debauchery begins at 9 p.m. at the Gift Center Pavilion, 888 Brannan (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is $25-35; visit www.sffetishball.com.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
The artists represented in "Afrocuba: Works on Paper, 1968-2003" (part of the larger "To Cuba With Love" exhibit) are uniformly fascinating. Many of them live in Havana, and that's pretty interesting all by itself, since we don't see art from this island city too often. The dramatic prints, expressive charcoal drawings, and especially the striking woodblock prints are complex, not as political as one might expect, and altogether a fine collection. But the real revelation, to our eyes, is the work of Belkis Ayón. Mostly stark black-and-white "collagraphs," Ayón's strongly defined human figures have shockingly piercing, often pupil-less eyes. The work has a little German expressionist feel to it, but make no mistake: It's Cuban. The show continues through March 30 at the SFSU Campus/Fine Arts Building, 1600 Holloway (at 19th Avenue), S.F. Admission is free; call 338-6535 or visit www.sfsu.edu.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Ever notice how criminals get more lovable as time passes? The tommy-gun-toting Al Capones of the 1940s now seem so cuddly, while today's gangbangers just come across as scum. It's a phenomenon we imagine Octavio Solis might examine in The Ballad of Pancho & Lucy, a play that's part of the Campo Santo "Open Process Series," at which works in progress get an initial airing. The new drama tells the based-on-a-true-story tale of a Bonnie-and-Clyde-style couple who went on a robbery spree in the Mission District in the 1990s. Will they be romantic action figures or hiss-worthy bad guys? Watch as the plot unfolds -- and the play itself comes together -- at 7:30 p.m. at Intersection for the Arts' Mancuso Theater, 446 Valencia (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is $5-15; call 626-2787 or visit www.theintersection.org.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
She's known for ballads with intensely personal lyrics, such as "Me and a Gun," a chilling account of her own rape in 1985 by a deranged fan. So when Tori Amos decided to write a book, what do you think she produced -- a kiddie story, a cookbook, maybe a "learn to play the piano in just six weeks" instructional tome? No, the new volume Tori Amos: Piece by Piece is exactly the kind of intimate memoir her admirers would expect. Quite a crush is expected at Amos' signing party today, but anyone who wants the songstress to pen a dedication on the book or her new CD (The Beekeeper) must purchase a copy of one or both on-site to obtain a ticket for the sign-line. Fight the madding crowd at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is $18.98-24.98 (includes book or CD); call 863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com.