This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
New York owns Broadway and Los Angeles hosts the film industry, but San Francisco's hardly the epicenter of what's left -- music, dance, or the visual arts. Yet despite our rep as a sleepy cultural backwater, this town boasts homegrown artists who could seek brighter lights and bigger cities, but thankfully choose not to. The Marsh pays tribute to them with the 2005 "San Francisco Treasures Series," a monthly run of one-night-only turns from Bay Area luminaries. First on the docket: a program called "These Are a Few of My F******* Things," in which director/writer/performance artist Ellen Sebastian Chang addresses her mixed-race heritage with Wake Up Half Breeds, a poem/miniplay that sympathizes with the ethnically befuddled, and gives the East Bay a high-five in the monologue Being Something: Living Young and Growing Old in Oakland. Her husband, chef SunHui Chang, caters the event with a combination menu titled "Soul to Seoul" at 8 p.m. at the Marsh, 1062 Valencia (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $25-50; call 826-5750 or visit www.themarsh.org.

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Ostensibly created to honor Ireland's patron saint, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into a sort of Celtic pride festival that's mostly an excuse to wear green, watch a parade, and chug a shitload of beer. To which we say, "Yippee -- an excuse to drink beer in the sunshine!" Hard to argue with that. And if you want to guzzle your suds in a huge, chatty crowd of like-minded revelers, the "Saint Patrick's Day Block Party" is your best bet. There, hundreds of cheerful celebrants spill onto the North Beach sidewalk to flirt, kibitz, and sway to the strains of live Irish music. Catch tunes from Blue on Green, Hy Brassyl, and Eoin Harrington, plus hoofers from the Whelan Academy of Irish Dance, at 3 p.m. at O'Reilly's Irish Pub & Restaurant, 622 Green (at Stockton), S.F. Admission is $10; call 989-6222 or visit www.oreillysirish.com.

Friday, March 18, 2005
Due to his high-profile hosting gig on the reality show Fear Factor, Joe Roganis better known for pushing contestants to chow down on platters of pig rectums or enclose themselves in coffins with hundreds of squirming rats than for his stand-up comedy. It's a shame, really, since on TV Rogan comes off as a smarmy frat-boy dude, while onstage, going mano a mano with a microphone, Rogan seems more like a -- well, he's still a dude, but he's a damned funny one. Dick jokes, bitter observations on the male-female divide, and pokes at celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith and Hugh Hefner form the core of Rogan's stage show, making it delicious dish for the mean-spirited, and perhaps less appropriate for the easily offended. See which category you fall into at 8 and 10:15 tonight and tomorrow night at Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $25-30; call 928-4320 or visit www.cobbscomedyclub.com.

Saturday, March 19, 2005
What is it with you lapsed Catholics? Though the agnostic/atheist folks we know who were raised Baptist or Presbyterian or Methodist seem able to shrug off their childhood religious affiliations with little pain, for whatever reason Catholics seem irretrievably molded by confirmation classes, rosary beads, and clouds of incense. Still, we're grateful for the motivation behind "Catholic School Karaoke," an evening of off-the-cuff performances from former parochial students gone wild. Sorrowful sinners are encouraged to visit the on-site confessional for absolution from San Francisco Sex Information volunteers; others can amuse themselves by downing "Communion shots" or participating in the costume contest for naughtiest nun, most perverted priest, or lustiest schoolgirl/-boy. Forgive us, father, for we will sin at 8 p.m. at the 540 Club, 540 Clement (at Seventh Avenue), S.F. Admission is free; call 752-7276 or visit www.540-club.com.

Sunday, March 20, 2005
Just because you love a band doesn't mean you're going to dig the individual efforts of the outfit's ex-members. (Case in point: the Jam. Outstanding group, but Paul Weller's solo stuff is pure crap. Same goes for you, Ray Davies and Jonathan Richman.) Which is why we weren't surprised to find ourselves left cold by the fledgling solo albums of Graham Coxon, former guitarist for Blur. Oh well, we thought, guess incredible songs like "Mile End" and "Parklife" were the result of some kind of lucky synchronicity among all the Blur boys. But with his latest release, Happiness in Magazines, Coxon seems to have hit his stride, and is now producing catchy masterpieces almost in the same league as Blur's brilliant output. Bow to the power of the three-minute pop song at 9 p.m. at 330 Ritch, 330 Ritch (at Townsend), S.F. Admission is $15; call 522-9558 or visit www.popscene-sf.com.

Monday, March 21, 2005
With San Francisco's independent film houses closing one by one (the Coronet -- expected to go dark this month -- being the latest in a sad pack that includes the Alexandria and the Alhambra), it seems like before long local film lovers will be left with only the choice of which Hollywood crapfest to see at which corporate multiplex. That is, unless they decide to check out the gloriously odd offerings of Microcinema International's "Independent Exposure," a monthly touring program of short movies and videos curated by choosy local cinéaste Joel S. Bachar. Tonight Bachar and company celebrate the series' 10th anniversary with "Independent Exposure X," a great big ol' grab bag of experimental goodies including Fran's Fantastic Feasts, a four-minute spoof of cooking shows, and U, a slap-happy look at flatulence. The reels unspool at 8 p.m. at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 864-0660 or visit www.microcinema.com.

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