"The Elvis of cultural theory," as he's called by the esteemed journal the Chronicle of Higher Education, is a Slovenian philosopher named Slavoj Zizek. In the world of academia, young, smart, fashionable students flock to his lectures, and he's brought French theory to bear on aspects of popular culture from Hitchcock films to "the sexual practice known as 'fisting.'" He's often described as having a worldwide cult following, and he's coming to town.
Given his emphasis on movies (grad students went nuts for his analysis of The Matrix), it should be no surprise that someone has turned the camera on him. Dr. Zizek (pronounced ZHEE-zheck) doesn't look like a superstar, but director Astra Taylor followed him around the world for Zizek!, a documentary that's likely to draw well-read and well-coiffed hordes. The philosopher's own heroes are Marx, Lacan, and Hegel, but since he welcomes outsiders himself, we're guessing you don't even have to know who those folks are to enjoy the movie. "Elvis" is in the building for a Q&A session following a screening of the film, which begins at 8 p.m. at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $8; call 863-1087 or visit www.roxie.com. -- Hiya Swanhuyser
If Tina Turner and Jon Spencer had spawned a love child, it would have had the bluesy wail and undeniable sexual energy of siren Jillian Iva. The vocal powerhouse fronts the all-girl quartet Von Iva, which is back in town after a triumphant show at South by Southwest to serenade the local crowd at "Mesh Magazine's Spring Spectacular." The divas whip the crowd into a sweat-soaked frenzy with songs like "Not Hot to Trot" and "Soulshaker," earning the name the Mesh folks gave them: "San Francisco's own soul-shakin', love-makin', reigning queens of dancetastic rock 'n' roll." Also on the bill are the synth-heavy sounds of Oakland band Communiqué, tunes from DJs Jet Set James and Jenny Fake, and more dance rock from D.O.D., starting at 9 p.m. at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell (at Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $8; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com. -- Jane Tunks
Astoria, a blue-collar neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., has never been famous for its burgeoning literary scene. But that may change with the hometown pride generated by Pindeldyboz, aka Pboz, an annual lit journal put together in Whitney Pastorek's Astoria apartment. Tonight, Pastorek heads west with the "First EverPindeldybozCelebration of All Things Left." Subtitled "an evening of readings and rock," the night features Pbozliterary types such as Suzanne Kleid, Shauna McKenna, and Stephen Elliot, plus the stripped-down distortion of OCS, Coachwhips singer John Dwyer's acoustic solo act. Rock out in your reading glasses at 7 p.m. at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $6; call 647-2888 or visit www.makeoutroom.com. -- Jane Tunks
Work Is a Four-Letter Word
The foul stench of certain co-workers, the cringe-worthy stares from lecherous regulars, and the gratifying retribution of stealing office supplies -- Ayun Halliday sets us giggling with her misadventures in dead-end gigs in her book Job Hopper: The Checkered Career of a Down-Market Dilettante, from which she reads tonight at 7 at City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), S.F. Admission is free; call 362-8193 or visit www.citylights.com. -- Jane Tunks