Joy Division, that bastion of post-punk somberness, penned some of my favorite morbid melodies. I can't help but be moved by singer Ian Curtis' ominous warbling of lyrics like "A house somewhere on foreign soil/ Where ageless lovers call/ Is this your goal, your final needs/ Where dogs and vultures eat/ Committed still I turn to go/ I put my trust in you."
That moody verse stole into my mind when I heard about the upcoming exhibit "I'll Put My Trust in You." The show features artwork from a few of the posse at Hamburger Eyes photo magazine, a darkly funny publication that earmarks the little-noticed yet iconic moments of everyday life. Stefan Simikich, the zine's associate editor, achieves a balance between comic absurdity and some of the more gruesome trappings of the city in his contribution to this multimedia exhibition. His chronicle of urban apathy spans portraits of bloody-faced teens, shots of fat men with beer bongs, and visions of listless couples in wayside diners. Simikich's work is a testament to the accidental strangeness we often encounter, and his prints are infused with bitter irony -- the same kind that makes me shudder deliciously at Joy Division's cynical lyrics.
Other featured artists include Ray and Dave Potes (also of Hamburger Eyes), John Groshong, and Ethan Indorf; the opening reception offers live performances by the Coachwhips and DJ Cliff Huxtable. Check it out this Friday at 7 p.m. (the show continues through May 20) at On Six Gallery (at Club Six), 60 Sixth St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 531-6593 or visit www.onsixgallery.com.
-- Nirmala Nataraj
Once upon a time, "brazen whore" was an insult. But today, at least in the Bay Area, the term has been reclaimed: The Sex Worker Film & Arts Festival, for example, celebrates the creative output of shameless hussies, and includes discussions and seminars geared toward helping prostitutes stay safe, healthy, and happy. Organizers include Carol Leigh, aka Scarlot Harlot, and a host of groups known for opinionated positions, like COYOTE. The fest is pretty brazen -- and that's a compliment. The opening night party features performers such as Kitten on the Keys and Dee Dee Russell at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Epicenter Gallery, 398 11th St. (at Harrison), S.F. Admission is $10-20; call 751-1659 or visit www.bayswan.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Ship on Fire
Few predicted the explosion of music found on Blueberry Boat, the second album from the Fiery Furnaces. Eleanor and Matt Friedberger added prog and Who-era rock opera to their folk-tinged garage sound, with Eleanor's strong, clear voice enunciating its way through childlike tales of sea dogs and rotten men, matching the efforts of guitarist and brother Matt, who tosses off career-making hooks like he's pitching rings at a circus midway. Dios Malos opens at 9 p.m. on Thursday (also with the Herms) and Friday (also with Bunky) at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $13-15; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com.
-- Michael Leaverton
The Unbelievable Truth
Teenagers have always snickered when someone says sex is an expression of love, but even they couldn't imagine a world in which lovemaking increases buying power and attractiveness determines credit ratings. Such sexual commodification is rife in Hal Hartley's latest film, The Girl From Monday, which he calls a "fake sci-fi movie." The flick portrays a world ruled by a consumerist dictatorship in which the heroes have sex just because it feels good. Hear Hartley speak after the Saturday 8 p.m. and Sunday 6 p.m. screenings at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $8; call 863-1087 or visit www.roxie.com.
-- Jane Tunks