Wednesday, May 25, 2005
We were big fans of Richie's artwork in The Royal Tenenbaums, but because Richie was fictional, we knew someone else had to be behind it. We were right (nothing gets by us!); it was Eric Chase Anderson, director Wes' brother. Today the artist -- who turns out to be a writer, too -- reads from his first book, Chuck Dugan Is AWOL: A Novel With Maps. It's definitely an Anderson production: deceptively simple, enamored of odd items like deep-sea diving suits and Navy-style coffee mugs (no handle), and, of course, sweetly silly. Hear Anderson read from his tale of a teenage supersleuth and how he accidentally puts his mom, Fraunces, in harm's way at 7:30 p.m. at Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College (at Kales), Oakland. Admission is free; call (510) 653-9965 or visit www.dieselbookstore.com.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Berlin residents Stereo Totalhave been putting out their tongue-in-cheek electro-pop for a decade, and are now marking the occasion with their sixth full-length album, Do the Bambi. This go-round, multilingual chanteuse Françoise Cactus coos little-girl-lost stories in three languages (German, French, and English), while her boyfriend-bandmate Brezel Göring offers his usual retro-futuristic percolations on his battery of synthy gewgaws. Though less enlightened scribes fail to appreciate the band's capricious lyrics, we can't resist such whimsical pleas in "I Am Naked" as "Don't get upset/ Buy me a new dress." A new-wavey cover of the Velvet Underground's "Chelsea Girls" and a scorching tribute to the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange make us smile even more. Hawnay Troof and the Gossip open at 9 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus (at Chestnut), S.F. Admission is $16-18; call 474-0365 or visit www.bimbos365club.com.
Friday, May 27, 2005
It was to have been called "Music to Plummet to Your Death By," a name the organizers thought was funny for an extravaganza of trapeze artistry and live klezmer music. Soon, though, the many aerialists scheduled to perform disagreed with that title. Not fucking funny, they said. We take our lives in our hands every time we fly over your heads with the greatest of ease. Sure, it's great entertainment, but you can take that name and shove it right up your ironic ass. (We're paraphrasing.) "Music to NOT Plummet to Your Death By" features an astonishing array of trapeze artists headlined by local duo the Starlings, plus music provided by Kugelplex and the As Is Brass Band, at 9 p.m. at 12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $8; call 970-9777 or visit www.12galaxies.com.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
In this age of computer-generated artwork, the preschool-approved media of paper cutouts and Play-Doh retain their appeal to our childlike sensibilities. In the art show "I'm Glad We Met," it's clear that artists Saelee Oh and Souther Salazar agree with us. In their premiere collaboration, the friends and accomplices, who met on the first day of art school, work together to fashion miniature installations using PlaySkool blocks, molded clay, and found materials. In a phone interview, Salazar promised that the show would reveal his own "lumpy little characters" as well as Oh's whales and tails. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m. (and the exhibit continues through June 30) at Giant Robot, 622 Shrader (at Haight), S.F. Admission is free; call 876-4773 or visit www.gr-sf.com.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
The Gypsy life has always seemed alluring to us, with its raucous music, multigenerational get-togethers, and rugged Johnny Depp look-alikes. The one-man band A Hawk & a Hacksawmakes it even more appealing, drawing on Eastern European itinerant musical traditions and fusing Romany forms with anything from klezmer to early American folk music to John Cage influenced avant-garde. Whatever you term it, the results are downright hypnotic: sounds that can mesmerize even the most jaded indie rocker. The group is the stage name for Jeremy Barnes, perhaps best known as Neutral Milk Hotel's drummer, who's turned in his drumsticks for an accordion, a melodica, a violin, a glockenspiel, and whatever else he can get his talented hands on. A Hawk performs tonight alongside Conspiracy of Beards and the Finches at 9:30 at the Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk (at Post), S.F. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Though we were dragged kicking and screaming to see Team America: World Police -- the uproarious flick from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone -- we thanked our friends afterward. We couldn't help but guffaw at the on-screen hijinks of the all-marionette cast. Our favorite parts: a catchy little ditty called "America, Fuck Yeah" and an extended sex scene of two puppets getting busy in almost every position without their strings becoming tangled even once. Now this work of genius is available on DVD, and in its honor the Independent's "Cinema Drafthouse" is breaking out the inflatable couches, free popcorn, and pitchers of beer for its semiregular movie night. Shout at the screen as Team plays at 8 p.m. at 628 Divisadero (at Hayes), S.F. Admission is free with a two-drink minimum; call 771-1421 or visit www.independentsf.com.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Psychologists say being married has lots of benefits, such as reducing stress and increasing one's life span. But it also has its downsides: your partner's dirty socks, the hell of setting up joint banking accounts, and (let's be honest) a drastic reduction in hanky-panky. Berkeley Rep tackles such issues with its latest production, Honour, by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. A woman named Honor has given up a promising career as a poet to marry and raise children with her husband, George. Thirty-two years pass, a smart and pretty twentysomething enters the picture, and, well, you can predict what happens next. But that doesn't mean the show is predictable, because Honour gives this timeless story a thought-provoking spin tonight at 8 (the play continues through July 3) at Berkeley Repertory's Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison (at Shattuck), Berkeley. Admission is $20-55; call (510) 647-2949 or visit www.berkeleyrep.org.