Which of these options for your post-Pride Parade brouhaha sounds better: getting caught in an alley with a group of bridge-and-tunnel revelers from Orinda coming down off of their Ecstasy highs; or sitting poolside at the Bambuddha Lounge with your fifth iced cocktail in hand, getting up every now and then merely to check your nostrils? If the latter seems more your speed than wandering aimlessly around Civic Center with those determined to party on, head to Juanita More's "Lashes -- The Official Grand Marshal After Party." Hosted by drag personas Donna Sachet, Suppositori Spelling, and the smashing Princess Kennedy, this Pride party promises to be much more stimulating than sporting that lame sequined rainbow-flag T-shirt of yours. In addition to DJs Derek B, Neon Leon, and Chelsea Starr spinning Smurfy beats perfect for a summer's day, African-American troupe Harlem Shake Burlesque performs. Expect an inclusive group of freaks ranging from trannies and dykes to pretty boys and bears. The party starts at 5 p.m. at the Bambuddha Lounge, 601 Eddy (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $10; call 885-5088 or visit www.juanitamore.com.
-- Brock Keeling
Chris Ballantyne's paintings are deceptively simple. At first glance, a kidney-shaped swimming pool appears to be a study in the suburban-lonely aesthetic with a hint of Dr. Seuss' intestinal swoops. But: the diving board. It's easy to miss, yet it nearly spans the pool's narrow waist, and any leap worth its salt would spell disaster. (Not to mention that the pool looks empty.) Ballantyne's celebratory show at the San Francisco Art Institute (he won 2005's Tournesol Award) features more of his playful, sorrowful paintings, mocking the more lamentable landscape-changing structures of modern man, such as tract homes, fences, and freeways. Sharing the bill is stenciler Scott Williams, honored with the 2005 Adaline Kent Award, which is a nice surprise given his medium is typically relegated to sidewalks. Of course, his stencils aren't dashed off by moonlight; the carefully layered, pop-culture images of Hollywood and cultural figures betray an artist's touch. The exhibit continues through July 30 at the Walter & McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut (at Jones), S.F. Admission is free; call 771-7020 or visit www.sfai.edu.
-- Michael LeavertonClowes Your Eyes
Comic book author Daniel Clowes is famous for his sense of irony. As the person responsible for the Ghost World book and screenplay, he's been both vilified and lauded by critics for creating characters whose worlds seem completely immersed in irony. We just think he's a talented artist and writer telling the truth about his own world, which resonates with a lot of people; ironically, Clowes has been known to say things like, "'Irony' is a word that usually makes my eyeballs bleed!" His new book, Ice Haven, may not be ironic at all, depending on how you define it (Alanis Morissette would probably say it is, but a dictionary would most likely say no). Either way, the series of intertwining stories, all set in the title burg, bears the Clowes signatures: awkwardness, heartbreak, and unexpected philosophical moments. Likewise, it's handsomely produced, meticulously printed, and the cycling visual styles remind us why we love comics so much. If it's less harsh than some of his other work, it's still jampacked with depressing scenarios: A little boy disappears, and someone says, "Still, it gives the rest of us something to talk about, doesn't it?" and the Leopold and Loeb murder is a recurring theme. On the other hand, there's also a wedding, a call from Hollywood, and an assertion of belief in true love. Is that ironic? From where we sit it doesn't matter.
Clowes appears to sign copies only (he won't be reading) at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-8688 or visit www.booksmith.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
"Love, life, weight, car keys ...." These are some of the lost items up for discussion at "Losing It," put on by writers' enclave the Grotto. Presenters include Father Guido Sarducci (aka Don Novello), Andrew Sean Greer, and Jane Ganahl. Get lost at 4 and 6 p.m. at the Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin (at Grove), S.F. Free admission, but reservations required; call 441-8822 or visit www.sfgrotto.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Surrealist jazz musician Sun Ra claimed he was from Saturn -- we have no reason to doubt this. But get proof from the man himself in a rare, uncut showing of the film Space Is the Place, a wild ride of '50s sci-fi, '70s blaxploitation, and Ra tripping about the interstellar zone. Part of the series "Recovered Memory: Bay Area Underground Features From the '70s," Space starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley. Admission is $4-8; call (510) 642-1124 or visit www.bampfa.berkeley.edu.
-- Michael Leaverton