This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Juan Carlos Desanzo's Polaquito is based on a story ripped from Argentine headlines: A young street singer falls in love with a prostitute and actually tries to help her. (Somehow, here in the United States, filmmakers don't seem to come up with story lines like this -- interesting.) The tale is allegorical to Argentina's economic problems, in which even a couple as pure of heart as 13-year-old Polaquito (he sings in the style of popular tango vocalist "Polaco" Goyeneche) and lovely Pelu can't get any breaks. Truth and beauty butt heads in this multiple award winning drama in Spanish with English subtitles at 7:30 p.m. at Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is $5-7; call 826-8009 or visit www.galeriadelaraza.org.

Thursday, June 30, 2005
It gives us as much pleasure to write this as it will rub you the right way to read it: five new Devil-Ettes. If there's anything the world could use more of, it's patent-leather-knee-boot-obsessed synchronized dancers doing the Pony. So ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Cherry Bomb, the Troublemaker, the Smarty Pants, the Pixie, and the Vixen at "Exotica Au Go-Go" with the Devil-Ettes. Designed by indefatigable DE Artistic Director Baby Doe as a summertime extravaganza of 1960s rock, go-go dancing, live exotica by Ape, and tribal belly dance courtesy of a troupe called Claudestine. Attendees are quite welcome to dress in their summery festive best -- and they might win a prize for it, 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.devilettes.com.

Friday, July 1, 2005
Chances are you're no stranger to Russ Meyer films. That's OK. Tonight's screening of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is as much about the audience as what's on-screen, as it's the kickoff for "Midnight Mass," the film fest that draws frenzied crowds in the evil hours of Saturday nights, largely because of the antics of local legend and host Peaches Christ. Even if you've seen Faster a dozen times, you surely haven't seen star Tura Satana introduce the film, or Peaches Christ perform her own debut single, "Idol Worship," both of which will happen before the screening. Satana will also sign autographs after the show at a meet-and-greet in the lobby. The movie starts at midnight tonight and tomorrow night at the Bridge Theatre, 3010 Geary (at Blake), S.F. Admission is $10; call 267-4893 or visit www.peacheschrist.com.

Saturday, July 2, 2005
The 1970s were a great era to be in elementary school: At that time, schools had more money and could still offer arts classes, and much of mainstream music was truly incredible. Soul music, particularly, was and still is perfectly capable of reaching into the bone marrow of a 7-year-old and nestling there, ruining said kid from innocent enjoyment of crappy music, ever. In Colman Domingo's new play, A Boy and His Soul, the veteran performer (maybe you've admired his work in People's Temple at Berkeley Rep) exalts and bemoans the effects of classic soul, classic family entanglements, and classic Philly pride. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. (and the show continues through July 31) at the Thick House, 1695 18th St. (at Arkansas), S.F. Admission is $15-40; call 401-8081 or visit www.thickdescription.org.

Sunday, July 3, 2005
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band usually plays nights in the venue that shares its name, an old, battered jazz joint located in the French Quarter in New Orleans that has stood since 1750. But today the band is appearing in a record store on Haight Street, free of charge, as the sun rounds its zenith -- whoever pulled off this booking feat should get a medal. We can't think of a better way to spend a hot Sunday than listening to Preservation's style of traditional Big Easy jazz, which is slower and simpler than Dixieland, while surrounded by records and record geeks -- this is a show for music historians as much as for those simply looking to celebrate the Fourth in true Americana style. The band takes the stage at 2 p.m. at Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight (at Stanyan), S.F. Admission is free; call 831-1200 or visit www.amoebamusic.com.

Monday, July 4, 2005
We don't need to tell you patriotic Amer'c'ns what this is all about, no sirree. Along with Mom, apple pie, hot dogs, and invading poorer nations, nothing says "USA! USA!" like exploding gunpowder in the middle of summer. Worried about fire danger? Un-Amer'c'n! So get your red necks down to the water's edge and hope there's no fog this year. San Francisco's Fourth of July Celebration fireworks are set off, quite safely, from a barge in the middle of the bay. Pack a picnic, get on the bus (driving may be the sine qua non of American activities, but tonight, it's reeeeally a bad idea), and head for the shore. Explosions in memory of everyone's favorite war start at 9:30 p.m. at or near Pier 45, Fisherman's Wharf, Taylor & Jefferson, S.F. Admission is free; visit www.4thofjulysf.com.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005
From the totally Erase Errata inspired "Lucy Stone" to influences like Gang of Four or early Dischord bands, Battleship sometimes has reviewers stumped for labels. The band itself has no such problems. "It's definitely punk rock ... I think," slurs singer Aleksander Prechtl, famous for his unmatchable caterwaul and ill-tempered mike stand. A note on "the violence thing": It's collectivist in nature, and intended to be consensual, so really, there's no need to start a fight. But if you don't want to brag about your forehead bruise, you'll want to steer a little clear of the unpredictable singer. Bassist Gene Splice is at least partly responsible for the band's lauded complex rhythms, although drummer Joe Haener gets more credit for this, probably because he doesn't tend to assault the singer with his instrument, or writhe around on the sweaty floor. Guitarist Daniel Martens rounds out the quartet -- check out Presents Princess, the group's 12-inch EP on Oakland's Raw Deluxe label. Battleship opens for the Lamps at 9:30 p.m. at the Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk (at Post), S.F. Admission is $5; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com.


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