Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Her work on Digable Planets' Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) is etched in our brains forever: "I'm from where the phat beats stretch for mad blocks," she rapped in the early 1990s, with an irresistible lilting syncopation and the sweetest voice in hip hop. Ladybug Mecca visits San Francisco tonight, likely performing songs from her new album, Trip the Light Fantastic, on which she stretches out into a smooth, soul torch-singer on tracks like "Leaving It All Behind," a bossa nova number that showcases her jazz vocals. But fans of that quietly powerful rap have nothing to fear: "Oh Poor You," "Sweet and Polite," and "Step Up Wise" find Ms. Bug keeping that voice in hip hop shape. Martin Luther, Spacek, Mr. French as Steven 1, and Sake 1 open at 9 p.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $15-18; call 626-1409 or visit www.dnalounge.com.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
We wrote about Less-Sylphides, Yannis Adoniou's witty, two-pronged take on a very old ballet, a while ago, so let's imagine you already know it's a deconstruction of pastoral traditions in dance. The other half of "Kunst-Stoff's 2005 Home Season" is Tomi Paasonen's ETC, which appears to continue the company's aggressive use of unromantic technological elements in its high-energy, high-drama choreographies. Cameras, feedback, amplification: These things don't sound like they belong onstage with hoofers. One gadget that does seem like it was made to mix with group improv, though, is a movement sensor. It takes a classically trained but ultimately iconoclastic band of outsiders like Kunst-Stoff to come up with an idea so obvious and yet so pregnant with visual potential. The show starts at 8 p.m. (and continues through Sunday) at the ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), S.F. Admission is $16-18; call 863-6606 or visit www.odctheater.org.
Friday, September 30, 2005
In the art show "The Young Man's Game?"illustrator Nathan Fox, whose work has appeared in all the big magazines (Spin, Rolling Stone, Interview), and Corey Goering, who was born in a little American town, take on the theme of youth, as put through the ringer of popular culture. Fresh from the Kansas City art scene, both grew up like many fine young men, drilled by a nonstop barrage of trashy TV, provocative media images, and video-game marathons -- and not suspecting that life could be, or ever was, any different. The two now distill that early miseducation into some damn fine art, featuring collagelike pieces that highlight pop culture's fractured identity. The opening reception starts at 7 p.m. (and the show continues through Oct. 31) at the Receiver Gallery, 1314 Eighth Ave. (at Irving), S.F. Admission is free; call 504-7287 or visit www.receivergallery.com.
Saturday, October 1, 2005
The play The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde as Told to Carl Jung by an Inmate of the Broadmoor Asylum has, indeed, a great title. And the premise is pretty good, too, with the mad Hyde being committed to the psycho ward by a rapidly fading Dr. Jekyll, who realizes his worse self could stand to benefit from a little Jungian analysis. The show, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1997, is staged by the Knighthorse Theater Company, a group dedicated to tearing down theater's fourth wall, saying on its site, "Going to the theatre should be like going to Fenway Park; it should be a communal experience filled with cheers, jeers, fears, and tears." The show starts at 9 p.m. (and repeats at 8 p.m. on Oct. 6) at the Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth Street), S.F. Admission is $12-15; call 962-6158 or visit www.knighthorse.org.
Sunday, October 2, 2005
Singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley recorded some brilliant material that earned him a nutso cult following here in the U.S. (and broad acclaim in Europe), toured around some, and died young. He only made one album, but Grace is revered by music lovers around the world. If ever there was a musician whose outtakes were worth scrounging up, whose colleagues' interviews might be fascinating, and about whom we know entirely too little, it's him. Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley includes all that and more about the young man with the four-octave range who might be better compared to Edith Piaf than Bruce Springsteen, but not by much. The documentary screens at 2:15 p.m. at the CineArts@Empire, 85 West Portal (at Vicente), S.F. Admission is $12; call 661-2539 or visit www.sfworldfilmfestival.com.
Monday, October 3, 2005
Everyone's a rebel, right? Whatever is most strenuously forced on someone is exactly what he'll dream of axing. In the super-fantastical-sounding MirrorMask, graphic novelists Neil Gaiman of Sandman fame and Dave McKean set up a premise that turns things around neatly: 15-year-old Helena is from a circus family, and fantasizes about running off to join the real world. But in a dream, she's sent on a quest to find -- you guessed it -- the MirrorMask. The two guys at the helm of this film have some of the most intense visual imaginations around, so expect a lot of razzle-dazzle. The movie screens daily through Thursday at the Lumiere Theatre, 1572 California (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $7.75-9.75; call 267-4893 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com for showtimes.