There's a sense of surrealism to the evening news these days, with massive hurricanes, crippling tsunamis, and fierce explosions in dance clubs and subway stations. In an attempt to address the darker issues of today's world and to inspire meaningful action, local company Dance Brigade presents Manifesti-val, featuring a host of socially and politically conscious performances.
This week's work, Border War, is a collection of pieces in which choreographers Krissy Keefer, Anne Bluethenthal, Susana Arenas, and Al-Juzoor explore divisive political conflicts in distant locales like Cuba, Nigeria, and Israel. Bluethenthal, for one, presents an excerpt from a longer bit called Unsing the Song, highlighting the genocide in Rwanda with a cast of 20 dancers; an additional feature is an appearance by the city's much-loved almost-mayor Matt Gonzalez, who speaks about the experience of growing up in a border town. The festival's final weekend includes Spell, which uses haunting music, high-tech design, modern dance, and martial arts to invoke "regime change" here at home. Manifesti-val's Border War starts at 8 p.m. on Nov. 11 (and the festival continues through Nov. 20) at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $20-22; call 273-4633 or visit www.dancemission.com.
-- Karen Macklin
In punk we Trust
The seminal jazz-punk band Saccharine Trust defined the sound of SST Records in the early '80s. Struggling as many punk musicians were, Joe Baiza and Jack Brewer channeled their creativity into a new genre, jazzcore. Despite lineup changes, core dudes Baiza, Brewer, and occasional producer/bandmember Mike Watt always managed to poke and prod their songs into distinctive shapes suffused with free jazz motifs and stylish syncopated rhythms, all the while challenging the limits of tonality.
Back then, Saccharine Trust produced experimental sounds combining Van Halen-like guitar, hardcore punk attitude, blues and jazz touches, and sophisticated, screaming lyrics. Now, after a decade-long hiatus, the band has reassembled, worked on new tunes, and is finally playing select gigs. Zdrastvootie and Oaxacan open at 9:30 p.m. at Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk (at Post), S.F. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com.
-- Claudia Buchsbaum
That's So Lisa
Carver's post-punk memoir
People call Lisa Crystal Carver a lot of names: "Camille Paglia channeling both Tonya Harding and Liz Phair," for example. Because she has chosen at various times to be a bitch, a whore, and a performance artist, though, it's hard to insult her; besides, the critics are trying to be laudatory. The infamous author of the 'zine Rollerderby and lead singer of Suckdog has a new memoir, Drugs Are Nice. Instead of just reading from it, Carver plans to draw diagrams and encourage audience members to perform bizarre acts while Dame Darcy plays the musical saw.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th St.), S.F. Admission is free; call 282-9246 or visit www.mtbs.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
A Stitt in Time
Ever wonder what actors who play the lead in stage versions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch do with the rest of their time? Rory Stitt writes emotion-soaked piano torch-pop à la Rufus Wainwright. Hear his dramatic romances at 6 p.m. at Martuni's Piano Bar, 4 Valencia (at Market), S.F. Admission is $5; call 241-0205 or visit www.rorystitt.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser