Most of us have never heard gamelan -- a sonorous Indonesian musical style full of gongs, metallophones, xylophones, drums, cymbals, and flutes -- but the form has inspired everything from dreamy Debussy nocturnes to the modern cadences of pop group Xiu Xiu. And now this mysterious sound is coming to your stomping grounds: An Oakland-based processional orchestra and chant ensemble, One People Voice, blends the faraway warble of gamelan with global music and theater, even throwing Indonesian kecak, also called monkey chant, into the mix. One People Voice is not merely about preserving one of the world's oldest musical traditions, though -- by its own definition, the orchestra is dedicated to the creation of a new hybrid mythology. That explains "Connect," a three-week series of performances and workshops that merges dance, theater, music, film, cabaret circus acts, and performance art to create a lineup that reads like a Burning Man preview.
The extravaganza begins Friday at 7 p.m. (and continues at various venues through Aug. 21) at the Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida (at Mariposa), S.F. Admission is $5-25; call (510) 832-1631 or visit www.onepeople.com.
-- Nirmala Nataraj
I Want My IMVF
Video stars the radio kills
Remember when music videos were cool? No? Well, it was a long time ago, probably before you were born. Not that Spike Jonze isn't cool, but somewhere along the way, it seems videos went from an exciting new form to a blah ego vehicle. Bringing some of the cred back is the Indie Music Video Festival, an international organization dedicated to the sights and sounds of the underground rock scene.
"IMVF's Sneak Peek" program, which features die-hard indie groups like DOA as well as locals like Tartufi and the Locust, tonight has a queer focus and includes work with BoySkout, Hey WillPower, and Veronica Lipgloss & the Evil Eyes. Da Hawnay Troof, 31 Knots, and some of the stars of the silver screen perform live as well. The screenings start at 7 at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell (at Van Ness), S.F. Admission is $7; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
They got the beat
We've heard it explained as an echoey, international bounce-back effect: Traditional African music influenced artists here, from James Brown to Sly & the Family Stone. Fully formed funk then traveled back the way it came and had its effect on musicmakers in Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, and elsewhere. At the Afrofunk Festival, see how it all turned out with headliner Sila & the AfroFunk Experience, Fela Kuti tribute band AfroBeat Down, and Henri-Pierre Koubaka leading a big, wild bunch called Kasumai Bare. The Afrofunk Sisters show off some moves and DJ Jeremiah warms it up at 9 p.m. at the Elbo Room, 647 Valencia (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 552-7788 or visit www.elbo.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Alfred Hitchcock discovered Tippi Hedren in a commercial, then put her through avian hell filming The Birds. (Worst week of her life, she said of the bedroom scene.) A fair price for fame? Ask her yourself at "An Evening With Tippi Hedren," and watch The Birds and Marnie, starting at 5:30 at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro (near Market), S.F. Admission is $5.50-8.50; call 621-6120 or visit www.castrotheatresf.com.
-- Michael Leaverton