Appreciators of Keith Knight's smartass single-panel cartoons attribute the cleverness of his work to many things: an addiction to the news, a cockeyed outsider's viewpoint, even sheer talent. But we think Knight himself pins down the genesis of his output best: He blames it on drugs. Yep, as he relates in his author's bio (a gem of breezy clarity that's as far from the stuffy twaddle of other bios as Knight's work is from Hagar the Horrible), the young artist whiled away his college years doing graphic design work before he moved to S.F. and began ingesting contraband chemical inspiration and developing "his trademark poorly rendered, barely thought-out, last-minute cartooning style."
At this we must protest. While it is true that Knight's artwork is a bit crude, much like that of Boondocks' Aaron McGruder, to whom Knight is often compared, the drawings are clearly second fiddle to the artist's fiery word-bubble dialogue. His gibes run the gamut from stinging to merely saucy as they skewer modern sacred cows from George Bush to Santa Claus. See Knight -- and slides of his work -- tonight at 7:30 at Modern Times, 888 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 282-9246 or visit www.mtbs.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
The name is Bondies. Von Bondies.
It was probably painful to be pummeled in the face by the White Stripes' Jack White. Although the Von Bondies' singer was covered in blood and bruises, the incident did not hurt the careers of the band members. Suddenly, the group's name was entertainment news from Hollywood to Helsinki, a marketing "miracle" for a band on the verge of releasing its second album and venturing out on a world tour.
This foursome of equal parts testosterone and estrogen has the garage sound that's all the rage with pop outlets such as MTV. Stylish and sexy in that "rock 'n' roll" way, the Von Bondies are aptly prepared to embrace their fame, with their new major-label release and Google-friendly moniker.
The Cuts and Vue open for the Von Bondies at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $13; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com.
-- Sunny Andersen
A Blonde Dish
Musicals are a girl's best friend
Everyone knows that blondes have more fun. Of course, most of them also have to deal with costly salon visits and root touch-ups. But is it really true that boys prefer girls with golden locks over their darker-crowned counterparts?
This age-old question was immortalized back in 1949, when Carol Channing starred in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a musical comedy about two single gal pals who set out on a French cruise in search of perfect husbands, but wind up getting more than they bargained for. 42nd Street Moon revives this classic tonight at 8 (and continuing through April 18) at the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson (at Front), S.F. Tickets are $17-30; call 255-8205 or visit www.42ndstmoon.org.
-- Karen Macklin
Though courtrooms have a boring rep, they're actually a million laughs. Nah, that's a lie, they are stultifying. But there is comic gold to be extracted from the law's contradictions and eccentricities, and the Legal Briefs mine every last nugget with their "TV Crime Drama" improvs. Exercise your constitutional right to chortle starting at 8 p.m. at the Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth Street), S.F. Admission is $10; call 896-6477 or visit www.offmarkettheater.com.
-- Joyce Slaton