It's The Time, ladies and gentlemen. You remember them -- Prince's early pet project whose street-wise flash practically stole the show in the little man's wet rock effigy Purple Rain. By the early '80s, the Time had already proven themselves dance floor superstars with their hits "Get It Up," "Cool," and "Jungle Love." Still, it wasn't easy getting out from under the purple shadow and, ultimately, the band paid the price. During the mid-'80s a bout of egocentrism led lead singer Morris Day to launch a somewhat laughable solo career. Fortunately, this gave band members Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis the opportunity to develop into one of the industry's most respected production teams, working with Janet Jackson and Human League (c'mon, they were cool once). In 1991, when the Time reformed for Pandemonium, the radical production techniques of Jam and Lewis made the Time-boogie shine again, but it was the bad-boy savoir-faire of Day that made them worth seeing. They will strut their stuff sometime after 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at the Maritime Hall; call 974-0634 to confirm, because they did cancel two Bay Area shows earlier this year. What It Is and Aloosanation open. ... Now, for those craving a little early '60s flashback, the Boss Martians and Saturn V will be providing surfside tunes to which you might twist like you did last summer. The Martians are from Seattle, but don't let that frighten you away. These lads are all about skinny ties, perfectly coiffed hair, and beach parties that don't actually involve sand. Saturn V, on the other hand, are a more rambunctious bunch with an all-star underground pedigree that includes Johnny Bartlett of the Phantom Surfers, Chris von Sneidern of Chris von Sneidern, Ron Silva of the Crawdaddys and the Monarchs, Tom Ward of Gravedigger V and the Nashville Ramblers, and frontman Orbit of the Purple Knifs. They play something called Sunset Strip Go-Go Frat Music and firmly believe that nothing written since 1964 could be called "music." Headlining this gig are the Red Aunts, a pretty groovy all-grrrl punk outfit. It's the kind of mixed metaphor that makes the Bottom of the Hill so beloved. The show starts at 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13; call 621-4455. By the way: Orbit can drink his band's combined weight in beer. We love him for that. ... There is no use denying it, the holidays are bearing down upon us like that pissed-off deer in When Animals Attack. We've only just finished digesting mounds of bird flesh, and already the jingle bells are chiming at us from every direction. Take heart. At least we live in San Francisco, where the holidays are filled with naughty Santas and Sugarplum "Fairies" rather than Wal-Mart jingles and ribbon candy. So, put on your elf boots and make a weekend of it. First, celebrate the season with our Jewish brethren at the Davka-sponsored Challahpalooza. At first glance, hip-hop humorists the Marginal Prophets, Idiot Flesh offspring Charming Hostess, and swingers The New Morty Show appear to have absolutely nothing in common, but they are bound together by a shared faith. Judd Wilnik of MTV's Real World will MC; performance poet Alan Kaufman will make an appearance; and the East Coast's infamous Jewish Bearded Lady will be on hand. Don't forget to pick up a sample of the new Kosher beer: HeBrew. Its motto is, "Don't pass out, pass over." I kid you not. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, at Slim's; call 522-0333. ... Next, join the king of kink, John Waters, for an evening of tacky Christmas videos, drag-queen serenades, and Female Trouble. The world-renowned director will lecture and pose after Joan Jett-Blakk hosts a Cha-Cha Heels Contest and Judy G., Liberace, and Connie Champagne properly mangle "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The debacle begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at the Castro Theater; call 863-0611. He-of-the-thin-little-mustache steps out of his limo at 6:50 p.m. ... Then, take a "Slow Train to Toy Town" with performance artist Fred Rinne, hocus-pocus melodic phenoms the Daughters of Houdini, the mechanical mayhem of the Seemen, the glam country of the Dodge Brothers, the cowgirl tunes of Down River, the Dionysian frenzy of Scot Jenerik, the cosmic revival of the Knittles, and the sonic surf of the Mermen. The event will benefit the Lab, whose stark white environs will be transformed into Santa's Shantytown. Dig deep at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Lab; call 864-8855. ... And last but not least, enjoy Widow Norton's "Dance Along Nutcracker," an ever-so-slightly unconventional holiday concert featuring the San Francisco Winds of Freedom (a seated version of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band), the Grand Dame of Drag Jose Sarria, and a celebrity tutu auction. Leave your modesty at home. "Dance Along Nutcracker" requires some audience participation, if you know what I mean. It's good for the kiddies. There are two shows, one at 2 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. (though only the evening show will have a tutu auction) on Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Center for the Arts Yerba Buena Gardens; call 978-2787. Try and bah-humbug me, now.
-- Silke Tudor