The "Carnival of Fuck" revolves around a performance by Atlanta, Ga.'s semilegendary Impotent Sea Snakes -- a 17-person performance troupe comprised of musicians, circus performers, and go-go dancers that has been banned from more rooms than it has actually played. "Why?" you ask. Well, some establishments have rules regarding fire, a thing that the Sea Snakes can't seem to do without (if they're not setting their drums aflame, it's someone's naked, well-oiled butt). Other clubs don't allow sharp objects and dangerous equipment; some of the Sea Snakes happen to enjoy shoving needles through their breasts, and find the disc-sander to be an indispensable tool when faced with metal chastity belts. Some venues have problems with live animals; the Sea Snakes have big, live snakes (duh). Some right-minded businessmen are concerned about offending religious communities; this might be problem when the go-go dancers, um, perform with a 6-foot cross. Some clubs have certain issues with nudity; of course, everyone in the Sea Snakes gets naked -- except the Jester, who laughs maniacally while swinging from the rafters and juggles fire while dancing on stilts, and the flamboyant, cross-dressing band, who play low-slung guitar rawk (song titles: "Fistfucking My Mother," "Felching," "Chicks With Dicks," and so on). And while every so often the Sea Snakes come across a club with an open-minded booking policy that allows for fire, sharp objects, live animals, alternative religious expression, and nudity, it's still pretty hard to get around actual copulation. This is often a problem because the Sea Snakes usually have all kinds of sex -- oral sex, queer sex, hetero sex, kinky sex, messy sex, sticky sex. Thankfully, most of the members of this traveling porno circus keep themselves in good physical condition and are relatively attractive (of course, there is no accounting for the handful of fat slobs in the crowd who always get in on the act). The Sea Snakes claim that their "revolutionary" performances are better than Shakespeare. In reality, they're just a bit absurd. If all goes well, maybe they could become the Trocadero's house band. Check 'em out on Wednesday, May 14, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 621-4410. ... Born in 1976 out of the Marauders (Charlie Harper's R&B outfit), the U.K. Subs went on to write some of the greatest punk anthems ever recorded. Yesiree, it is a pretty safe bet that without "Warhead," "Stranglehold," and "CID," Black Flag would have never existed. While many of the Subs' 20-or-so albums managed to capture the fury of their live shows, nothing could actually beat seeing Nicky Garratt playing dead-on guitar while hanging upside down from CBGB's lighting rig. As essential as early Subs albums are, their live shows are legendary. So, it is with great glee that I announce the reunion of Harper, Garratt, and bassist Alvin Gibbs, the classic punk protagonists who haven't joined forces since 1988. With the additional help of Samiam's Dave Ayer on drums, the U.K. Subs have put out two new albums -- one on Garratt's Bay Area-based label, New Red Archives, and the other on Cleopatra. While neither Quintessentials nor Riot is Another Kind of Blues, they are certainly the best material the Subs have come up with since the early '80s -- and rave reviews from the current tour say that, at 40-plus, Harper and gang are still the shit. (Garratt was reported to have finished a set in San Diego wearing only his skivvies after a spread-eagle jump off of a monitor split his trousers.) It's nice to have the lads back in the saddle. The Subs play the Great American Music Hall on Friday, May 16, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $11; call 885-0750. Anti-Flag and Accustomed to Nothing open. ... For all those poor unfortunates who have wallowed in drippy cliches spewed forth by spoken-word butterflies reaching for their ancestral moon goddess, Beth Lisick is about to give you a nice (sub)urban reality check. Her new book, Monkey Girl, is a smarting, somewhat loving, mostly hysterical swipe at strip malls, 12-step programs, retirement communities, Chinese New Year parades, yuppie meat markets, and orthodontists. Horrifying pickup lines and helpful hints (like "If you ever become a porn star, the perfect stage name is one created from your first family pet and your grandmother's maiden name." Try it) are scattered like multiple secret-surprise-toys-in-the-pack throughout Lisick's staccato poetry and lyric prose -- evidence of her innate genius for transforming pop culture into urban myth. To grasp the full spectrum of Lisick's talent, one must see her live -- a slender, blond storyteller flushed with fervor as she recounts mundane, yet resounding, truths. She's gonna be huge and Henry Rollins will have to kiss her ass. Lisick performs at the Paradise Lounge on Sunday, May 18, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 861-6906. ... Later, the new Jim Campilongo Jazz Quartet swings through a set of jazzy, decidedly un-country originals that were penned by the guitar mastermind but deemed "a little too moody or a little too boppy" for his other band, the 10 Gallon Cats. Rob Burger, of Bill Frisell and Oranj Symphonette fame, plays organ and accordion, and Cats members Ken Owen and Chris Kee (on stand-up, not electric bass) round out the foursome. The show is Above Paradise and starts at 9:45 p.m. Tickets are $5, but you'll already be there to see Lisick.
-- Silke Tudor