If you're still doing the electric slide at wedding parties or have fallen under the painful impression that tango is the latest spring color, here's a suggestion: Put a pencil through the white boxes in your datebook this week and let some soul take its toll. National Dance Week transforms the Bay Area into a haven for booty boppin' and toe pointin', as prominent local studios open their doors to offer tons of lessons on serious move-making. In the South Bay alone, you can learn Afro-Brazilian dance in Mountain View, hip hop dance in Los Gatos, cha-cha in Santa Cruz, jazz dance in San Jose, and the sacred Odissi — a classical dance that originated in the temples of Orissa, India — in Fremont. Scads of performance events complement the class schedule. One highlight is at Stanford University, where Garth Fagan (who choreographed The Lion King) lets loose a new project that combines the traditions of a griot (an African storyteller) with live music by the Wycliffe Gordon Septet. And the best part: no cover charge. All shows and lessons are completely free, including the “Izzies” award program on April 26. Call 561-1433 or visit www.bacndw.org for the full schedule.
— Karen Macklin
The Rocking Undead
The resurrected get down
That grave-worthy pallor, those empty eyes, the sweet stink of rotting flesh — who can resist the allure of a zombie? OK, just about everyone. That is, everyone except fans of Zombie Pinups, the Web site that caters to kinky necrophiles with cheesecake photos of ladies made up to resemble the living dead. Those who prefer their meat cold — or who enjoy dressing like an extra on the “Thriller” video — can find the company they crave at “Zombie DNA,” a club night for wraiths and the people who love 'em, featuring Zombie Makeovers, cabaret-style performances from the, um, brains behind Zombie Pinups, and suitably spooky dance music from DJs Melting Girl (she of the long-running “Death Guild” gig) and Miz Margo (the turntablist for Cafe Du Nord's sublime “Dark Sparkle” nights). Throw on a shroud and shamble over at 9 p.m. to the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $10-15; call 626-1409 or visit www.dnalounge.com.
— Joyce Slaton
Up with ukuleles!
There can be little doubt that the ukulele revolution is on. And we know that anyone capable of smiling can be made to do so via the little guitar, in the right hands.
One of the torchbearers for this movement is Tippy Canoe, the alter ego of Michele Kappel, a lady whose good-humored ditties and earnest prettiness are right in line with the charm of her instrument. But she's hardly a simple revivalist: She describes her music as “ukulele-driven du-wop country '20s jazz pop.” Tonight she performs alongside Songs From a Random House and Ralph Carney's Hulagins, starting at 8:30 at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $8; call 647-2888 or visit www.makeoutroom.com.
— Hiya Swanhuyser
Rock can be a hard place. The extravagance and debauchery that are de rigueur in the careers of musicians have claimed many a punker, but those who survive proudly wear the badge of legend. Cheetah Chrome of Dead Boys fame not only endured, but still rocks the house in that old-school way. See him tonight at 10 at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $10; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com.
— Sunny Andersen