Andrea Nemerson's

Norman Solomon's

The nessie files

Tom Tomorrow's
This Modern World


PG&E and the California energy crisis

Arts and Entertainment

Venue Guide

Electric Habitat
By Amanda Nowinski

Tiger on beat
By Patrick Macias

By Josh Kun


Submit your listing


By Annalee Newitz

Without Reservations
By Paul Reidinger

Cheap Eats
By Dan Leone


Our Masthead

Editorial Staff

Business Staff

Jobs & Internships


Eight Days a Week

Feb. 20-26, 2002

MORE THAN JUST a place to get a nice view of the New York harbor, the Christopher Street Pier has long been a spot where queers can cruise and congregate freely. And in recent years it's also been one of the few public spaces left in an ever gentrifying Manhattan where queer youth, youth of color, and homeless kids can hang out. Screening tonight at Artists' Television Access is Fenced Out, a youth-produced documentary from New York's Paper Tiger TV that charts the young people's struggle against city plans to develop the pier. This thoughtful, incendiary work links the current fate of the pier with its role in the gay liberation movement of the '60s, placing the battle to save it within a rich legacy of activism and urban queer culture. Fenced Out makes its West Coast premiere as part of 'Urban Ch@os, Queer Spaces, and Other Places,' a night of film, spoken word, and indie and punk music. Also in the lineup: new shorts from Aaron Park, Trever Smith, and other DIY-ers from the Washington state-based Queer Film Club; DJs Spike and Jacob Laurent of Club K.Y.; and spoken word from local queer artists Alan Reade, Seeley Quest, and Roger Pinnell. Refreshments and a dance party follow the screening, and the whole event benefits Paper Tiger TV, New Neutral Zone (a drop-in queer youth center), and Fierce!, a community organizing project. Fri/22, 7:30 p.m.-midnight, Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. $5-$10. (415) 824-3890. (Alissa Chadburn)

Feb. 20


Mojave one A friend of mine once interviewed Neil Halstead, only to report that he seemed "either really stupid or really hungover." Like many fans of Halstead's musical endeavors, I refused to believe that such a chick-friendly songwriter could truly be a terrible conversationalist. While he may not be exceptionally profound in phone interviews, Halstead has proved with his solo debut, Sleeping on Roads (4AD/Beggars Group), that he's still capable of making the kind of music that sensitive guys put on mix tapes, delivered with the kind of voice that makes smart girls swoon. The singer-guitarist-songwriter for British dream-pop and quasi-folk outfits Slowdive and Mojave 3, Halstead has turned out a hybrid of the two projects for his solo effort, combining banjo and electronica for perfect postmodern road music. He plays with Sid Hillman. 9 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $12. (415) 861-5016. (Nancy Einhart)

Dead and alive The work of writer and urban theorist Mike Davis is as essential as anything coming from California in recent years. City of Quartz, about the economic and social forces that birthed Los Angeles, is an imaginative, wonderfully written book. He's in town for a short stint at Intersection for the Arts; tonight he reads from his upcoming book, Dead Cities, as well as from an essay written after Sept. 11 called "The Flames of New York." 8 p.m., Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, S.F. $5-$15. (415) 626-ARTS. (J.H. Tompkins)

Feb. 21


The great escape New Jersey's Dillinger Escape Plan don't sing about peace and love, but their brand of spastic, jazz fusion-loving grind-punk does have a unifying effect. How many other bands can bring crusty punks, metalheads, noise addicts, Gap-wearing emo kids, and guitar nerds all together in one place (oh yeah, and nerdy music critics, too)? Those skewed demographics help explain how they've gone from playing the grimy old Cocodrie to 924 Gilman and now the Great American Music Hall in their last three trips to the Bay Area. This show is part of their first tour with new lead singer-screamer Greg Puciato. Botch, Darkest Hour, All Else Fails, and the Hills Have Eyes also play. 8 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. $10. (415) 885-0750. (Will York)

Feb. 22


Sex you up The University of California Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Association is anticipating a record turnout at its 13th annual conference, whose theme is 'Queer All Directions.' And it's no surprise – the event features 60 workshops on a wide range of topics, such as "The Politics of Drag," "Queerness on a South African Campus," "Living with HIV," and "Geek Sex" (presented by Bay Guardian culture editor Annalee Newitz), plus explorations of sex toys, body image, relationships, queer artists, and other subjects both titillating and educational. Attendees can also check out speakers Susan Stryker and Carol Queen and a panel on LGBT immigration with representatives from Amnesty International. Today, 4-8:30 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 9:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., various UC Berkeley locations, Berk. (registration today, 3-9:30 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 9 p.m.-2 a.m., UC Berkeley, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Second floor). $40-$65. queer.berkeley.edu/conference. (Cheryl Eddy)

Golden girls Four morons dressed up as old ladies and calling themselves a band – surely something this pathetic couldn't last, it seemed. With singer Deanamite screaming unintelligibly, and guitarist the Grannihilator consistently busting his equipment, and everyone else lighting things on fire, the Grannies were pure car crash-type spectacle. The smart money figured six months, tops, before the band imploded in a hail of pantyhose and cheap cocaine. Instead, they refused to go away, and their infamy spread so far and wide that when they played New England, one unnerved soundman threatened to pull the plug if so much as a drop of water was spilled. Despite their reputation as irredeemable puds, the Grannies managed to become a full-fledged rock and roll juggernaut – with actual talent! Their second disc, Taste the Walker (Dead Teenager), is an incredibly consistent slab of garage-punk-metal and a giant step forward from their early days as professional amateurs. Tonight the Sick, Victim's Family, and Fleshies also play. 10 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. $8. (415) 621-4455. (John O'Neill)

Feb. 23


Pow! It was only for one season – some 35 years ago – but you can't blame Yvonne Craig, a.k.a. Batgirl, for keeping her secret identity alive. Her skintight blue costume was rivaled only by Catwoman's and Emma Peel's for coolest television fashion statement of the '60s, allowing her to whip supervillain ass with more style than the Dynamic Duo combined. More than just a cult comic figure, Craig also starred in two Elvis movies – It Happened at the World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins – and as a foxy scientist in the B classic Mars Needs Women. Now's your chance to meet a superhero in person, when Craig swoops into town to sign copies of From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond, her new autobiography. 2-4 p.m., Lefty O'Doul's, 333 Geary, S.F. Free. (415) 982-8900, www.yvonnecraig.com. (Eddy)

Home of the Om San Francisco's own Om Records has come a long way from its humble beginnings in enhanced CDs. Its new monthly party at DNA Lounge is pulling in a steady crowd of young slicks seeking deep beats served up with a side order of visual treats, courtesy of video by Blasthaus and meandering circus types. Venture above the main floor housiness from Markie Mark (Wicked), Dizzy (Doubledown Recordings), and resident Mark Farina (Om) to check out the Breaks Loft, a highlight owing to a rare U.S. appearance by Landslide (Hospital/Om). And keep an ear out for aFRO-mYSTIC's JSN_DRUM FIRE, whose percussion is vastly superior to his capitalization. 10 p.m., DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., S.F. $15-$20. (415) 626-1409. (Peter Nicholson)

Big to-do All you have to do to earn your 15 minutes of fame is coin a word that hits a cultural bull's-eye. For To-Do List zine publisher Sasha Cagen, the word was "quirkyalone," which she came up with while writing about unattached women who aren't desperately seeking to self-destruct like Bridget Jones. The media loved the fresh image of an intriguing, self-possessed single woman, and Cagen suddenly became a pundit on the joys of singledom. Tonight Cagen and crew celebrate the successful completion of To-Do List's third issue, "Self-Loathing: A Resistance Manual." Bring your favorite self-help book and, of course, a to-do list. Maybe by the end of the evening you can cross "love thyself" off it. 7:30 p.m., Expresso Brava Café, 663 Valencia, S.F. $7-$20. (415) 252-0492. (Deborah Giattina)

Feb. 24


Never forget Asian Improv aRts and Bay Area Day of Remembrance Consortium present 'Day of Remembrance 2002: Conscience in Rhythm,' a memorial event of special significance for anyone concerned about recent U.S. government violations of civil liberties. This month marks the 60th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, which sent Japanese Americans to internment camps. Today's event invites participants to see the parallels between that shameful history and the contemporary treatment of Muslim and Arab Americans. Keynote speaker Yuri Kochiyama, a former internee, will discuss her longtime commitment to political activism that unites different communities in a common struggle; also planned are musical performances (both Japanese taiko and American Indian drumming), student presentations, a candle-lighting ceremony (featuring Japanese Americans and representatives of the local Muslim community), and a postshow free interfaith gathering of musicians and religious speakers. Memorial event 3 p.m., Kabuki Theatre, 1881 Post, S.F. $12-$15; Interfaith gathering 5:30 p.m., Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter, S.F. Free. 1-877-243-3774 (tickets), (415) 353-5732, www.asianimprov.com/dor2002.htm (information). (Summers Henderson)

Feb. 25


Cheers! Admittedly, Purim is a Jewish holiday, but you don't have to be religious to enjoy dressing up in crazy costumes and drinking with relish. Add some theatrical entertainment to the mix, and you've got 'Esther's Mission: Love, Blood, and Wine in Exile,' an all-denominations-welcome, cabaret-style event that puts a contemporary, feminist spin on the biblical Book of Esther. Solo performer Amy Tobin and musicians from Broun Fellinis, Vivendo de Pão, and Roux weave an audience-interactive version of the tale of a queen who saves her people from genocide, using songs, drama (both comedic and tragic), and commentary to bring the story to life. Comers are encouraged to wear costumes and, as raucous Purim tradition dictates, drink until they don't know the difference between right and wrong. DJ Cheb i Sabbah spins before and after the show, which is sponsored by the Hub at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. 10 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $12. (415) 292-1286, www.ticketweb.com. (Eddy)

Feb. 26


Boot scootin' Now that Ryan Adams has completed his spectacular belly flop off the charts, can we quit with all this alt-country crap for good? It's not like the parameters were well defined, after all. Case in point: Richmond Fontaine. Sure, there's the undeniable ghost of Uncle Tupelo rattling its chains on each of the band's studio albums, but to settle on jamming them into No Depression's boot is futile. There are also distinct nods to the post-Bob Stinson Replacements, SST Records speed riffing, and that disturbing morose-made-beautiful lyrical quality that Johnny Cash made famous. Singer Willy Vlautin's songs feature losers looking for salvation, and while redemption is on the horizon, the car's gas gauge is perpetually on "E." All things considered, the Portland, Ore., four-piece should just be called a great country band who know how to really rock and roll. Or vise versa. The boys hit town tonight on the first leg of a two-month tour in support of their aces new album, Winnemucca (EL Cortez). Ian Moore opens. 9 p.m., Tongue and Groove, 2513 Van Ness, S.F. $10. (415) 928-0404. (O'Neill)

Feb. 27


Heaven in Indiana Bands pieced together from previously well-known outfits are often a scary proposition. Thankfully, this isn't the case with indie duo Violet Indiana, which features former Cocteau Twins guitarist Robin Guthrie and ex-Mono trip-hop singer Siobhan de Maré. After spending time producing and setting up the record label Bella Union, Guthrie returned to the guitar for his first such endeavor since the Cocteaus – famed for vocalist Liz Frasier's soaring vocals – shut up shop nine years ago. Expect a similar sound from Violet Indiana. 9 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. $15. (415) 885-0750. (China Martens)

The Bay Guardian listings deadline is two weeks prior to our Wednesday publication date. To submit an item for consideration, please include the title of the event, date and time, venue name, street address (listing cross streets only is not sufficient), city, telephone number readers can call for more information, telephone number for media, admission costs, and a brief description of the event. Send information to Listings, 520 Hampshire St., S.F. 94110; fax to (415) 487-2506, or e-mail (no attachments, please) to listings@sfbg.com. We cannot guarantee the return of photos, but enclosing an SASE helps. We regret we cannot accept listings over the phone.