July 17, 2002




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8 Days a Week

July 17-24, 2002

IF YOU CAN'T afford performances at the Opera House, or if formality is not your groove, take in 'San Francisco Ballet at the Grove' – the Stern Grove Festival, that is. You can't go wrong. SFB is one superb dance company, certainly among the best in the country. Its dancers are also pretty brave. At last year's Stern Grove gig it was so cold that the dancers were afraid of getting hurt; they postponed the show for a half hour hoping the weather would let up. It didn't, but they went on anyway. This year's program pairs Mark Morris's A Garden, his take on the baroque through a very contemporary lens (and maybe his best piece for SFB yet), with George Balanchine's Rubies, the great choreographer's nod to Broadway dancing. Sandwiched between the two ensemble pieces are two crowd-pleasing grand pas de deux, from Paquita (which will enter the rep this season) and Swan Lake, as well as Helgi Tomasson's sexy duet Two Bits, which he created in 1998 for Evelyn Cisneros and David Palmer. Sun/21, 2 p.m., Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Ave. at Sloat, S.F. Free. (415) 252-6252, www.sterngrove.org. (Rita Felciano)

July 17


The accused There are multiple reasons to go see 15 Strings of Cash this week when Hong Kong's celebrated Theatre of Silence comes to town. Based on a classic Chinese opera, the play – a tale about a young couple falsely implicated in a murder – was adapted by the San Francisco Mime Troupe's Joan Holden, directed by the troupe's Dan Chumley, and features not-so-subtle government criticism (pretty daring when you consider it's the Chinese government that's being satirized). What's more, the cast made up of six deaf or hearing-impaired actors, who'll weave the 1920s-set story using mime, commedia dell'arte, sign language, and music. 15 Strings of Cash represents the fourth collaboration between the Mime Troupe and Theatre of Silence, which was the first theater group of its kind in Hong Kong. Come out for a gripping murder mystery, and on top of that, a remarkably original performance. Through Sat/20. 8 p.m., ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F. $20. (415) 863-9834. (Cheryl Eddy)

July 18


Shiver me timbers When was the last time you saw a marching band perform on the high seas? Drop anchor on the back decks at Kelly's Mission Rock for 'Rock the Boat,' an evening featuring a revolving lineup of performers who'll sail up on their own floating stages. Promoter Chicken John is usually found at his Odeon Bar, but tonight he promises a "nautical catastrophe" of sorts, with appearances by the Mermen, the 40-piece Xtra Action Marching Band, swingin' Devo cover band Mongolounge, "word ninjas" Attaboy and Burke, and the Naked Fire Babes. Also on tap at the seaworthy shebang, hosted by Burning Man curator and artist Steven Raspa: an aerialist, a magician, tiki DJ Otto von Stroheim, and plenty of other surprises – in all, plenty of entertainment for salty dogs and landlubbers alike. 9 p.m.-4 a.m., Kelly's Mission Rock, 817 China Basin, S.F. $15-$20. www.odeonbar.com/rocktheboat. (Eddy)

July 19


Say it loud This weekend Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center – a Bay Area community center and statewide peer support line for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth – hosts its seventh annual Young, Loud, and Proud Conference for young adults 25 and under. The only one of its kind, the conference is produced and directed by youngsters and aims to connect young people with similar experiences. In the past the event has brought together more than 600 queer youth, providing them with important networks and the skills to counteract isolation and invisibility. Activities include poetry slams, teaching circles, performances, dance parties, and workshops on topics like HIV advocacy and hate crimes. Through Sun/21. Kickoff tonight, 6-10 p.m., Boys and Girl's Club, 450 Guerrero, S.F.; conference Sat., 9 a.m.-midnight; Sun., 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Horace Mann Middle School, 3351 23rd St., S.F. Free (25 and under only). (415) 703-6150, www.lyric.org. (Angie Edwards)

July 20


Where's the beef? Once hailed by both himself and his former manager Art Huckman as "the funniest man in San Francisco," comedian Neil Hamburger continues to subsist along the fringes of the comedy circuit despite the public's general lack of appreciation for his brand of old-fashioned observational humor – which makes recent rumors of an upcoming Neil Hamburger movie and Christmas special hard to believe. On the more immediate horizon is the comedian's fourth full-length CD, Laugh out Lord, to be released next month on Drag City. "It contains a lot of religious-based humor," Hamburger said of the album, speaking from a phone booth outside a Long John Silver's restaurant in Billings, Mt. "The motivation is that I was told to do that by my management, to try and cash in on some of the trends going around. I used to be a deeply religious, deeply spiritual man, but years of misfortune have driven it out of me." Pleaseeasaur opens. 10 p.m. and midnight, Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, S.F. $8. (415) 923-0923. (Will York)

Rise 'n' shine You have no excuse. Clearly, there's nothing better to do this morning than check out the 'Exploitation Brunch Show' at the Roxie Cinema. Guzzle a virgin blood orange mimosa, nibble a muffin, and train your eyes on the screen for stomach-turning delights courtesy of the Werepad and the Prelinger Archive: old-school educational films, shocking shorts, animal dissections, and even some Shatner. Hangover? What hangover? Proceeds benefit a worthy cause: the forthcoming first issue of Other, a magazine for "people who defy categories and are not target markets" that will feature essays, fiction, photography, and other art and that boasts Bay Guardian staffer Annalee Newitz as a copublisher. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St., S.F. $8-$20 sliding scale (no one turned away for lack of funds). www.othermag.org. (Eddy)

Ghost stories "Hello, Walnut Creek," Richard Buckner greets San Francisco, dragging a laugh out of even the no-depression hipsters. A Bay Area escapee and Austin cowboy, the prodigal Buckner returns here frequently – growling, gravely, sometimes drunk or sick, but always on. His last effort, The Hill (Overcoat/Convent), borrows from Edgar Lee Masters's ghost stories of deceit, regret, and heartbreak. But his own stunning words, like his trademark closer "Leave and Travel Well," are the most affecting, faithful to the heart of Masters's fitful pleas. Tonight he opens for Jim White. While the combo of country music and trip-hop sounds about as appealing as peyote laced with meth, White pulls it off on his latest album, No Such Place (Luaka Bop), produced by Morcheeba. His songwriting sincerity radiates from less-produced tracks like "The Love That Never Fails," but dark electronic underpinnings, presumably the focus of a tour called "Alone with Machines," achieve a moody, complex narrative. 9 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. $15. (415) 885-0750. (Katje Richstatter)

July 21


Green with anarchy This summer's Eugene, Ore.-based Green Anarchy Tour is traveling the country to garner awareness and support for ecological and indigenous liberation. With rock shows, video screenings, and presentations, the tour calls together punks, ecowarriors, and indigenous activists in a battle cry for anarchist rebellion. Tonight the tour stages a punk benefit at 924 Gilman, with Songs for Emma, Resist and Exist, John the Baker, the Fartz, Singing Crow, and Elder Wrath. Proceeds benefit political prisoners including Leonard Peltier, Ali Khalid Abdullah, and Ted Kaczynski. Hesitant to support revolutionary violence? Go for the sake of the Sixth Amendment – or just for the rock. Screenings and presentation 1 p.m., show 5 p.m., 924 Gilman, Berk. $5. (510) 525-9926, www.greenanarchy.org/tour. (Elizabeth Lobsenz)

Jail break Being a POW isn't usually a life-enhancing experience, but for the onetime World War II soldiers Camilla Calamendrei profiles in Prisoners in Paradise, it constituted a lucky break. Starving and disillusioned participants in underequipped fascist Italy's flagging Axis warfare, then captured by Allied forces, some 51,000 Italian men wound up taken to camps in the United States. There they found a land (even during wartime) of plenty where they were for the most part treated well and eventually allowed to socialize with Italian American families – which led many to wed Yankee daughters and stay in their adopted new land. Complete with a few local Bay Area angles, this hour-long documentary casts a surprisingly cheerful light on one little-known aspect of the second Great War. 6 p.m., KQED, channel 9, www.kqed.org. (Dennis Harvey)

July 22


Tune in You have to wonder if Tom Verlaine cringes every time he hears the word "seminal." As singer-songwriter-guitarist in '70s-era Television, he was an undeniable force in the art-guitar branch of the New York punk movement, merging jazz and psychedelic improvisations with garage energy. Following the group's breakup in '78, after only two albums, and reunion to release Television (Capitol) in 1992, Verlaine went solo, releasing eight albums and scoring movies, including a series of live performances to the silent films of Man Ray, Fernand Léger, and Carl Theodor Dreyer in 1999. Now he's back on tour with a post-Richard Hell lineup: guitarist Richard Lloyd, ex-Blondie bassist Fred Smith, and drummer Billy Ficca. Catch this rare glimpse of the original post-rocker, whose guitar virtuosity and pleading vocals are still the best of musical precision and chaos. Television play two shows at the Great American, tonight with Carmaig de Forest and Sun/28 with Ledenhed. Tonight and Sun/28, 9 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. $25. (415) 885-0750. (Richstatter)

July 23


Thank you for the music Tucked away on the résumé of Oscar-nominated director Lasse Halström (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) are a variety of Swedish-language films, including the highly praised My Life as a Dog and a little something called ABBA: The Movie. Originally released at the height of ABBA fever, the movie takes place during the well-coiffed quartet's 1977 Australian tour. There's a framing device about a DJ determined to snare an interview with the group, but the real draw is the concert scenes and backstage footage with Anni-Frid (a.k.a. Frida), Benny, Björn, and Agnetha. What with the recent ABBA resurgence, thanks to tribute bands, films like Muriel's Wedding, and the musical Mamma Mia!, ABBA: The Movie is fun viewing for fans who don't know much about the group beyond the lyrics to "Dancing Queen." Through Wed/24. 7:15, 9:15 p.m. (also Wed., 2 p.m.), Red Vic, 1727 Haight, S.F. $3-$6.50. (415) 668-3994. (Eddy)

July 24


Super friends If the music industry were truly demand-driven, as Creed apologists would claim, then it wouldn't be so damn hard to see an Aislers Set show around here. In the past year local appearances by the beloved San Francisco pop group have been rare. Happily, its members also play in other standout area acts. Singer-guitarist Amy Linton has teamed up with Mary Lashes in the Friends, a new venture debuting tonight at the Hemlock Tavern. Expect a new, stripped-down musical setting for the complex charms of the pair's pop craftsmanship – and music that's as full and rich as any duo can make it. San Francisco's Ryan Kahl also performs. 8 p.m., Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, S.F. $4. (415) 923-0923. (Lobsenz)

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