October 23, 2002




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8 Days a Week

Oct. 23-30, 2002

YOU COULDN'T GET a ticket for love or money when the Ronald K. Brown/Evidence company performed at ODC Theater last year before heading off for shows at Stanford University. Well, this year they are back, at Stanford only. And for one night only. Brown is not yet a household name in the Bay Area, but he will be. His work is a volatile fusion of West African, modern, and urban dance, a mixture held in check by a strongly developed sense of structure, probably instilled in him by his first teacher, the Graham-inspired Mary Anthony. His dances, many of them influenced by cultural traditions in which dance is still integral to society's well-being, address subjects such as love and loss, community and isolation, and above all, the possibility of transformation. The evening-length Walking in the Dark is, he has said, based on the practice of "sending someone into exile for spiritual contemplation." It could be to a convent, to a sweat house, or burial in dirt. Brown's contemporary analogy is a darkened room into which he banishes his people to work out their individual and communal struggles. Sat/26, 8 p.m., Stanford University, Memorial Auditorium, Serra at Galvez, Palo Alto. $24-$36. (650) 725-ARTS. (Rita Felciano)

Oct. 23


Gold rush Their song titles feature words such as satellite, stereo, and amphetamine. Their sound consists of a sleepy, surly guy's voice calling out (when it isn't mumbling melodically) as drums and classic chord progressions answer back from distant corners. Just when their music almost gets lost in mind-drift, the instruments and voice lock together and move forward. Local group Over Gold are a branch on the Galaxie 500-Spacemen 3 section of the Velvet Underground tree, and if the Lou-isms are affectation, then it's a classic pose that – here's the rare part – comes naturally. Full Moon Partisans and Folie-a-Deux also play. 9 p.m., Edinburgh Castle Pub, 950 Geary, S.F. Free. (415) 885-4074. (Johnny Ray Huston)

Shadow dancing Follow a singing skeleton through an exploration of California's history and Latino identity at The 7 Visions of Encarnación, a new play that combines the talents of writer Octavio Solis, ShadowLight Productions artistic director Larry Reed, visual artist Victor Cartagena, and composer Richard Marriott. Light projection, an array of puppets and scenery, and a white screen are used to weave the tale of a Mission District monk who travels from 1802 to the present and through the underworld in search of his purpose in life. A Halloween performance of this kid-friendly show benefits artists' outreach programs at local schools. Through Nov. 10. Previews tonight and Thurs/24, 8 p.m. (free). Opens Fri/25, 8 p.m. Runs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m., Brava Theatre Center, 2781 24th St., S.F. $15-$20 (Oct. 31 benefit, $30-$40). www.shadowlight.com. (Cheryl Eddy)

Fine feathers What may strike us as a revolutionary retelling of the classic ballet Swan Lake – barefoot swans that clump about as much as they float – is in fact a 15-year-old version that has traveled all over Europe but is only now making its American debut. Mats Ek's adaptation of Swan Lake for Sweden's Cullberg Ballet (founded by his mother, Birgit Cullberg) is a rethinking of the powerful myth in which a carefree young prince is pressured by his overpowering queen mother to settle down and pick himself a wife. Of course, this can't possibly work out well. The story, the characters, Tchaikovsky's music, the tutus, the divertissements – they are all there, fractured as if reflected in a broken mirror. But then, of course, Petipa lived in a pre-Freudian era; Mats Ek does not. Tonight, 8:30 p.m.; Thurs/24-Sat/26, 8 p.m.; Sun/27, 5 p.m., Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. $35-$49. (415) 392-4400, www.performances.org. (Rita Felciano)

Oct. 24


Country rose Last month she was on the Mekons' 25th anniversary tour, and Sally Timms will find plenty of fans crawling from that glorious wreckage to catch her solo shows in tandem with former Spinane Rebecca Gates. Singing such "twilight laments for lost buckaroos" as the Handsome Family's "Sad Milkman," Johnny Cash's "Cry Cry Cry," Jackie DeShannon's "Everytime She Walks in the Room," Procol Harum's "Homberg," and tear-jerking originals cowritten with Jon Langford, Cowboy Sally might well be the Peggy Lee of No Depression alt-divas. A Timms pal from Chicago (after moving from Portland, Ore.), Gates rallies her own indie following, boosted after a decade with the Spinanes by her solo CD Ruby Series and its late-night post-rock lounge vibe. Joanna Bolme (of Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks) joins both on bass. 9:30 p.m., Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck, Berk. $8. (510) 841-2082. (Also Sat/26, 8 p.m., Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez, S.F. $17. 415-454-5328.) (Derk Richardson)

Steel wheels Not-so-secret Steely Dan fans Karate sustain the AOR fantasy with their latest Southern CD, Some Boots – thanks to vocalist-guitarist Geoff Farina's dry, detached verbiage and sleek, unmussed guitar solos, bassist Jeff Goddard and drummer Gavin McCarthy's elastic contributions, and an altogether suave production. Still, Some Boots was obviously made for roaming, through King Crimson-style prog, beat poetry, and free jazz flirtations, before hunkering down with bluesy licks and riffs on the Afghan conflict with "Ice or Ground?" and then levitating with the more ethereal, drone-oriented "South." These guys deserve honorary degrees from the Sea and Cake and Tortoise's Chicago school of post-doc post-rock – quick. Four Minute Mile and Cast of Thousands also play. 9:30 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. $8. (415) 621-4455. (Kimberly Chun)

Great expectations Has Ryan Adams lived up to the prospects triggered by 2000's lovable Heartbreaker (Bloodshot)? Well, the anointed mop-top hope of roots rock or cow-whatever tries to cut through the hyperbole with his latest album, Demolition (Lost Highway). The boiled-down collection of demos is a far cry from the three or four albums the prolific singer-songwriter was said to be promising earlier this year, but achy-breaky tunes such as "Desire" and "Cry on Demand" will probably do the trick for some fans. The former Whiskeytownie has yet to write a tune as genius as his mentor Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Rocket Man" or "Your Song," but he still provides some compelling watching and listening. Tonight he plays the Warfield with Tegan and Sara; Sat/26 and Sun/27 he minds his place, for a good cause, at the annual Bridge School benefit performances. 8 p.m., Warfield, 982 Market, S.F. $27.50. (415) 775-7722. (Also Sat/26, 5 p.m., and Sun/27, 2 p.m., Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. $38.25-$48.75. 415-421-TIXS.) (Chun)

Oct. 25


Turkish delight Stamped with avant-garde classical approval by Kronos Quartet, composer-singer and multi-instrumentalist Burhan Öçal led the contemporary Roma charge out of Turkey and into the West with a largely sold-out tour in 2000. In some ways paralleling the ecstatic Rajasthani troupe (previously known as Musafir), Öçal's Istanbul Oriental Ensemble fuels its instrumental precision with emotional fire. Because it arises from a region that historically served as an Ottoman Empire crossroads in the Roma migration to Europe from the Asian subcontinent and the Middle East, the ensemble's music bears some resemblance – in modes, moods, instrumentation, and improvisation – to its relatives in India and Persia. But playing clarinet, kaval (flute), keman (violin), kanun (a harplike zither), oud, and darbuka (finger drum), this sextet often sounds like a classical chamber group making party music for belly dancers. 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, Bancroft at Telegraph, Berk. $18-$30. (510) 642-9988. (Richardson)

Oct. 26


Poetry revolution Poet, playwright, and third world Socialist Amiri Baraka has a propensity for winding up in the eye of the storm. Born LeRoi Jones, the 68-year-old is widely credited as a father of the radical African American cultural renaissance of the 1960s. His acumen and passion for agitating the establishment are as sharp as ever. Gov. James McGreevey has been trying to oust Baraka from his post as poet laureate of New Jersey for a reference in his poem "Somebody Blew Up America" to documented reports that Israeli intelligence, like the Bush administration, had foreknowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center. But Baraka won't be dismissed that easily. Today, he recites his poetry to the live jazz accompaniment of David Murray – hailed as one of the most renowned tenor sax and baritone clarinet players on the globe – who visits his native East Bay from Paris for the occasion. Baraka also holds a writers workshop, "Who You Writing For?," earlier in the day, and Sun/27 speaks on behalf of the African American reparations movement. Workshop noon-3 p.m., Black Dot Café, 1431 23rd Ave., Oakl. $30 (advance registration required). (510) 532-8559. Performance 7 p.m., Oakland Museum, James Moore Theater, 1000 Oak, Oakl. $20 donation. (510) 533-6629. (Also Sun/27, 2 p.m., African American Museum and Library at Oakland, 659 14th St., Oakl. $5 donation. 510-533-6629.) (Camille T. Taiara)

Oct. 27


Paradise lost For years the wild shoreline of the Albany Bulb landfill was home to the homeless. It was an isolated world where they were free to build small shelters, cook food, and survive – far from the public eye. Over time it also became an artists' haven. Painters, sculptors, and others (many of the homeless also were artists) created imaginative works from driftwood, found pieces of Styrofoam, concrete, and rebar. But then open-space lovers, as part of a larger effort to protect the entire East Bay shore, decided to turn the landfill into a state park. Early on in the process the homeless were cut out of the debate; in 1999 landfill dwellers were arrested, fined, and kicked out. Bums' Paradise, a new documentary by Robert "Rabbit" Barringer, Tomas McCabe, Marc Black, and Andrei Rozen, tells their story. Catch it at a benefit screening followed by a party with live music. 8 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo, Berk. Sliding-scale donation (no one turned away for lack of funds). (510) 525-5054. (Rachel Brahinsky)

Dead can dance Trick-or-treating in the daytime is rarely fun, and not appropriate when it's not Oct. 31. However, the seventh annual Día de los Muertos Fruitvale Festival promises afternoon excitement for everyone. At the Art Pavilion, local artists showcase artwork, clothing, and handmade crafts with a Latin American twist. The Children's Pavilion engages kids with art projects, street theater, and a "jumpy house" where they can bounce around. Of course, this celebration wouldn't be complete without Latin singing and dancing, and entertainment will include Ballet Folklórico, Aztec dancers, Banda la Movida, and the San Francisco Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., International Blvd. between 33rd and 41st Aves., Oakl. Free. (510) 535-6904. (Cynthia Dea)

Hey, Gepetto! Daytime TV fans have mourned the loss of Josh Ryan Evans since his passing in August. The diminutive actor, a favorite on the soap opera Passions, played Timmy, the living doll who had a penchant for drinking "martimmys." In real life Evans had achondroplasia, a form of congenital dwarfism, and died from heart failure at age 20, coincidentally (and eerily) on the same day that his character died on the show. Evans, who was known to live by the motto "It's not the size of the dreamer, it's the size of the dream," inspired, and continues to touch the hearts of, many of his fans. In remembrance of Evans a whole slew of artists – including Jason Mecier, Rebekah Naphiah Alessi, Lara Allen, MATS!?, and Kate Fenker – pay tribute to the actor in 'The Timmy Show!,' a new exhibition at Glama-Rama. Through Nov. 24. Reception tonight, 6-9 p.m. (salon hours: Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.), Glama-Rama, 417 South Van Ness, S.F. Free. (415) 861-4526. (Sarah Han)

Oct. 28


New Age now Forget what you think you know about the history of the human race – Scottish author Graham Hancock, whose past tomes have explored the mysteries of the Ark of the Covenant and the possible ancient civilization-Mars connection, among others, returns with Underworld: A Quest for the City of Below. Does he uncover evidence of a 12,000-year-old lost civilization lurking under the sea? Even if you fault Hancock – one of the most popular contemporary writers on archaeology and ancient history – for stepping a little too far into the realm of science fiction, his works still appeal to the In Search Of ... fan many of us have lurking within. 12:30 p.m., Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market, S.F. Free. (415) 421-4687. (Also 7 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight, S.F. Free. 415-863-8688.) (Eddy)

Oct. 29


Get real There just aren't enough NYC garage bands in the world. The Realistics, a pop punk foursome, help alleviate that problem. They'll be opening for some other NYC outfit called the Strokes (maybe you've heard of them) on Halloween night, but here's your chance to see them up close and personal. These guys released their debut album, Real People Are Overrated (Tiswas), last year and will be making their Bay Area debut tonight. Their high-energy performance got rave reviews at the South by Southwest Music Festival earlier this year, and they sold out four nights in Beijing. The world's most populated country can't be wrong. Mover and Young Trade also perform. 9:30 p.m. Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $7. (415) 861-5016. (Cynthia Dea)

Style to burn Versatile cabaret singer Veronica Klaus is noted for her way with a song and with an audience, wrapping her substantial pipes around everything from big band to soul to her own compositions. Klaus's stage shows are near legendary, with set pieces shaped like giant valentines, hot dog costumes, and her talents on the tuba making surprise appearances on occasion. Expect a bluesy, jazzy turn from the songster at Very ... Veronica, a show she performs with the Bewitching Three featuring Tammy Hall. Klaus promises parts of the show will be "Halloween-appropriate," so be prepared for much spine-tingling. 9 p.m., Lush Lounge, 1100 Polk, S.F. $7. (415) 771-2022. (Eddy)

Oct. 30


Storytelling When Mary Gauthier's second CD, Drag Queens in Limousines (In the Black), insinuated itself into public- and college-radio playlists outside the Boston folk scene that nurtured her, fans of hard-bitten alt-country found a new icon, one that crossed the learn-by-experience moan of Lucinda Williams with the cagey song-craft of John Prine. For her new third album, Filth and Fire (Signature Sounds), Gauthier (pronounced "go-shay") hooked up with Williams's former producer-guitarist Gurf Morlix and plunged even deeper into the narratives of emotional, moral, and spiritual angst of sinners and saints like her. Her own story (running away from Louisiana, doing time, running a popular café) is fascinating enough, but Gauthier creates characters and scenarios with even lonelier, more challenging, depressing, and ultimately hopeful lives. 8 p.m., Freight and Salvage Coffee House, 1111 Addison, Berk. $16.50. (510) 548-1761. (Richardson)

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