October 16, 2002




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8 Days a Week

Nov. 20-27, 2002

THERE'S SOMETHING INFECTIOUS about hip-hop dancing, which makes it unique – nothing against ballet or other dance forms, but when was the last time you felt your toes tapping and your head bobbing when you watched Swan Lake? A testament to the popularity of this growing art form is the San Francisco Hip Hop DanceFest, back for a fourth year at a new venue (the Palace of Fine Arts) and a three-day lineup of local and national companies. The future of hip-hop dance storms the stage Friday at "Youth Performer Night," spotlighting performers ages seven to 19 from groups like City Shock, Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, Mystic Flava, No Label, RoCo Youth Company, Future Shock San Jose, and others. Saturday and Sunday, energy levels spike at "Masters of Hip Hop," featuring innovative works from old- and new-school groups and kicking off each night with a freestyle circle. Festival founder and director Micaya's own SoulForce appears both nights, along with beatboxer AudioPoet and dance groups BODYslanguage, B-Syde, Chain Reaction, Flo-ology, Khaotik, Culture Shock, Style Elements Crew, Loose Change, and others. This event will no doubt be packed from start to finish, so buy tickets early. Fri.-Sun., 8 p.m., Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon, S.F. $25. (415) 235-4076, www.sfhiphopdancefest.com. (Cheryl Eddy)

Nov. 20


What a voice Singer Jenna Mammina's latest album, Art of the Duo (Mama Grace), is a subtle stunner – a study in hushes and lulls that's sure to soothe even the most troubled soul. Mammina and longtime guitarist André Bush venture out on their own following Mammina's gorgeous 2001 Meant to Be (Mama Grace) and manage to hit a magical sweet spot, that rare space where artistry emerges from a duo's musical alchemy to shimmer and shine. As always, Mammina has assembled a wonderfully eclectic bunch of tracks, rendering the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," standards like "Moonlight in Vermont" and "If I Were a Bell," and Elvis Costello's "Everyday I Write the Book" as if they were completely her own. Lovely as her albums are, though, you gotta see Mammina live to understand why everyone who does can't help but love her. 8 and 10 p.m., Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakl. $15. (510) 238-9200 (also Tues/26, 7 p.m., Enrico's, 504 Broadway, S.F. Call for price. 415-982-6223). (Sylvia W. Chan)

Nov. 21


Face forward As part of the worldwide "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence" movement, San Francisco State University presents 'Intervention: A Cause for Action,' an exhibition of paintings, photographs, and nontraditional art forms that portray various obstacles that women encounter – including domestic violence, discrimination, and exploitation – and how women have resisted and overcome adversity. Artists from the Bay Area and California explore the plights of Uyghur (a small Muslim minority in western China), Afghani, and Saudi women, among others. The exhibit reveals how women, whether in a rural shepherding village or a sprawling cosmopolitan city, are often subjected to human rights violations in the name of culture and tradition. Through Dec. 18. Reception tonight, 5-8 p.m. (gallery hours Mon.-Wed., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.), San Francisco State University, Cesar Chavez Student Center Art Gallery, 1600 Holloway, S.F. Free. (415) 338-2580. (Cynthia Dea)

Eat this Rock music and Chinese food is a deadly combination when the Wontons bring on the pyrotechnics and bust out their early punk-inspired tunes. Their last album, Hex Appeal (Bloody Banner), contains titles like "Do the Wonton" and "Abby Alien," but don't let the goofy names fool you. Their sound is reminiscent of heavyweights the Stooges and the Clash, and leader Dean Hsieh (formerly of the 1-4-5s) adds gritty, raucous vocals that put all other neo-garage punk bands to shame. Don't forget to wear your fireproof pants, because drummer Dwayne Barnes is partial to blowing up things onstage. Red Barons and Romeo's Dead also perform. 9:30 p.m., Parkside, 1600 17th St., S.F. $5. (415) 503-0393. (Dea)

Nov. 22


Glad tidings It's party time for 848 Community Space, the smallest, hottest, and still most with-it performance venue in the city. 848 is home to freethinking artists, dancers, musicians, body workers, and poets who don't quite fit in anywhere else. It has earned the affections of all kinds of folks – one of whom, for instance, spontaneously paid for it to get a paint job a few years ago. This weekend the space celebrates its 11th birthday with three programs and some 20 performers. Expect each show to be full of surprises, slightly chaotic but also, as the folks at 848 are calling tonight's gig, "a joyous participatory evening dedicated to the heart." Through Sun/24. 8:30 p.m., 848 Community Space, 848 Divisadero, S.F. $10-$20 (no one turned away for lack of funds). (415) 922-2385. (Rita Felciano)

School spirit Today's high schoolers are possibly America's most powerful demographic, controlling pop culture and growing ever more tech-savvy in a world they've never known not to contain the Internet, cell phones, and MP3s. Of course, that's not to say the traditional angst of those not-so-tender years is now absent from the equation. Antenna, the veteran theater company known for its interactive works that make use of personal listening devices – such as the long-running Euphor!um and the recent Sands of Time – offers an intriguing chance to step into Gen Y's Sketchers with High School. First produced in 1982, this version of the work sees Antenna returning to their original staging space, Tamalpais High School, and revamping the piece for 2002. Viewers don a Walkman and are guided through the halls as they listen to student interviews, sound effects, and music. Through collaboration with a large group of Tam High students and teachers – including a drama teacher who was one of the student participants on the original High School 20 years ago – Antenna aims to present an authentic auditory experience, one they hope to someday remount at schools throughout California and the United States. Through Dec. 15. Opens tonight, 6-9 p.m. Runs Fri., 6-9 p.m.; Sat., 2-9 p.m.; Sun, 1-8 p.m., Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller, Mill Valley. $7.50-$15 (reservations required). (415) 332-9454. (Eddy)

Blank generation The brand of dance music Glass Candy and the Shattered Theatre put out isn't the kind you'd find in your normal discotech. The Portland, Ore., art-punk outfit is all bones and harsh angles – sounds that can only make for staccato movements and aloof head tosses. Singer Ida No's echoey roar reverberates over bouncy bass lines and pointed drum beats, and her intimidating mannequinesque posturing only adds to the dramatic effect. Tonight GCATST play two 30-minute sets for a live recording that will be released on Troubleman Unlimited. Between sets, DJ Likety Splitz spins records. 9:30 p.m., Peacock Lounge, 522 Haight, S.F. $2 (415) 621-9850. (Sarah Han)

Nov. 23


Signed in blood With a history that includes members overdosing onstage, musical-chairs bass players, and four releases in two years, you not only gotta hand it to the Warlocks for being real-deal rock and roll characters but also for their determination to make a go of it. They slowly morphed from a V.U.-flavored rip-off into a touring machine that was the second coming of Spacemen 3, only with twice the firepower. But who'da thunk their wall-of-white-noise drug drone would have taken them this far? The last couple of months have seen them explode from hard-working club act to a group earning rave reviews in Spin and Alternative Press, which precipitated a recent upgrade from the Justice League to Slim's. Their newest Phoenix Album (Birdman) makes a solid case for their newfound fawning crowd. A perfect mix of brown acid psych-out and Robitussin-jag dream, it's the straight-up best psychedelic artifact since the Original Sins' Self-Destruct. The Cuts and Nero open. 9 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $8. (415) 255-0333. (John O'Neill)

Say amen There was a time when Bill Talen was one of the brightest comic talents in the Bay Area. His work as a monologist, actor, and playwright was produced all over the Bay Area – Intersection for the Arts, Blake Street Hawkeyes, Life on the Water, even the Holiday Inn on Eighth Street in San Francisco. Talen has been missed since he moved to New York, where he spent the better part of the '90s developing the character "Reverend Billy," a freewheeling, faith-healing, street preaching, televangelist hustler, in whose persona he staged politically acute, over-the-top guerrilla theater throughout the Big Apple. Bill (and Billy) are coming to town to deliver a sermon with piano accompaniment titled "What Is Peace?" I'm not sure what's going to happen, but it'll be worth paying attention to. 8 p.m., Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, 2868 Mission. $12. www.revbilly.com. (J.H. Tompkins)

Nov. 24


Be jolly If you're going to attend a tree lighting ceremony, you could do a lot worse than the shindig at Pier 39. Yeah, sure, for San Francisco residents, Fisherman's Wharf evokes the same kind of feelings the Bermuda Triangle stirs in superstitious sailors. But today there'll be enough real live Bay Area locals – the Contra Costa Children's Chorus, costumed actors from the American Conservatory Theater's production of A Christmas Carol, and others – to make the tourist mecca feel almost like a small-town square. The day also includes face-painting, a visit from Santa Claus, a holiday-themed marionette performance, and the flipping of the switch on the giant Christmas tree, per tradition hung with enough sparkly ornaments to make even the resident sea lions take on a festive glow. Noon-5:30 p.m., Pier 39, Embarcadero at Beach, S.F. Free. (415) 705-5500. (Eddy)

Nov. 25


Globetrotters Saying bassist John Lindberg is best known as the cofounder of the String Trio of New York probably doesn't help those unfamiliar with the two-decade-old threesome that has included guitarist James Emery and violinists Billy Bang, Regina Carter, Charles Burnham, and Rob Thomas. So let's mention Lindberg's teachers – Dave Holland and David Izenzon – and drop a few more names of those who've collaborated with the acclaimed composer-improviser: Wadada Leo Smith, Larry Ochs, Andrew Cyrille, Ed Thigpen, and Albert Mangelsdorff. For a rare trip from New York, Lindberg is bringing his yet-to-be-recorded World Star Trio, with percussionist Adam Rudolph and Saxophonist Pablo Calogero, in their Bay Area debut of original spins on world music-chamber jazz. 8 and 10 p.m., Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakl. $8-$10. (510) 238-9200. (Derk Richardson)

Nov. 26


Alley cats Even if your exposure to the world of competitive bowling is limited to late-night ESPN and The Big Lebowski – and let's be honest, that's most of us – you can still find something to cheer about at Serra Bowl's second annual Bowling for Turkeys benefit. Bowlers from the Bay Area and points beyond hit the lanes to help families in need this Thanksgiving – for every strike, a turkey will be donated to St. Anthony's Dining Room or the Daly City Emergency Food Pantry. What's more, the pros demonstrate their skills with trick shots, including bowling blindfolded and through obstacles (which may or may not include giant piles of frozen turkeys). Throughout the day, there is also a raffle and free bowling for schoolkids. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Serra Bowl, 3301 Junipero Serra, Daly City. $5. (650) 992-3444. (Eddy)

Nov. 27


Higher learning This is it – one of your last chances to see a local theater production that isn't explicitly holiday related! OK, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon, a company devoted to reviving "forgotten," or lesser-known, musicals, closes out its 10th anniversary season with one last tip o' the hat to Richard Rodgers's 1939 collegiate comedy Too Many Girls. On a historical note, Lucille Ball met Desi Arnaz when both were cast in the 1940 movie version of this tale, which follows the adventures of a young heiress whose overprotective pop secretly pays a quartet of pro football players to act as campus chaperones. And, natch, mad hijinks – and much singing – ensue, which should play perfectly to the strengths of 42nd Street Moon's talented performers. Through Dec. 15. Previews tonight, 8 p.m., and Nov. 29, 2 p.m. Opens Nov. 29, 8 p.m. Runs Thurs.-Fri. and Dec. 11, 8 p.m; Sat., 6 p.m. (also Dec. 7 and 14, 1 p.m.); Sun., 3 p.m. $15-$27. (415) 255-8207. (Eddy)

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