October 16, 2002




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8 Days a Week

Jan. 29-Feb. 5, 2003

IT'S HARD TO imagine our current president giving a rat's ass about nurturing the literary talents of at-risk youth, so it's a good thing WritersCorps – originally, an offshoot of President Clinton's AmeriCorps, now an independent program that's locally a project of the San Francisco Arts Commission – has been around since the pre-W. days. For nearly a decade, WritersCorps teachers have helped Bay Area teens sharpen their writing skills in a supportive environment. The resulting creations offer an honest, enlightening peek at the lives of the young authors – WritersCorps' recent book of poems and photographs, Believe Me, I Know, is filled with candid works that range in tone from hopeful to outraged. This week marks the start of the WritersCorps' Youth Poetry Slam League season, with monthly competitions at several San Francisco locations leading up to the finals in April. Last year's winner, Antonio Caceres (go to the WritersCorps Web site to read "Nothing Here Is Mine," a poignant essay detailing his visit to Washington, D.C., for the national slam), hosts as competitors take their words from the page to the stage before a panel of judges. Fri/31, 7 p.m., Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission, S.F. Free. (415) 252-4655, www.writerscorps-sf.org. (Cheryl Eddy)

Jan. 29


Helpful damage Fractured experimental art-rockers will come tonight for 'Art Fuck,' a benefit for Independent Arts and Media, an all-volunteer San Francisco nonprofit producers' cooperative that presents the annual Expo for the Artist and Musician, KUSF-FM talk show Radiosegue, the noncommercial news site Independent News Desk (www.newsdesk.org), and the weekly e-mail newsletter News You Might Have Missed. Ass Baboons of Venus, Experimental Dental School, Leavenworth Sound System, and Chum Frink will make some noise for the organization, and Zero K and the Neighborhood Bass Coalition All-Stars will DJ between sets at this "mash-up dance party to benefit commercial-free media," according to nonprofit founder and executive director, DJ, journalist, and Bay Guardian contributor Josh Wilson. 8 p.m., Club Galia, 2565 Mission, S.F. $5 and up (sliding scale). (415) 970-9777. (Kimberly Chun)

Jan. 30


Founding father Still best known in historically minded rock and political circles as the manager of the proto-punk MC5 and the Minister of Information for the White Panther Party, Beat-and-jazz-inspired poet John Sinclair has spent much of the past 30 years making himself a living archive of the blues. He spills out his knowledge in the form of journalism (he edited Blues Access among other activities), radio programming (on WWOZ-FM in New Orleans), and more recently a series of CDs, the latest of which is Fattening Frogs for Snakes, Volume One: The Delta Sound (Okra Tone), a spoken word history of the blues. Sinclair sets his growly poetry, drawn from the research of Robert Palmer, Amiri Baraka, and Alan Lomax and the reminiscences of Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sunnyland Slim, and others, in a classic Chess Records-style musical setting provided by His Blues Scholars, who, live, will feature guitarist Mike Henderson. 9 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $12. (415) 255-0333. (Derk Richardson)

Jan. 31


New heights Los Angeles-based band the Peak Show are nearly as eclectic – although in a very different way – as Ozomatli, whom they opened for a couple of months ago at the Fillmore. This week the band, led by drummer Gabriel "Front Row" Rowland, brings back its quirky, bottom-heavy blend of very funky rock and roll. Rowland and singer Holland Greco, who collaborate on most of the group's material, provide enough energy to light L.A. I'm hoping the outfit's Atlantic Records debut – slated for a July release – features "Reckless Love" and "Stupid Little Fellow," and I'm hoping they play both tunes at Slim's. Get there early and get a glimpse of the future. The Peak Show open for Cowboy Mouth and Maroon 5. 9 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $20. (415) 255-0333. (J.H. Tompkins)

Transformation navigation Eight trans- and third-gendered women and men hit the stage at Luna Sea in hip-hop poetry hotshot Marcus Rene Van's directorial debut. An epic cabaret of sorts, 'Everyday People: Living It Up and Holding It Down' is a showcase of transgendered spoken word and performance, featuring local heroine Shawna Virago's Land Mimes, Rian Fierro's smokin' Girl in a Dress, and Ali Cannon's provocative On Whales, War, and Bad Men. Get set for a clever exploration of love, irony, and gritty everday living, from the streets to the sheets, by artists fueled by the fight to transform into themselves. The event also features Angelo Hannah, Nedjula Baguio, Aurora Grejeda, Joe Samson, and Beverly Smith. Through Feb. 8. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Luna Sea Theater, 2940 16th St., S.F. $10-$15 (sliding scale). (415) 863-2989. (Michelle Tea)

Feb. 1


Into the light If you are in despair about the way this country is moving closer and closer to the abyss, go and take in Dance Brigade's 'CaveWomen ... The Next Incarnation!' A remarkable triptych of visceral and powerful dance theater that is as political as it is human, the piece apparently has been slightly reworked since its premiere last year – when it was performed to standing-room-only audiences. Tina Banchero, Karen Elliot, Lena Gatchalian, Sarah Bush, Debby Kajiyama, Kimberly B. Valmore, and creator Krissy Keefer are the dancer-artists who are holding their heads defiantly high and keeping our hope alive. We owe them. Through March 2. Fri.-Sat. and Feb. 20 and 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m., Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th St., S.F. $20-$25. (415) 273-4633. (Rita Felciano)

Devilish delights If hellfire isn't hot enough for you, then spend an evening with the sinfully entertaining Devil-Ettes. In celebration of their fourth anniversary, the 12 luscious ladies, decked out in naughty red attire and devil horns, are throwing a wedding reception called 'The Devil Made Me "I Do" It' – so wear something appropriate (tuxes, garters, white frilly dresses, red hot pants, Rosemary's Baby-inspired ensembles, etc.). This night of unholy matrimony would not be complete without the Devil-Ettes signature synchronized dancing and " '60s go-go madness"; music from the Sleaves and Little Fuzzy are also a part of the night's entertainment. 8:30 p.m., Club Galia, 2565 Mission, S.F. $10. (415) 970-9777, www.devilettes.com. (The Devil-Ettes also appear at "Viva Las Vegas by the Bay," Fri/31, 9 p.m., Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus, S.F. $18-$20. 415-474-0365). (Cynthia Dea)

Feb. 2


Blue streak Deep, dark, and dirty, buried in the entrails of blues, there's a one-man band named Bob Log III playing his guts out. He's tearing up dizzyingly fast slide guitar, he's singing through a telephone receiver piped through a motorcycle helmet, he's got a drum kick and a distorted mind. Formerly of the two-piece Doo Rag, Log brings you primitive, infectious songs like "Clap Your Tits" and "Ass Computer" all the way from the unlikely delta known as Tucson, Ariz. There's something wonderfully wrong with a man who wears a jumpsuit onstage and sells panties, nighties, and a pajama-party video as merchandise. To those lucky enough to hear and see Log for the first time, it will be a shock invoking Jim Fahey's memory of discovering Bill Monroe: "It was the bluesiest and most obnoxious thing I had ever heard." Fahey went insane and fell in love at once. What more could you ask? The Coachwhips and Hydro Guru also play. 9 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. $8. (415) 621-4455. (Katje Richstatter)

Feb. 3


Screen scene As regulars can attest, 'ViV and a Movie' is not quite the mellow night hanging out in a bar that its name implies. It's not that the vibe is uptight at these weekly gatherings. It's just that with two or three bands, several short films, and the work of up to 10 visual artists, there's a lot to absorb. And the only constants are a genuinely supportive environment for local artists and the innovative music of band in residence ViV. Tonight's mini art festival includes the haunting black-and-white photography of Julienne Estrada, light sculptures by Francois Egron, and the bold work of painter Dana Kirkpatrick, who also curates the shows. 'ViV and a Movie' started last summer and is fast gaining popularity – so go while it's still possible to grab a seat for the movies. (To submit artwork, e-mail dana@vivandamovie.com). Mondays 7 p.m., Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk, S.F. $10. (415) 921-1695, www.vivandamovie.com. (Tali Woodward)

Feb. 4


Morning sounds In 1998, when three San Francisco natives went to play at an art show in Los Angeles, they never anticipated they would end up relocating there to form the band Irving. What makes them interesting is that the now five-member lineup are all individual singers and songwriters. It's quite apparent that they each had a hand in writing the melodies and lyrics on their album, Good Morning Beautiful (Eenie Meenie), which sounds more like a mix tape of Elephant Six music than one cohesive band. Changing singers on each track keeps the listener interested, and while their tunes – at times playful, folksy, and poppy – may seem a bit schizophrenic, it works. Irving play with Alameda's From Bubblegum to Sky. 9 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. $6. (415) 621-4455. (Dea)

Feb. 5


Road warrior In New Orleans – where he finally made his home after journeying from his Wyoming birthplace through Denver (studying guitar there with Rev. Gary Davis) and Seattle, and spending seven years on the road in an Airstream trailer towed behind a '55 Chevy Bel Air – Spencer Bohren has been honored with two Big Easy Awards as Best Folk Artist. Eventually, his smoky voice and sterling work on lap steel and Mississippi bottleneck guitar should earn this compelling performer the wider national audience that appreciates such peers as Chris Smither and Geoff Muldaur. Bohren's most recent CD, Solitaire (Valve Records), showcases his variegated repertoire of confessional folk songs and such classics as Skip James's "Hard Time Killin' Floor," Hank Williams's "Long Gone Lonesome Blues," Charlie Patton's "Dirt Road Blues," and the Stones' "No Expectations." 8 p.m., Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, 1111 Addison, Berk. $16.50. (510) 548-1761. (Richardson)

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, the Bay Guardian Building, 135 Mississippi St., S.F. 94107; 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.