February 12, 2003




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8 Days a Week

Feb. 12-19, 2003

ON JAN. 31, more than 100,000 agricultural workers marched on Mexico City in opposition to NAFTA: the largest protest by campesinos in almost 70 years. Among their ranks were the men and women of San Salvador Atenco, one of the pueblos on the outskirts of the capital where President Vicente Fox's government hoped to construct an expansive new airport – thereby dispossessing local peasants from their communal lands and destroying an entire ecosystem based around the city's last remaining natural body of water. The campesinos of Atenco gained international recognition for their mass protests, machetes in hand, that succeeded in thwarting the project last year. It was arguably the most important popular rebellion against the lethal effects of free trade policies on the country's poor since the emergence of the Zapatistas in Chiapas nine years ago. Today filmmaker Gregory Berger presents 'ĦTierra Sí! ĦAviones No!' (Land Yes! Planes No!) and 'Atenco: The Machete Rebellion!,' two documentaries chronicling, respectively, the town's response to the government's eviction notice and the movement that ensued. Following the screening, Berger leads a conversation with Atenco activists linked up by live conference call from Mexico. Sat/15, 8:30 p.m., Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. $5. (415) 824-3890. (Camille T. Taiara)

Feb. 12


'D' is for discord The ever changing D word preceding the name of Portland, Ore.'s noisy two-piece D. Yellow Swans (Das Yellow Swans, Dos Yellow Swans, Dead Yellow Swans, etc.) reflects their impulsive, mostly improvised performances and evolving sound. But one thing about the band remains constant: they make a raucous cacophony. Made up of Bay Area expat Gabriel Mindel (Boxleitner) on guitar and Peter Swanson (Mur*der, Silentist) on drum machine and electronics, the band's dissonant noise-play and screams stir the deepest reaches of your bowels. Tonight D. Yellow Swans play with fellow PDX-based man-on-a-mission Panther, plus San Francisco's Crack: We Are Rock, Boom de la Boom, and the Meths. 9 p.m., LiPo Lounge, 916 Grant; S.F. $5. (415) 982-0072. (Sarah Han)

Poetry in motion Today Laura Bush was planning to hold a White House symposium on the works of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman – but turned tail and canceled the event when she found out some of the invited poets were (the nerve!) intending to turn the event into "A Day of Poetry Against the War," in protest of the looming war with Iraq. In response, local groups are rallying the literary troops for peace-minded poetry readings. In San Francisco the newly formed Artist Action Network is behind 'Poetry and the American Voice Has Been Cancelled,' featuring readings by Taylor Brady, Jenny Bitner, David Buuck, Dana Teen Lomax, and others, plus an open mic and readings of translated poems by Iraqi poets. East Bay types can gather at 'Poets Against the War,' with Adele and Jack Foley, Reginald Lockett, Kenny Mostern, and members of Poetry for the People, among others, and an open mic. "Poetry and the American Voice Has Been Cancelled," 7-9 p.m., Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia, S.F. Donations requested (no one turned away for lack of funds). spaceistheplace@hotmail.com. "Poets Against the War," 7:30 p.m., Revolution Books, 2425 Channing, Berk. Free. (510) 848-1196. (Cheryl Eddy)

Feb. 13


Staying power There is something to be said for longevity in the dance world, particularly because companies disappear with alarming regularity. One reason Cheryl Chaddick, whose Company Chaddick is now in its 18th year, has managed not only to survive but also to thrive is her singular vision of what she wants to do. She creates wonderfully full-bodied dances that breathe, are beautifully phrased, and explore matters of the heart. This year's "Beneath the Surface" program features two world premieres: Interiors examines risk taking; Bread and Water, set to poetry by Pablo Neruda and Kora music by Daniel Berkman, is "an ode to tenderness." Also included are 1997's Wasted, a fast-paced look at life on automatic pilot, and an excerpt from 2000's Scatterings of Light – a lyrical, meditative, and luminous work. Through Sun/16. 8 p.m., ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F. $17. (415) 863-9834, www.ticketweb.com. (Rita Felciano)

Feb. 14


Fish lips Did you know that tropical clownfish are all born male – then the dominant male becomes female? The female then possesses a harem of younger males to amuse, chase, and copulate with. After her death, the next dominant male becomes the female, and so on. Underwater sex changes will be a hot topic at the Aquarium of the Bay's second annual 'Sex in the Sea' event, where visitors can enjoy cocktails and chocolate while learning about fish that mate for life, some invertebrates' habits of meeting postcoital deaths, and other fascinating facts about aquatic reproductive habits. Be sure to ask about San Francisco's resident leopard sharks and bat rays, both of whom choose the bay's marshy inlets to raise their young. 6-10 p.m., Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, Embarcadero at Beach, S.F. $20-$25. (415) 623-5301 (reservations recommended). (Lori Spears)

Cool cats San Francisco band Junior Panthers (formerly called the Damsels) know how to go all-out with their jangly guitars, hand claps, and catchy choruses that make for an infectious sing-along. Their self-titled album, which is being rereleased next month on First Time Records, is chock-full of whimsical melodies that evoke shoe-gazing, bright '60s rock, and power pop. Get a glimpse of what the Junior Panthers, including drummer and Bay Guardian staffer Raul Sanchez, have got at their show tonight with Lessick and Eric Shea – and keep an eye out for them when they play at this year's Noise Pop Festival (Slim's, Feb. 28). 9 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $5. (415) 861-5016. (Cynthia Dea)

Feb. 15


Everything but Do you regret not moshing at punk shows back in the day? Or never taking part in the xerox revolution that made the Bay Area a mecca for zine writers and post-beat vanguardists? Kitchen Sink magazine's second issue – "the regret issue" – is a pastiche of wish-I-had-dones and atonements, featuring contributions from eXtreme Elvis, Phoebe Gloeckner, Chicks on Speed, Erika Lopez, and others. Help Kitchen Sink writers carry the torch for beleaguered Bay Area artists at tonight's release party and fundraiser, featuring music by the Quails and Condor and art by Harrell Fletcher, Sue Costabile, Maizie Gilbert, and others. 7 p.m.-midnight, Ego Park Gallery, 492 23rd St., Oakl. $7-$20 sliding scale($10 or more includes a copy of the magazine). (510) 823-8045. (Rachel Swan)

Body music With his brilliant 2001 album, Bodily Functions (Soundslike/!K7), Matthew Herbert gave listeners an intensely intimate, thoroughly unique take on house music, presaged by his numerous remixes under the Doctor Rockit, Radio Boy, and Wishmountain monikers. Along the way, he enlisted a mouse in a trash can for percussion, the sounds of laser eye surgery for texture, and bottles being recycled for rhythm. Herbert is also an intensely political musician, viewing his work as direct criticism of rampant capitalism. Dance music for those who think? Yeah, but he'll definitely get you to shake your ass, too. Herbert performs at Joypad with local workers Tom Thump (Cosmic Flux) and Philip Sherburne (Flavorpill S.F.). 9 p.m.-4 a.m., Club Six, 60 Sixth St., S.F. $10. (415) 863-1221. (Peter Nicholson)

Feb. 16


Sweet stuff Please your palate and get an eyeful at 'A Taste for Dance,' a benefit for the Bay Area dance group Big Moves, which encourages size diversity among its dancers. The event includes performances by burlesque dancer Heather McAllister, hip-hoppers Phat Fly Girls, and Fat Chance Belly Dance Second Skin Troupe, plus a fashion show from San Francisco's Go Figure. And that's not all: chocolate lovers can indulge with a tasting featuring some of the best local chocolatiers, including Spun Sugar, Scharffen Berger, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Proceeds help fund "Bodies in Motion," an evening-length dance program by Big Moves slated for early October. 6:30-9 p.m., Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo, Berk. $10-$20. (415) 756-5593. (Dea)

Feb. 17


Happy New Year This President's Day, prevent the kids from lapsing into a slack-jawed PlayStation 2 marathon by heading across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Area Discovery Museum's Chinese New Year Celebration. The Year of the Ram is welcomed in kid-friendly style, with lion dancers, craft activities including calligraphy, paper-lantern making, sweet-pastry baking, and more. Advance tickets ($10-$15) are recommended to catch the colorfully costumed Red Panda Acrobats, noted for their mind-blowing feats of balance and flexibility. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Red Panda Acrobats perform at 11 a.m., 12:15, 2, and 3:15 p.m.), Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Rd., Fort Baker, Sausalito. $7. (415) 487-4398, www.badm.org. (Eddy)

Feb. 18


Scare tactics If this year's excellently spook-heavy San Francisco Independent Film Festival has inflamed your passion for offbeat chills, scuttle back to the Roxie Cinema for a double dose of B horror at its best. First up is The Lady and the Monster, a 1944 George Sherman tingler about a scientist who becomes possessed by a disembodied brain with sinister intentions. Stick around for Dark Waters, Andre de Toth's 1944 yarn about a shipwreck survivor (Merle Oberon) who finds peril awaiting when she retreats to her family's bayou estate. The Lady and the Monster 6:15 and 9:40 p.m., Dark Waters 8 p.m., Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St., S.F. $4-$8. (415) 863-1087, www.roxie.com. (Eddy)

Feb. 19


Not Yahoo Serious Australia has never been a real hotbed of jazz-related activity, but its lack of a heavily entrenched tradition is probably more of a blessing than a curse. Yet there are some exciting players working in jazz and related fringe genres there. Melbourne saxophonist Adam Simmons is one of them, having led or played in groups such as the aggressive, two saxophone-drums trio New Blood, the genre-crossing splatter-jazz mini-orchestra Bucket Rider, and aptly named Toy Ensemble. These groups aren't household names, but you can find the latter two on the swell Australian label Dr. Jim's. For his trip to the Bay Area, Simmons hooks up with local improv scene regulars Damon Smith (bass), Rent Romus (saxophones), Ernesto Diaz-Infante (guitar), and Phillip Everett (drums and percussion) for a series of shows. His first stop is tonight at Oakland's 21 Grand. 8 p.m., 21 Grand Gallery, 449B 23rd St., Oakl. $5-$10. (510) 444-7263 (also Feb. 20, 8 p.m., Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market, S.F. $6-$10. 415-255-5971; Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., Musician's Union Hall, 116 Ninth St., S.F. $8-$10. 415-905-4425). (Will York)

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