February 19, 2003




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8 Days a Week

Feb. 19-26, 2003

IF CRACKLING DUKE Ellington records and obsolete whiskey drinks bring to mind images of your kind of heyday, then take John Templeton's walking tour of the historic Fillmore jazz district Sat/22. The neighborhood is the focus of San Francisco's second annual Black History Month Celebration. During the 1940s and '50s, legendary Fillmore clubs such as Jimbo's Bop City and the New Orleans Swing Club regularly featured Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and other jazz greats. Stir up dusty blue notes as you explore former hot spots and meet residents like Buddy Simon, one-time owner of five nightclubs. The celebration kicks off Fri/21 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, with the Mark Wright Trio, the film What Wouldn't Jesus Do?, tributes to Fitzgerald and June Jordan, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, and a shortened version of The OG and the B-Boy, Cultural Odyssey's staged exploration of the generational divides in the African American community. In addition to the walking tour, Saturday's events include an afternoon screening of KQED's Fillmore and, in the evening, "Hip-Hop: A World View," a multimedia exploration of hip-hop's path around the globe along with a performance by tenor saxophonist Howard Riley. Opening event Fri/21, 6 p.m., Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon, S.F. $25-$30; walking tour Sat/22, 1 p.m., meet at Fillmore and Turk, S.F. Free; screening Sat/22, 3 p.m., Rasselas Jazz (Fillmore), 1534 Fillmore, S.F. Free; performance Sat/22, 8 p.m., Rasselas Jazz (Fillmore). $10-$15. www.sfnoir.org. (Laurie Koh)

Feb. 19 Wednesday

Cutting crew Texas quintet Knife in the Water whet your appetite for primal male-female interplay right off with their name's reference to the breakthrough Roman Polanski film about a couple whose bond is severed by a blade-flipping drifter. Musically, the band submerge their existential anxiety in sweet drifting melodies, pedal steel, and the high and lonesome vocals of Aaron Blount and Laura Krause, all of which come off like a front-porch version of Damon and Naomi. Knife in the Water's brand of acid-washed romantic tension plays along the lines of Low's more minimalist tunes – and you suspect that KITW would be just as popular if only they were more prolific. After putting out a well-received second album, Red River (Glitterhouse), three years ago, they're still promising to finish a new full-length. Jolie Holland opens. 10 p.m., Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, S.F. $6. (415) 923-0923. (Kimberly Chun)

Feb. 20 Thursday

Bodies at play The most innovative electronics and gadgets on the market hail from Japan – so can modern dancers be far behind? Leni-Basso and Study of Live Works BANETO are two young dance companies from Japan who have grown up with and ingested the pleasures of the virtual world. They mix feedback, digital manipulation, and sequencing techniques with the human body at play. In this program, copresented by Theatre of Yugen and ODC Theater, Leni-Basso presents Finks and Study of Live Works BANETO presents Time Knit Sweater. Through Sun/23. 8 p.m., ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F. $12-$20. (415) 863-9834. (Rita Felciano)

Feeling groovy The album cover for Zion-I's 2000 release, Mind over Matter (Nu Gruv) – which shows a kid in a dashiki lifting a luminous, purple-tendriled Earth with his fingertips – prefigured a new kind of hip-hop diaspora. Riding on the heels of Herbaliser, MC Zion and trackmaster Amp Live created a masterwork of pastiche with Mind over Matter: the album blends roots-consciousness with studio effects, sampling Zion's brooding vocals over drum 'n' bass-inspired beats (as on the groovy "Elevation"). To celebrate the release of their new album, Deepwater Slang v2.0 (Raptivism), Zion-I perform at Slim's with the dope underground group Crown City Rockers (formerly Mission:) and VinRoc of Triple Threat DJs. The show also features guest appearances by Goapele, Pep Luv, Deuce, Eclipse, and guitarist Susie Suh. 9 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $13. (415) 255-0333. (Also Fri/21, 3 p.m., Rasputin Music, 2401 Telegraph, Berk. Free. 1-800-350-8700; and Black Box, 1928 Telegraph, Oakl. $10-$15. 510-451-1932. Call for time). (Rachel Swan)

Feb. 21 Friday

Swarm thoughts There's some San Diego-style hive mentality going on with Beehive and the Barracudas. Including members of the Red Aunts, Hot Snakes, Fishwife, and Rocket from the Crypt, the indie supergroup began their quest of mixing animal metaphors and rocking out with much dissonance in 1998. Behind B and B: a flap with the Flapping Jet label. Ahead: plenty of bratty garage punk by core worker types Gar Wood, Kerry Davis, and Dirty Millsap, and perhaps even rotating members Rocket's N.D. and Snakes' Jason Kourkonis. The Husbands open. 10 p.m., Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, S.F. $6. (415) 923-0923. (Also Sat/22, 10 p.m., Ivy Room, 858 San Pablo, Albany. Call for price. 510-524-9299; and Sun/23, 9 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $5. 415-861-5016). (Chun)

Feb. 22 Saturday

Dress for success A celebrity male impersonator, strutting the nation's stages with a female impersonator and stealing the hearts of thousands of young ladies, falls for a pretty stage dresser and marries her in a legal ceremony performed by a minister of the gospel. The near future in San Francisco? Think again. It happened in America in the 1880s, and the incredible true story of Annie Hindle, vaudeville legend, is now the basis of the new play Ladies and Gentlemen, by Irish writer Emma Donoghue and produced by the Shee Theatre Company. Donoghue (best known for her collection of reimagined fairy tales, Kissing the Witch, and the historical novel Slammerkin, and winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for Lesbian Fiction) is on hand at tonight's opening-night gala for a postshow conversation about the play and her work on gender and sexuality. Through March 15. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy, S.F. $15-$20 (March 10, pay what you can; opening night $25). (415) 999-8870, www.theshee.org. (Amir Baghdadchi)

Feb. 23 Sunday

Pleasant dreams By now, everybody knows Michigan has the best rock bands (besides the Bay Area, of course). They've given us Funkadelic, Bulb Records, the Nuge, Kid Rock, Violent Ramp, the Dirtbombs, Bob Seger – the list goes on. Mommy Won't Wake Up carries on in that state's fine tradition, and as part of the continually multiplying Scratch and Sniff Records cartel (see Mammal, Mechanik, and Max Cloud for a few of their other "M" artists), they're one part nervous juvenile comedy and one part really, really loud. They've been likened to Captain Beefheart falling down the stairs, but that's mainly because they have a saxophonist; they also have two bassists, a drummer, and sometimes a keyboardist (depending on who they pick up on the way out here). Also on the bill are three newish projects featuring members of better-known local acts: Mount N.B., an orgiastic noise stupor-group with members of Zeek Sheck, Mono Pause, Crack: We Are Rock, and Total Shutdown; Dalglish, featuring the dark, minimal electronics of O.S.T.'s Chris Douglas; and Bran (...) Pos side project Goerbels and Pregger. 9 p.m., Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary, S.F. $5. (415) 885-4074. (Will York)

Press on The editors of POOR Magazine – a nonprofit project dedicated to publishing low- and no-income writers – have always known that some artists are rich only in talent. That's why they're throwing a benefit party to kick off their latest venture, POOR Press, and inviting the public to get an eye- and earful of their first revolutionary titles. The gala features an installation of drawings and audio narratives from The Poverty Heroes anthology; a new play by the Po' Poets of POOR, The Diaspora a.k.a. The original Eviction, with music by DJ SAKE1; readings from the Houzin Project, Po' Poet Laureate A. Faye Hicks, and others; and a slide show from the Po' Cats, two low-income felines who will share their musings on travel, colonialism, and geopolitics. 6 p.m., ILWU Hall, 255 Ninth St., S.F. $1-$20 donation. (415) 863-6306. (Baghdadchi)

Feb. 24 Monday

Love sucks If more than a week past Valentine's Day you still can't get over being ignored, insulted, and otherwise forgotten, you may be in the mood for Independent Exposure's short film and video screening titled (with a nod to Rilke) 'Love and Other Difficulties.' Tonight's lineup of independent works investigates the darker side of romance: betrayal, infidelity, desperation, and revenge. Ironically enough, when I spoke to the event's organizer and curator, Joel Bachar, he admitted that he is tying the knot two days prior to the event. But he hasn't let his personal connubial bliss get in the way of the program's cynical theme. The two-minute digital video "O Ept Anis" should be especially interesting: it features actor's heads bound together with rubber bands as a metaphor for Cupid's bow. Ouch. 8 p.m., 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna, S.F. $5. (415) 864-0660. (Kerry Rodgers)

Feb. 25 Tuesday

Unknown country The artists of the Nashville Underground label have created dozens of number-one hits, sold millions of records around the world, and won little or no fame. They're songwriters, of course, penning the singles that make pop and country stars famous, but they're also fine performers in their own right. Tonight, hear them croon songs of heartbreak as they were intended to be sung, before the drum machines, strings, and backing tracks got to them. On the bill are Chuck Cannon (whose "I Love the Way You Love Me" went to number one sung by Michael Montgomery and to number two in the U.K. sung by Boyzone), Chuck Jones (whose "Your Love Amazes Me" won Country Radio Music Award's song of the year), and Pam Rose (who penned "Ring on Her Finger, Time on Your Hands," sung by Reba McEntire and Lee Greenwood). 8 p.m., Freight and Salvage Coffee House, 1111 Addison, Berk. $16.50. (510) 548-1761. (Baghdadchi)

Feb. 26 Wednesday

Telling photos Not only is MacArthur "genius award"-winner Deborah Willis the nation's foremost expert on the history of African American photography, she is also a talented artist, capturing images of contemporary culture (bodybuilders, long red nails, beauty salons, pierced-belly button washboard stomachs) and creating photo-embedded quilts that reflect her political and social stances, as well as her own personal history. Willis – who is a prolific author and art curator – appears at Mills College tonight for a free lecture titled "Imaging Blackness," an exploration of the black image, particularly the black female image, in photographic history. "Reflections in Black," a Smithsonian exhibit of pictures celebrating African American culture that's based on Willis's book Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to Present travels to the Bay Area this summer. 7:30 p.m., Mills College Concert Hall, 5000 MacArthur, Oakl. Free. www.mills.edu/mills_news/blackness.html. (Cheryl Eddy)

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