April 23, 2003




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April 23-30, 2003

THOUGH PERHAPS BETTER known among club-goers for its techno exports, Detroit has contributed more than its share of leaders to the world of house. At the top of the list is Alton Miller, whose deep, soul-drenched vibes have been tickling the technics for close to two decades. In the early '80s he became friends with Derrick May and, inspired by Chicago legends Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles, Miller went on to start the legendary but short-lived Detroit club, the Music Institute. Open for little more than a year starting in 1988, the venue played host to regular sets from Miller, May, and Chez Damier during a time that saw Detroit electronic music explode overseas. Growing up on a diet of Parliament-Funkadelic, Motown, and Santana, Miller's second single, "I Like Having You," is considered a defining track for house. With an innate feel for moods and grooves, he has released work on labels like KMS, Planet E, and Guidance. Miller also has some serious deck and E.Q. skills, which he brings tonight to the Canvas, a newly revamped gallery featuring live music. Home-field house heads Monty Luke (Imperial Dub) and West Coast representative Tom Thump (Cosmiq Flux) support. Sat/26, 10 p.m., Canvas, 1200 Ninth Ave., S.F. $12. (415) 504-0060. (Peter Nicholson)

April 23


Smart art If you summon all of your powers of hipness and step into the lobby of the Hotel Cosmo tonight, you will find yourself swept into the midst of a very bohemian kind of gala. Presented by ARTworkSF, Visual Voice is a night of wine, music, poetry, and art, and benefits Art in Action, a youth summer camp that combines art and activism. Poet Herman Berlandt (director of the National Poetry Association) delivers an invocation, kicking off a night of multimedia performance including Caribbean storyteller Opal Palmer Adisa; radical young poet Christine Beyer; political poet and chanteuse Delia Tomino Nakayama; and Copus, a music and spoken word ensemble that promises a melange of bebop, beat poetry, and ancient civilizations. And should you collapse from all of the reveling, the hotel will be happy to have you. 7-9 p.m., Hotel Cosmo, 761 Post, S.F. $12-$15. (415) 673-3080, www.artworksf.com. (Amir Baghdachi)

April 24


Geek chic Known to Bay Guardian readers as the author of the weekly Techsploitation column, Annalee Newitz is a digital-culture junkie whose work has also appeared in publications like Wired, SecurityFocus, and Salon. She's also pretty damn hilarious in person, which is all the more reason to check out her contribution to the University of San Francisco's Davies Forum lecture series on cyberfreedom, "Where Have All the Hackers Gone?" Newitz may or may not divulge her opinions on the Hot Pocket-eating computer dork character recently seen in The Core, but she will definitely be dropping science on how government regulations have affected hacker culture, as well as how the digital world has been changed by the tech bust. 7:30 p.m., University of San Francisco, McLaren Center, Room 250, 2130 Fulton, S.F. Free. (415) 422-6147. (Cheryl Eddy)

Skeleton key There is only one thing better than finding a human skull, and that is finding a very old human skull. So you can imagine the excitement of paleoanthropologist David Lordkipanidze when he excavated not just any ancient cranium, but an early hominid skull dated at 1.7 million years old. (To put that in perspective, the model of skull you're wearing now, with roomy extra brain capacity, is only 200,000 years old.) Discovered among the fossils of saber-toothed cats, elephants, and jackals, these early hominid remains are also striking because of where they were found: the Republic of Georgia, in the Southern Caucasus, right on the migration route out of Africa. Come hear Lordkipanidze tell of this thrilling discovery and the questions it raises in tonight's talk presented by the Leakey Foundation. 7:30 p.m., California Academy of Sciences, Morrison Auditorium, Golden Gate Park, near Ninth and Lincoln, S.F. $6-$8. (415) 750-7128. (Baghdachi)

April 25


Clear the runway Straight outta Brooklyn, the Ex-Models bring their unique brand of hyperintellectual party-boy panic rock to the Bay Area tonight. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the Models set out on their mission of "rock and roll simulation," packaging soulful high-pitched vocals, call-and-response guitar work, and bouts of audience participation into catchy 90-second bursts suitable for advanced levels of Dance Dance Revolution. Hot off the heels of their newest release, Zoo Psychology (Frenchkiss), and a year's worth of heavy touring with Hella, Les Savy Fav, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Ex-Models play speedy, spastic, fractured songs about sex, casual sex, mechanical sex, and "supersex." Joining them will be Holy Molar, a San Diego supergroup composed of members of the Locust and the Get Hustle, featuring recent S.D. transplant Mark McCoy (ex-Charles Bronson, the Oath) shouting out orders. Make way for the new grind: high-energy dentist shtick complete with matching outfits and tons of attitude. 8 p.m., 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman, Berk. $5. (510) 525-9926. (John Lombardo)

Rising stars If you missed the Nederlands Dans Theater I at CalPerformances last year, you'll get another chance next March. In the meantime, there's Nederlands Dans Theater II, the junior company made up of 17- to 23-year-olds. The dancing will be very good – and the choreography possibly even better. In addition to Kylian's Indigo Rose, these young power dancers will aim to dazzle with Minus 16, by Israel's Ohad Naharin, and Sad Case, by Paul Lightfoot, originally from England, now living and working in Holland. Both of these choreographers are performed the world over. In the Bay Area? Hardly ever. Through Sat/26. 8 p.m., Stanford University, Memorial Auditorium, Serra at Galvez, Palo Alto. $26-$38. (650) 725-ARTS. (Rita Felciano)

April 26


Beat heat Tonight the Top's True Intent welcomes Domu, a.k.a. Rima, to the sweatiest, most bumping joint in town. Long known for his starkly futuristic take on broken beat, U.K. wunderkind Domu, together with Volcov (Archive, Neroli), has a forthcoming album as Rima. Due out next month, This World (JCR) looks set to cement Domu's reputation as a master innovator with a flair for machine funk. Resident beat scientist MikeBee (True Intent) opens. 10 p.m., Top, 424 Haight, S.F. $5. (415) 864-7386. (Peter Nicholson)

Cheese whizzes Düsseldorf, Germany's finest fader jockeys, Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma of Mouse on Mars, chase the success of the recent .ilation comp on their Sonig label as well as the CD reissue of their long-out-of-print, 1998 vinyl-only Glam (once pegged as a soundtrack to a Tony Danza-Ali McGraw cinematic masterwork of the same name) on Thrill Jockey. Bets are on that live, at their sole U.S. stop before the Coachella Festival, MOM won't be chasing their tail, instead injecting aggression into the dense thicket of sound found on Glam. Broker/Dealer and Picadub also play. 9 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $16. (415) 522-0333. (Kimberly Chun)

April 27


Desperate hours Once the brightest, snarliest stars of the Bay Area garage rock firmament, Starlite Desperation ended it all by moving to Detroit after the release of their last album, Go Kill Mice (Flapping Jet, 1999), and fragmenting as guitarist-vocalist Dante Adrian formed the Lost Kids and moved back home to Salinas, Calif. Those weren't exactly salad days, so now Starlite is back, re-formed, but not quite reformed, in Los Angeles and in its original incarnation – with Adrian, guitarist Dana Lacano, and drummer Jeff Ehrenberg. I'm desperate to know – can you really go home again? Big Midnight and the Gross Gang also appear. 9 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. $7. (415) 474-0365. (Chun)

April 28


Noteworthy Despite the raves of new music aficionados, the enthusiastic head-bobbing from the avant-garde, and the just-announced Pulitzer, composer John Adams is, it turns out, really very good. Perhaps it's because he's omnivorous in his musical references, swinging from jazz to minimalism to Beethoven in a single movement, or because he reinvented modern opera virtually overnight with his Nixon in China, but Adams has become one of America's most frequently performed composers, and the most hummable. What's more, he's always been as thick as thieves with the San Francisco Symphony, which will perform the world premiere of his latest work, My Father Knew Charles Ives, April 30 through May 2 at Davies Hall. Tonight come hear the charming and eclectic musical genius as he talks to moderator Brad Rosenstein about his new work and music. 7 p.m., San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, 401 Van Ness, fourth floor, S.F. $5. (415) 255-4800. (Baghdachi)

Paul order Miss the Beastie Boys' righteous snits? MC Paul Barman is the wit that should tide you over till the next protest song. Just cock an ear to "Cock Mobster," otherwise known as "Schlock Mobster" to all you clean-living school-age hall monitors, and take in self-consciously dope(y) verbiage like, "But I wanna fire blanks into Tyra Banks. I would keep a tidy room for Heidi Klum." Or back into the braggadocio of "Excuse You" as Barman mouths, "Brag rhymes have no lag times. Acrostics, narratives, Fibonacci challenge poems, declarative palindromes, manifestos. My five fans can attest, yo." The "ne plus ultra of B+ culture" makes a date with Erase Errata's urban tropicalia project, Paradise Island. Jessy Moss also performs. 8 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $12. (415) 522-0333. (Chun)

April 29


Press play The Media Alliance Annual Membership Meeting and Election takes over 111 Minna Gallery tonight, marking 27 years of, per M.A.'s mission statement, "excellence, ethics, diversity, and accountability in all aspects of the media in the interests of peace, justice, and social responsibility." The open-to-the-public shindig features a panel discussion focusing on how the media – mainstream and alternative – has been covering the Iraq war, with the San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli, the Washington Post's Evelyn Nieves, and War Times editor Bob Wing, plus ColorLines editor Tram Nguyen moderating. On the lighter side, multimedia performance group Los Cybrids unleash some political satire, and an outstanding youth journalist will be honored with the Jessica Mitford Scholarship Award. Come network, sample the free appetizers, and raise your glass to nearly three decades of media activism. 6-9 p.m., 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna, S.F. $10. (415) 546-6334. (Eddy)

April 30


Roll tape You gotta admire the dedication of Chicago artists Jim Finn and Dean Rank, who are currently roaming at a rock star clip across the country ("25 venues in 23 cities") on their Men and Animals Film Tour 2003. Catch the duo during one of their Bay Area stops, and you'll witness a program that includes Finn's "Super-Max" (2003), which uses footage of maximum-security prison structures to unearth "the key to the political power of the known universe," as well as his entry at the 2002 Rotterdam International Film Festival, the gerbil-themed "wüstenspringmaus" (2002). Rank's contributions include the 20-minute, football-macho-centric "Team" (2003), as well as the self-starring, deadpan "Portrait" (2000). 8 and 10 p.m., 21 Grand Gallery, 449B 23rd St., Oakl. $5-$10. (510) 444-7263. (Also May 1, 8 p.m., Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. $5. 415-824-3890.) (Eddy)

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