8 Days a Week

June 25-July 2, 2003

AH, AFFORDABLE health care ... most of us will soon be fondly treasuring our memories of it. But let's not talk about the system's impending doom; let's talk about the fact that San Francisco's St. James Infirmary continues to provide free services to sex workers just as it has since 1999. For that the clinic deserves a red-hot four-year anniversary party, and it's getting one with 'Naughty Nursies.' Not surprisingly, though, the nonprofit has faced severe funding cutbacks over the past year, so this performance-filled extravaganza is doing double duty as a benefit. The organizers are aiming high, with a goal of raising $20,000 in one naughty night, and the stars of the S.F. erotic underground community are here to help. Carol Queen, Robert Lawrence, Mistress Morgana, and Skeeter from Mr. S host the festivities. Sexy entertainment (including lap and stage dances) comes courtesy of mod-prim progenitor Fakir Musafar and mistress of pain Cléo Dubois, performance artist-sexologist Annie Sprinkle, and the boys of Nob Hill Adult Theatre, to name a few. Featured DJs include Shane and Amber from Code, and live music is provided by ukelele-synth freak-out Paradise Island, psych-rockers Totimoshi, pagan big band Rosin Coven, self-proclaimed "dead wavers" Floating Corpses, and others. Thurs/26, 8 p.m.-2 a.m., DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., S.F. $15-$50 (no one turned away for lack of funds). (415) 554-8494, www.stjamesinfirmary.org. (Lynn Rapoport)

June 25


International set Trio Blonde Redhead aren't your average avant-rock band, although they may seem like it on paper – a lot like it. Sonic Youth-ish guitar? Check. No wave namesake? Check. Singer who sounds like Björk? Check. Composed of classic art school types from Italy and Japan, Blonde Redhead stand out because of their quirky pop sentimentality. Beat-driven to the point of hand clapping, their music is definitely alive enough to keep you from getting lost in some of their more meandering songs. Kazu Makino's sexy off-kilter soprano and Amedeo Pace's characteristic mistuned guitar also don't hurt in converting skeptics into fans. Buffalo Daughter open. 9 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary, S.F. $17.50. (415) 346-6000. (Phil Herrick)

June 26


Great white What's 250 pounds, pink, faces east when it prays, and rhymes like hell? Brother Ali, the world's only albino Muslim rapper. All unique selling points aside, Ali can spit wisdom with the best, as he proves on his debut album. With big, fat production from Ant and guest appearances from Slug (both of Atmosphere fame), Shadows on the Sun (Rhymesayers) is a solid showcase for Ali's verbal agility. Fellow linguistic lacerater Murs from Definitive Jux headlines tonight, ensuring that all will be ill. Luckyiam.PSC and Omni also play. 9 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $15. (415) 522-0333. (Peter Nicholson)

Git going In the early 1990s proto-grunge Seattle punk band the Gits were on the cusp of getting widespread recognition outside their hometown, where their shows were known for their power and vocalist Mia Zapata was singled out in particular for her nonpandering soulfulness and bluesy vocals in a male-dominated music scene. Later Zapata still stood out, tragically, as one of the earliest fatalities in that same crew, when she was raped and strangled to death with the drawstrings of her band sweatshirt July 7, 1993, in Seattle. But now that a suspect has been charged and is awaiting trial, the remaining Gits – who raised funds to hire private investigators to search for Zapata's killer and helped establish the women's self-defense program Home Alive – might be able to start to look back at the music they made together. The Gits Movie, a work-in-progress documentary by Kerri O'Kane and Jessy Bender, screens tonight at a benefit for its completion. As is, the film is admittedly rough, but old-timers, punk archivists, and rock fans will want to see the live show footage if they missed Zapata and the band back in the day; the film also sets the stage for the upcoming rerelease of remastered versions of the band's first two albums. 8 and 10 p.m., Roxie Cinema, 3125 16th St., S.F. $10. (415) 431-3611. (Kimberly Chun)

Pachuco flashback For four days in June 1943, thousands of sailors and servicemen went on a rampage in East Los Angeles, pulling young Chicanos off trolley cars and out of movie theaters, beating them senseless, ripping off their zoot suits – the telltale oversize coats and baggy pants stylish among the pachucos – and raping women. The media stoked the flames with headlines referring to the zoot-suiters as "hoodlums" and "gangsters." The cops stood by and let it happen – then arrested hundreds of victims. (This despite the fact that up to half a million Chicanos served in the armed forces during World War II, most as foot soldiers on the front lines.) Today, La Peña Cultural Center commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots with a discussion MCed by Bay Area Chicano musicologist Chuy Varela featuring noted members of the Chicano civil rights movement. Included on the panel are renowned graphic artist, poet, Royal Chicano Air Force cofounder, and lifelong cultural activist José Montoya and José Cuellar, a raza studies professor at San Francisco State University and lead member of Dr. Loco's Rocking Jalapeño Band. 7:30 p.m., La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck, Berk. $5. (510) 849-2568. (Camille T. Taiara)

June 27


Hot to trot Percussionist Bill Summers and trumpet player Irvin Mayfield of Los Hombres Calientes have cred to spare in their New Orleans stomping grounds. Mayfield's name often gets bandied about with those of local-boys-made-good like Terence Blanchard and Wynton Marsalis, and Summers devotes his time to developing his Summers Multi-Ethnic Institute of Arts, where he tries to bring in artists and teachers from musical traditions outside of Western academia. Recorded in Trinidad, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and New Orleans, Vol. 4: Vodou Dance (Basin Street Records) revels in the shared roots of Afro-Caribbean music, with originals like the sprightly opening track, "Vodou Hoodoo Babalu," and "Latin Tinge," with a superheated solo by Mayfield, as well as traditional numbers such as "I'll Fly Away" and "Oshun Bewele Mio (Port of Spain, Trinidad)." Joining them are pianist Victor Atkins, bassist Edwin Livingston, trumpet player Leon Brown, trombonist Steven Walker, saxophonist Davin Phillips, and drummer Ricky Sebastian. Through Sun/29. 8 and 10 p.m. (Sun/29, 2 and 8 p.m.), Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square, Oakl. $5-$24. (510) 238-9200. (Chun)

June 28


Center stage The venerable Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts gets some much deserved pomp and circumstance with '25 Years of HeArt and Struggle,' an anniversary exhibit highlighting artists who've made a mark on the neighborhood in the past quarter century. Curator Rene Yañez, architect Nick Gomez, and gallery director Patricia Rodriguez engineered a remodeling of the space to better showcase the works of more than 60 artists. Among them are pieces from Carlos Santana's collection, including original album covers, silk screen prints, and more by Michael Rios, Sal Garcia, Michael Roman, and Calixto Robles; a computer-generated mural by Rupert Garcia; and video work by Gustavo Vasquez (part of the Cheech Marin-owned, traveling "Chicano Visions" exhibition). Mission dwellers will want to preview the drawing for Juana Alicia's new mural, La Llorona, Sacred Waters, soon to be painted at York and 24th Streets. Like many groups, the MCCLA is facing funding cutbacks, so stop by and support this cultural landmark at tonight's opening festivities, at one of two outreach days (featuring artists' demonstrations), or simply during gallery hours to enjoy what looks to be a massive, engaging exhibit. Through Aug. 15. Opening reception today, 2-9 p.m. (gallery hours Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; outreach days July 12 and 26, 1-4 p.m.), Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission, S.F. $2. (415) 821-1155 or (415) 643-5001; www.missionculturalcenter.org. (Cheryl Eddy)

Tango indigo DJ Seven of Lo-Rise Recordings' solid house party Blue celebrates the event's third birthday with Tango Recordings honcho DJ Tony. Refining his chops as part of the Gathering and Funky Techno Tribe parties, Tony has moved on to launch the successful labels Tango and Nightshift, which have put out work by bright lights like Chris Lum and Jay Tripwire. As part of the 6400 Crew alongside Hipp-e and Halo, Tony has helped craft a tribal-influenced, West Coast sound sought the world over. DJ Tony performs tonight with DJ Seven, MikeBee (True Intent), and other local luminaries. 10 p.m.-2 a.m., 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna, S.F. $10. (415) 974-1719. (Nicholson)

Food for the soul Since well before the dot-com boom wreaked havoc on San Francisco's delightfully anomalous social underworld, Virginia – a.k.a. "the Tamale Lady" – embarked on a singular, noble mission: to feed the inebriated. If you've ever patronized any of the numerous watering holes in or near the Mission District, chances are you've seen her – hawking her mouth-watering, homemade tamales from a cooler for $2 a pop and chatting amicably with the regulars. All these years she's pursued her trade with inspiring perseverance. Now the community is giving something back. Join a wide array of loyal drunks at the Tamale Lady's 50th birthday party – a sure shot of a celebration with food, libations, sonic titillation, and the premiere of "Our Lady of Tamale," a rockumentary dedicated to the venerable Jalisco, Mexico, native by Cecil B. Feeder and Bi-Polar Productions. 6 p.m., Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia, S.F. Free. (415) 255-7505. (Taiara)

June 29


Party on Get your hangover off – and your glitter, feathers, skivvies, and latex on – 'cause the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade starts 30 minutes earlier than in previous years. The shenanigans kick off at 10 a.m. at Market and Beale Streets with the San Francisco Women's Motorcycle Contingent leading the way. What follows is a cacophony of floats and banners, with themes ranging from personal to political. This year's grand marshals include Armistead Maupin and Rev. Cecil Williams, both of whom have inspired the queer community – in keeping with this year's Pride theme, the Harvey Milk quote "You've gotta give them hope" – through their respective literary and theological endeavors. Although Pride has received criticism in recent years for its corporate ties, the sight of one million people lining rainbow flag-draped Market Street will give you goose bumps right down to your leather chaps. 10 a.m., Market and Beale; ends Market and Eighth Sts., S.F. Free. www.sfpride.org. (Melissa Broder)

June 30


Yang of four If it comes from Encinitas, it must be pretty – and you can bet your sunshine it is. It's also frequently noisy, always crafty, and made up of four guys who have been best friends since high school. It's Oma Yang, silly, and it's on. After relocating from the lazy shores of southern California to the hazy, um, shores of Oakland and releasing their second album, Bang Bang, on Slowdance Records, Nick Leslie, Jacob Glenn-Levin, Andy Kortman, and Dong Ping Wong set out to keep everyone savvy about epic, energetic music punctuated by football team chants and onstage nudity. Like labelmates Roots of Orchis, Oma bring a lighthearted, explorative sensibility to the post-rock instrumental table. It's smart, fun music played by smart, fun people. Dong, Oma's drummer, is so smart he leaves for grad school in the fall, making this one of the band's final shows before a short hiatus. Also on the bill: Electro Group and Kung Fu U.S.A. 9 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. $6. (415) 621-4455. (Anup Pradhan)

Hopelessly devoted Each song on the latest Vandermark 5 release, Airports for Light (Atavistic), bears a dedication to a different pillar of the jazz tradition. Curtis Mayfield's acknowledgment on "Other Cuts" is written in "be mine" curlicue script. Otis Redding gets the appropriately drowsy eight-and-a-half-minute "Long Term Fool." It seems Ken Vandermark and his improv-oriented jazz ensemble have wantonly kept ties with a number of musicians, much like Marty in Grease feigns steadfast affection to every one of her pen pals stationed overseas. Spreading the love is a good thing, especially for rock fans who are more familiar with trombonist Jeb Bishop's ties to Chicago post-rock bands like the Sea and Cake and Vandermark's noise-punk past as the Flying Luttenbachers' reed player. The V5 have been honing their craft at the Empty Bottle in Chicago since 1996, but tonight through July 2, they bring their inventive compositions to San Francisco for three two-set shows. Through July 2. 9:30 and 11 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $12 ($25 for all three nights). (415) 861-5016. (Deborah Giattina)

July 1


Name game Obsessive fans of Office Space are familiar with the character named Michael Bolton, cursed by the random hand of fate to share a moniker with, well, you know ("Why should I change it? He's the one who sucks."). The people profiled in photographer K.K. Ottesen's new book, Great Americans, also share names with famous types, but fortunately for them, of a more dignified ilk: Abe Lincoln, Jackie Kennedy, Emily Dickinson, Rosa Parks, Bob Dylan, Paul Revere, etc. The black-and-white photos of ordinary folks with extraordinary appellations are accompanied by brief interviews reflecting the subjects' views on what it means to be an American, as well as how it feels to be a data supervisor at a Texas hospital who happens to be named Elvis Presley. Ottesen appears today at Cody's Books, where perhaps she'll elaborate on television-indifferent farmer Homer Simpson's tale of suffering incessant "Is Bart there?" prank calls. 7:30 p.m., Cody's Books, 2454 Telegraph, Berk. Free. (510) 845-7852. (Eddy)

July 2


After the drive-in Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez walked away from At the Drive-In promising to push the boundaries of rock, and they just might be crazy enough to do it. Yet for all the "let's move things forward" rhetoric, Bixler and Rodriguez's new band, the Mars Volta, should be instantly recognizable to fans of ATDI. For one thing, Bixler continues to howl his flamboyantly intellectual jargon, a language of his own design that skates the fine line between William Gibson and Michel Foucault. But the Mars Volta certainly do more than pick up where At the Drive-In left off. The new sound adds equal parts reggae, drum 'n' bass, punk, funk, and rock and blends them at high speed. Their live shows are particularly unhinged. Expect epic pedal-happy jams and other glorious insanity. 9 p.m., Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. $13. (415) 885-0750. (Herrick)

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June 25, 2003