8 Days a Week
Oct. 1-8, 2003
OCTOBER IS UPON
us, which means two things: Halloween stores are suddenly all over the place, fully equipped to meet your rubber-mask and feathered-wings needs; and once again, it's time for San Francisco Open Studios, the annual salute to creative types working on just about every block within city limits. The 2003 affair boasts the participation of more than 800 artists, who, neighborhood by neighborhood, open their studios to the public each weekend. Visitors get a glimpse into the artistic process (this year's crop includes painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, printmakers, and furniture makers), as well as the opportunity to purchase works directly from their creators. And if you can't muster the energy (or the Muni fare) to check out every single studio space, you can get an overview of the whole shebang at a monthlong exhibit at SomArts Gallery, which is stocked with a contribution from each participant. A benefit preview kicks off the event on Thursday, followed by a free gallery opening at SomArts on Friday. Pick up a studio guide at local bookstores, selected retail stores, and coffee shops; you can also check the Open Studios Web site and issues of the Bay Guardian throughout October for maps and information. Benefit preview Thurs/2, 6-10:30 p.m., SomArts Gallery, 934 Brannan, S.F. $50-$125. Gallery opening Fri/3, 5:30-8:30 p.m., SomArts Gallery. Free. Exhibit through Oct. 26 (Tues.-Fri., noon-4 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.), SomArts Gallery. Free. Studio tours through Oct. 26 (Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.), various locations. Free. (415) 861-9838, www.sfopenstudios.com. (Cheryl Eddy)
Bound for glory Nuts for the Ventures? Loony tunes for Link Wray? Los Straitjackets understand and then strap on their guitars, slather on the reverb, and feed the disease. Their seventh album, Supersonic Guitars in 3-D (Yep Roc), catches the 'Jackets getting their groove on and riding waves of stepped-up guitar, plenty of eerie echo, and their own frisky sci-fi-surf instrumentals like far-gone longboarders from Neptune. And because everything's better with a Mexican wrestling mask or two on it, they don those as well. They can't guarantee animal sacrifices or ancient Aztec rituals were forsaken in the making of this album but they do fess up to gathering theremin, sax, vibes, and "noise particles" contributions from Jon Spencer, Billy Zoom, DJ Bonebrake, and Don Fleming, respectively. Scott Miller and the Commonwealth also play. 8 p.m., Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. $15. (415) 522-0333. (Kimberly Chun)
Off the page It's a fine time to be a literary fan in these parts, what with Litquake shaking 'em down a few weeks back and the third annual Living Word Festival launching four days of workshops, slam competitions, and spoken word performances. Poetry slams in different East Bay locations ring in the festivities tonight and tomorrow; Saturday, Youth Speaks (2169 Folsom, Studio 100, S.F.) hosts a full day of workshops for students and teachers (starting at 11 a.m.), as well as an under-21 open mic performance (5 p.m.). Most evening events occur at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (701 Mission, S.F. 415-978-ARTS, www.yerbabuenaarts.org), with a CD-release party for Youth Speaks' Bringing the Noise III, featuring a special performance by Felonious: Onelovehiphop (Fri., 7:30 p.m., $5-$12); "New Word Series: An Exposition of Spoken Word for Street and Stage" (Sat., 7:30 p.m., $5-$12); and the main event, a performance featuring Robert Moses's modern dance, jazz by the Marcus Shelby Orchestra, poetry by Ishle Yi Park and Felice Belle, and more (Sun., 7:30 p.m., $5-$12). Through Oct. 5. Various venues. www.youthspeaks.org, www.newwordseries.com. (Cheryl Eddy)
The truth hurts At superslow speed and accompanied by sparse, quiet guitar strums, Chris Flemmons begins the first track of the Baptist Generals' No Silver/No Gold (Subpop), "Ay Distress," in an off-key, fragile croon. But this peace is thrown aside as Flemmons's voice swells, breaks, and finally erupts into a rumbling temper tantrum; he sounds wrongfully anguished. But you're not really sure whether you're on his side, especially when the song ends and he's screaming obscenities like some madman. The album may not be an easy swallow for all, but if you like your music strong and bitter, stark and candid, the six-piece Denton, Texas, band just might be for you. The Baptist Generals offer sweetly painful ballads that resonate with fans of Neutral Milk Hotel and John Darnielle, a.k.a., the Mountain Goats, for whom they open tonight. 9:30 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $10. (415) 861-5016. (Sarah Han)
Hey Arnold! The Inner Mission's Hush Hush Lounge has become one of my favorite spots: the crowd's friendly and actually likes to dance, and the music's usually top-notch. Tonight's lineup at pHunk Tank is no exception, as hosts Andrew Jervis (Ubiquity Records) and Jonah Sharp (Reflective Records) bring out Detroit's John Arnold for a DJ gig celebrating the release of his debut full-length, Neighborhood Science (Ubiquity Records). Far and away one of the year's best albums, Neighborhood Science roughs up funk with a Detroit techno edge pleasing to the feet and the mind. Also, L.A.'s Aaron Michaelson brings the tech-house deepness north. 10 p.m.-2 a.m., Hush Hush Lounge, 496 14th St., S.F. $5. (415) 241-9941. (Peter Nicholson)
Bottoms up After a yearlong hiatus, spoken word variety show Writers with Drinks is back in a brand-new venue with fresher, hotter talent than ever. At this infamous regular event, according to MC Charlie Anders, "poets rub shoulders with stand-up comics, and erotica shares a stage with literary fiction." Anders has been busy taking this fabulous show on the road, earning praise for it in far-flung places like Boston and New York City, and scaring the wits out of some locals who wandered into a performance in Providence, R.I. Now that she's back, come join her for an unforgettably weird and moving night with comedian-documentary maker (Live Nude Girls Unite!) Julia Query, memoirist Sweet Pam (of the Cockettes), ranter Marilyn Wann (editor of Fat!So?), erotica maven Marcy Sheiner, inimitable poet Matthue Roth, and freaky horror writer Jeremy Russell. And don't forget to guzzle down the booze! (This edition of Writers with Drinks is a benefit for Other Magazine, of which I am the editor.) 7-10 p.m., Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., S.F. $3-$5. (415) 647-2888, www.makeoutroom.com. (Annalee Newitz)
Fairlight fantasia Much has been made of the raucous electro infusing Goldfrapp's second album, Black Cherry (Mute) it's as if Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have unleashed the hounds of Gary Glitter rather than those of the smooth, Weimar-esque Giorgio Moroder dream cabaret they've espoused in the past. But make no mistake, rather they've unleashed the hounds of synth rock, in the vein of Kate Bush, drenching the stomp with washes of romantic, proudly faux violins and warbling of the pleasures of plugging into some sexy unit ("Strict Machine") and shoving "your dirty angel face between my legs and knicker lace" ("Twist"). It's all about "color, metamorphosis, genetics and people, love, Czech fairy tales," Goldfrapp said on the phone from her home in Bath, England. "We're playing with images and ideas and making fantasies out of realities and realities out of fantasies." Sweet just like the gentle tech pop of the title track. 9 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary, S.F. $20. (415) 421-TIXS, (415) 346-6000. (Chun)
Mood swings Timonium and Jim Yoshii Pile-Up make an ideal double bill of West Coast slowcore. Playing together for a decade, the Timonium crew throw keyboards and co-ed vocal stylings onto their epic and pretty flotillas of weepy-time chords. Adams Hervey and Garcia bring an abstract imagery to their tales of busted domiciles and mysticism on Until He Finds Us (Pehr). Jim Yoshii Pile-Up, with their East Bay and Oregonian span of membership, makes an increasingly rare S.F. appearance. Paul Gonzenbach's vocal dynamics guide the guitar and rhythms through a frostbitten emotional terrain on their two full-lengths, It's Winter Here and Homemade Drugs (Absolutely Kosher). Longtime fans know what to expect, but for newcomers: bring earplugs but save the hanky. Gonzenbach's brutal honesty cleaves any excess sentimentality from the bone while the group's melodies cushion you from the blow, until they decide to turn the volume to 11. 10 p.m., Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, S.F. $6. (415) 923-0923. (George Chen)
Has it come to this? Still sweaty from his show as a finalist at the recent Shortlist Awards, the Streets, a.k.a. Mike Skinner, brings his pasty, working-class English flow to the Fillmore. Though Dizzee Rascal may be the U.K. garage name of the moment, the Streets paved the way in the States with his debut on Vice Records and earned himself a nomination for the U.K.'s Mercury Prize. With sly rhymes about birds and Big Macs, an online EP out next month, and an album in early '04, Skinner shows that sometimes the "weak become heroes" after all. 7 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary, S.F. $20. (415) 345-6000. (Nicholson)
Bon voyage Former member of the Gun and Doll Show, Handmaiden America, and Wonder Sisters and local rock opera starlet, Shana Kingsley, who has served you coffee at Muddy Waters and alcohol at the Make-Out Room, is leaving this town to chase after her musical dreams in New York. This benefit-going-away show for her features a lineup including Sonny Smith, Garth Steel Klippert, Jeff Ray (Zmrzlina), Jay Lee (Aerosal Species), Killian MacGeraghty (Gun and Doll Show), Kirk Markopoulos (Little Fuzzy), Chris Kaup (Horse Thief Jack), Revenge (Kung Fu USA side project), the Clap Band, and Kingsley herself, of course. The show costs six bucks but feel free to donate more as it's all going into the Keep Shana Kingsley from Going Homeless in New York Fund, and it'll be your last chance to see her smile and hear her sing in San Francisco for a while. 8:30 p.m., Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., S.F. $6. (415) 647-2888. (Mike McGuirk)
It's tops The California Academy of Sciences' current exhibit "Skulls" gathers almost 1,700 human and animal heads in a broad examination of the skull as a repository of natural and cultural history and a source of constant scientific discovery. Today at the academy play 'Skull Detective' and try to identify skulls' original owners by investigating the imprints of their lifestyles on their bones. Considering the relationship of skull structure to function reveals clues about the animals' habits, and viewing samples of food the skull owners may have eaten informs visitors' examinations of their teeth (a good reason to stop eating candy now, lest you become the object of children's mockery in a future installment of the exhibit). 12:30 p.m., California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Free with museum admission ($2-$8.50). (415) 750-7145, www.calacademy.org. (Elizabeth Lobsenz)
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