8 Days a Week

July 7-14, 2004

CHILEAN POET PABLO Neruda once said he preferred "a poetry of bread, where everyone may eat." One hundred years after his birth, the Nobel laureate is still feeding the hearts and minds of legions of readers. The author's unforgettable art and fascinating life are celebrated at Festival Neruda, seven days' worth of activities suitable for fanatics and newcomers alike. The centerpiece is the world premiere of Mark Eisner's ¡Pablo Neruda!¡Presente!, a documentary narrated by Isabel Allende that covers Neruda's childhood and early literary success (he published the best-selling 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair at age 20), as well as his later years, which saw him playing a dramatic role in Chilean politics. The film screens several times throughout the fest, which kicks off on Monday with a book-launch party for The Essential Neruda, edited by Eisner, with readings by Robert Hass, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Forrest Gander. Additional events throughout the week include a youth poetry reading; "De Flor o Sangre/Of Flower Or Blood," a group art exhibit with Neruda as muse; and live music by Chilean composer Quique Cruz and his ensemble, Quijerema. Mon/12-Tues/13, 7:30 p.m.; July 14, 8:30 p.m.; July 15, 6 p.m.; July 16, 8 p.m.; July 17-18, 3:30 p.m., Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida, S.F. Prices vary; for tickets and more information call (415) 621-7797 or go to www.redpoppy.net. (Cheryl Eddy)

July 7

Wednesday

Loöq sharp Wednesday at five is the perfect time for some banging progressive house. No, seriously! An excellent way to decompress and celebrate the death of the first half of the work week is to swing by Jondi and Spesh's long-running happy-hour party Qoöl. Chances are you'll be treated to a few cuts off their just-released album, The Answer (Spundae), which runs from relatively understated tech stylings to main-floor anthems big enough to make Paul Oakenfold gush. Before heading off on tour, the pair kick it with fellow residents Scott Carrelli and Jerry Bonham. 5-10 p.m., 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna, S.F. $5. (415) 974-1719. (Peter Nicholson)

Hal loses weight Director Dakin Matthews has taken two of Shakespeare's meatiest, most powerful plays – Henry IV, Part One and Part Two – and combined them into one Henry IV, which California Shakespeare Theater brings to the stage this week, risking the health and welfare of a couple of the Bard's finest characters, Falstaff and Prince Hal. The first time I saw these plays, they weighed in at nearly eight hours total – I've heard they've been trimmed to three hours total – and James Carpenter, who's portraying King Henry IV in this new version, played the role of Prince Hal. I've never been as changed by a pair of productions as I was by these. All I can say is Cal Shakes is capable of magic; I hope Henry IV measures up. Through Aug. 1. Previews tonight-Fri/9, 8 p.m. Opens Sat/10, 8 p.m. Runs Tues.-Thurs., 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. (also July 31, 2 p.m.); Sun., 4 p.m., Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, 100 Gateway, Orinda. $13-$52. (510) 548-9666, www.calshakes.org. (J.H. Tompkins)

July 8

Thursday

High lonesome While it's true Mindy Smith lives in Nashville, Tenn., and has videos in heavy rotation on VH1 Country, she's not exactly cut from the same cloth as, say, Faith Hill. A singer-songwriter who's busily conquering the music world on her own terms, the Long Island, N.Y., native has earned effusive praise from none other than Dolly Parton, who dubbed Smith's take on the oft-covered "Jolene" (the breakout single on Sugar Hill's Just Because I'm a Woman: The Songs of Dolly Parton; it's also the hidden track on Smith's debut, One Moment More, on Vanguard) her all-time favorite version of the tune. You won't hear Smith yodeling out showy trills or Shania Twain-esque novelty ditties – rather, she applies her delicate twang to songs like "Come to Jesus," which evokes lonely highways, not church pews, in its pleading examination of faith. Don't miss the chance to catch this new talent while she's still on the rise and playing smaller venues. Rockin' singer-songwriter Garrison Starr opens. 9 p.m., Independent, 628 Divisadero, S.F. $15. (415) 771-1421, www.ticketweb.com. (Cheryl Eddy)

July 9

Friday

Turntables on the alley It's always good to check out a DJ's first San Francisco appearance, particularly when that is of the caliber of New York's Chris Annibel, a.k.a Osiris (Turntables on the Hudson, Afrokinetic). Together with production partner Nickodemus, Osiris has lent his subtly funky yet infinitely danceable touch to artists like Astor Piazolla and Ustad Sultan Khan and to labels such as Giant Step and his own excellent Afrokinetic imprint. Osiris's brand of worldly good-time vibes ranging from funk to reggae should mesh nicely with those of locals Tom Thump (Sex/Money/Freaks!) and Vanka (Misturada). Get there early for a fashion show by Cloud Factory Design Collective and free goodies from !K7 Records. 9 p.m., 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna, S.F. $10-$12. (415) 974-1719. (Nicholson)

July 10

Saturday

I'd rather eat tapas It's surprising that in tech-centric San Francisco, a city synonymous with laptop music making, a duo who eschew computers are making the biggest noise. Eats Tapes, formerly Boom de la Boom, make beat-driven instrumental music with suitcases rigged full of outdated gear. Before you run off fearing the sort of painful noise assault such images conjure up, relax: Eats Tapes want to make you dance, and they're good at it. Greg Zifcak and Marijke Jorritsma take drum machines and tone generators and tweak them to considerable techno-freak levels, but it's more of a feel-good West Coast vision than scary Matrix-rave. Already favorites at Mission District haunts like Artists' Television Access and your basement, Eats Tapes hold forth at the Panache Magazine release party with the Hospitals, led by drum 'n' vocal maniac Adam Stonehouse and guitarist John Dwyer. Panache editor Michelle Cable rounds out the party for her second local edition with Sixteens and Substandard Comics at Balazo, one of the few all-ages venues in the city. 8 p.m., Balazo Gallery, 2811 Mission, S.F. $5. (415) 550-1108. (George Chen)

July 11

Sunday

Wayward son Get this straight: Bobby Bare is a pretty old guy who sings country; Bobby Bare Jr., his son, isn't so young, and as a member of Bloodshot Records' abundantly talented roster of countryish artists, he makes countrified rock and roll for deadbeats, easy riders, and troublemakers. His latest album, 2004's From the End of Your Leash, is a cynical, infectious collection of songs that I played 10 times in a row. Bare Jr. can be on the glib side – things seem to come easy to him – but his smart mouth is just a cover for his aching soul. He's going to be around for a long time – might as well catch up with him now. Tom Heinl and Temple Drake also play. 8 p.m., Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F. $10. (415) 861-5016. (Tompkins)

Mile-high dub Wind down the weekend the right way – with 50 channels of live dub courtesy of Colorado's Heavyweight Dub Champion. Spiking their sound with turntablism via DJ Illnaughty and mic control by Stero Lion, HDC celebrate the upcoming release of Rise of the Champion Nation (Champion Nation), which features appearances by KRS-One and Killah Priest of Wu-Tang. Having performed with everyone from Alpha Blondy to the Pharcyde, Heavyweight Dub Champion bring something extra to the mix and remind us that the coasts aren't the only ones to boast. 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, S.F. $6. (415) 552-7788. (Nicholson)

July 12

Monday

Bush whacked Pause and ask yourself one question: does George W. Bush represent your best interests? After you stop guffawing, grab your friends and head to a reading in support of MoveOn.org, an online gathering place for activists that aims to inspire regular folks to get excited about politics. They've held "Bake Back the White House" bake sales and parties in honor of Fahrenheit 9/11, mounted a campaign to register voters (especially in key swing states), funded anti-Bush TV commercials, and – on a more local level – inspired talented authors to gather and read their work for the cause. Bay Guardian contributor Stephen Elliot (Happy Baby) and Peter Orner (Esther Stories) host tonight's reading, the third in as many months; participants include Ann Cummins, Michael Chabon, Tom Kealey, Hannah Tinti, Matthew Iribarne, and Jan Richman, plus Campo Santo performs a new short theater piece. 7:30 p.m., Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., S.F. $10-$20 sliding scale. (415) 674-2888, www.moveon.org. (Eddy)

July 13

Tuesday

Words of the Prophet Singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet has been creating deeply personal, finely wrought music for nearly 20 years. He eased into the spotlight as the guitarist for Green on Red, of Los Angeles's so-called Paisley Underground, and played with them until 1992. Since then he's fronted his own bands and worked by himself and has a handful of excellent albums to his credit. Thee Parkside – as interesting a club as you'll find in the Bay Area these days – has booked Prophet for a month of Tuesdays (tonight with special guest Hammerdown Turpentine), and you better stop by for one of them. Or else. 9 p.m., Parkside, 1600 17th St., S.F. Call for price. (415) 503-0393. (Tompkins)

Steamy windows Authors who are compelling – and authors with the best gossip – usually have a close relationship with visual art scenes, and Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian are no exception. Taking the first part of its title from Bellamy's latest book, art exhibit 'Pink Steam: Artists Respond to Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy' brings together Nayland Blake's cool formalism, Raymond Pettibon's bleak heraldry, Phoebe Gloeckner's autobiographical wryness, G.B. Jones's dyke Tom of Finland revisionism, and Danny Nicoletta's local gay photo historicism. The resulting array of perspectives is sure to ricochet off Bellamy's and Killian's works, which, while sharing certain interests, take markedly different stylistic paths. The opening reception for the show, curated by Colter Jacobsen, includes a reading. Through Aug. 17. Reading tonight, 6:30 p.m. (library hours Mon., noon-6 p.m.; Tues., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wed., noon-9 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 1-6 p.m.), San Francisco Public Library, Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Branch, 3555 16th St., S.F. Free. (415) 355-5616. (Johnny Ray Huston)

July 14

Wednesday

No honky-tonk It's not every day that urbanites get to experience the hill country music of northern Mississippi, and it's even rarer to hear this regional blues set to high-energy punk. Portland duo Hillstomp twist all notions of country by playing pulsating rhythms mixed with hints of R.L. Burnside, Indian drone, and Southern bluegrass. Henry Kammerer plays erratic slide guitar and doles out husky vocals while John Johnson creates percussion out of found objects: plastic buckets, cans, and cardboard boxes. The effect is raucous and sure to leave the more ambitious audience members toe-tapping and two-stepping. 9 p.m., Plough and Stars, 116 Clement, S.F. Free. (415) 751-1122. (Stephanie Laemoa)

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