Volume 40 Number 48

August 30 – September 5, 2006

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Big Idi, little Idi


› cheryl@sfbg.com
Most of 2006’s blockbusters (wannabe and otherwise) have already blown by in a sugary cloud of Sour Patch Kids dust. Poseidon’s already on DVD; The Da Vinci Code was totally boring; X-Men: The Last Stand killed off Professor X (or did it?); Superman Returns was stomped on by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; and Snakes on a Plane did only so-so business despite widespread prerelease hyperventilation. Frankly, my teeth hurt and I’m ready for some meatier cinematic fare — especially the 10 picks that follow. As always, release dates are subject to change.
The Black Dahlia Serial homage artist Brian DePalma has been in a rut lately. His recent efforts include the underwhelming Femme Fatale, Mission to Mars, and Snake Eyes. But lest we forget, he’s also the guy who brought us Scarface and The Untouchables — and Phantom of the Paradise, though that may be my own personal bias speaking. His latest noir draws from a James Ellroy novel, itself based on Hollywood’s most famously unsolved murder case (pre-O.J., that is). The Black Dahlia stars Josh Hartnett, Hilary Swank, and Elizabeth Short look-alike Mia Kirshner as the starry-eyed dame headed for sliced-in-half doom. (Sept. 15)
Mutual Appreciation Just because a movie isn’t opening at the Metreon doesn’t mean you can’t count down the minutes until it arrives. Writer-director Andrew Bujalski’s Funny Ha Ha was the most honest film about postcollege malaise in aeons; his latest, Mutual Appreciation, about a musician adrift in New York City, has earned excellent festival reviews and looks to extend this talented young filmmaker’s winning streak. (Sept. 29, Red Vic)
The Last King of Scotland In a stroke of genius casting, Forest Whitaker stars as the bloodthirsty yet oddly charming Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia) plays his personal physician. This based-on-true-events drama can’t possibly surpass Barbet Schroeder’s creepy 1974 doc Idi Amin Dada — but it’ll probably best 1977’s made-for-TV Raid on Entebbe (with Yaphet Kotto as Amin). In any case, a new Amin movie is reason enough to fire up the Revolutionary Suicide Mechanized Regiment Band. (Sept. 27)
Jesus Camp Yep, it’s all about a summer camp for right-wing, conservative, evolution-hating, antiabortion, born-again Christian kids. I doubt there will be many Meatballs moments. However, this doc from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka) has earned praise for its unbiased filmmaking — this kind of subject matter speaks for itself, as demonstrated by 2001’s Hell House. (Oct. 6)
The Departed Martin Scorsese shifts Infernal Affairs’ cops ’n’ crooks action from Hong Kong to Boston, with Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio as deep-cover operatives working opposite sides of the law. It’s a killer premise based on a proven hit, with a stellar team behind it — plus, Jack Nicholson plays gangster number one. How can The Departed miss? (Oct. 6)
American Hardcore Black Flag, Minor Threat, and other 1980s hardcore punkers have their say in this doc by Paul Rachman (a onetime music video director), based on Steven Blush’s exceedingly detailed 2001 book American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Rachman and Blush conducted 100-plus interviews over five years and strove to keep the filmmaking process as appropriately DIY as they could. Also, the trailer fucking rocks. (Oct. 13)
Marie Antoinette Speaking of rocking trailers, by now we’ve all patted our dainty, Marc Jacobs–clad feet to New Order every time the clip for Sofia Coppola’s latest unspools during the coming attractions. If not, perhaps you’ve hefted the 25-pound Vogue featuring Kirsten Dunst and her period-appropriate Bride of Frankenstein ’do on the cover. No? OK, well, it’s the director’s follow-up to her Oscar-winning Lost in Translation, and even if the French pooh-poohed Marie Antoinette at Cannes, a new Coppola movie is an indisputable must-see for fans and haters alike. (Oct. 20)
Fast Food Nation You can’t accuse Richard Linklater of being in a filmmaking rut. His last three releases? The wildly diverse Before Sunset, Bad News Bears, and A Scanner Darkly. Following Scanner, his second film of 2006 offers a narrative take on Eric Schlosser’s nonfiction best-seller about the dark side of the fast food industry. Helping you never look at Happy Meals the same way again (if Super Size Me didn’t already do the trick) is an ensemble cast that includes Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Greg Kinnear, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Bruce Willis. (Nov. 17)
For Your Consideration A new Christopher Guest mock doc (this one’s about Hollywood awards shows and features all the usual suspects) is one more reason to give thanks to the movie gods — especially since it’s getting a Thanksgiving week release. Tofurky leftovers fit so nicely in a Remains of the Day lunch box. (Nov. 22)
The Fountain Six years is too long to wait for a new Darren Aronofsky film (after his 1998 breakthrough, Pi, and 2000’s unforgettable Requiem for a Dream). But wait we have, and The Fountain — starring Hugh Jackman and Aronofsky ladylove Rachel Weisz as trippy, time-spanning sweethearts — has finally arrived. His upcoming slate includes an adaptation of Lone Wolf and Cub due in 2008. Promise? (Nov. 22) SFBG

Ficks’s most anticipated fall ’06 picks


Inland Empire David Lynch is the reason why I fell (and still am) in love with the cinema. For 30 years, he has continuously made the most creative and hauntingly beautiful films in the world. His new film is shot entirely on high definition cameras and runs close to three frickin’ hours. Lynchian faves Laura Dern and Harry Dean Stanton are back, and there’s even a small role by Michael Paré of Streets of Fire fame! (Premieres at the New York Film Festival in September.)
Old Joy Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Will Oldham) shines in Kelly Reichardt’s precious Northwest gem that perfectly captures what it’s like to be a man-child in your late 20s and early 30s. This tiny transcendental treat follows two friends on a camping trip outside of Portland and allows you to tag along with their slow entrance to growing up — and apart. They don’t make films like this anymore. In fact, have they ever? (Opens Oct. 20)
What Is It? Crispin Glover’s disturbing directorial debut contains an entire cast of actors with Down syndrome, an overabundance of snails, breasts, and Nazi paraphernalia, and was filmed on smoky sets that are a true flashback to the experimental, exploitative 1970s. It screened at Sundance two years ago, and I’ve been dying to get traumatized ever since. (Trailer at www.crispinglover.com; Oct. 20–22, Castro Theatre)
Jesse Hawthorne Ficks programs the “Midnites for Maniacs” series (which is hosting the What Is It? screening) at the Castro.

When the lights go down


› a&eletters@sfbg.com All opening dates subject to change, ’cause that’s how Hollywood rolls. The Protector and Jet Li’s Fearless Tony Jaa’s been trumpeted as “the future of martial arts” (and rightly so — did you see Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior? Holy scalp-cracking!); Jet Li’s said Fearless will be his last martial arts picture. Torch. Passed. (Sept. 8 and 22) This Film Is Not Yet Rated Kirby Dick’s doc about the creativity-smiting Motion Picture Association of America mixes Michael Moore–like first-person investigative work with feminist First Amendment points. And it’s funny. (Sept. 15) All the King’s Men Could’ve been an Oscar grubber in 2005, when this remake was originally slated for release. Now, who knows? The oft-nominated cast includes Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Patricia Clarkson, and Anthony Hopkins. (Sept. 22) Feast Project Greenlight winner — a sure sign of doom? — John “Son of Clu” Gulager debuts his horror film about tavern dwellers fighting off flesh eaters. Henry Rollins has a role. (Sept. 22–23 midnight screenings) Jackass: Number Two Oh, shut up. You know you loved the first one. (Sept. 22) The Science of Sleep The title won’t win viewers, and the ad campaign and trailers aren’t much better, but Michel Gondry’s follow-up to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is like a darker b-side of that film, with adorable Gael García Bernal in a not-sweet role and daughter-of-Serge Charlotte Gainsbourg dealing with him. (Sept. 22) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning A prequel to the (so unnecessary) remake of the best goddamn movie of all time. Will this be good headcheese or real good headcheese? (Oct. 4) Shortbus Loved at Cannes and hyped for its sexual candor, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig follow-up looks like a major turnoff, at least going by the trailer. Of course, trailers aren’t features. Will a cameo by Justin Bond as Kiki cancel out the possible deadly air of self-satisfaction? (Oct. 6) Old Joy A big favorite at Sundance this year, the second film by Kelly Reichardt — whose River of Grass is a little-known gem — features Will Oldham in a starring role. (Oct. 20) Babel Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams), Cate Blanchett, and Gael García Bernal are always worth a peek; they cancel out the tiredness of Brad Pitt at any rate. (Oct. 27) The Bridge Eric Steel’s controversial and ethically dubious documentary about suicides off the Golden Gate Bridge gets a theatrical release. Curiously, IMDb.com recently listed a codirector. (Oct. 27) Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus Nicole Kidman as the photographer — the fact that the former looks and seems nothing like the latter matters little, we’re assured, because this is not a biopic but a speculation about three days in Arbus’s life. (November) Iraq in Fragments James Longley’s impressionistic and unembedded documentary isn’t “narrator-less,” as Entertainment Weekly claims. It is poetic and visually dazzling and provocative — perhaps problematic — because of it. (Nov. 10) Volver Pedro Almodóvar departs from masculine melodrama to reunite with Penélope Cruz and more excitingly, Carmen Maura; word is this riffs off Mildred Pierce the same way that Bad Education riffed off Vertigo. (Nov. 10 or 22) Casino Royale Daniel Craig as Bond. But nobody, and I mean nobody, better be trying to do “The Look of Love” — we all know it belongs to Dusty. (Nov. 17) Fuck A jazzy documentary about the most versatile and satisfying word in the English language. (Nov. 17) Tenacious D in “The Pick of Destiny” Will it be the greatest film in the world — or just a tribute? (Nov. 17) Bobby Emilio Estevez makes his directorial debut with this Altmanesque movie about Bobby Kennedy, played by Elijah Wood in a bad wig. Will it be a subtextual tribute to the Ambassador Hotel? Also, will the curse of Lindsay Lohan (who costars) continue? (Nov. 22) The Nativity Story Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) takes on the Blessed Virgin (Whale Rider’s Keisha Castle-Hughes). Nah, it won’t be controversial … (Dec. 1) Apocalypto … and neither will Mel Gibson’s all-Mayan adventure, sugar tits. (Dec. 8) The Pursuit of Happyness Remember when they built the fake BART station in Dolores Park? This is why. (Dec. 15) Charlotte’s Web Starring Dakota Fanning, with Julia Roberts as the voice of the spider. Will Charlotte urge us to join America Online? Why can’t they leave the classics alone? (Dec. 20) Rocky Balboa Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed, stars, punches things, and has a montage. Montage! (Dec. 22) Dreamgirls The (very) early Oscar favorite. And I’m telling you, Beyoncé’s not going to the Oscars unless she’s up for a statuette rather than delivering them. We’ll see … (Dec. 25) The Good German Steven Soderbergh directs a black-and-white George Clooney in this 1940s drama. Swoon. (Dec. 25) SFBG

Yay Area five-oh


› johnny@sfbg.com
“Before Vanishing: Syrian Short Cinema” A series devoted to films from Syria kicks off with a shorts program that includes work by Oussama Mohammed. (Sept. 7, PFA; see below)
The Mechanical Man The PFA’s vast and expansive series devoted to “The Mechanical Age” includes André Deed’s 1921 science fiction vision of a female crime leader and a robot run amok. The screening features live piano by Juliet Rosenberg. (Sept. 7, PFA)
“Cinemayaat, the Arab Film Festival” This year’s festival opens with the Lebanon-Sweden coproduction Zozo and also includes the US-Palestine documentary Occupation 101: Voices of the Silenced Majority, which looks at events before and after Israel’s 1948 occupation of Palestine.
Sept. 8–17. Various venues. (415) 863-1087, www.aff.org
“Global Lens” The traveling fest includes some highly lauded films, such as Stolen Life by Li Shaohong, one of the female directors within China’s Fifth Generation.
Sept. 8–Oct. 4. Various venues. (415) 221-8184, www.globalfilm.org
“MadCat Women’s International Film Festival” MadCat turns 10 this year, and its programming and venues are even more varied. Not to mention deep — literally. 3-D filmmaking by Zoe Beloff and Viewmaster magic courtesy of Greta Snider are just some of the treats in store.
Sept. 12–27. Various venues. (415) 436-9523, www.madcatfilmfestival.org
The Pirate The many forms and facets of piracy comprise another PFA fall series; this entry brings a swashbuckling Gene Kelly and Judy Garland as Manuela, directed by then-husband Vincente Minnelli. (Sept. 13, PFA)
“A Conversation with Ali Kazimi” and Shooting Indians Documentarian Kazimi discusses his work before a screening of his critical look at Edward S. Curtis’s photography. (Sept. 14, PFA)
“The Word and the Image: The Films of Peter Whitehead” The swinging ’60s hit the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as curator Joel Shepard presents the first-ever US retrospective dedicated to the director of Tonight Let’s All Make Love in London. Includes proto–music videos made for Nico, Jimi Hendrix, and others. Smashing! (Sept. 14–28, YBCA; see below)
Edmond Stuart Gordon of Re-Aminator infamy makes a jump from horror into drama — not so surprising, since he’s a friend of David Mamet. Willam H. Macy adds another sad sack to his résumé. (Sept. 15–21, Roxie; see below)
Anxious Animation Other Cinema hosts a celebration for the release of a DVD devoted to local animators Lewis Klahr, Janie Geiser, and others. Expect some work inspired by hellfire prognosticator Jack Chick!
Sept. 16. Other Cinema, 992 Valencia, SF. (415) 824-3890, www.othercinema.com
Kingdom of the Spiders Eight-legged freaks versus two-legged freak William Shatner. I will say no more.
Sept. 17. Dark Room, 2263 Mission, SF. (415) 401-7987, www.darkroomsf.com
Landscape Suicide No other living director looks at the American landscape with the direct intent of James Benning; here, he examines two murder cases. (Sept. 19, PFA)
La Promesse and Je Pense à Vous Tracking the brutal coming-of-age of scooter-riding Jérémie Renier, 1997’s La Promesse made the name of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, but Je Pense is a rarely screened earlier work. (Sept. 22, PFA)
Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied Billed as the first authoritative doc about the man who invented electric blues, this plays with Always for Pleasure, a look at New Orleans by the one and only Les Blank. (Sept. 22–26, Roxie)
Rosetta and Falsch The Dardenne brothers’ Rosetta made a splash at Cannes in 1999; Falsch is their surprisingly experimental and nonnaturalistic 1987 debut feature. (Sept. 23, PFA)
loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies A reunion tour movie. (Sept. 29–Oct. 5, Roxie)
American Blackout Ian Inaba’s doc about voter fraud made waves and gathered praise at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival; it gets screened at various houses, followed by a Tosca after-party, in this SF360 citywide event.
Sept. 30. Tosca Café, 242 Columbus, SF. (415) 561-5000, www.sffs.org
Them! “Film in the Fog” turns five, as the SF Film Society unleashes giant mutant ants in the Presidio.
Sept. 30. Main Post Theatre, 99 Moraga, SF. (415) 561-5500, www.sffs.org
“Zombie-Rama” Before Bob Clark made Black Christmas, Porky’s, and A Christmas Story, he made Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. The ending is as scary as the title is funny.
Oct. 5. Parkway Speakeasy Theater, 1834 Park, Oakl. (510) 814-2400, www.thrillville.net
“Swinging Scandinavia: How Nordic Sex Cinema Conquered the World” Jack Stevenson presents a “Totally Uncensored” clip show about the scandalous impact of Scandinavian cinema on uptight US mores and also screens some rare cousins of I Am Curious (Yellow). (Oct. 5 and 7, YBCA)
“Mill Valley Film Festival” Why go to Toronto when many of the fall’s biggest Hollywood and international releases come to Mill Valley? The festival turns 29 this year.
Oct. 5–15, 2006. Various venues. (415) 383-5256, www.mvff.org
“Fighting the Walking Dead” Jesse Ficks brings They Live to the Castro Theatre. Thank you, Jesse. (Oct. 6, Castro; see below)
Phantom of the Paradise Forget the buildup for director Brian de Palma’s Black Dahlia and get ready for a Paul Williams weekend. This is screening while Williams is performing at the Plush Room.
Oct. 6. Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore, SF. (415) 346-1124, www.thelatenightpictureshow.com
Calvaire Belgium makes horror movies too. This one is billed as a cross between The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance — a crossbreeding combo that’s popular these days. (Oct. 6–12, Roxie)
Black Girl Tragic and so sharp-eyed that its images can cut you, Ousmane Sembene’s 1966 film is the masterpiece the white caps of the French new wave never thought to make. It kicks off a series devoted to the director. (Oct. 7, PFA)
“Animal Charm’s Golden Digest and Brian Boyce” Boyce is the genius behind America’s Biggest Dick, starring Dick Cheney as Scarface. Animal Charm have made some of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.
Oct. 7. Other Cinema, 992 Valencia, SF. (415) 824-3890, www.othercinema.com
Madame X, an Absolute Ruler Feminist director Ulrike Ottinger envisions a Madame X much different from Lana Turner’s — hers is a pirate. (Oct. 11, PFA)
“The Horrifying 1980s … in 3-D” Molly Ringwald (in Spacehunter), a killer shark (in Jaws 3-D), and Jason (in Friday the 13th Part 3: 3-D) vie for dominance in this “Midnites for Maniacs” three-dimensional triple bill. (Oct. 13, Castro)
“Dual System 3-D Series” This program leans toward creature features, from Creature from the Black Lagoon to the ape astronaut of Robot Monster to Cat-Women on the Moon. (Oct. 14–19, Castro)
“Early Baillie and the Canyon CinemaNews Years” This program calls attention to great looks at this city by Baillie (whom Apichatpong Weerasethakul cites as a major influence) and also highlights the importance of Canyon Cinema. (Oct. 15, YBCA)
“War and Video Games” NY-based film critic Ed Halter presents a lecture based on From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games, his new book. (Oct. 17, PFA)
Santo Domingo Blues The Red Vic premieres a doc about bachata and the form’s “supreme king of bitterness,” Luis Vargas.
Oct. 18–19. Red Vic, 1727 Haight, SF. (415) 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com
“Monster-Rama” The Devil-ettes, live and in person, and Werewolf vs. the Vampire Women, on the screen, thanks to Will “the Thrill” Viharo.
Oct. 19. Parkway Speakeasy Theater, 1834 Park, Oakl. (510) 814-2400, www.thrillville.net
“Spinning Up, Slowing Down”: Industry Celebrates the Machine” Local film archivist Rick Prelinger presents six short films that epitomize the United States’ machine mania, including one in which mechanical puppets demonstrate free enterprise. (Oct. 19, PFA)
The Last Movie Hmmm, part two: OK, let’s see here, Dennis Hopper’s 1971 film gets a screening after he personally strikes a new print … (Oct. 20–21, YBCA)
What Is It? and “The Very First Crispin Glover Film Festival in the World” … and on the same weekend, Hopper’s River’s Edge costar Glover gets a freak hero’s welcome at the Castro. Sounds like they might cross paths. (Oct. 20–22, Castro)
I Like Killing Flies And I completely fucking love Matt Mahurin’s documentary about the Greenwich Village restaurant Shopsin’s, possibly the most characterful, funny, and poignant documentary I’ve seen in the last few years. (Oct. 20–26, Roxie)
“Miranda July Live” Want to be part of the process that will produce Miranda July’s next film? If so, you can collaborate with her in this multimedia presentation about love, obsession, and heartbreak.
Oct. 23–24. Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida, SF. (415) 552-1990, www.sfcinematheque.org)
The Case of the Grinning Cat This 2004 film by Chris Marker receives a Bay Area premiere, screening with Junkopia, his 1981 look at a public art project in Emeryville. (Oct. 27, PFA)
The Monster Squad The folks (including Peaches Christ) behind the Late Night Picture Show say that this 1987 flick is the most underrated monster movie ever.
Oct. 27–28. Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore, SF. (415) 346-1124, www.thelatenightpictureshow.com
Neighborhood Watch Résumés don’t get any better than Graeme Whifler’s — after all, he helped write the screenplay to Dr. Giggles. His rancid directorial debut brings the grindhouse gag factor to the Pacific Film Archive. (Oct. 29, PFA)
“Grindhouse Double Feature” See The Beyond with an audience of Lucio Fulci maniacs. (Oct. 30, Castro)
“Hara Kazuo” Joel Shepard programs a series devoted to Kazuo, including his 1969 film tracing the protest efforts of Okuzaki Kenzó, who slung marbles at Emperor Hirohito. (November, YBCA)
“International Latino Film Festival” This growing fest reaches a decade and counting — expect some celebrations.
Nov. 3–19. Various venues. (415) 454-4039, www.utf8ofilmfestival.org
Vegas in Space Midnight Mass makes a rare fall appearance as Peaches Christ brings back Philip Ford’s 1991 local drag science fiction gem.
Nov. 11. Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore, SF. (415) 346-1124, www.thelatenightpictureshow.com
“As the Great Earth Rolls On: A Frank O’Hara Birthday Tribute” The birthday of the man who wrote “The Day Lady Died” is celebrated. Includes The Last Clean Shirt, O’Hara’s great collaboration with Alfred Leslie.
Nov. 17. California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., SF. (415) 552-1990, www.sfcinematheque.org
Sites and Silences A shout-out to A.C. Thompson for his work with Trevor Paglen on the well-titled Torture Taxi, which helped generate this multimedia presentation by Paglen. (Nov. 19, YBCA)
“Kihachiro Kawamoto” One of cinema’s ultimate puppet masters receives a retrospective. (December, YBCA)
“Silent Songs: Three Films by Nathaniel Dorsky” The SF-based poet of silent film (and essayist behind the excellent book Devotional Cinema) screens a trio of new works. (Dec. 10, YBCA)
429 Castro, SF
(415) 621-6120
2575 Bancroft, Berk.
(510) 642-5249
3317 16th St., SF
(415) 863-1087
Screening room, 701 Mission, SF
(415) 978-2787
www.ybca.org\ SFBG

Discs, man


› a&eletters@sfbg.com SEPT. 5 Criss Angel, Criss Angel: Mindfreak (Koch) Tell us this recording by TV’s erect-nippled goth heat-throb and full-tilt-boogie cheesenheimer is only an illusion. Audioslave, Revelations (Epic) Their politics check out, though an unboring album will be a revelation. Beyoncé, B’Day (Music World Music/Sony Urban Music/Columbia) The result of a two-week break for artistic freedom, but a Clive Davis overseer might have helped — she sounds like a stressed-out laser on the leadoff single. Grizzly Bear, Yellow House (Warp) Inspired sounds with bite by Brooklyn DIYer Edward Droste, whose queerific perspective brings a burly new hue to his moniker. Iron Maiden, A Matter of Life and Death (Columbia) Count on the barbed Bruce Dickinson to come with confrontation on this wartime studio outing. The Rapture, Pieces of the People We Love (Strummer/Universal UK) Danger Mouse coproduces the new piece from dance punk ex–San Franciskies. Tony Joe White, Uncovered (Swamp/Sanctuary) The original blue-eyed soulster gives it another poke, accompanied by Eric Clapton and Michael “Yah Mo B There” McDonald. SEPT. 12 Basement Jaxx, Crazy Itch Radio (XL) Still all they’re jacked up to be? Black Keys, Magic Potion (Nonesuch) The rock duo ain’t dead. Merle Haggard, Hag: The Best of Merle Haggard (Capitol/EMI) Go back to the origins of the Bakersfield sound and travel through “Okie from Muskogee” all the way up to the anti–Iraq War present. Junior Boys, So This Is Goodbye (Domino) Whether you compare them to old New Order or current Booka Shade, their follow-up to 2004’s Last Exit is already garnering raves. Jordan Knight, Love Songs (Trans Continental/Element 1/EMI) Love Handles might be a better title, though at least Brigitte Nielsen isn’t a guest vocalist. Deborah Gibson does have a cameo. Mars Volta, Amputechture (Universal) Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez may bring it live, but can they pull off another concept album? Pigeon John, Pigeon John and the Summertime Pool Party (Quannum Projects) He claims to be dating your sister. Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive) He and Timbaland use Beastie Boys– or Mark E. Smith–like crackly megaphone vocal effects on the first single; the album title seems both very ’90s and very OutKast wannabe. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope) David Bowie and Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino bake it up for the increasingly dance-pop Brooklynites. Xiu Xiu, The Air Force (5RC) An army of three hones a pop attack, with backup from producer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof. Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador) Fighting words and lengthy psych jams from the indie softniks. SEPT. 19 Clay Aiken, A Thousand Different Ways (RCA) The long wait for the Claymates is over. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (Koch) They were twisting tongues long before Twista. Who’s your favorite: Layzie or Bizzy or Wish or Flesh or Krayzie? Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Then the Letting Go (Drag City) Does this title refer to shaving — or inhibitions? Chingy, Hoodstar (Slot-A-Lot/Capitol) I once saw a bunch of people at 16th and Mission dancing around a boom box blaring “Holiday Inn.” DJ Shadow, The Outsider (Universal) The North Bay’s Josh Davis comes out of the shadows, hepped to the hyph of guests Keak Da Sneak and Turf Talk. But ditch that Urb stylist. Fergie, The Dutchess (Will.I.Am/A&M/Interscope) And you thought pop music couldn’t be more heinous than the Black Eyed Peas? The microwaved hollabacks of the atrocious “London Bridge” are here to prove you wrong. Hidden Cameras, Awoo (Arts & Crafts) Peekaboo, I see you. Kasabian, Empire (RCA) The band named after Linda Kasabian testify on their own behalf with a new album. Jesse McCartney, Right Where You Want Me (Hollywood) Past his TRL sell-by date? We shall see. Mos Def, Tru3 Magic (Geffen) Somewhere between his first solo album and his second, Mos Def started to act like he knew he was cute. Here’s hoping he thinks of music as his true love rather than a step on the road to Hollywood. Pere Ubu, Why I Hate Women (Smog Veil) But at least a few women still love Ubu. Misogyny evidently rules for the post-punk belligerents. Bobby Valentino, Special Occasion (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam) Ludacris’s R&B man speeds up enough to record a sophomore album. Zutons, Tired of Hanging Around (Deltasonic) The Liverpool antsy-rockin’ roots trendoids try their luck on this side of the puddle. SEPT. 22 Thermals, The Body, the Blood, the Machine (Sub Pop) PPP (post-pop-punk) protesting a purely protestant panorama. SEPT. 26 Emily Haines, Knives Don’t Have Your Back (Last Gang) Unsheathe ’em? A Metric cutie ventures out alone. Janet Jackson, 20 Y.O. (Virgin) And acting it. Sean Lennon, Friendly Fire (Capitol) Son of John returns with help from Cibo Matto’s Yuka Honda. Ludacris, Release Therapy (Disturbing Tha Peace) If the first single, “Money Maker,” is anything to go by, Luda better watch out, because he’s skating dangerously close to Hammer-like lame flossin’. Scissor Sisters, Ta-Dah (Universal) Good news: guest appearance by Bryan Ferry. Bad news: cameo by Elton John. Either way, there’s no justice when they are more popular than the Ark. Sparklehorse, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (Astralwerks) Get a stomachful of Tom Waits alongside sound-alike Mark Linkous. Mario Vazquez, Mario Vazquez (Arista) Question: What is better than a beauty-school dropout? Answer: An American Idol dropout — especially one who has been spotted at la Escuelita. He gets bonus points for having the cutest messed-up teeth. Wolf Eyes, Human Animal (Sub Pop) Bagging some inhuman noise. OCT. 3 Beck, The Information (Interscope) Nigel Godrich does the knob twist and fader jive on this new dispatch from “Loser” man. Tim Buckley, The Best of Tim Buckley (Rhino/Elektra) Further proof that “Song to the Siren” is eternal. Decemberists, The Crane Wife (Capitol) Colin Meloy is still finding inspiration in the most unexpected crannies: here, in a Japanese folk tale. The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant) Someone can’t help waving a flag. Jet, Shine On (Atlantic) Substitute “Music” for “Money” in the title of the first single, “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.” The Killers, Sam’s Town (Island) Bet they don’t bargain-shop at Sam’s Club. Gladys Knight, Before Me (Verve) Still sounding great while some of her contemporaries rasp and squawk, she covers legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone. Lady Sovereign, Public Warning (Def Jam) After “9 to 5” (not a Dolly Parton cover), she drops her debut. Will she hit it big or wind up MIA? Monica, The Makings of Me (J) Add a little bit of Twista, some T.I. for extra heat, a touch of Missy, and Dem Franchize Boys, and you’ve got the makings of a Monica album. Robin Thicke, The Evolution of Robin Thicke (Star Trak/Interscope) Move over, Jon B, and make way for the son of Alan Thicke. OCT. 10 Blood Brothers, Young Machetes (V2) Fugazi player Guy Picciotto and Sleater-Kinney producer John Goodmanson get Bloody. Melvins, A Senile Animal (Ipecac) We didn’t use the s-word first. Robert Pollard, Normal Happiness (Merge) Is there happiness after a decade-plus beer haze? Young Jeezy, The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102 (Def Jam) The Snowman has recorded 62 tracks for this opus. OCT. 17 Badly Drawn Boy, Born in the UK (XL/Astralwerks) Could BDB have a Broooce fixation? Diddy, Press Play (Bad Boy/Warner) If Danity Kane are anything to go by, it’s officially past time to press eject when it comes to Mr. Combs. Jeremy Enigk, World Waits (Lewis Hollow/Reincarnate/Sony BMG) One wonders how God figures in the latest by the Sunny Day Real Estate and Fire Theft chief. Fantasia, TBA (J) Following in the footsteps of greats such as Patty Duke and Joan Rivers, she recently starred in a TV movie about her own life. Fat Joe, Me Myself and I (Terror Squad) He’s big enough to refer to himself at least three different ways. Frankie J, Priceless (Columbia) Having even survived a cover of Extreme’s “More than Words,” the li’l guy returns to sing more sweet-verging-on-extremely-saccharine nothings. JoJo, The High Road (Blackground/Universal) The li’l pop dynamo and Xtina-to-be with Lindsay Lohan–like looks has sung for our current president, which seems more like visiting an inferno than taking the titular route. Nina Simone, Remixed and Reimagined (RCA/Legacy) More modern folks start fussing with Dr. Nina. Snoop Dogg, Blue Carpet Treatment (Doggystyle/Geffen) Stevie Wonder, the Game, and R. Kelly hop a soul plane. Squarepusher, Hello Everything (Warp) More spastic jazz-dappled emanations from Tom Jenkinson. OCT. 24 Brooke Hogan, Undiscovered (SoBe Entertainment/SMC) The daughter of Hulk Hogan puts all those dark-haired and dark-skinned girls in their place in her first video — after all, no one is more soulful than a putf8um blond. A surefire sign of the apocalypse or just another day in Bush-era pop culture? The Jam, Direction Reaction Creation (Polydor UK) Paul Weller and pals get the big box-set treatment they deserve. John Legend, Once Again (C) Ever heard “My Cherie Amour”? Apparently the billion people who bought the clumsy and far-more-prosaic “Ordinary People” haven’t. The Who, Endless Wire (Polydor) And then there were two. The first studio album since 1982 includes Greg Lake, partially filling in for the deceased John Entwistle, and Ringo spawn Zak Starkey, cospotting the late Keith Moon. OCT. 31 The Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury (J) Famlay and friends return, but what will it be like now that the producer who hit it big with them — a certain Pharrell — is so over-overexposed? Barry Manilow, The Greatest Songs of the Sixties (Arista) Will he cover “Gimme Shelter”? The mind boggles. Meat Loaf, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose (Virgin) Breathe easy — the legal tussle between the Loaf and Jim Steinman over the title phrase is through. Paul Wall, Get Money, Stay True (Atlantic) The Houston metal mouth gabs again. NOV. 7 The Game, The Doctor’s Advocate (Geffen) Not that Dre needs one, even if everyone and their moms wonder what the hell happened to the long-awaited and eventually cancelled Rehab. Lucinda Williams, The Knowing (Lost Highway) Bill Frisell and Dylan sidekick Tony Garnier guest on the latest disc by the proud princess of rasp. NOV. 14 Marques Houston, Veteran (T.U.G./Universal) No longer “Naked,” he returns for 106th and Park duty wearing his stripes. Maroon 5, TBA (Octone/J) You have been warned. Joanne Newsom, Ys (Drag City) The sprite of the harp, produced by pigfucker Steve Albini. DEC. 19 Akon, Konvicted (SRC/Universal) Will we want to shoot up or shoot ourselves when Eminem appears on Senegalese ex-“kon” Aliaune Thiam’s “Smack That”? SFBG

Checking the tour and festival circuit


Broke Ass Summer Jam 2006 Living Legends revive the ’90s Mystik Journeymen event, which centered on their mag, underground West Coast acts, and a certain DIY drive. One Block Radius, Mickey Avalon, Dub Esquire, Balance, and surprise guests turn out and turn it up. Historic Sweets Ballroom, 1933 Broadway, Oakl. www.collectiv.com.
Vashti Bunyan We all want to look after the folk legend — discovered by Andrew Loog Oldham and championed by Devendra Banhart — as she stops in the Bay during her first US tour. Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell, SF. (415) 885-0750.
Mary J. Blige and LeToya Is the latter hit-minx biting Blige’s leather laces? The tour coined “The Breakthrough Experience” just might say it all. Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. (415) 421-TIXS. Also Sept. 10, Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Pkwy., Mountain View. (650) 541-0800.
Gigantour Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has more than “Symphony of Destruction” on his mind. The man builds — namely, a tour showcasing the long-tressed, rock-hard Lamb of God, Opeth, Arch Enemy, and others. McAfee Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum, Oakl. (510) 569-2121.
Japanese New Music Festival Noise legends Ruins and psych ear-bleeders Acid Mothers Temple perform individually and together in, oh, seven configurations. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., SF. (415) 621-4455.
Matisyahu The Hasidic toaster catches the spirit with the nondenominational Polyphonic Spree. San Jose Civic Auditorium, 145 W. San Carlos, San Jose. (415) 421-TIXS.
SEPT. 16
Elton John Hold still, this could be painful. The Caesars Palace fill-in for Celine Dion ushers in The Captain and the Kid (Sanctuary), the sequel to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. HP Pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara, San Jose. (415) 421-TIXS.
Zion-I Getcher red-hot underground Bay Area hip-hop right here at a show including the Team and Turf Talk. Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. (415) 346-6000.
SEPT. 20
Kelis A drab new look and a will to rise above “Milkshake.” Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. (415) 346-6000.
SEPT. 20–21
Guns N’ Roses Word has it that the Chinese democrats sold out in minutes. Warfield, 982 Market, SF. (415) 775-7722.
SEPT. 22–24
San Francisco Blues Festival Little Richard and Ruth Brown carouse at the 34th annual getdown, which includes New Orleans tributes and a Chicago harmonica blowout. Fort Mason, Great Meadow, Bay at Laguna, SF. www.sfblues.com.
SEPT. 28
Tommy Guerrero The artist-skater-musician wears many hats — this time he tips a songwriting cap to laidback funk with From the Soil to the Soul (Quannum Projects, Oct. 10) and tours with labelmates Curumin and Honeycut. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. (415) 625-8880.
SEPT. 29
M. Ward The former South Bay teacher looks forward with his Post-War (Merge) and tools around the state with that other MW, Mike Watt. Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. (415) 346-6000.
SEPT. 30
Download Festival Load up on indie-ish artists like Beck, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, and the Shins. Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Pkwy., Mountain View. (650) 541-0800.
Supersystem The NYC-DC indie funksters wave A Million Microphones in your mug. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. (415) 861-2011.
OCT. 1
Godsmack Much yuks were had over Arthur magazine’s recent editorial slapdown of frontperson Sully Erna. Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. (415) 421-TIXS.
OCT. 2
Mariah Carey Emancipated and on the loose via the “Adventures of Mimi” tour, alongside Busta Rhymes. Watch out, all you ice cream cones. Oakland Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakl. (415) 421-TIXS.
OCT. 3
Celtic Frost The notorious ’80s metalists join hands with Goatwhore and Sunn O))) and skip with heavy, heavy hearts. Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. (415) 346-6000.
OCT. 6–8
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass How now, our favorite free cowpoke (folkie and roots) hoedown? Elvis Costello is the latest addition to a lineup that counts in Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Iris DeMent, Billy Bragg, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Allison Moorer, Richard Thompson, T Bone Burnett, Chip Taylor, and Avett Brothers. Golden Gate Park, Speedway Meadow, JFK near 25th Ave., SF. Free. www.strictlybluegrass.com.
OCT. 13
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Blogged to the ends of the earth — and to the detriment of our frayed nerves — the NYC band huddles with Architecture in Helsinki. Warfield, 982 Market, SF. (415) 775-7722.
OCT. 16
Ladytron The beloved, wry Liverpool dance-popettes reach beyond the “Seventeen” crowd. Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. (415) 346-6000.
NOV. 5
Rolling Stones They’re baaack. Van Morrison makes a mono-generational affair. McAfee Coliseum, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakl. (415) 421-TIXS. (Kimberly Chun)

Fallin’ out


› superego@sfbg.com
Club me. Club me hard. And party me even harder, Miss Autumn — you with the burgundy hair, the tiger-striped jumpsuit, and the White Russian teeth. This is a great time to fall out in the Bay: the weather gets warmer, the nights get longer, and there’s a new crop of fresh-faced, low-tolerance Berkeley students and their future careers to fiddle with. How naughty. Do let’s dive into some fall party highlights, shall we?
Big club news first. Crusty favorite 1015 Folsom (www.1015.com) just underwent a massive remodel and is looking to rebrand itself as a more welcoming, less tired niche spot. So far the calendar looks full of the usual Paul Oakenfold–wacky techno stuff of yesteryear, but there’s an outreach going on to draw in more, er, post-1998-type fare, and the remo looks fabu, so here’s hoping.
1015 is spacious, but the brand-new Temple (www.templesf.com) in the old DNA space is holy fucking cosmic. With five dance areas, underground “catacombs,” and various VIP rooms (including one you get to through a secret door in the women’s john), there’s gonna be a lot of sublebrity scandal reeking from this joint when it opens in September. I’m still all about small, but I’m mysteriously drawn to this place already. Something spiritual? Nah, I just wanna egg all the Hummers.
Also on its way is Slide (www.slidesf.com), an upscale underground speakeasy-style lounge soon to be launched by some of clubland’s wealthiest players. It really is underground — you get to it by going down a slide. Lord knows how you get out. But it’ll be fun watching people try. Look out for beaver cams, skirt wearers.
If you’re gay or a fan of the gay or a pervert nun — and who isn’t on a Thursday — you’ll squeal like a stuck pig that one of San Francisco’s literally balls-out faves, Revival Bingo (www.revivalbingo.com), the raucous fundraiser hosted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, will rise from the dead on Sept. 7 and will continue to rise on the first Friday of every month at 7 p.m. at Ellard Hall in the Castro.
But Sept. 7? You may be just too hungover from the SF Symphony Opening Gala (www.sfsymphony.org) Sept. 6 to wet your bingo tip. OK, OK, I admit this isn’t exactly a clubby event, and maybe I’m pumping it because I want free press tickets. (Oh yes, I’ll be blogging it on www.sfbg.com.) But I’m tired of standing behind the velvet ropes year after year watching San Francisco’s impeccably accoutred master class promenade down the red carpet to enjoy the Michael Tilson Thomas–led aural fireworks inside. I’m a faggot, dammit. I wanna be in the sparkly parade!
Which brings us to the biggest party weekend of the year: Sept. 23 and 24. That’s when, for the third year in a row, the technolicious LoveFest (formerly the Love Parade; www.sflovefest.org) and the leatherific Folsom Street Fair (www.folsomstreetfair.com) share a weekend of mayhem — LoveFest all day Saturday and Folsom all day Sunday. These are both ginormous institutions that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each. And oh lord, you should see the outfits. LoveFest boasts hundreds of top-notch live acts, including Massive Attack, Grandmaster Flash, and DJ Shadow, plus a really rickety parade of hilariously homemade floats up Market. Folsom boasts hundreds of top-notch bare buttocks and several hundred lower-notch other parts as well, plus this year it’s woken up to the whole alternaqueer thing, programming a ton of trash-drag live acts and even SF’s favorite musical curmudgeon, DJ Bus Station John, to get your chaps sweaty. Throw on a beer-stained bunny suit and hit up both events.
Finally: “Mass Culture has forced the majority’s subconscious into accepting a monotonous mindset pervaded by ignorance and inaction,” quoth the press release for Be the Riottt (www.riottt.com), the eclectic Vice-meets-Misshapes electro-fash throwdown Nov. 11 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Riott’s answer? Have an enormous concert featuring some of the biggest international draws in postironic attitudinizing. The Rapture, Metric, Clipse, Diplo, and about 20 other acts (plus, I suppose, thousands of neon Vans and white-framed sunglasses) will stoke the frozen grins of the sans blague generation. I’ll be there with a Cher tambourine. Go team! SFBG

SF Opera under the glass


› a&eletters@sfbg.com
There is no lack of world-class talent in the upcoming fall season, but as far as the portentous tenants in the Civic Center are concerned, the new season’s repertoire stands out as an exercise in artistic tepidness. Perhaps still traumatized by the Bush economy’s brutal impact upon the arts, the San Francisco Opera and Symphony and other big Bay Area arts presenters are taking few chances. Projects with even the subtlest hints of experimentation this season — such as the SF Symphony’s multimedia production of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights — are being served to the public in carefully marketed packages, brandishing favorite performers with tried-and-true creative teams that have been thoroughly tested over the years.
So as the curtains go up next week, the best performance to watch may well be the one that is taking place offstage: David Gockley, the SF Opera’s new general director, heads his first full season as the top choice for the job. With the company’s somewhat contentious regime change (Pamela Rosenberg vacated the lead post last season), Gockley knows that his every move is being scrutinized by the opera world.
Rosenberg was the only woman leading a major American opera company during her tenure at the SF Opera, boldly introducing on the War Memorial stage the US premieres of major contemporary works such as Olivier Messiaen’s massive St. Francis of Assisi, György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, and the world premiere of John Adams’s Dr. Atomic. Even while facing the funding challenges of a deflated economy, Rosenberg chose to focus the company’s resources on creating the daring, provocative concept-driven productions that are common in Europe. Instead of squandering her production budgets on expensive star singers, Rosenberg brought a fertile artistic sensibility to the company that was wholly fresh and exciting.
Yet the lack of recognizable marquee names combined with the high level of abstraction in her productions displeased the opera’s more conservative, traditional constituencies. Typically, the anti-Rosenberg camp was made up of Metropolitan Opera–jealous patrons and the shrill, mercilessly critical traditionalists who prefer museumlike productions — the kind of stagings populated with ornate period costuming and opulent sets that are often mere vanity vehicles to glorify star singers. So, faced with the criticism of diva-starved patrons and the prospect of having to devote an enormous portion of her time on the job to fundraising, Rosenberg chose not to renew her five-year contract with the SF Opera when it expired.
Attempting to find a less polarizing replacement, the SF Opera’s search committee came up with Gockley, the highly respected former general director of Houston Grand Opera. Chief among Gockley’s strengths is the rapport he has with top talent in the field, paired with a proven ability to entice them into high-profile collaborations.
“I would like to pursue a policy of bringing more of the most prominent stars back to San Francisco, similar to the kind that the public enjoyed during the [Kurt Herbert] Adler and [Terence] McEwen years,” Gockley said in a phone interview last week. “People expect that of a great international company — to provide the big personalities and the most glamorous performers.”
Yes, the divas are back, though certainly not in the abundance suggested by the opera’s tacky marketing campaign launched during the summer season. But what could be the rationale behind the extreme conservatism of SF Opera’s 2006–07 season, in which the most modern entry is Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (1911) and the production rosters are populated by stalwart traditionalists such as Michael Yeargan, Thierry Bosquet, and John Conklin? “This year is not mine,” Gockley pointed out, indicating that it was planned by his predecessor before his arrival.
Not unlike Rosenberg, in Houston, Gockley was also known as an innovator and risk taker. In the heart of Bush country, he ushered in Adams’s Nixon in China, a momentous premiere in the history of American opera. A few years later, his controversial commission of Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie’s Harvey Milk was picketed by the religious right.
So what does he have in store for those who actually like more daring theatrical statements?
“Nothing this year,” he said dryly. “But we have already announced a world premiere by Philip Glass [an opera based on the Civil War battle of Appomattox] for next season and will announce the new season in January. Much as I did in Houston, we will have a blend of some core and peripheral repertory work, new works, and premieres — done with great singers and great musical and theatrical values.”
In all fairness, Gockley has the difficult job of being all things to all people during this transitional phase. Of course, this is only the beginning, and before he has the buy-in from all the locals, this former Texan will still have much to prove. SFBG
Philharmonia Baroque and Cal Performances join forces to present Purcell’s 1691 dramatic masterpiece in a new, fully choreographed staging by Mark Morris. The original cast from the production’s UK premiere is featured. (Sept. 30–Oct. 7. 510-642-9988, www.calperfs.berkeley.edu)
More than any so-called diva, violinist Hilary Hahn provides compelling evidence of the divine with her mesmerizing gifts. Appearing with the SF Symphony, Hahn is the soloist in the rarely heard Violin Concerto by Eric Wolfgang Korngold, a composer of forbidden music during the Nazi era. (Dec. 6–8. 415-864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org)
Soprano Christine Brewer’s rendition of Isolde’s orgasmic, transcendent “Liebestod” at the end of this five-hour opera will be well worth the wait, while iconoclast David Hockney’s colorful sets will be mere icing on the cake. Thomas Moser sings Tristan, and Donald Runnicles conducts. (Oct. 5–27. 415-864-3330, www.sfopera.com)
In the rarest of opportunities, the brilliant British composer and pianist Thomas Ades pays a visit to San Francisco to play a recital of his music at Herbst Theatre. Ades created a sensation when, as a fresh-faced 23-year-old composer, he premiered his opera Powder Her Face (containing the now-infamous fellatio scene) in Britain in 1995. (Dec. 9. 415-392-2545, www.performances.org)

This ain’t no Artforum


KIMBERLY CHUN 1. “Binh Danh” Questions of history, identity, and collective and individual memory are probed via the Stanford MFA graduate’s spectral “chlorophyll prints,” created through a process he invented in which found photos are reproduced on the surface of fragile leaves. Sept. 7–Oct. 14. Haines Gallery, 49 Geary, SF. (415) 397-8114, www.hainesgallery.com 2. “Counter Culture” Several generations of hipsters, freaks, and freethinkers have been documented by Bay Area photographer Larry Keenan, who snapped Brian Jones, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, and countless beautiful people back in the day. The onetime Concord High School art teacher’s work appeared in the Whitney’s “Beat Culture and the New America: 1950–1965.” Sept. 6–30. Micaela Gallery, 333 Hayes, SF. (415) 551-8118, www.micaela.com 3. “Howard Finster: Image + Words = God” The late REM album art poster boy and ironclad, gilded-winged folk art visionary made more than 46,000 images limned with text during his lifetime — quite a feat, since he began to paint “sacred art” in 1976 under orders of an angelic vision. Expect works on loan from the collection of local artist and Finster friend Eleanor Dickinson. Nov. 11, 2006–May 13, 2007. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park (near 34th Ave. and Clement), SF. (415) 863-3330, www.thinker.org 4. “Home Ec: New Work by Sarah Applebaum, Elide Endreson, Sherry Koyama, Christina La Sala, Julia Petho, and Allen Stickel” What qualifies as women’s work when the faces of celebrity fry cooks tend toward the studly and knitting has acquired a cool cachet? Local artists such as California College of the Arts faculty member La Sala and the Lab staffer Koyama explore the seismic shifts in home economics. Sept. 8–28. Michelle O’Connor Gallery, 2111 Mission, SF. (415) 990-7148 5. “Packard Jennings: Lottery Ticket” Those forever dreaming about what they’d do if they won the lottery will get an unexpected bonus when they lay their money down at select stores in four SF districts: a faux scratcher created by Jennings, hiding an unusual local treasure in the community. Nov. 1, 2006–Jan. 31, 2007. Southern Exposure, 2901 Mission, SF. (415) 863-2141, www.soex.org 6. “Charles Linder: Crazy Horse” Horses — broken, thieved, and gimped out — are the leitmotif when the SF artist transforms a target-practice 1965 Mustang into a gallery thoroughbred … of sorts. Sept. 8–Oct. 14. Gallery 16, 501 Third St., SF. (415) 626-7495, www.gallery16.com 7. “Particulate Matter” For the Mills College Art Museum’s new wing, Guardian critic Glen Helfand curates a debut exhibit composed of many parts and informed by political consciousness. LA artist Karl Haendel, known for dramatic installations of drawings culled from media images, makes his Bay Area debut, as does German photographer Florian Maier-Aichen, who exhibits digitally enhanced and tension-wracked landscapes. Sept. 9–Dec. 10. 5000 MacArthur, Oakl. (510) 430-2164, www.mills.edu/campus_life/art_museum 8. “Perfectly Good; Friendly Fire” No dumping on artists-in-residence Noah Wilson and Kim Weller. The former photographs rediscovered found objects; the latter dreams up a 3-D installation of life-size Archie Comics icons for this teenage — and industrial — wasteland. Sept. 22–23. SF Recycling and Disposal, 503 Tunnel, SF. (415) 330-1415, www.sfrecycling.com/AIR 9. “Donald Urquhart: No Axe to Grind” Camp icons like Dors, Dusty, and Davis, refigured as “Aubrey Beardsley doodles through high school algebra” scrawls, are part of the London artist’s past as a King’s Cross club owner. Sept. 9–30. Jack Hanley Gallery, 395 Valencia, SF. (415) 522-1623, www.jackhanley.com 10. “We All Live Paper Nest: The Paper Nest Project” Paper hoarders celebrate the messes they call nests, those baby blankets of ephemera that they turn to for security, inspiration, and creativity. Curators Tan Khanh Cao and D. Scott Miller make a seven-foot-diameter paper nest shot through with meaning, while writers and musicians such as Kwan Booth of Black Futurist Movement and Walter Kitundu perform at the Sept. 16 reception. Sept. 15–17. Luggage Store Annex, 509 Ellis, SF. www.luggagestoregallery.org. SFBG



1. “Prophets of Deceit” As assorted “powers” turn the fear factor up ever higher, you don’t need to be Mel Gibson (phew) to see that an exhibition looking at apocalyptic cults — especially governmentally sanctioned ones — is a timely idea. San Francisco end-times expert Craig Baldwin and others take on messianic ideologies.
Sept. 12–Nov. 11. CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Logan Galleries, 1111 Eighth St., SF. 1-800-447-1278, www.wattis.org/exhibitions/2006/prophets
2. “Wallace Berman” and “Semina Culture: Wallace Berman and His Circle” A spring event at SF Art Institute whet my appetite for these shows, which gather the projects of artist, filmmaker, and publisher Berman, an undersung figure whose influence has laced the cosmic wonder of many neofolkies, whether or not they know it.
“Wallace Berman”: Sept. 6–Oct. 28. 871 Fine Arts, 49 Geary, suite 235, SF. (415) 543-5155. “Semina Culture: Wallace Berman and His Circle”: Oct. 18–Dec. 10. Berkeley Art Museum Galleries, 2626 Bancroft, Berk. (510) 642-0808, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu
3. “Neopopular Demand: Recent Works by Fahamu Pecou” Fahamu Pecou is the shit. Peep his Web site and you will agree.
Sept. 20–Oct. 24. Michael Martin Galleries, 101 Townsend, suite 207, SF. (415) 541-1530, www.fahamupecouart.com
4. “Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics” Taking pages from Juan Carlos Mena and O Reyes’s book of the same name, the Yerba Buena Center hosts a show devoted to comic book, flyer, poster, and street imagery; a music video sideshow promises work by Assume Vivid Astro Focus, which can be like acid (without brain-frying side effects).
Nov. 18, 2006–March 4, 2007. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, SF. (415) 978-2787, www.ybca.org
5. “New Work: Phil Collins” They are music videos, but they aren’t made by the man behind “Sussudio.” Turner Prize finalist Collins taps into the spirit of Morrissey rather than Peter Gabriel’s follically challenged replacement. His video installation dünya dinlemiyor (the world won’t listen) features kids in Istanbul performing karaoke versions of songs from a certain 1987 Smiths compilation.
Sept. 16, 2006–Jan. 21, 2007. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St., SF. (415) 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org
6. “Visionary Output: Work by Creative Growth Artists” Recent Guardian Local Artist William Scott is one of a dozen people featured in this show devoted to the great, Oakland-based Creative Growth.
Sept. 7–Oct. 14. Rena Bransten Gallery, 77 Geary, SF. (415) 982-3292, www.renabranstengallery.com
7. “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” California has long been a front line and dropping-off point for visionaries, a place where people have brought new ideas about community to life (and sometimes to death). Taking its name from an essay by Philip K. Dick, this 12-person show scopes the state’s future and the state of the future, mixing work by local artists with real-life attempts at space colonizing and urban agriculture.
Nov. 28, 2006–Feb. 24, 2007. CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, 1111 Eighth St., SF. 1-800-447-1278, www.wattis.org/exhibitions/2006/universe
8. “Making Sense of Sound” Another wave of sound installations continues to overtake museums and galleries, and the Exploratorium is an ideal site for sonic exploration; this exhibition, featuring 40 new interactive exhibits, promises to be a must-see, I mean must-hear. It’ll all kick off with the arrival and ringing of a cast-iron bell driven cross-country by composer Brenda Hutchinson.
Oct. 21, 2006–Dec. 31, 2007. Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, SF. (415) EXP-LORE, www.exploratorium.edu
9. “Kala Fellowship Exhibition, Part II” Kala’s first installment included strong work by Liz Hickok and others. The second installment features Miriam Dym, Gary Nakamoto, Sasha Petrenko, and Tracey Snelling.
Sept. 7–Oct. 14. Kala Art Institute Galley, 1060 Heinz, Berk. (510) 549-2977, www.kala.org
10. “Ghosts in the Machine” The new SF Camerawork space — directly above the Cartoon Art Museum — will open with this group show of eight international artists that relates haunting to cultural estrangement. Dinh Q. Lê’s “grass mats” constructed with stills from films such as The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now are one example.
Oct. 5–Nov. 18. 657 Mission, SF. (415) 863-1001, www.sfcamerawork.org SFBG

Fall TV death match


› lynn@sfbg.com
If you think about it, there’s a certain poetry to the dramatic arc of the fall premiere season. As we all know, after fall comes winter, and by December many of these TV shows will be dead, with just a few dried-up blog entries left behind to mark their passing. This painful thought might provoke a zealous couch fan to get carried away — watching every last debut to hit the networks while staying faithful to old favorites from seasons past. And granted, certain shows, like the well-cast Six Degrees, with Campbell Scott, Hope Davis, and Jay Hernandez (premiering Sept. 21 on ABC), or Showtime’s Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) as a serial killer with the best of intentions (premiering in October), deserve at least a shot at some viewers.
But even the Guinness record (69 hours and 48 minutes) proves there are limits to how much TV one human being can watch — though apparently there are no limits to how many dramas based on the premise of 24 can be developed in one season. Choices must be made — between, say, the NBC comedy about a late-night sketch comedy show starring SNL’s Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin and the NBC drama about a late-night sketch comedy show starring Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, and Bradley Whitford and created and written by Aaron Sorkin (Sports Night, The West Wing). What follows are notes from a highly subjective decision-making process. Show info is subject to change.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip vs. 30 Rock Aaron Sorkin’s writing is pretty much why I started watching television again, and I’m still not over Sports Night’s 2000 cancellation. Thus, in the face-off between shows about sketch-comedy shows, his creation, Studio 60, will no doubt reign supreme. Bradley Whitford from The West Wing stars alongside Amanda Peet and Matthew Perry — and while the latter actor certainly wasn’t the least annoying of Friends’ friends, a guest spot on The West Wing proved his Chandler mannerisms haven’t completely devoured him. (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Mon., 10 p.m., NBC; premieres Sept. 18. 30 Rock: Wed., 8:30 p.m., NBC; premieres Oct. 11)
Vanished vs. Veronica Mars Having spent five years watching Gale Harold plug every available male extra in greater Toronto as Queer as Folk’s surly stud Brian Kinney, I’m tempted to get invested in his character’s FBI investigation of a disappeared senator’s daughter. The thing is, even if he does get to play another unapologetic asshole, he will likely have clothes on. So will Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars, but the latter show, about a smart-ass teen private investigator engaged in all kinds of class warfare, was easily the best high school drama since My So-Called Life, while in a vastly different vein. The sleuth is university bound now, and higher education is clearly a death knell for teen dramas, but I’m betting Veronica won’t let her studies get in the way. (Vanished: Mon., 9 p.m., Fox; premiered Aug. 21. Veronica Mars: Tues., 9 p.m., CW; premieres Oct. 3)
The O.C. vs. Dante’s Cove They may seem like an odd couple, but both The O.C. and Dante’s Cove feature melodramatic sexual entanglements, power tripping, drug addiction, and expensive real estate. The O.C. may have a slight advantage in terms of plotlines and thespian talent, but c’mon: Dante’s Cove, part of Here!’s all-queer programming, has real live gay people, a private sex club — and black magic! Also, I get how satisfying it must have been to finally off the waif with suicidal tendencies, but with Marissa in the grave, The O.C. is likely to become so bearable it’s boring. (The O.C.: Thurs., 9 p.m., Fox; premieres Nov. 2. Dante’s Cove: Fri., check for times, Here!; premieres Sept. 1)
One Tree Hill vs. Friday Night Lights The infant love child of UPN and the WB fashioned a glaringly lowest-common-denominator ad campaign whose thought-provoking tagline for One Tree Hill was “Free to be cool.” And yet, I breathed a deep sigh of relief on learning that the show, basically about a small town that loves its basketball and the dramas that ensue, had survived the merger and gained entrance to the freedom-loving land of the CW. Friday Night Lights, based on the movie that’s based on the book, is about a small town that loves its football and the dramas that ensue. A toughie, but I hate football, so for me One Tree has the home court advantage — plus the laser-beam-eyed power-acting of Chad Michael Murray. (One Tree Hill: Wed., 9 p.m., CW; premieres Sept. 27. Friday Night Lights: Tues., 8 p.m., NBC; premieres Oct. 3)
Prison Break vs. Runaway Maybe it all goes back to my deep, abiding love for The Legend of Billie Jean, but dramas about desperate people on the run from the law have a near-endless ability to captivate me. Prison Break has the hot brothers. CW debut Runaway looks to have more of a Running on Empty family dynamic — with New Kids on the Block’s Donnie Wahlberg in the Judd Hirsch role. Both hint vaguely at possible political undertones. Mostly for River Phoenix’s sake, I’m going to go with the latter. (Prison Break: Mon., 8 p.m., Fox; premiered Aug. 21. Runaway: Mon., 9 p.m., CW; premieres Sept. 25)
Jericho vs. Three Moons over Milford Jericho has Skeet Ulrich and a nuclear holocaust on the horizon. Three Moons has, well, three moons — or parts of what used to be one moon — and one or more of them might be heading this way. The end (of the season, that is) will be in sight for the latter sooner, which is good, because how many times a week can a person watch the world teeter on the brink of collapse? (Jericho: Wed., 8 p.m., CBS; premieres Sept. 20. Three Moons over Milford: Sun., 8 p.m., ABC Family; premiered Aug. 6)
Project Runway (reruns) vs. Fashion House The community-minded thing to do, no doubt, would be to support KRON TV’s efforts to add dramatic content to its programming. After all, Fashion House, a six-nights-a-week telenovela-style program about the fashion industry starring Morgan Fairchild and Bo Derek, should just about do the trick. And yet, even after Project Runway’s latest season ends later this fall, I’m probably going to find other uses for those six hours — including renting back episodes of the show that makes it work. (Project Runway: Bravo; your local video store. Fashion House: Mon.–Sat., 10 p.m., KRON; premieres Sept. 5) SFBG

Seven up!


› a&eletters@sfbg.com Andromache Berkeley company Central Works remounts its 1994 production of Racine’s gripping 17th-century account of the Trojan War aftermath. Though the company likes to emphasize its collaboratively written projects, director Gary Graves’s adaptation of the play, which follows the trail of unrequited love leading to the enigmatic Andromache, was one of the first shows that brought the company critical attention. Oct. 14–Nov. 19. Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk. (510) 558-1381, www.centralworks.org Colorado After producing a successful run of Killing My Lobster member Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s first play, Hunter Gatherers, at the Thick House this past summer, Impact Theater takes on another piece by the up-and-coming dramaturge. Again the central theme is everyone’s favorite human trait: jealousy. This time a teen beauty queen disappears the day before the big pageant and everyone in her family is a suspect. Sept. 14–Oct. 21. La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berk. (510) 464-4468, www.impacttheatre.com The God of Hell Entering its 40th year this season, the Magic Theatre celebrates with the latest play by the company’s erstwhile playwright-in-residence, Sam Shepard. The God of Hell is Shepard’s indictment of the Bush administration; he wrote it in 2004 with hope that Dubya wouldn’t see a second term. Amy Glazer directs this piece about a Midwestern couple whose lives are disrupted by an odd visit from a traveling salesman hawking patriotic goods. Sept. 23–Oct. 22. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center, building D, Buchanan at Marina, SF. (415) 441-8822, www.magictheatre.org Passing Strange Berkeley Rep enters uncharted territory with this not-quite musical conceived and written by Stew (with music cowritten by longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald), a singer-songwriter whose solo songcraft and controversial band the Negro Problem have received acclaim from the New York Times and Village Voice. With a live band to accompany Stew and his cast, the show follows the African American on a journey from his native Los Angeles and the church community he’s raised in to an alternative life in Amsterdam and Berlin, as Stew searches for an authentic self amid people who pass for something they’re not. Oct. 20–Dec. 3. Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Thrust Stage), 2025 Addison, Berk. (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org “Pinteresque” The Oxford English Dictionary does indeed have an entry for the titular term: “Of or reutf8g to Harold Pinter; resembling or characteristic of his plays…. Pinter’s plays are typically characterized by implications of threat and strong feeling produced through colloquial language, apparent triviality, and long pauses.” Eastenders Repertory Company and some aspiring playwrights tap into and respond to those qualities with this program, which features Pinter’s The Lover and short pieces inspired by that work. Four years ago the company struck gold with a similar idea applied to Tennessee Williams, just one of its many inventive one-act programming ideas. See its take on Pinter, and then grab a pint, er. Sept. 13–Oct. 8. Eureka Theatre Company, 215 Jackson, SF. (510) 568-4118, eurekatheatre.org “SF Fringe Festival” If you can spare an hour, then get to a Fringe show. Now in its 15th year of rounding up improv troupes, comedy groups, soloists, and multimedia acts from the frontiers of the theater world, the festival delivers 40 original performances in 200 shows over 12 days. This year features Best of SF Fringe 2002 RIPE Theatre putting on a handful of new shorts, Boxcar Players doing improv on the Mexican Bus, someone rolling a boulder up Powell for 20 minutes, and a group from India performing from the Kama Sutra (oh my). Maybe you can spare two hours. Sept. 6–17. For information go to www.sffringe.org Tings Dey Happen Dat dey do, and Dan Hoyle (the son of Geoff Hoyle but a lot more than that as well) has made a show about them — specifically, the things that happened in 2005 when he went to Nigeria on a Fulbright scholarship. Malaria and militant karaoke are two of the experiences Hoyle had, along with some educational ones that give him added insight into the United States’ oil-hungry policies. Hoyle may be young, but he’s an old hand at one-man shows by this point; Tings Dey Happen follows in the Marsh- and self-directed footsteps of his previous performances, Circumnavigator and Florida 2004: The Big Bummer. Only the Almighty might know why tings dey happen the way them happen — but Hoyle probably has some clues as well. Dec. 14, 2006–Jan. 27, 2007. Marsh, 1062 Valencia, SF. (415) 826-5750, www.themarsh.org SFBG



1. “365 Days/365 Plays” Suzan-Lori Parks wrote a play for each day of the year. They’ll be performed all year by artists nationwide, and San Francisco will be a huge part of the largest theater collaboration in history. A stunt, but a really cool one. Begins Nov. 13. SF venues TBA. www.publictheater.org
2. Big Love Not the HBO show — living, breathing theater, with a big prize for the ugliest bridesmaid’s dress in the audience. Sept. 28–Oct. 21. Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida, SF. $15–$30. 1-800-838-3006, www.foolsfury.org
Erin Gilley is general manager of Crowded Fire Theater.
1. Hamlet: Blood on the Brain In a nifty display of relocation, Campo Santo transports the classic play from Denmark to our own drug-ravaged Oakland in the 1980s. If any theater group can make concept Shakespeare soar, this is the one — simply the best acting core in the Bay Area. Oct. 26–Nov. 20. Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, SF. $9–$20. (415) 626-2787, www.theintersection.org
2. DEFIXONES: Orders From the Dead If you’ve heard Diamanda Galas sing, you’ve been amazed or shocked in the depths of your soul. Here, her three-and-a-half octave voice takes on the Armenian genocide in what promises to be a theatrical assault you won’t soon forget. Oct. 19 and 21. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 701 Mission, SF. $15–$35. (415) 978-2787,
www.ybca.org SFBG
John Wilkins is artistic director of Last Planet Theatre.

The jump off


› johnny@sfbg.com
Underground Sam Green’s documentary The Weather Underground helped spark David Dorfman Dance’s ambitious new 50-minute piece about activism and terrorism, but Dorman’s own experiences growing up in ’60s Chicago during the Days of Rage are an even bigger influence. Dorfman and Green will also discuss Green’s film in a related event.
Sept. 21 and 23. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 701 Mission, SF. (415) 978-2787, www.ybca.org
“Kathak at the Crossroads” Working with companies in India and Boston, Chitresh Das Dance Company has put together perhaps the biggest event ever dedicated to Kathak in this country. No better figure than the energetic, veteran Das could be at the helm of such an undertaking.
Sept. 28–30. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 701 Mission, SF. (415) 333-9000, www.kathak.org
Tarantella, Tarantula The local Artship Dance/Theater, led by Slobodan Dan Paich, explores the tarantella, a dance used to ward off the poison of a tarantula bite in particular and malaises of the heart in general. This premiere is paired with a visual art exhibit based on Artship’s years of research on the subject.
Sept. 28–Oct. 8. ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., SF. (415) 863-9834, www.odctheater.org
King Arthur Mark Morris collaborates with the English National Opera and takes on Henry Purcell’s semiopera, giving it a vaudevillian spin, with costume design by Isaac Mizrahi. Productions in England have already been lavishly praised.
Sept. 30–Oct. 7. Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft and Telegraph, Berk. (510) 642-9988, www.calperfs.berkeley.edu
The Live Billboard Project Site-specific specialist (and Guardian Goldie winner) Jo Kreiter knows how to create a dynamic, innovative image. This time she’s doing so at the wild intersection of 24th and Mission streets (near Dance Mission, no doubt). A 10th anniversary production by Kreiter’s Flyaway company, Live Billboard Project will feature her signature aerial choreography.
Oct. 4–8. 24th St. and Mission, SF. (415) 333-8302, www.flyawayproductions.com
The Miles Davis Suite Savage Jazz Dance Company and Miles Davis is a match made in dance heaven — or whatever sphere Davis’s music reaches and thus wherever Reginald Savage’s choreography manages to follow it. If any choreographer is well suited to the late, great Davis, it’s Savage — the real question is what compositions and recordings Savage will mine.
Oct. 12–15. ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., SF. (415) 863-9834, www.odctheater.org
Daughters of Haumea Patrick Makuakane and Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu pay tribute to the women of ancient Hawaii. Both hula kahiko and hula mua will figure in Goldie winner Makuakane’s adaptation of a new book by Lucia Tarallo Jensen that is devoted to fisherwoman, female warriors, and high priestesses.
Oct. 21–29. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon, SF. (415) 392-4400, www.naleihulu.org
Kagemi — Beyond the Metaphors of Mirrors The visual splendor within the title only hints at what the classical-, modern-, and Butoh-trained Sankai Juku company might present in this performance; raves for the mind-bending talents of artistic director Ushio Amagatsu, and the still photos alone make this event a must-see.
Nov. 14–15. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 701 Mission, SF. (415) 978-2787, www.performances.org
“San Francisco Hip-Hop Dance Fest” You can count on Micaya to not only showcase the best hip-hop dance in the Bay Area but also to bring some of the world’s best hip-hop troupes to Bay Area stages. This year Flo-Ology, Soulsector, Funkanometry SF, and Loose Change will be representing the Bay Area, and Sanrancune/O’Trip House will be traveling all the way from Paris.
Nov. 17–19. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon, SF. (415) 392-4400, www.sfhiphopdancefest.com
Dimi (Women’s Sorrow) The all-female, Ivory Coast–based Compagnie Tché Tché is renowned for pushing dance into realms that are both visually awe-inducing and physically explosive. This piece, overseen by artistic director Beatrice Kombé, entwines the stories of four dancers.
Dec. 1–2. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 701 Mission, SF. (415) 978-2787, www.ybca.org SFBG



SEPT. 2–4
Art and Soul Oakland Frank Ogawa Plaza and City Center, 14th St and Clay, Oakl; (510) 444-CITY, www.artandsouloakland.com. 11am-6pm. $5. The sixth incarnation of this annual downtown Oakland festival includes dance performances, lots of art to view and purchase, an expanded “Family Fun Zone,” and a notably eclectic musical lineup. Big-name musical performers include New Found Glory, Rickie Lee Jones, Calexico, and the Silversun Pickups.
Sausalito Art Festival Army Corps of Engineers-Bay Model Visitor Center and Marinship Park, Sausalito; (415) 331-3757, www.sausalitoartfestival.org. Call or check Web site for time. $5-20. The Sausalito waterfront will play host to hundreds of artists’ exhibits, as well as family entertainment and top-notch live music from the likes of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dick Dale, and the Lovemakers.

SEPT. 2–24
Free Shakespeare in the Park Parade ground in the Presidio, SF; (415) 558-0888, www.sfshakes.org. Sat, 7:30pm; Sun and Labor Day, 2:30pm. Free. Shakespeare’s The Tempest gets a brilliant rendition under the direction of Kenneth Kelleher on the outdoor stage: families fostering budding lit and theater geeks should take note.

Cowgirlpalooza El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF; (415) 282-3325, www.elriosf.com. 4pm. $10. This sure-to-be-twangy evening on el Rio’s patio features music by the most compellingly country-fried female musicians around, including Austin’s the Mother Truckers, 77 el Deora, and Four Year Bender.

Brews on the Bay Jeremiah O’Brien, Pier 45, SF; www.sfbrewersguild.org. 12-4:30pm. $8-40. Beer tasting, live music, and food abound at the San Francisco Brewers Guild’s annual on-deck showcase.
911 Power to the Peaceful Festival Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, SF; (415) 865-2170, www.powertothepeaceful.org. 11am-5pm. Free. This event calling for international human rights and an end to bombing features art and cultural exhibits, as well as performances by Michael Franti and Blackalicious.

SEPT. 9–10
Chocolate Festival Ghirardelli Square, 900 N Point, SF; www.ghirardellisq.com. 12-5pm. Free. An indisputably fun weekend at the square includes chocolate goodness from over 30 restaurant and bakery booths, various activities for kids and families, and a “hands free” Earthquake Sundae Eating Contest.
San Francisco Zinefest CELLspace, 2050 Bryant, SF; (415) 750-0991, www.sfzinefest.com. 10am-5pm. Free. Appreciate the continuing vitality of the do-it-yourself approach at this two-day event featuring workshops and more than 40 exhibitors.

SEPT. 10
Solano Avenue Stroll Solano between San Pablo and the Alameda, Berkeley and Albany; (510) 527-5358, www.solanoave.org. 10am-6pm. Free. This long-running East Bay block party features a clown-themed parade, art cars, dunk tanks, and assorted artsy offerings of family fun, along with the requisite delicious food and musical entertainment.

SEPT. 16–17
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Old Mill Park, Mill Valley; (415) 381-8090, www.mvfaf.org. Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-5pm. $7. Dig this juried show featuring original fine art including jewelry, woodwork, painting, ceramics, and clothing.

SEPT. 17
Arab Cultural Festival County Fair Building, 9th Ave and Lincoln, Golden Gate Park, SF; www.arabculturalcenter.org. 10am-7pm. $2-5. Lissa Faker (Do you still remember?) is the theme for this year’s Arab Cultural Festival, featuring a bazaar with jewelry, henna, and Arab cuisine, as well as assorted folk and contemporary musical performances.

SEPT. 23–24
Autumn Moon Festival Grant between California and Broadway and Pacific between Stockton and Kearney, SF; (415) 982-6306, www.moonfestival.org. 11am-6pm. Free. At one of Chinatown’s biggest annual gatherings, you can see an acrobatic troupe, martial artists, street vendors, and of course, lots of moon cakes. I like the pineapple the best.

SEPT. 24
Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Seventh St and 12th St, SF; www.folsomstreetfair.com. 11am-6pm. Free. The world’s largest leather gathering, coinciding with Leather Pride Week, features a new Leather Women’s Area along with the myriad fetish and rubber booths. Musical performers include My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, the Presets, and Blowoff, Bob Mould’s new collaboration with Richard Morel.

SEPT. 29–OCT. 1
A Taste of Greece Annunciation Cathedral, 245 Valencia, SF; (415) 864-8000, www.sfgreekfoodfestival.org. Call or check Web site for time. $5. Annunciation Cathedral’s annual fundraising event is an all-out food festival where you can steep yourself in Greek dishes, wine tasting, and the sounds of Greek Compania.

OCT. 3
Shuck and Swallow Oyster Challenge Ghirardelli Square, West Plaza, 900 North Point, SF; (415) 929-1730. 5pm. Free to watch, $25 per pair to enter. How many oysters can two people scarf down in 10 minutes? Find out as pairs compete at this most joyous of spectacles, and head to the oyster and wine pairing afterward at McCormick and Kuleto’s Seafood Restaurant, also in Ghirardelli Square.

OCT. 5–9
Fleet Week Various locations, SF; (650) 599-5057, www.fleetweek.us. Cries of “It’s a plane!” and “Now there’s a boat!” shall abound at San Francisco’s impressive annual fleet gathering. Along with ship visits, there’ll be a big air show from the Blue Angels and the F-16 Falcon Demonstration Team.

OCT. 5–15
Mill Valley Film Festival CinéArts at Sequoia, 25 Throckmorton, Mill Valley; 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley; Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St, San Rafael; (925) 866-9559, www.mvff.com. Call or check Web site for times and prices. Documentaries and features of both the independent and international persuasion get screentime at this festival, the goal of which is insight into the various cultures of filmmaking.

OCT. 6–14
Litquake Various locations, SF; www.litquake.org. San Francisco’s annual literary maelstrom naturally features Q&As and readings from a gazillion local authors, but also puts on display a staged reading of an Andrew Sean Greer story, music from Jay Farrar and Ray Manzarek, and a storytelling session with Sean Wilsey and his mother, Pat Montandon.

OCT. 12–15
Oktoberfest by the Bay Fort Mason Center, Marina at Laguna, SF; www.oktoberfestbythebay.com. Check Web site for times. $5-15. One of the few places your lederhosen won’t look silly is the biggest Oktoberfest left of Berlin, where the Chico Bavarian Band will accompany German food and a whole lotta beer.

OCT. 28–29
Wonders of Cannabis Festival County Fair Building, 9th Ave and Lincoln, Golden Gate Park, SF; (510) 486-8083, www.cannabisactionnetwork.org. 11am-7pm. $20. Ed Rosenthal, cannabis advocate extraordinaire, presents contests in comedy and joint rolling, cooking demonstrations, two musical stages, and some heavy-duty speakers: Terrence Hallinan, Ross Mirkarimi, Tommy Chong, and interestingly, Rick Steves of the eponymous PBS travel show. SFBG



Aug. 22


Robert Bresson double feature

Who do you think makes for a better Jesus Christ – Jim Caviezel or a donkey? Mel Gibson might choose Caviezel, but almost any true movie lover in existence would select the latter. One reason: Robert Bresson’s 1966 Au Hasard Balthazar, in which a mule takes on saintly properties. The director’s knockout 1967 follow-up, Mouchette, also screens. (Johnny Ray Huston)

Call or see Web site for times
Castro Theatre
429 Castro, SF
(415) 621-6120


Syd Barrett farewell

Some of our local musicians got together and decided to pay tribute to Barrett’s influence, forming an impressive lineup for the Piper’s farewell. The Dilettantes (featuring Joel Gion from Brian Jonestown Massacre), Ettiene de Rocher, the Moore Brothers, and Jean Marie anchor this free show, which also includes a rare appearance by Conspiracy of Beards, the men’s choir devoted entirely to Leonard Cohen, the folk king of goodbyes. (K. Tighe)

8 p.m.
Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
(415) 861-5016

Best of the Bay 2006 Pixs


A friend feeds a banana to Anthony Riley of Gooferman, winner of Best Band Name
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Amber Kvietys of the Primitive Screwheads, Best Goofy Gore
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Howard Dillon of Wild Irish Productions, the Best Bloomin’ Thespians
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Maurice Lee of Wasteland, Best Vintage Clothing Store
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Members of the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), winner of Best Six-Week Superhero Lessons
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Indira, Luis, Adrian, and Tyson of Mission Art and Performance Project, winner of Best Art All Over the Hood
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Shawn and Skyler from the Transfer, Best Bar to Hop Aboard the Party Train
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Blakely Bass of Residents Apparel Gallery, winner of Best Clothing Store for Women and Men
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Jenny and Jason of Acro Yoga, the Best Way to Down Your Date’s Dog
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Trixxie Carr of Smash Up Derby, winner of Best Tori Amos Meets Slayer
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Monte, Cindy, and Vittoria of Pan Theater, winner of Best Prep for Your State of the Union Speech
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Michael and Shannon of the Vau de Vire Society, the Best Falmin’ Hot Circus Freaks
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Aaron Sweeney and his Transjanimals, the Best Fuzzy Substitutes for a Lover
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Demetri and Andy of Folsom Street Fair, winner of Best Street Fair
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

John Segura and friends from the Knockout, winner of Best Beer-Soaked Bingo
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Chris of the Fruit Guys (with friends), the Best Banana in Your Inbox
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Best of Bay Guests and Winners
Guardian photo by Neil Motteram

Living Dead Girls, the Best Proof That the Dead Can Dance
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Erase Errata
Guardian photo by Neil Motteram

Extra Action Marching Band
Guardian photo by Neil Motteram

Extra Action Marching Band
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Kid Beyond Best Oral in the Bay
Guardian photo by Matthew Hughes Boyko and Amy Rose Sampson

Guardian Editor and Publisher Bruce B. Brugmann with Kielbasia, the Best Drag Queen with an Accordion
Photo courtesy of Kielbasia

Scissors for Lefty
Guardian photo by Neil Motteram

Scissors for Lefty
Guardian photo by Neil Motteram