Every year, we dish about the best upcoming autumnal arts and entertainment. But there are certain swell events that even we can overlook if we're not careful, such as live recreations of classic videogames, or maritime movie screenings, or opportunities to make clangy noise in public art galleries. You know, stuff that's a bit underground and makes the Bay Area unique. So, here's a roundup of great things that we're not going to let slip by — and you shouldn't, either.
The Dark Room is famous for staging live comedy versions of classic movies and television shows, but organizers have turned to a different kind of screen for their latest play, Asteroids: Live! You know, the 1979 videogame with the little triangle ship shooting at the things that look like polygonal popcorn? That's the one. The fact that the game has no characters and no story isn't stopping Dark Room Productions from turning it into an ensemble comedy, one which is certain to be more fun than all the Resident Evil movies put together — with a better a story, too, including in a period-appropriate sneaky Russian, and the underlying mystery of just what the heck will happen if someone presses that shiny, candy-like "Hyperspace" button ...
Keith Moon/The Real Me
You don't hear much about rock 'n' roll drummers anymore. The last one to hit the news was probably Lars Ulrich, with that unpleasant Napster business. But maybe that's because none has come close to Keith Moon of The Who. In addition to being one of the greatest drummers of all time, Moon set the standard for rock-star misconduct — he practically invented the whole "throwing the TV out the hotel window" thing — and he did it all while seeming like a lovable little scamp. The charismatic (and doomed) Moonie gets channeled by professional drummer/actor/Who-tributary Mick Berry in his mostly solo workshop show Keith Moon/The Real Me. There will also be a full band playing 10 Who songs you've probably heard before but will enjoy hearing again.
The every-other-year celebration of all things sonic known as Soundwave has been happening all over San Francisco since early July, and the ongoing SonicPLACE installation is both free and not to be missed. The installation aims to show visitors how they're connected to the world via "sound, mechanical devices, and interactive play." In practice, this means a hallway arcade of fascinating, often wood-and-wire devices, many of which allow you to create some wonderfully noisy noise, just like you're a member of the German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten. And if you're not sure why that would be fun, it's only because you haven't visited SonicPLACE yet.
The digital revolution has spawned many DIY microcinemas, probably more than the MPAA cares to consider, but few offer the opportunity to see a really good movie in a thematically appropriate setting. Enter the Floating Films series, where you can watch movies set on boats while you're sitting on a (securely docked) boat — in this case, the shelter deck of the 1886 S.S. Balclutha. The final film of the 2012 season is a stone-cold classic, the 1956 Moby Dick directed by John Huston, co-written by Ray Bradbury, and starring Gregory Peck. Even if you're still bitter about having to read the book in school, don't miss the opportunity to watch this great movie the way it was never intended to be seen, but should be: on a motherfucking boat.
Jazz at the Chimes
Declared a historic landmark in 1999, the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland isn't just a beautiful place to spend eternity — the gothic-style columbarium also holds concerts. And not just the contemplative chamber music you might expect, but also raucous gamelan performances, noisy experimental shows, and the much-loved Jazz at the Chimes series. For the latest installment, Kenny Washington and the Michael O'Neill Quintet bring their stylings for a concert benefiting Berkeley's Jazzschool, presenting great music for a noble cause in a sacred setting. It's the most toe-tapping way there is to contemplate your own mortality.