After more than 25 years of constant touring and recording, Muzsikás and its Oscar- and Grammy-winning singer Márta Sebestyén have successfully carried the indigenous sounds of Eastern Europe to Westerly ears in a way that Béla Bartók could have only dreamed. Their latest release, The Bartók Album, is like an auricular family tree with Bartók's original ghostly field recordings sitting alongside Muzsikás' vibrant renderings of his compositions based on the same songs, but the most exultant moments come when Muzsikás performs the songs as they were written centuries before, bringing color, richness, and passion back to the ashen archives left by the group's predecessor. Muzsikás and Márta Sebestyén are accompanied by two of Hungary's greatest traditional dancers, Zoltan Farkas and Ildiko Toth, on Wednesday, May 3, at 8 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall. Tickets are $17; call 885-0750.
Choose your fury: The blank-eyed homicidal junior miss in The Bad Seed; the sadistic, raven-eyed daughter in Mildred Pierce; the desperate has-been Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard; or the deranged and bewildered psychotic played by Bette Davis in All About Eve. Wait, don't choose. The gracious folks at "Thrillville Theater" think you deserve them all. "Bitch Fest" offers one brilliant, insufferable femme every Thursday starting May 4 and running through May 25 at the Parkway Theater (1834 Park Blvd. in Oakland) at 6:30 and 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $3 and include the usual "Thrillville" games, giveaways, and witty repartee; call (510) 814-2400.
According to fat stats, one in three Americans is overweight and one in eight Americans is lecherous for big, fleshy love handles. So why the proliferation of anorexic models pushing everything from automobiles to eyeliner? We know commerce is based on attainment, not contentment; we also know the unattainable enticement most often used to generate sales is sex. And while the real sexual act usually requires a degree of contentment, or at least physical ease, to yield basic results (you might have to take some of your clothes off and let another person within six inches of you), in imaginary ad-land a new eyeliner could help. So, with mainstream media leaving at least 97 million people feeling unsexy or unaroused, the need for Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them is great, big, and bounteous. Leave it to the super-sexy, ardently confident Hanne Blank, founder of the erotica zine Zaftig! Sex for the Well Rounded, Sexpot Savant columnist for the Boston Phoenix, Dangerous Curves columnist for Scarlet Letters, "Ask the Fat Broad" pedagogue for Clean Sheets, national lecturer, and workshop instructor. Blank diffuses myths ("fat" doesn't mean "ugly," "stupid," or "lazy"), offers practical advice (everything from blind dates to getting on top), and tells you where to shop (from videos and lingerie to sex toys and fetish gear), all with a giggle and a tantalizing jiggle. To celebrate her book release, the best and funniest fat-positive erotic writers in the Bay Area are coming together for "Big Love: An Evening of Plus Sized Prose (And Those Who Love Them)." Reading along with Blank will be insurgent Fat!So? zine publisher Marilyn Wann, Best American Erotica contributors M. Christian and Simon Sheppard, and fat dyke activist and author of Tipping the Scales of Justice Sondra Solovay, with Noirotica editor Thomas S. Roche acting as MC on Friday, May 5, at 848 Divisadero at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5-10; call 922-2385. Blank will also appear solo on Thursday, May 4, at A Different Light Bookstore at 7 p.m. Admission is free; call 431-0891. And on Sunday, May 7, at Barnes & Noble (2352 Shattuck in Berkeley) at 7:30 p.m. Also free; call (510) 644-0861.
As the singing voice for Johnny Depp's character in Cry-Baby, James Intveld proved long ago he has lungs enough to stand center stage, but as a musician's musician Intveld's talents kept him busy as the lead guitarist for the Blasters and upright bassist for Dwight Yoakam, as well as countless other duties for the likes of Adam Ant, Bruce Springsteen, and Harry Dean Stanton. While Intveld has matinee-idol good looks that could put Chris Isaak to shame, his voice is devoid of the accompanying histrionics. He sings simply and sincerely, giving heartfelt weight to original ballads, hymns, and country odes about love and Lord that could bring a bittersweet tear to Johnny Cash's eye. Not for the fluffy, pop palate, but there is no doubt he has something to say and he knows how to say it. James Intveld performs on Sunday, May 7, for "Speedy's Wig City" at the Elbo Room at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include his new CD; call 522-7788.