"Here's a message from the pulpit pulpit, oooh," howls Causey, lead evangelist for the Causey Way. "If life is dark then turn on the light/ If things are wrong then make them right." He shivers and quakes, sounding like Jeffrey Lee Pierce singing gospel for the B-52's under a new wave of garage guitar, analog synth, and pre-post-apocalyptic samples. Causey is the new voice of the new order, which is, according to him, the Causey Way, an ipso facto un-cult that euphemistically calls music journalists "fact finders" and demands its followers change their names to something Causey (as in Boy Causey, Dr. Causey, Red Causey, and the like, unless your name is already cool, like the Button or the Truth). But all rhetoric aside, the seduction of the Causey Way is visceral. Within one song your body will belong to, and in, the Way. It will pogo and squirm, wiggle and twirl, urging you to hurl yourself on the mercy of dusky strains of organ and sonic laser beams. Soon you'll raise your voice in supplication: "Why does it feel so good to be bad?" But Causey's frenetic, oscillating squeal will be out of your merely human reach; you'll try to lay your hair across the seductive, Germanic moan of Rain Causey, but she will remain drolly inviolate; you'll want to hum Causey hymns in your shower -- "You don't know what power is/ You think it's wisdom/ But you don't know what wisdom is/ Because you are stupid/ You are so dumb/ So very foolish" -- but without other Causeys, it will sound like two-dimensional sacrilege. The Causey Way will walk among us on Friday, Aug. 4 ,at Cafe Du Nord with the Rondelles and Mooney Suzuki opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 861-5016. And on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Gilman Street in Berkeley at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5; call (510) 525-9926.
As someone who completely lacks the single-minded passion to get a real job or create real art, I spend much of my time visiting and appreciating the unfathomable obsessions of others. In this, I am uniquely prepared to enjoy "Multiple Sensations," an exhibition that focuses on serialized images and the emotional quantity of collecting (for example, one Pez dispenser is banal, but 3,000 Pez dispensers are oddly fascinating). "Sensations" includes the work of Munich-based artists Piero Steinle and Julian Rosefedt, who have captured on video the destruction of various structures throughout Germany in Detonation Deutschland, and who adeptly collect and compare pornography and soap operas worldwide in Ekstase and Global Soap. "Sensations" also offers a selection of work from the nvisible Museum [sic], an assembly of early pieces by Tacita Dean, Damien Hirst, Callum Innes, Paul Miller, and Wolfgang Staehl. But the focal point of "Multiple Sensations" is the lifelong labor of Gary Boas, a Pennsylvania boy who at the age of 15 began shooting celebrities with his Brownie Hawkeye camera. Thirty-five years later, Boas has more than 50,000 candid images of Hollywood glitterati, faded silver screen starlets, druggy-eyed musicians, and long-lost beauty queens, trapped by cheap film and indefatigable admiration. At once creepy, funny, and absorbing, Boas' photography is a testament to obsession and the quintessentially American cult of personality. "Multiple Sensations" opens Friday, Aug. 4, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12; call 978-ARTS.
While promoters quibble and clubs sell out, actual musicians continue to play actual music in a town overrun by folks with a penchant for cover bands. It's not easy, but the Slow Poisoners aren't complaining. Instead, they're creating their own forum and their own CDs. The Sparks Festival: Cure for Culture and the consequent CD of the same name are a testament to the "diversity of the independent Bay Area music scene." In reality, the CD highlights only the darker, more sumptuous, lyrical pop bands of the Bay Area: Nerve Meter, Blue Period, ing, M Headphone, See Jane Run, and, of course, the Slow Poisoners. Clearly, Poisoner Andrew Goldfarb and I share similar tastes. The compilation is lovely from beginning to end, and the show will be better still. The Sparks Festival, which includes the aforementioned bands plus Four Star Mary, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Paradise Lounge at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6 before 9:30 p.m. and $8 after; call 621-1912.