In celebration of EFF's "Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression," Wheaton has agreed to re-create the legendary battle onstage. On one side of the ring, representing digital activists, artists, comedians, and hooligans, it's Wiiiiil Wheaton; on the other side of the ring, representing economic fascism, corporate greed, and mind-numbing jingles sung in baby-speak, it's Barney, the reprehensible purple dinosaaaauur. The benefit for "Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression" will be held on Thursday, Aug. 22, at the DNA Lounge at 9 p.m. DDR, Mike Bee, Monty Luke, Kid 606, and Lucretia will perform; Wil Wheaton, Cindy Cohn, and Shari Steele will speak. Tickets are $10, or $50 for the VIP meet-and-greet; call 626-1409.
2Good4U, the Bay Area's only all-girl boy band, presents Dance! Dance! Dance! Explosion!, a variety show based on vague but ridiculous memories of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, The Bay City Rollers Show, and The Carpenters. Expect tributes to Sesame Street and Solid Gold during the "Wayback Machine"; hold your breath for the balloon-dance routine set to "I Am Woman"; roll the dice and play karaoke craps; win fabulous prizes by guessing the number on Pepper Tumeric's panties; and endure visits from the ghost of Lionel Richie. The studio audience will never be the same. Dance! Dance! Dance! Explosion! premieres on Thursday, Aug. 22, at Spanganga (3376 19th St. at Mission) at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 821-1102.
Besides being the first science-fiction movie ever made, 1926's Metropolis was also the most expensive and longest-running European film at the time. In spite of Fritz Lang's spectacular vision and the incredible work of sculptors and actors to bring it to life, Germany's UFA Studios and Paramount Pictures thought nothing of cutting out more than an hour of footage, all but erasing the tale of obsessive love central to the story. This initial butchery, evidently, gave everyone and his mother permission to edit, retitle, and reinterpret the movie (just take a look at Giorgio Moroder's tinted travesty, which includes a disco score featuring Pat Benatar, Freddie Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, and Billy Squier). No one has ever seen Metropolis as Lang intended. Now, Martin Koerber's digitally restored version attempts to right that wrong by reconstructing the flick from all its existing stock and filling in gaps with eloquently written titles. Nearly 10,930 feet of film (out of the original 13,700) has been restored to pristine condition and put to the original score, making this the most complete rendering ever released. Here, the mad scientist and Hel, the mechanical beauty that drives Metropolis to ruin, take on new dimensions, as does the acting of Brigitte Helm, the 18-year-old who plays the worker girl Maria and the robot. The germination of nearly every good sci-fi movie since can be traced to Lang's prophetic visual aesthetic. The 75th anniversary edition of Metropolis opens on Friday, Aug. 23, at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro, near Market), with screenings at 7 and 9:20 p.m. Tickets are $5-8; call 621-6120.
I first saw Attaboy and Burke crawling through a junkyard, swinging from a teetering pile of twisted bumpers, old tires, and wasted medical equipment like strange characters raised from the candy-colored landfill behind Dr. Seuss' house. They took turns spewing poems about lost girlfriends, bad skin, beneficial sugar, the marvels of nature, and the muddles of humanity. They used beatbox punctuation and graceful, goofy lyricism, leaving me speechless and rubber-footed, standing in the junkyard with my mouth agape, which is not, by the way, the best stance to take in a junkyard. Since then, my home has become littered with books and pins and fanciful creatures crafted in the Yumfactory, the creative atelier and adjunct to Attaboy's brain. I ponder the physical effects of playing with Attaboy toys such as Cootie, Jump Rope Rock, and Maggot Farm (found at a Toys "R" Us near you); I wonder how Ben Burke's cartoons might permanently alter the thought processes of children; I delight in the comic series Goo and pass out the pink, spiny "I Sea Creatures" stickers. Sadly I don't often enough see Attaboy and Burke live. On the most recent occasion, I witnessed the musical augmentation of A&B's linguistic "ninjitsu": a six-piece, funky, punky, jazzy jubilation that sounded like the implausible coalescence of Soul Coughing, e.e. cummings, Ogden Nash, The Banana Splits, and Salvador Dali. Attaboy and Burke perform with Karmacoda, Stonedays, and Ledenhed at a Nadine's Wild Weekend showcase on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 111 Minna at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $10; call 974-1719.