Chico vs. the Man Rather than create "a huge money-minded, commercialized, alterna-schmooze-fest-orgy," the folks behind Superwinners Summer Rock Academy have put together four days and nights of music by indie/punk rockers for those who love them. Shows take place indoors and outdoors, morning to night. Bands range from Kiwi piano whiz Peter Jefferies and Asian-American valley girls Emily's Sassy Lime to baseball junkies S.F. Seals and the PeeChees, a noisy, dapper foursome from Berkeley whose new "Scented Gum" single sounds as good as it looks. The full roster of 55 performers/bands also includes Franklin Bruno, Land of the Wee Beasties, Henry's Dress, Karp, Versus, Chance the Gardener, and Flaming Box of Ants. Opening day begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at 11:15 p.m. at the Ballroom on Broadway, Chico. Tickets are $4-5 a show, $35 for the whole fest; call (916) 894-8708.
Promises, Promises Frank stank, Willie was slick, Roberta was bland, and Angela -- of all people -- actually talked the most sense. That's the critical consensus round these parts about one recent mayoral debate. All the major Democratic candidates return for more bon mots and belly-flops in a verbal competition moderated by KQED's Michael Krasny. See who gets off the zingers and who gets zapped at 7 p.m. at the Hebrew Academy of San Francisco, 645 14th Ave, S.F. Free; call 346-8471.
Flamenco Americano Founded in 1966, Theatre Flamenco was the first resident Spanish dance company in America. In recent years, it has expanded its choreography to include folk and neoclassic forms from Latin America. Under the direction of founding member Adela Clara and award-winning choreographer Miguel Santos, the ensemble's newest program -- "Alegra de Sevilla" -- mixes new pieces by Santos and Jos Galvn of Sevilla with traditional works. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Cowell Theatre, Fort Mason Center, S.F. "Alegra de Sevilla" continues Mon-Sat at 8 p.m. and Sun at 2 p.m. through Aug. 27. Tickets are $15-18; call 392-4400.
Art or Lit? Curated by Leigh Barbier, the "Second Annual Artists' Book Show" features tomes with textures ranging from sheet metal to tree bark; sizewise, the handmade works include miniatures viewed through microscopes, as well as massive pages turned by means of a crank. Arty writers and writing artists will gather with the public for a reception at 6 p.m. at Space 743, 743 Harrison, S.F. The exhibition continues Wed-Sat noon-5 p.m. through Sept. 22. Free; call 777-9080.
It's a Sunny Day In "Sunny von Bulow Is Still Alive," installation artist Terri Friedman addresses the former lifestyle and current medical condition of the world's most famous coma victim. Portrayed as a chain-smoking, pill-popping, banana-split addict by Glenn Close in Reversal of Fortune, von Bulow isn't visually present in the exhibition, but her purgatoried soul is evoked through clear plastic tubes that circulate colored water and glitter, and plastic designer shopping bags blown by fans. Art buffs and ambulance-chasers can rub shoulders at a 6-9 p.m. reception at Victoria Room, 180 Sixth St, S.F. "Sunny von Bulow Is Still Alive" continues Fri-Sun noon-6 p.m. through Sept. 17. Free; call 255-0364.
Youth on a Mission Since June, four S.F.-based artists -- Agelio Batle, Yolanda Lopez, Alfonzo Moret, and Thet Shein Win -- have been working with Southern Exposure's summer education program, "Mission Voices." Comprised of 25 teens from three Mission District youth groups, the program uses photography, drawing, mask-making, and sculpture to explore issues such as cultural identity, community, immigration, and the environment. A week of exhibition and performances begins with "Grito de la Mission: '95 Youth Arts Jam," featuring drumming, theater, and spoken word by Danza Xitlalli, as well as capoeira; the show starts at 7 p.m. at Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama, S.F. Free; call 863-2141.
Gong Show Attention gong lovers: The second annual Filipino-American Arts Exposition will sport plenty of booming, clanging metal discs. The two-day outdoor fair also offers musical ensembles, theater groups, dance troupes (including the Barangay Dance Company and Siliyan Dance Company), and pop stars (Filipino idol Gary Valenciano). In conjunction with the event, the Pearl of the Orient Parade presents floats and fertility dances at 11 a.m. at Market & Embarcadero, S.F.; the expo itself lasts 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Sunday at Yerba Buena Gardens and Esplanade, Third St & Mission, S.F. Free; call 621-3223.
Kreative Kids Presented by Dance Brigade, the All Youth Performing Arts Festival ranges from harp music to hip hop. Jamaa Pamoja and San Jose Taiko will drum, the Oakland Youth Chorus will sing, the Imhotet Dance Ensemble will dance, and the Prescott Clowns will clown. The tunes and buffoonery take place at 7:30 p.m. at Alice Arts Theater, 1428 Alice, Oakland. Tickets are $6-8; call (510) 652-0752.
The Mod Squad Rock shows, barbecues, pool games, raffles, and road rallies are all on the weekend agenda of Kings Classic 2, a gathering for scooter boys and girls and those who like to watch. The first full day of events starts with an indoor/outdoor scooter show, featuring prizes for best Vespa, Lambretta, street racer, custom, mod, and more; it concludes with music by the New Morty Show (starring Vice Grip and Connie Champagne), the Trashwomen, and Los Hooligans. Daytimers congregate at noon at the Trocadero, 520 Fourth St, S.F.; night crawlers hook up at 8 p.m. at Cafe Mars, Seventh St & Brannan, S.F. Free; call 331-9595.
Pigs in Heaven Who cares about Chinese astrology? With Pete Wilson overturning affirmative action and the kinder, gentler (smarter, too) Gordy and Babe snorting and gallivanting across movie screens nationwide, it's the year of the pig here in America. Curious humans can meet a genuine swine at the First Annual Children's Zoo Birthday Party, featuring 7-year-old Hank the Pig. Talking parrots, a livestock stampede, and an animal brunch are also on the agenda; hungry humans can feast on ice cream while Hank hogs a special cake of his own. The animal antics last from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the San Francisco Zoo, Sloat Boulevard (at the Pacific Ocean), S.F. Free with zoo admission ($1.50-7); call 753-7080.
Super Normal On Mecca Normal's latest LP -- Sitting on Snaps -- Jean Smith's lyrics move from the overtly political to the elliptical; accordingly, her droning vocals occupy prettier soundscapes. Always articulate, David Lester's guitar playing is more melodic than usual, and New Zealand's Peter Jefferies decorates a few tracks with bright piano. See Mecca Normal and Jefferies perform separately and (maybe) together; Refrigerator and Soul Junk round out a quadruple-bill at 9 p.m. at Kilowatt, 3160 16th St, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 861-2595.
Endurance Test Over 100 dancers, musicians, actors, and performance and visual artists are participating in Theater Artaud's Seventh Annual Performance Marathon -- the Fat Chance Belly Dancers will rub up against the New Pickle Circus, and Pino the Clown will grace the same stage as the South African choral group Soweto Voices. A benefit for the space, the event historically attracts more than 1,000 people over the course of the day. See guitarist Alex de Grassi, performance artist Nao Bustamante, actors Wayne Corbett and Greta Sanchez, the Knee Jerk Dance Project, and more from noon to midnight at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Admission is $5-50; call 621-7797.
Airplane Riders The first squadron of African-American U.S. Army Air Corps fighting pilots to fly into the heart of Nazi Germany, the Tuskegee Airmen, are now the subject of an HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, and others. Director Robert Markowitz, writer Paris Qualles, and actor Cuba Gooding Jr. will host a benefit brunch and premiere for Oakland's Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. The meal takes place at 1 p.m. at the Lakeview Club, Kaiser Building, 300 Lakeview, Oakland; The Tuskegee Airmen screens at 4:30 p.m. at the Grand Lake Theatre, 3200 Grand, Oakland. Tickets are $50; call (510) 465-0804.
Back to the Roots Listen to Do You Want More?!!!??! and one thing's immediately clear: Unlike most hip-hop groups with a jazz sound, the Roots don't use samples. Live, the Philadelphia crew -- whose shows often last up to two hours -- have a strong rep, partly due to the vocal gymnastics of "human beatbox" Rahzel; unable to buy equipment when he was younger, Rahzel followed and improved on Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh's talent for verbal beats, adding his very own scratching style. Hear some homegrown sounds at 8 p.m. at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, S.F. Oakland's the Coup opens. Tickets are $10; call 626-1409.
Marshy Monday The Marsh describes itself as "a breeding ground for new performance," and it's certainly helped nourish the careers of some nationally known artists: Josh Kornbluth, Charlie Varon, and Merle Kessler, to name just a few. "Monday Night at the Marsh" offers performers a space to develop and showcase material; Greg Beato, Kikelomo Adedeji, David Hirata, and Miri J. Hunter make up this week's roster. Hear and see them at 8:30 p.m. at the Marsh, 1062 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 826-5750.
Surreal Deal Q: How can you see a young girl descend into a cellar and enter an aggressive world of strange people and live potatoes? A: By watching the short films of Jan Svankmajer. The Czech filmmaker uses animation, marionettes, puppets, found footage, and trick photography to create his own weird universe. A collection of eight short works, "Alchemist of the Surreal" includes visual interpretations of Carroll's Jabberwocky and Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher; it also features the aforementioned spud nightmare, Down to the Cellar, and The Flat, in which a bunch of malevolent objects conspire against an unfortunate young man. (I can relate.) The paranoid hallucinations start at 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive's George Gund Theater, 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Tickets are $5.50; call (510) 642-1412.