The Red Badge of Courage "Is Orblivion one more step along a candy-colored path beyond the limits of Kantian space/time, or a cool commercial move sideways into the dancehall jungle? I'd love to answer this question, but my brain won't stop oozing onto the keyboard." (From a review of the Orb's new album, Orblivion, by Richard Gehr in the May issue of Spin.)
Jargon Bargain Blasthaus -- the electronic and digital arts gallery that brought us, among other musical amalgamations, "electrosphere" at the Fillmore last February -- will be closing its doors on May 23. Gallery owner/event producer William Linn says that blasthaus has every intention of opening a new space as soon as possible, but its current lease is up. "The landlord didn't really understand what we were trying to do here, anyway," says Linn. "But we want to be very selective in choosing the new site." The future locale will hopefully include a cafe and bar area, as well as enough space to produce events on-site. "Of course, we will be incorporating a lot of new technology into the building itself," says Linn in reference to the large number of companies eager for the chance to show off their state-of-the-art gizmos in the new-and-improved blasthaus environs. "It will definitely be wired to the hilt," assures Linn. As a closing celebration for the current gallery -- and a possible glimpse of things to come -- blasthaus' final project will be its most ambitious to date. Dubbed "Cyberhome 2000," the monthlong showcase of art, music, and technology will transform blasthaus into a futuristic home complete with a flat-panel display message center, an Internet-savvy kitchen, a video doorbell, a "wired" car that networks with the home system, an educational video-conferencing study, and a high-tech entertainment room that is too crazy to believe. The technology for this show has been produced by heavy-hitting engineering divisions at Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq, among others, but -- as always -- Linn's emphasis is on the art. "We will have an Internet surveillance installation and environmental music sculptures projected on a gas-plasma large-format flat-panel display with surround sound." Huh? "Cyberhome 2000" opens on Wednesday, April 23, and continues through Sunday, May 18. For more info, call 896-1700. (S.T.)
Blow Your Candles Twenty years ago, from the final miscarriage of legendary free-form radio station KSAN, an ugly bastard child arose. No sci-fi gross-out high jinks here, just the story of a little brat that never belonged but still managed to terrorize its siblings on the other end of the radio dial. Back then it was the Harmful Emissions program that brought a precious few hours of new music each day to 90.3, a station owned and operated by the Jesuit University of San Francisco. Nowadays, KUSF pumps out 90 hours of new musical programming per week while acting like it just crested the terrible twos (this is a good thing). DJ Christopher Schwarz will celebrate the station's birthday on Sunday, April 27, with a three-hour spotlight program between 4 and 7 p.m. From XTC and the Chameleons to Grotus and No Means No, Schwarz will spin discs by bands who best characterize the station's 20-year career. He's also expecting a few special guests, including old-timer DJs and maybe even a few of the acts that KUSF helped find larger (but not too large, damn it) audiences over the past two decades. Later that evening, the station will throw a self-benefit at Bimbo's 365 Club, featuring Tipsy, the Mermen, Three Day Stubble, and Double U. The show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $10. (J.S.)
Blow Your Candles, Cont'd Hamburger Mary's has been hashing out burgers and margaritas to the dance-addled masses of SOMA's nightclub set since 1972. Hippies in drag, cokers on disco, leather boys in love, and rockers on SSI, all served with a smile, or at least a twinkling lip ring. This week, San Francisco's microcosm eatery celebrates its 25th. At the very least, expect rat bikes and Minnie Pearl Necklace. (J.D.P.)
Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Michael Batty (M.B.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.