Remember Geekfest '96? It was a full summer day of hurtful adolescent monikers, the celebration of the beauty of puke-green polyester, and dancing poorly to some gloriously geeky bands. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, too bad, this will be nothing like that. Geek Brand Entertainment presents "Divine Haze" -- a night of anarchistic bacchanalia and dangerous, costumed freaks with big foamy swords. That's right: Take all the nerds who sat quietly during lunch hour considering D&D while eating malodorous tuna salad, age 'em 10 or 15 years, give them a gutful of cheap booze and a machete, and there you have "Divine Haze." Lords of Flesh (featuring members of Othello's Revenge and Wanted) headline; Born Naked and Bobby Joe Ebola & the Children MacNuggits open; former Geekfest performers the Fabulous Hedgehogs and Annulus play sometime in between. Mayhem begins at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, at the Berkeley Square, 1333 University. Tickets are $6; call (510) 223-7688. Of course, anyone wearing a full clown costume, an alien head, or a Conan tattoo gets in free. ... Modern-day cowgirls ride motorcycles. Such is the contention of the folks over at ATA who have put together a down-and-dirty hootenanny coupling cowgirl lore with biker babes. Learn how to accept yourself as a cowgirl on an iron horse with the help of Sherine Kerell's support group, Calamity's 13 Steps; view films about the lives and deaths of famous or imaginary female rebels; check out cowgirl art; take advice from adventurous gals who savor motorcycle racing; sway to the enchanting, ironic crooning of the Kuntry Kunts; and tote pointy-toed snake stickers or a silver-plated six-shooter within city limits. The hoedown gets down at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890. ... During the '30s and '40s, the lindy hop set the world on its ear, largely due to the talents of Frankie Manning. From the streets of Harlem, where he developed the "Savoy Style," to Broadway, where he earned a Tony for Black and Blue, Manning has awed fans -- including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald -- for well over half a century. At 82, he's still dancing and teaching those who care to learn. Manning will guide everyone through the Big Apple -- a dance craze of '37 that is regaining popularity. Lessons start at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Studio 435, 435 Broadway. Admission is $7; call 291-0333. Indigo Swing will provide the score throughout the night. ... When the British lost their empire they effectively switched tactics from might to melody. Able to dictate the style and customs of the masses with little more than a pout and a clever hook, they have truly harnessed the power of the pop song. Tonight, the Brits invade our Latin stronghold with the Hairdressers, an authentic British-born, crisp four-piece who draw inspiration from Mott the Hoople and Nick Drake; Blueland, a quintet of lovelies who confess their influences right down to the haircuts; and Grain, whose infectious sound should take you back to 1964 even without cocktails. The culture clash begins at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the El Rio, 3158 Mission. Tickets are $5; call 282-3325.
By Silke Tudor