Lowell Darling is no stranger to the spotlight. He once ran for the California governor's seat against Jerry Brown, and chronicled the losing battle in a documentary aptly named One Hand Shaking. His latest project is a testament to the great, grinding machinery of Hollywood. The mammoth undertaking, done at the urging of Whitney Museum Director David Ross, involved editing over 46,000 frames of discarded Hollywood film. The completed moving picture, Hollywood Archeology, will premiere Thursday night, Sept. 4, with Les Claypool of Primus performing a live, improvised soundtrack. SFMOMA Seca winner Rebeca Bollinger will also present an installation produced as part of a collaboration with Darling. The opening reception will be held at Gallery 16 (1616 16th St., at Rhode Island) at 6 p.m. Call 626-7495.
Imagine yourself in Cuba in 1933. Dewy-eyed women in negligible apparel pass out potent cocktails amid bowls of tropical fruit and burning torches. An 11-piece band grinds through an irresistible rumba that brings voluptuous damsels shimmying across the dance floor. You are too weak to resist. It might be the rum, or the moon, or the look in your girlfriend's eye. Your hips move in ways that are unconscionable on U.S. soil. Carmen Miranda would be proud. Cabaret Diosa would expect nothing less. Hailing from Boulder and originally founded by Chris Till, who has since relocated to our fair city (what now, Chris?), Cabaret Diosa are not just a marvelous "Hi-Fi Latin Exotica" band that blends classics from the '30s and '60s with outlandish originals, they are a thousand and one fantasies come to life. Plants, lamps, tuxedos, candles, hats, cigarette holders, boas, and sword swallowers just add to the mood. Each song in the set is loosely linked together by a precisely choreographed, highly sensual, often funny theater and dance routine. For example: Eve eats from a very magic mushroom and discovers her, um, independent nature; or a wandering priest is seduced by a beautiful Gypsy belly dancer. You get the picture, and you get to dance. Cabaret Diosa perform at Cafe Du Nord on Friday, Sept. 5, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 979-6545. They also open for Maceo Parker at the Great American Music Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $17; call 885-0750.
This spring, New Orleans funk outfit Galactic won that town's best emerging artist award from the Gambit Weekly. Sure, Galactic can groove a room until perspiration drips off the walls, but for my money, give me the guy who crashed the stage during Galactic's acceptance speech and yelled, "If it's going to be this kind of party, I'm going to stick my dick in the mashed potatoes!" That guy was Alex McMurray of Royal Fingerbowl, one of the most exciting groups to come out of Gatorland in quite a while. Mixing Frenchman Street melody with Lucky Strike philosophy and a Southern Gothic narrative, McMurray has all the makings of a Tom Waits lynch mob. Royal Fingerbowl open for Galactic at the Great American Music Hall on Friday, Sept. 5, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. They also open for Maceo Parker at the Great American on Monday, Sept. 8, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $17; call 885-0750.
Scotsman John Mulligan had been in the United States less than three months when he was shipped off to fight in Vietnam. Like most of the young kids who lived through the atrocities of that war, Mulligan suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. His wife and family left him. He wound up a homeless, desperate drunk ("medicating" himself against the seizures that often racked his body). His first novel, Shopping Cart Soldiers, is a deeply unsettling examination of a man who has been separated from his soul, a man driven by voices and haunting images. It should never have been possible to ignore the rantings and murmurings of those considered street crazy. After you read this book, it won't be. Join Mulligan in a celebration of the book's release at the Edinburgh Castle on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free; call (510) 486-1698.
For all the special little sadists out there with an artful eye, something old and something new: A Clockwork Orange is playing at the Red Vic on Friday, Sept. 5; call 668-3994. It's still banned in Britain, and if you haven't seen it on the big screen, it's well worth it. This World, Then the Fireworks is in its final two days (Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 3 and 4) at the Roxie; call 863-1087. This is Jim Thompson, folks -- rape and incest fantasies, eyeball skewerings, orgasmic brain hemorrhages. You get it all for $6.50.
-- Silke Tudor