Here's a riddle: You're at a party with Jean Seberg, Patty Hearst, Pam Grier, Courtney Love, Iggy Pop, Jose De Mourna, Whitney Houston, and the Rainbow Man. Who's hosting? Answer: Steve Seid, a film programmer at the Pacific Film Archive, whose three-week Wednesday night series "Shooting Stars" explores the strange cult of fame. Full-length pictures include Mark Rappaport's touching From the Journals of Jean Seberg, Raymond Pettibon's Citizen Tania (a brutal look at Hearst's captivity), and Jon Moritsugu's Fame Whore (winner of the New York Underground Film Festival's best picture award); shorts include Badass Supermama (in appreciation of Grier, naturally), Caddy (Iggy and golf, together at last), Joe Dimaggio 1, 2, 3, I Am Crazy and You're Not Wrong (a bizarre tribute to Judy Garland), The Rainbow Man/John 3:16 (the sad story of a man who made himself famous through on-camera appearances at sporting events), Belijoqueiro: Portrait of a Serial Kisser (the somehow less sad story of a Brazilian man who made a name for himself by sneaking into public ceremonies and kissing folks like Frank Sinatra, Pele, George Bush, and the pope), and Good Sister/Bad Sister (an examination of the relationship between Courtney Love and '60s radical Katherine Power, who was a patient of Love's therapist mother). "Shooting Stars" screenings are at the Pacific Film Archive on Wednesdays through Dec. 10. Tickets are $5.50-7 for double bills; call (510) 642-1412 for a complete schedule.
There are those who say the greatest art is born out of conflict and repression (religion, government, drugs). For those, the Czech avant musicians in Uz Jsme Doma will have a hell of an authenticity card. Formed 12 years ago in the despotic atmosphere of pre-Velvet Revolution Czechoslovakia, UJD spent the first four years of their career illegally performing in basements. Despite the oppressive environment, UJD created an artistic playing field that is as wild and eclectic as the strains of music they snatched off pirate radio. Skalike bluebeats, jazz, operatic arias, frenetic poetry, traditional folk, and manic rock riffs make up the group's musical patchwork. In 1995, the Residents, UJD's longtime heroes, asked the Czech band to collaborate on the Freakshow concert in Prague. Since the revolution, UJD have produced 11 albums, three videos, two books, and more than 700 painstakingly elaborate shows. UJD's latest album, Fairy Tales From Needland (actually a 1995 rerelease), is the band's attempt to write contemporary fairy tales that will resonate with future audiences. It is the closest UJD have come to capturing their live sound, but, as one might imagine, nothing compares to the live experience. These are art freaks who were trapped in basements who listened to nothing but Residents bootlegs for four years. Think big yellow outfits and voices that fill your head and refuse to leave. UJD perform with Idiot Flesh and Rube Waddell at the Paradise Lounge on Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8; call 861-6906.
Imagine Showboat set in a bathhouse, or the blushing prenups in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers played by drag queens, or the king in The King and I having a slightly more, um, dominating cast, and you might be prepared for the queer-styled lunacy of Dirty Little Showtunes! Tom Orr's randy musical review -- already adopted by both Seattle and Chicago -- is in its third incarnation here in San Francisco. If you enjoy watching drag queens and muscle-bound leather boys parody themselves (and who wouldn't), this is your kind of holiday treat. Dirty Little Showtunes! opens at the New Conservatory Theater on Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 8 p.m. and continues through Jan. 31. Tickets are $16-22; call 861-8972 for reservations.
Now, for a little bacchanalia. The neo-pagan industrial drum collective Crash Worship presents Festus Felatorium, an Epicurean circus of sorts with Spanish web, daredevil trapeze, death-defying pyrotechnics, and a burlesque Oyster Queen, who will reveal feminine mysteries against a backdrop of mind-altering beats and Amber Asylum's dark strings. Doo Rag, Beyond Race, and DJ Steve Pagan will also make musical offerings to the heathen powers that be. The orgiastic affair will culminate in a huge feast of sweetmeats, suckling pig, exotic fruits, and rivers of wine, flowing, no doubt, over the bare breasts of the uncivilized freaks who attend such affairs. The Crash Worship feast will be held at Nomad's Land, 225 Second St. in Oakland, on Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20; call 835-0659 or check out www.globalunderworld.com.
If the lingering flavor of pagan beast can't adequately mask the distasteful residue left by holiday courtesies, clean the old palate with a little levity. At age 50, George Carlin is still prone to such delightful sporting cheers as, "Rat shit! Bat shit! Dirty old twat! Sixty-nine assholes tied in a knot! Hurray! Lizard shit! Fuck!" which means that you might not want to spend quality time with him, but at a distance he's a giggle. Carlin performs at Masonic Auditorium on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32.50-35; call 776-4917.
-- Silke Tudor