San Francisco has been a haven for freaks, geeks, hippies, and misfits for decades. And while there's been a lot of grumbling about the recent changes to our fog-filled paradise, we definitely haven't gone straight-edge just yet. There are still plenty of entertainment options that veer off the beaten map.
Many of them can be found at the Dark Room, which hosts the monthly Trainwreck Cabaret, (Sept. 7, trainwreckcabaret.com), so called because "sometimes it is"; a weekly Bad Movie Night (Sundays); and a run of monster madness with Godzilla Live (Fri-Sat, Sept. 6-28, darkroomsf.com).
The non-curated San Francisco Fringe Festival (sffringe.org) always has a slew of under-the-radar entertainment. This year even has a show for folks who want to be entertained but can't sit still, Popcorn Anti-Theater (Sept. 13, 14, and 20, antitheater.com). An underground art scene favorite, Anti-Theater loads its viewers into a bus for "a carnival sideshow, TED talk, theater, and film festival wrapped into a four-hour road-trip." October brings a crop of variety shows and theater centered on the macabre and freaky, with Kiss Kill Consume: A Variety Show of Evil Portions (Oct. 11) looking the most promising. It has a roster of burlesque and sideshow acts, and is hosted by Jamie de Wolf, of NPR's Snap Judgment.
And if that's not far enough down the rabbit hole, take in a "gender illusionist" show at Asia SF (Wed-Sun, asiasf.com), party with the "mutant vehicles" and theme camps of Burning Man at Decompression (Oct. 7, burningman.com), or catch anything by Bad Unkl Sista (badunklsista.com). Their intricate costumes and dark themes can be seen in residence at Supperclub, or at Yerba Buena Night (Oct. 12, ybnight.org).