Thursday, June 8, 2004
"World music" is a vague term -- too vague for our taste. It's often code for "It isn't from the United States," and it implies that everything not from here can be covered with one word. With that in mind, meet Maria de Barros, a singer whose "world music" reflects the far-flung influences of her adopted country, Cabo Verde (she was born in Senegal), which has been a cultural crossroads for a long time. On her first album, Nha Mundo, you can hear elements of Jobim, reggae, and Django Reinhardt, as well as an Old World accordion. The effect is lilting and sweet -- de Barros says on her Web site that although musicians from her neck of the woods often sing about "the struggles of life on the islands," her own project is to "expose people to the sensuality and joie de vivre that is the foundation of Cape Verdean life." Mission accomplished. DJs Nado and Marco open for de Barros at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $19-21; call 885-0750 or visit www.musichallsf.com.
Friday, June 9, 2004
America is a nation of bulk-size consumers. Hulking cars, enormous houses, giant plates of food to maintain our big fat asses -- yes, we're comfortable with the notion that we are what we own. But if our focus remains on the chase for the bling, are we partaking of the world around us or allowing ourselves to be consumed? That's the burning question posited by "All You Can Eat," a one-night exhibition of paintings, video art, sculpture, and photography that examines this country's uneasy relationship with food. Some of the event's artists are culinary professionals, like food photographer Mike Jensen, who displays sumptuous spreads in his 100 Meals. Others, like local video artist Sarah Klein (who anthropomorphizes our daily bread in Let's Eat), are merely interested observers with something to say about gobbling and gorging. Fill up at 7 p.m. at the Pink Mammoth Gallery, 865 Florida (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 637-3397 or visit www.kaihaley.com/eat.
Saturday, June10, 2004
Roller derby is so much more than a pseudo-sport. Sure, it's got showmanship just this side of the WWE, gaudy costumes, and unintelligible Web sites. But it's also an American institution, one with a long-reigning queen, Ann Calvello, who is too weird to have been manufactured. The game's mere continuing existence lends it a gritty sheen. Among derby crews, by far the world's most famous was and is our hometown Bay Bombers, several of whom claim to have appeared in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Men and women both compete at the Bay Bombers vs. Brooklyn Red Devils match, which starts at 8 p.m. in the Alameda High School Gym, 2201 Encinal (at Walnut), Alameda. Admission is $5-25; call (510) 636-9300.
Sunday, June 11, 2004
Some people have made the point that we may be living in Weimar America. We don't believe that's true -- we're not saying that fascism looms -- and we're not so freaked out about the idea that we constantly demand wildly entertaining shows on stage and screen. Not exactly. But the fact remains that the public appetite for cabaret, burlesque, and escapism is off the charts. So join in: Indulge in Goldfield & Koldewyn, a singing duo whose classic musical theater is designed to satisfy your need for torch songs, wink-wink humor, and good ol' show-biz chutzpah. Favorites from Broadway meet rare treasures mined from English music-hall traditions in the capable hands of these two award-winning performers, and the whole thing has the silly but sensuous aura of that one Liza Minnelli film -- what's it called? Come to the cabaret at 3 p.m. (the show continues through July 18) at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), S.F. Admission is $20-25; call 861-8972 or visit www.nctcsf.org.
Monday, June 12, 2004
Warning: The Zeitgeist International Film Festival contains a French flick. Some Frenchness may not be suitable for viewers sensitive to wine and cheese. Other than that, the fest sounds totally boss! The only short-film roundup brought to you in glorious, belly-growing beer-o-scope, the ZIFF boasts three- to 15-minute works on subjects such as Axl Rose, self-obsession, and the ever-popular romantic tension between LSD and the CIA. Entries hail from Reykjavik, Singapore, and (ssss!) Bordeaux, as well as from right here in River (of Beer) City. Organizers remind you to tip your 'tender, bring your empties up to the bar, and dress warmly. Screenings begin at 9 p.m. at Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia (at Duboce), S.F. Admission is $5; call 786-9967 or visit www.overcookedcinema.com.
Tuesday, June 13, 2004
She's 89, he's 84, and their best friends are children and toy collectors. Raggedy Ann and Andy are not your typical seniors, and their enduring charm makes us love them for it. That yarn hair! Those wide eyes! But the famous pair of old-fashioned rag doll characters are not the only creations of illustrator Johnny Gruelle, many of whose other comic strips (Mr. Twee Deedle, Jack the Giant Killer, Brutus) and books are exhibited at "Raggedy Ann and Friends: The Art of Johnny Gruelle" along with plenty of his drawings for magazines and newspapers. Tons of Ann and Andy stuff has been collected by Gruelle-obsessed curator Andrew Tabbat, including dolls, ephemera, and animation art. Revel in the innocent sweetness of this artist's vision through Nov. 8 at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), S.F. Admission is free-$6; call 227-8666 or visit www.cartoonart.org.
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