Thursday, February 17, 2005
With visions of Margaret Cho and Janeane Garofalo dancing in our heads, we're rooting for a monthly night called "5 Funny Ladies." In the same way men can't get enough "Aren't we smelly?" jokes, we're hoping for tons of period humor and back-fat references. The every-third-Thursday event is MCed by Susan Alexander and features Jen Kober, who's pretty funny. No word yet on whether Alexander counts as one of the ladies. Maybe she's extra-lady. In any case, we're also excited about this new venue, which plans to host comedy happenings nearly every night. "5 Funny Ladies" starts at 8 p.m. as part of the San Francisco Comedy Club at the 50 Mason Lounge, 50 Mason (at Turk), S.F. Admission is $7-10; call 398-4129 or visit www.50masonlounge.com.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Jazz is endlessly reinventable, it seems. From the staid, upbeat rhythms of swing to the unpredictable nature of hard bop, it's a form that's nothing if not elastic. Local trio Run_Return takes the genre to an unexpected place -- lo-fi and high-tech all at once. The sound melts dirty analog drumbeats into smooth, seething synth washes, and although these guys would happily steal from swing or bop, they adore Fela Kuti, folk, and fusion as well. Of the three free tracks on the band's Web site (www.runreturn.com), our favorite is "Thoughts Broken by Footsteps," with its deep bass, warm acoustic guitar line, and quizzical synth loops. Does it matter that this stuff is white-hot right now? Nah, course not -- we just like it. The Prids and Crosstide open at 10 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Missouri), S.F. Admission is $8; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
The Great Depression was no bundle of laughs, but if you got invited to a Saturday night fish fry you could at least forget your troubles for a while. Fish fries were huge in African-American communities, where folks would angle all week, preserve their catches in an icebox, and then bring them out on a weekend night for a big fry-up, complete with dancing, drinking, and blow-the-roof-off performances from live musicians. Recall those bygone days with "Reggie DeVoine's Saturday Night Fish Fry," a one-night speak-easy with turns from dancers and musicians paying tribute to old-timers like Louis Jordan (author of the classic jazz song "Saturday Night Fish Fry"), Sarah Vaughan, and Earl "Snakehips" Tucker, the man whose moves influenced none other than James Brown and Elvis. Your $25-35 admission includes a fish or chicken dinner when the doors open at 6 at Diamond Hall, 2246 Jerrold (at Napoleon), S.F. Call 830-0214.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
FDR, what the hell were you thinking when you signed the 1942 executive order that confined more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans in internment camps? Were you really worried that the people who fought to make it in their adopted country would slip secrets to the Axis powers? Were you taking hostages to bargain for concessions? Or were you just trying to piss off Japan? Scholars, filmmakers, politicos, musicians, and poets pick apart the issues at Day of Remembrance 2005, the annual tribute to the incarcerated masses of World War II. California Congressman Mike Honda starts things off with a historical address, followed by a candle-lighting ceremony, the film Day of Remembrance -- A Post 9/11 Epilogue, music from the CD Barbed Wire & Hip Hop, and performances by spoken-word artists, at 2 p.m. at the AMC Kabuki 8, 1881 Post (at Fillmore), S.F. Admission is $20; call 921-5007 or visit www.dayofremembrance.net.
Monday, February 21, 2005
That charming gentleman who gyrates onstage at the gay strip club, the dulcet voice at the other end of the phone-sex line -- these people have more talents than the ones that beguile you into whipping out your wallet for a risqué charge. And the place to see them is "The Sex Workers' Art Show," an evening of live acts from entertainers such as stripping contortionist Miss Satanica, sharp-tongued tranny performance artist Ben McCoy, and hip hop musician Tre Vasquez, with additional visuals in the form of cartoonishly kinky paintings by Isis Rodriguez and lush line drawings by Laurenn McCubbin (illustrator of Michelle Tea's graphic novel, Rent Girl). Beware, if you expect to see mindless T&A: This event might make you think about the man or woman behind the G-string. The art starts at 9 p.m. at Café Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Didn't President Jimmy Carter look like a bumbling fool during the 444 days in which a group of Americans were held hostage in Iran? And didn't Ronald Reagan come off as a great diplomat when those hostages were released on the day of his 1980 inauguration? Wait -- you don't think this coincidence was somehow planned, do you? With his new book, The Crisis: The President, the Prophet, and the Shah, anti-war activist and former Rolling Stone contributor David Harris presents a compelling autopsy of the era's events, politics, and dirty backroom dealings by combining accounts from scores of insiders, including CIA agents, White House staffers, Iranian dissidents, and the hostages themselves. Harris discusses his work at 7 p.m. at City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), S.F. Admission is free; call 362-8193 or visit www.citylights.com.
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