Thursday, October 27, 2005
Earlier this month, Joe Loya stood on the "Porchlight" stage and told a hilarious tale about his bank-robbing habit, bringing the house down. After knocking off a good many spots, he holed up in expensive hotels, where he watched porn to ease the tension of the outlaw life. Then Loya, who appears to be a very nice sort, started playing golf -- a lot of golf, two rounds a day, paying for all his friends and their equipment. The trouble was, the course was in the flight path of the police helicopters going to and from the station, and Loya, by now very twitchy, would run for cover when they buzzed the fairways. His tale of the woeful life is featured in his book, The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell; he reads at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com.
Friday, October 28, 2005
After attempting to genetically engineer God in a petri dish, copyrighting his mind in the hope of gaining immortality, and pestering the city of Berkeley to legally acknowledge Aristotle's law of logic (which states that everything is equal to itself), conceptual artist Jonathon Keats is up to a new trick: He wants to customize the metric system. Compared to his other ideas, this may seem a bit staid, until you realize his method of attack. Instead of calculating the meter based on the circumference of the planet, Keats intends to use the rate of the human heartbeat. Of course, no two hearts beat alike, which means that everyone will have his own unit of measure. At his exhibit's opening (Oct. 27), Keats will be on hand with a stethoscope and conversion tables, doling out fancy new meters to willing participants. The show continues through Nov. 3 at Modernism, 685 Market (at Kearny), S.F. Admission is free; call 541-0461 or visit www.modernisminc.com.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
What the world needs now is not love, sweet love. No, what the world needs now is more dramatic lighting at dusk-to-dawn horror-story readings. The Rolling Darkness Revue features founding ghouls Glen Hirshberg and Peter Atkins and a gang of fellow writers in a theatrical night including live music and, we're hoping, candlelight. Or maybe strobe lights. (The scariest lights of all, red and blue flashing ones accompanied by a siren, don't really fit with the theme.) In any light, the revue elicits glowing reviews from spooky-story aficionados, including the L.A. Times and NPR's Fine Print. The organizers also invite attendees to bring their own favorite (published) tales of ghosts and gore to read aloud -- with a flashlight, if you want. Darkness rises at dusk, 6:41 p.m. (and ends at 6:06 a.m. Sunday, aka dawn), at Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia (at 19th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 824-8203 or visit www.borderlands-books.com.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
In the locally produced comic book Ogner Stump's One Thousand Sorrows, there's a tale of a hungry man and his stumpy alien sidekick. Flat-busted and in need of a meal, the duo brainstorm ways to make a quick buck. The E.T. suggests forming a rock band so horrible that people will throw produce at it, maybe apples or squash the pair can then eat. But the band turns out to be pretty good, and the hungry man and his stumpy alien sidekick go home with nothing but applause to show for their efforts. It's quite poignant. The author of this yarn is Andrew Goldfarb, who is in a band: He is the Slow Poisoner, a "one-man surrealistic rock and roll band." We suggest you bring food; what you do with it is up to you. Miss Fairchild, the Cubby Creatures, and Space Vacuum open at 8 p.m. at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $6; call 647-2888 or visit www.makeoutroom.com.
Monday, October 31, 2005
"I swear by my beard -- I'm a killer," howl the Pine Box Boys. That line may not scare you, Mr. Ironic Facial Hair, but if you got a gander at this all-murder-ballad band, you'd notice right away how serious the four musicians' beards are. Ditto the cowboy hats, the long hair, and the banjo- and guitar-picking: They're all mean as hell. The lead singer sounds like Garth Brooks on a psychotic tear; the stand-up bass thunders like its evil heart's been broken; and even the washboard percussion feels menacing. Johnny Cash, "Delia" or no "Delia," looks like a sweetheart next to these sons of bitches. Catch the show -- unless you're chicken -- at 9 p.m. at Amnesia, 853 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 970-0012 or visit www.amnesiathebar.com.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Disorienting the viewer seems to be the MO of photographer Sean McFarland. On one hand, his dreamy, haze-filled images look like models of San Francisco cityscapes, photographed in such a way as to make them appear life-size and real; on the other hand, they may simply be tweaked photographs in which McFarland has reduced buildings and cars to flat, toylike structures through the wonders of technology. How he accomplishes this mysterious effect is beyond us -- and ample proof that he deserves his 2005 James D. Phelan Art Award in Photography. The other winners are Arne Svenson and Amir Zaki; the reception for all three starts tonight at 5 (and an exhibit of their work continues through Nov. 26) at SF Camerawork, 1246 Folsom (at Eighth Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-1001 or visit www.sfcamerawork.org.
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