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The House Of Tudor 

Flagrant "Sin," guerilla guitar, super elegance, and poetic Tourettes

Wednesday, Jul 10 2002
Sin is in. Granted, sin has never really gone out, owing chiefly to an expertly crafted, long-term promotion strategy that must have made Edward L. Bernays, the father of spin, scream with envy. But the old transgressions are being donned with, shall we say, fresh aplomb this season. Not only are you invited to giggle voyeuristically at other people's real-life encounters with the Seven Sins every Sunday night at Venue 9, but you are now encouraged to explore those capital vices at a new monthly event, the flagrantly titled "Sin."

Brought to you by the self-same villains who created "Slick," this nightclub will, no doubt, be dominated by lust regardless of the appointed topic. However, since the organizing body of the First Church of the Second Thursday hopes to bring some semblance of order to the licentiousness, this month's theme is envy. The club will open with a confessional, so that each member of the congregation may pre-pent for the following month of malfeasance. Next, during the open house, supplicants may enter the penance "play" space, where they will receive physical punishment while the faithful and deviantly pious bear witness. The privileged laity, or VIPs (Very Indecent People), may also rent decadent theme rooms for their more serious sacraments, while everyone is expected to attend midnight Mass, during which Cardinal Dudley Sin will bring down the roof with fire and rhinestone. Finally, the after-hours social includes "infernal trance and transgressive house" music downstairs for the kids, and demon-fueled rock 'n' roll for the elders upstairs.

The faint of heart or fetish should be warned that "Sin" is the latest target of the formidable Society for the Protection of Healthy Interests and Normal Christian Teachings Everywhere (Really!), i.e., S.P.H.I.N.C.T.E.R., whose roster of enemies includes vegetarians, commies, Liza Minnelli, massage therapists, Jews who aren't for Jesus, Air Supply, recyclers, single moms, and IKEA (a complete list can and should be obtained at Those sinners who are faithfully wayward should be undaunted by the ravings of S.P.H.I.N.C.T.E.R.'s Rev. Dan McNabbitt. As the sainted Ambrose Bierce once did say, "[Sin] is a trifle word worn, whereas the sinner cometh up as a flower every day, fresh, ingenuous, and inviting." "Sin" will be held on the second Thursday of every month starting July 11 at Club NV (525 Howard between First and Second streets) at 9 p.m. Ticket price is $10-15; call 626-4561.

Not to be outdone ecclesiastically, the Church of the Amplifier is performing a sonic cleansing rite and generous act of aural charity for all those impoverished, sound-sick souls out there. The second annual, entirely free Guerilla Music Fest will be held at the euphemistically titled Warm Water Cove Park. This venomous stretch of waterfront acreage is better known as Toxic Beach or the Trolley Car Graveyard, but the dulcet tones of the Shimmer Kids Underpop Association, Slow Poisoners, Granfaloon Bus, the Angelo, and That Hideous Strength shall transform it with music, laughter, and joyful abandon. If you have not heard Slow Poisoners' 45-second ode to Snapple Green Tea, you have missed the sound of angels. Guerilla Music Fest will take place on Saturday, July 13, where 24th Street falls into the bay (east of Third Street and about six blocks north of Islais Creek Channel) at 1 p.m. Admission is free; call 647-8598.

After Los Super Elegantes left San Francisco (sniff), the multilingual group relocated to Mexico City where it landed a major-label deal with BMG. The combo's subsequent album, Devórame, was written as a soundtrack for an imaginary soap opera; it inspired Martiniano Crozet and Milena Muzquiz -- progenitors of all the band's elegant lunacy -- to script a real soap opera pilot, which drew the attention of Pedro Almodóvar and David Lynch. Secure in their wonderfulness, Los Super Elegantes moved to Los Angeles to become the darlings of hipster press and art-house weirdos alike.

So is it all so much industry hype? Anyone who remembers the group from its early days at the Make-Out Room can heartily rebuff the allegation. The music of Los Super Elegantes is truly inscrutable, outlandish, and very funny. From a French hymnal based on Nirvana's "Rape Me" to bizarrely mesmerizing sitcom rock personalities to full-fledged send-ups of Latin machismo to their dreamy ballads of junkiedom, Muzquiz and Crozet's songs bring high-camp exaggeration to everyone's notion of sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, and musicology -- without ever being precious or PC. It doesn't hurt that they both have lovely voices and choose exceptional backing musicians who can play everything from brass to accordion to punk-rock guitar. Of course, you may have to brush up on your Spanish, Italian, French, and line-dancing if you want to be in on all the jokes. Los Super Elegantes perform on Saturday, July 13 at Hemlock Tavern at 10 p.m. and midnight. Ticket price is $6; call 923-0923.

Unlike more traditional poetry slams, "Tourettes Without Regrets" includes competitions for beer, a free-style insult battle, a heckling contest, a dirty haiku death match, sideshow performers, and a porn DJ, all under the watchful eye of Jamie Kennedy, great-grandson of L. Ron Hubbard. Despite his poetic credentials -- poetry slam member of Team Oakland 1999, Team San Jose 2000, Team Oakland 2001, and Team Berkeley 2002 -- Kennedy is a genuine freak magnet, an entertainer whose chosen crowd probably thinks iambic pentameter is a euphemism for Jäger shots. "Tourettes Without Regrets" hosts a show to raise funds for four local teams on their way to the National Slam Poetry Championships on Tuesday, July 16, at Talk of the Town at 8:30 p.m. Ticket price is $6; call (510) 534-8256.

About The Author

Silke Tudor


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