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Wednesday, May 12, 2004
The newest music sensation that's sweeping the nation must have the record industry wishing like hell for the days of mere online file pirating. The art form known as the "mash-up" delights wild-eyed club kids, but it's totally bootleg. That's not why the crazy dancers love it (although illicit qualities are, as always, welcome in clubland); rather, it's sheer disc jockey artistry that has people so hyped up. A mash-up, for you squares, is two songs mixed together -- the weirder the combo, the better. Usually, it's the vocals from some well-known track (say, a Madonna tune) grafted cunningly onto instrumentation by another, completely different act (like the Sex Pistols). It doesn't sound as if it should work, but it does -- in the right hands. At "Bootie," the monthly mash-up party, DJs Adrian and the Mysterious D force Beyoncé into Alphaville, Michael Jackson into (poor, innocent) Nirvana, and generally fling a lot of disrespect around. Tonight the first 20 attendees get a free "Bootie"-made CD, and the evening includes go-go dancers, guest DJs, and the chance to win DJ Danger Mouse's infamous Grey Album, an LP-length combo of Jay-Z's Black Album and the Beatles' "White Album." Mix it up starting at 9 p.m. at the Cherry Bar & Lounge, 917 Folsom (at Fifth Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 974-1585 or visit . (For an earlier mash-up style, see OK Then, Page 63.)

Thursday, May 13, 2004
In spite of the traditional tattoo-world battle cry "Be art," many inkers still feel the call to make non-skin art. "Yeah, they tend to do something in their free time," says Mike Ritchey, owner of Lo-Fi Customs, where the "Inkslingers' Shootout" exhibit goes up today. The four respected needle-wielders showing their work -- Tex, Ms. Mikki, Karina Figueroa, and Sweet Cicely -- have a couple of things in common. For one, their art (mostly paintings and drawings) tends to have a tattooed influence, thanks to curator Derek Carmean. "We've had other shows that were all tattoo artists, and you couldn't tell. There was a lot of realism, some science-fiction styles. But this one is kind of the opposite -- we want them to take what they normally put on people and put it on the wall," Ritchey says. The other characteristic the exhibitors share is that they're all women. Even Tex. Especially Tex. "We got all the ladies," brags Ritchey, "and it's about time." Come on now, it won't hurt a bit. The opening reception starts at 6 p.m. at Lo-Fi Customs, 1776 Mission (at 14th Street), S.F. "Inkslingers' Shootout" continues through June 20. Admission is free; call 861-0500 or visit

Friday, May 14, 2004
As a repository for hyperactive indie-rock dorkiness, Harold Ray Live in Concert is doing a fine job. Bravely throwing down shticks that have been out of style for decades -- like "everyone in the band wears a suit," "horn section," and "facial expressions" -- these hellions are bent on combining blue-eyed soul and some sort of dirty funk. It's get-up music, it's monkey-grin music, it's a party. Oh, and the name? It's cobbled together: The band formerly known as Live in Concert was invaded by Harold Ray. Tonight, Tom Brosseau, Patrick Wolf, and Dave Gleason's Wasted Days share the stage starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St. (at Bryant), S.F. Admission is $7; call 546-6300 or visit

Saturday, May 15, 2004
"You can't really predict the future," admits Thalassa, one of the organizers of the two-day all-you-can-eat fortunetelling extravaganza DivinationFest. Well then, missy, just what the hell is the point of palm reading, I Ching-throwing, tarot shuffling, bumpy head-feeling, and all the other wacky methods of foreseeing events to come? "Divination is a way to reject the cultural impulses that tell you life is only about buying and consuming, and to know more about your life and what it is you really want and need," she explains smoothly. So color us squelched, and expect DivinationFest to be loaded with crystal-wearers and "om"-chanters looking to get the lowdown on palmistry, aura soma, the tarot, astrology, feng shui, and numerous other prophesying systems through workshops, demos, and vendor booths featuring many of the Bay Area's most prominent soothsayers. Leave your Ouija board at home when the prognosticating kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Centre, 1187 Franklin (at Geary), S.F. Admission is $45-65; call 753-5041 or visit

Sunday, May 16, 2004
Experimental music is sometimes misunderstood, as the Magnetic Fields' "Experimental Music Love" from their album 69 Love Songs shows, but the form continues as a vital force in the Bay Area: Witness the San Francisco Alternative Music Festival. Fred Frith is probably the best-known performer scheduled at this five-night noise fiesta, having been the bass player for John Zorn's Naked City, a composer for the Rova Sax Quartet, and a fascinating improv guitarist with his own foursome. But if you're attending these events looking for star power, you're in the wrong place. Instead, you'll find a hardworking, creative community of weird-music makers. S.F. Alt's closing show is tonight at 8 at the Music Union Hall, 116 Ninth St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $10 per show, or $40 for a festival pass; call 241-0684 or visit for complete schedule and venue info.

Monday, May 17, 2004
Using the words "crap," "turd," "Hershey squirt," and, to a lesser extent, "dookie" is a pretty low way to get laughs, so let's hope the dignified professionals on the Bass Red Triangle Comedy Tour do not stoop to our level. Hosted by Chicago City Limits, which for some reason is a New York City comedy institution, the show features plenty of laughable locals who, we bet, won't rely on potty humor (with the exception of the word "shit," without which no human, let alone a comedian, can communicate). Black & Tan Improv, for example, is two African-American women from the acclaimed Bay Area troupe Oui Be Negroes -- these ladies are probably more concerned with beer- and other alcohol-related humor than, say, dingleberries. Long-form improv guy Sam Shaw is reportedly self-obsessed, so no danger there, while comedy supergroup Pharmarsupial's psychedelic flier tells us its members might not even notice if they pooped their pants. The joke-slinging starts at 8 p.m. at Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus (at Mason), S.F. Admission is free with a two-drink minimum; call 321-1934 or visit

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
In the wake of the phenomenal success of Mel Gibson's brutal Jesus flick, the new film James' Journey to Jerusalem is doubly relevant. Journey, which follows the misadventures of an ardent African Christian who meets up with a scumbag businessman while en route to the Holy Land and winds up holding down a spot in a migrant labor pool, is a very different animal than The Passion of the Christ. While Gibson's epic is a tribute to bloody sacrifice, Journey's relatively gentle pillorying of its central character serves as a metaphor that makes subtle points about the corruption of innocence and the cruelty of survival-of-the-fittest economics. Or, to put it another way, at least you won't be dry-heaving all the way through. See Journey today (and through May 20) at the Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), S.F. Admission is $6.75-9.25; call 267-4893 or visit for show times.

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