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Underwater sirens stir local act Kitka to song 

Wednesday, Jan 2 2008

In Slavic folklore, rusalki are mythological female creatures of the sea who, after suffering untimely deaths as humans, become ghosts whose mesmerizing songs lead unsuspecting men to their demise. The San Francisco–based group Kitka traveled to Ukraine to learn about the Rusalka Cycle, a ritual of music and dance originally intended to banish the rusalki when they left the water to swing on tree branches for a week in June. Kitka returned with a production of original music and choreography by Mariana Sadovska and Ellen Sebastian Chang that not only resurrects this dying folkloric tradition but also looks at the human impact on the environment and reflects on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Kitka performs Friday, Jan. 4, through Sunday, Jan. 6, at the JCCSF Kanbar Hall, 3200 California (at Presidio), at 8 p.m. Admission is $15-$28; call 292-1233 or visit for more info. — Ernest Barteldes

Levi's, hot rods, and tattoos will be out in force when Orange County vets Social Distortion take the Fillmore stage for four nights of blistering rockabilly, roots, and blues-inspired punk rock. The band came from the same wellspring that begat the Adolescents, the Germs, and Youth Brigade, and formed the backbone of the SoCal hardcore sound, although Social Distortion has always leaned clearly toward the honky-tonk blues of Johnny Cash and the Rolling Stones. Singer Mike Ness, who formed the group in high school in the late '70s, has had his ups and downs with addiction, jail time, and the death of bandmates, but the band soldiers on, and will release its seventh studio album this year. Social Distortion plays Friday, Jan. 4, through Sunday, Jan. 6, and again on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Fillmore at 9 p.m. Admission is $30; call 346-6000 or visit for more info. — Toph One

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Ernest Barteldes


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