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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Night + Day: Calendar Picks for 5/1

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2008 at 4:00 AM



Stop Waiting For Lefty, 7:30pm - $12

First Unitarian Universalist Church - 1187 Franklin at Geary

The literary who's-who at "Strike! Igniting the Fuse of Possibility," includes accomplished and lauded poets like Jack Hirschman, Diane di Prima, and Michael McClure, as well as hard-to-label writers like Guillermo Gomez-Peña and Bucky Sinister. Then there's your standard amazing local authors such as Charlie Anders and Justin Chin, and finally, 23 other loudmouths. The occasion is May Day, the traditional International Workers Day, and the attitude is practical: How can regular people fight injustice? Thirty intellectuals give you three minutes each of their ideas about resistance to a phrase we've never heard before --"disaster capitalism." In light of the private armies and defense contractors freaking us out recently, though, the term makes perfect sense. --Hiya Swanhuyser


Ramsey's Roots, 8pm - $8

Rickshaw Stop - 155 Fell at Van Ness

If it weren't for the Americana tag, North Carolina's Tyler Ramsey would be almost any record label's marketing nightmare. Heck, even the flexible, wide-ranging "Americana" doesn't do him justice. Ramsey draws from both folk and acoustic blues for inspiration, although he's no staid purist -- he combines aspects of John Fahey, Norman Blake, and Mississippi John Hurt as they fit. Vocally, Ramsey sounds like Neil Young in his Buffalo Springfield days. On his latest disc A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea, several instruments are played by Ramsey, but unlike many overdub-oriented solo projects, Dream maintains an organic and intimate, almost back-porch ambiance -- for the most part. A few songs have a regal, more refined texture akin to the proto-Americana of Randy Newman (ever hear Good Old Boys?) and Van Dyke Parks. Ramsey violates one of the tenets of hipness by covering "These Days" by Jackson Browne, who symbolizes the despised West Coast hippie cocaine music of the Me Decade, but damn if it isn't a fine song, and one Ramsey performs with heartrending beauty. Ramsey is a member of Band of Horses, but he also follows a path of his own. Ramsey and Sean Smith open for Drone Hooligan. --Mark Keresman


Sex Health Food for Thought, 8pm - $5

Roxie New College Film Center - 3117 16th St. at Valencia

Given all the pro-abstinence propaganda that's been passing itself off as sex education for decades now, it seems like primitive cave paintings are capable of more insight about the birds and the bees than our own reluctant parental units and public schools. However, film is one medium that's never pussyfooted around carnality, even way back in the golden silent era. "Sex, Film, and Videotape: 100 Years of Sexual Health" offers a meta-dialogue about film clips to examine how our approach to sexuality -- in both its clinical and recreational aspects -- has and hasn't changed. Sex educator Mark Schoen features dozens of reels, ranging from risqué to antiseptic, educational to erotic. Aside from all the classroom videos about the birds and the bees and TV clips that were among the first to seriously entertain teen pregnancy, Schoen also broaches technology's role in breaking the taboo of fleshly pleasures. The one-click atmosphere of the Internet may have revolutionized how we consume mass-produced sex, but it's the kitschy, under-the-radar stuff from days of yore that'll have you giggling like a coy adolescent girl. --Nirmala Nataraj

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