Agents of Chaos: Cacophony at the Castro Theatre
Fight Club and Burning Man come from the same place. Where flash mobs and poetic terrorism come from. Yes, a place inside of you. But The San Francisco Cacophony Society had a lot to do with putting that together for you. This is their book. This is their... unauthorized release party?
Enter Chicken John. Outspoken proponent for and enabler of the City of Art And Innovation, Chicken sent out an email to his large list of followers about a show on Friday, May 31st at the Castro Theatre. If you're not on his list, I suggest you sign up for it now, before reading about how he champions the weird creative underground of Bay Area artists with long, hilarious pleas for you to become the person you've always wanted to be. There aren't many people like Chicken, nor are there many people worthy enough to follow (in what was largely a performance art project he ran against Gavin Newsom for mayor, under the campaign "Nuisance '07", and garnered about 12,000 votes). Naturally, he's involved with The San Francisco Cacophony Society.
Here's an excerpt from his email:
The impetus for this show was that John Law wrote a book on the history of the Cacophony Society and titled it Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society. He asked me to do a book event; his idea was to do a lot of smaller events. So I booked the Castro. He flipped out. You should have seen it, wish I had a camera. You'd think it was the first time he didn't get his way. Anyhow, they're miffed and doing their "official" release at City Lights. It holds 40 people. The book's publisher (the same company that did my Book of the Is) thought my street party was an awesome idea. They were kinda bummed about the fact that there wouldn't be a central giant event to mark the release of the book (at my book release party I sold $27,000 in books), and are ECSTATIC about the Castro show.
Anyway, it's fucking funny. Don't you love this town? Where someone rents the best venue in town to throw a party for your good works and you don't even show up? No good deed goes unpunished, I tell ya... Despite the authors, we are going to have a great show and sell a few hundred books.
I checked in with the book's authors: Kevin Evans, Carrie Galbraith, and John Law, to see if I could get a statement. Here's the gist of it, from Evans:
I think it's fucking hilarious! I question the credibility of the "unauthorized" tag line of the event since the three of us have no objections to it. However, Chicken is a showman, stirs the pot. That is how he does things.Galbraith:
We know about it and are sanctioning the event and our publisher will be there selling our book so really, is it unauthorized? But I agree with Kev, Chicken likes to stir the pot so he is trying to make it seem like he is doing something not to our liking. I say: "go for it Chicken!Law:
Chicken, in a typical display of clear thinking and advanced event planning, booked the Castro date without checking with me (or, evidently my co-authors) as to our availability on the chosen date.
If this whole thing strikes you as hilarious, too, you'll love the show. At 5.5 hours long, it's broken into tiers:
- 7:30 - 9pm: watch episodes of Weird America, hosted by the show's Chuck Cirino
- 9 - 10:30pm: the main event features performances by The Yes Men (see video below), Polly Superstar and the Sparkle Ponies, Lera Boroditsky, Brian Doherty, Jamie DeWolf, The Art of Bleeding, bellydancers, the Fosettes... and, in short, a slew of special surprises.
- 10:30 to midnight: a screening of Circus Redickuless, a 90-minute documentary of Chicken John's 1994 crusade across the US to perform every night without a scripted show (it won Best Documentary in the NYC film festival and all kinds of other awards, and last showed in a theatre seven years ago. The filmmaker, Phil Glau, will be there to present).
This is Chicken John's first time putting on a show at the Castro Theatre. It's going to be epic.
You can get tickets here, where you can also get a copy of the book at half price.
Agents of Chaos starts at 7:30pm on Friday, May 31st at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F. $20-$50; call 621-6120 or visit agentsofchaos.eventbrite.com/.