Weekend Guide: Ultra Gypsy, Scott Wells & Dancers, Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow, so much more
Night and Day: Friday, June 22, 2007 (scroll down for Saturday and Sunday picks)
By Nirmala Nataraj
Fans of belly-dance troupe Ultra Gypsy might not get educated about Romany culture, but the troupe's dramatic range will keep purists from nit-picking about the "gypsy" in its name. Ultra Gypsy's shimmy shakers consider themselves nomads of the moment -- creative wanderers who straddle the line between "modern and primitive, urban and tribal, Medusa and machine." Voluptuous undulations are their forte, but this ain't regular belly dance. True to their wanderlusty spirit, theatre, cabaret, live music, and other art forms have made the company's performances mandatory viewing among a diverse swath of people, including circus-a-holics and Burning Man pyromaniacs. At the monthly "gypsy punk dance night," Baxtalo Drom (which translates to "lucky road"), choreographer and director Jill Parker and dancers present a multicultural extravaganza that also includes DJs spinning Bhangra, Latin, and Balkan music. Special guests, dive-bar decadence, an opportunity to shake your own shimmy, and lotsa libations make the exotic vibe that much cooler.
Date/Time: Fourth Friday of every month, 9:00pm
Event URL: http://www.ultragypsy.com
853 Valencia (at 20th St.)
San Francisco, CA 94110
By Michael Leaverton
It's doubtful you've ever watched a spell of modern dance and announced, "Needs more furniture," but someone from Scott Wells & Dancers certainly did. The troupe mixes the high-energy, forward-thinking freakouts of really expressive dance with wit, humor, and the odds and ends you find in a poorly furnished apartment — perhaps they used to practice in one and thought, "Fuck it, we're taking the couch." The troupe leaps about stylistically, from a Saturday-morning, jump-on-the-sofa sense of play to the knock-down tumbles of acrobatic clowns to meditative ballet twirls. It also pays a strong regard to flying, which is what dancers do after they perfect jumping. The troupe picked up the Izzy Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2004 after being nominated in three categories, and this month it celebrates a lifetime in dance with Scott Wells & Dancers 15th Anniversary.
The show features the premiere of Dance for 8 Men as well as a rehashing of the troupe favorite Home Again.
Date/Time: Daily from Thu., June 21 until Sun., July 1, 8:00pm
3153 17th St. (at Shotwell)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Rhythm & Bruise
By Sam Chennault
Modern-day R&B tends to be brilliantly banal. Flawlessly crafted automatons deliver bland vocals in songs that celebrate only their own perfection. Thankfully, Los Angeles soul artists Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow don't suffer from this affliction. Their music takes chances and risks discord. In their genre-less miasma, doo-wop rubs against prickly free jazz, while the groggy funk of late-period Sly Stone is retransmitted as hip-hop parody. Perkins' vocals are off-key and uneven, and oftentimes Muldrow sounds as if she's drifting in between songs, oblivious in her enchantment. Fans of Beyoncé may be confused, but for those with patience and a little imagination there's a bottomless soul that seeps through the music's cracks. Perkins' best tracks intertwine paeans to the green leaf with god-fearing confessions, while Muldrow's full-length debut Olesi: Fragments of an Earth bounces between ephemeral ballads and blurred polemics. The two are scheduled to release a highly anticipated collaborative album, and this is your chance to catch a sneak peek.
Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow perform with Tortoise (also June 23).
Date/Time: Daily from Fri., June 22 until Sat., June 23, 9:00pm
628 Divisadero (at Hayes)
San Francisco, CA 94117
By Hiya Swanhuyser
Like a fey, falsetto Nick Cave or a defunked Prince, the Dead Science's lead singer Sam Mickens is tearful, yet manly. His guitar playing isn't bad either, and posesses its own romantically miserable sound. Nick Tamburro's skeleton drums seem to skitter around a dark cement floor when they're not inflated to arena-rock crashing. Obviously, all they need to complete the scary art-rock sound is a stretchy throb, and Jherek Bischoff's stand-up bass emerges from the gloom armed with a bow to offer just that. The Seattle trio records for Absolutely Kosher Records, and has been compared to labelmates Xiu Xiu, Deerhoof, and Blonde Redhead, but none of those bands have been accused of goth tendencies. TDS may better be called pop than darkwave, but the eyeliner is audible. Tonight, the band's sister project, Implied Violence, wades into the muck of experimental theater; an advance photo shows Mickens in Cabinet of Dr. Caligari drag, slapping another man.
Implied Violence opens.
Date/Time: Fri., June 22, 9:00pm
Night and Day: Saturday, June 23, 2007
Pride, Not Prejudice
By Hiya Swanhuyser
We couldn't fit all the deserving LGBT Pride events into the little previews we usually do, so we decided to squeeze them into one big Pride round-up for your convenience. For full information, visit www.sfpride.org except as noted. Coming at ya Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender style:
"Girlezque" is a femme-y leg show full of classy cabaret gals, and serves as the coincidental answer to the "Boylesque" event we told you about last week. (June 21, 10 p.m., $10-15, Rickshaw Stop.)
The Pride Concert: Here's Where I Stand is an unusually dignified event for Pride. Actually, scratch that. If anything characterizes Pride, it's the cultural pendulum that swings from screaming mayhem to solemn intelligence with the speed of a starlet negating rehab. Audiences will probably enjoy some of both at this show, which features the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, the SF Gay Men's Chorus, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, and more. (June 21 and 22, 8 p.m., First Unitarian Universalist Church, $12-40.)
You know that joke about how many words the Eskimos have for snow? The point is that when something is everywhere, we make up lots of words for it. So look for bayot, sadhin, hijra, bantut, mahu, bakla, travesti, kathoey, and two spirits at the Trans March (June 22, 3 p.m., Dolores Park.)
Chuck Panozzo is the bass player and one of the founding members of the rock band Styx. File his coming-out story under "You never never never know who's next," and catch him reading from his book, The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life With Styx. (June 22, 7 p.m., Booksmith.)
The big Pink Triangle on a local mountaintop doesn't get there by itself, nor is it a fashion statement. Some very dedicated and attractive volunteers put it up there every year to remind us where the damn thing came from. (June 23 and 24, 7 a.m., top of Twin Peaks.)
Don't be (very) afraid. The Men's Spanking Party is designed for beginners! But we neophytes wonder how much there is to know. Open hand. Slap ass. If you like it, repeat. (June 23, $10-20, 1 p.m., Power Exchange.)
The grand tradition of the Dyke March started 14 years ago, when there was a critical mass of rowdy chicks in town for the big parade the next day. After trying unsuccessfully to get everyone into the Lexington Club at the same time, they went on a rampage. Everyone applauded their bare boobs and tattoos, so they did it again, happily ever after. No, just kidding. We made that up, but it's not too far from the truth. This year the march has the theme of "Healthcare for All." (June 23, 3 p.m., Dolores Park.)
One of the Individual Community Grand Marshals of the 2007 San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade is John Newsome, founder of And Castro for All. Remember that? A Castro area bar owner was totally caught forcing black people to show two forms of ID and other messed-up harassments. The notoriety surrounding the case -- there were protests -- got people talking about blatant discrimination, and even though it resulted in a tiny little bit of litigation, Badlands was not closed down and AC4A is happy with the outcome. Thanks, John Newsome! Let's repeat his organization's main point, in the form of one of the signs at an IsBadlandsBad boycott: "How would you feel if they wouldn't let YOU in?" Newsome obviously doesn't have to worry about that, since he's "in," or should we say "on," the big float, plus he gets to hang out with the hotties from Noah's Arc, who are some of the Celebrity Grand Marshals. Lucky! He's no slouch in the good looks department himself. And remember, lest you displease the goddesses: "Whenever I encounter racism within the gay community, I am immediately embarrassed." -- Margaret Cho. (June 24, 10:30 a.m., Market & Beale.)
At Gay Pride ´07; Benefiting The Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial, take in the poolside existence of hostess Juanita MORE! and the scantily clad MOREboys while enjoying performances by hotshit DJs and "the $65,000 Silicone Wonder, Miss Gina LaDivina," among others. What parade? (June 24, 3 p.m., Bambuddha Lounge, www.juanitamore.com, $20-25.)
Wait -- what? Gay Shame and LAGAI dicuss the possibility that "gay consumerism is antithetical to social justice." Can these theatrical radicals mean that "pink money" can’t buy happiness? OMG! Fight the good fight, or at least talk about it, with these anti-racist, anti-authoritarian feminists. (June 27, 7 p.m., Modern Times, www.mtbs.com.)
Date/Time: Daily from Thu., June 21 until Wed., June 27
Multiple San Francisco locations
multiple addresses within San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
By John Garmon
Though he hasn't dropped a solo disc since 2005, Eligh has been busy. The prolific MC contributed beats and famously unconventional rhymes to his group Living Legends' new album, and he's currently working on a follow-up to the Grouch and Eligh record No More Greener Grasses. He's also about to hit the road on the Paid Dues tour, where he'll appear alongside a left-of-mainstream cast of hip hop's finest, and he has spent loads of time making beats under his alias Gandalf. Indeed, his minimal keyboard and drum machine touches have shown up on releases by pretty much every project under the LL banner — which, like a western Wu-Tang, there are a lot of. His last solo record, Enigma, was ambient, predominately instrumental, and even featured an electric guitarist jamming through most tracks. Latecomers were naturally thrown for a loop. But much of Eligh's appeal lies in being an abstract and unpredictable MC, and the album remains a fan fave. He's treating those fans in Los Angeles and the Bay Area — the twin hubs of LL activity — to a few one-off solo shows this month, presumably because his beatbox is in the repair shop.
Eligh performs with the Bayliens, Orukusaki & Flossafee, Flavethrowers, Urban High Society, and Kristo.
Date/Time: Sat., June 23, 9:00pm
647 Valencia (at 18th St.)
San Francisco, CA 94110
By Michael Leaverton
Given the general awesomeness of miniature golf courses, it comes as no surprise that an art group finally got around to making one. But Wowhaus, the husband-and-wife team of Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas, didn't construct theirs without an eye toward the kids — and anybody who prefers a surreal nine holes to the real thing. As the latest in the series of Patricia Green's temporary public art projects, the Hayes Valley Historic Miniature Golf Extravaganza is playable, albeit with Wiffle balls and handmade wooden putters. Traveling the course is like spinning through history, with holes featuring historic chapters in the life of the valley. Play through recreations of the original sand dunes, Hayes Pavilion, the craptastic Central Freeway, a giant tooth representing director Eric von Stroheim's 1924 masterpiece Greed, and the San Francisco Zen Center, which appropriately has "no hole — no goal."
Tee times start today at 1 p.m. (and on alternating Saturdays through September 15).
Date/Time: Daily from Sat., June 23 until Sat., September 15
Event URL: http://www.thewowhaus.com
Night and Day: Sunday, June 24, 2007
By Michael Fox
We're pretty well convinced that television is the devil's playground and programming execs are Satan's little helpers. But it's still horrifyingly fun to rediscover the venality that is wired into the boob tube's DNA. In the revealing documentary American Cannibal, we watch the New York writing team of Dave Roberts and Gil Ripley trying to score their big break. They're clever, likable guys who want to create a sitcom, but their agent advises them to board the bandwagon and come up with a reality TV concept. From pitch meetings on through the production from hell, filmmakers Perry Grebin and Michael Nigro track the duo's enthusiasm, ambition, soul-selling compromise, and what-have-I-done? despair. (It seemed like such a good idea to go into business with Kevin Blatt, the "promoter" who cashed in on One Night in Paris.) The heart of the doc is Roberts and Ripley's reality show, touted at casting calls as "Ultimate Ultimate Challenge" but secretly a freakizoid idea called "American Cannibal" that involves starving the contestants. Less of a cautionary tale than a fractured fable of our how-low-can-you-go era, American Cannibal is so hellaciously good that you may end up wanting to kill your TV once and for all.
Date/Time: Daily from Fri., June 22 until Thu., June 28
Red Vic Movie House
1727 Haight (at Cole)
San Francisco, CA 94117
By Michael Leaverton
The Giants have faced the Yankees in the World Series seven times, and have lost five times. Given that all of it took place back when the Earth was still cooling (and almost entirely when our team played for New York), can you really call us rivals? Fucking right, at least judging by the Craigslist frenzy for the incredibly rare Yankees-Giants games this weekend. It seems people are desperate to see Barry cork a few off the bastards, but you can skirt the sold-out status by lining up for a couple free innings at the right-field fence.
Date/Time: Sun., June 24, 1:05pm
24 Willie Mays Plaza (at Third & King Sts.)
San Francisco, CA 94107