Night + Day: Calendar Picks for 5/19

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"The Fantastic Solution to Global Warming and Other Conundrums"
Icthus Gallery - 1769 15th St. at Valencia

Pete Ippel is a modern exponent of a long-standing tradition: the bro artist. Think of athlete-philosophers like Jack Kerouac, Richie Tenenbaum, both Jack Johnsons, or Muhammad Ali. (OK, one of those guys is fictional, but he's portrayed by a guy who also fits into this category, Luke Wilson.) Ippel surfs, plays basketball, and his video work explores issues such as hands-free noseblowing and how weird it is to have emotions about water. At "The Fantastic Solution to Global Warming and Other Conundrums," the artist/dude shows near-abstract storytelling paintings and also includes some of his jumping work. Having been a track-and-field enthusiast in his undergraduate years, Ippel found himself a man without a team when he arrived at the San Francisco Art Institute. A good sport, he brought his two worlds together by photographing all those who engage in jumping, an act he calls "essentially human flight." --Hiya Swanhuyser

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Bee-In, 7:30 p.m. $75-$250
Crown Point Press - 20 Hawthorne at Howard

At some point during the last half century, writers, editors, and publishers turned their backs on the time-honored pastime of self-absorbed problem drinking. In its absence, troublingly sober literati began wracking their brains for slightly less sodden ways to serve their fragile, underfunded communities. Ever the innovators, they began a new tradition of disturbingly regressive fundraising events -- cake walks, pony rides, tearful knee scraping. This freakish species, marked by an interest in schoolyard antics and a more inspired alcoholism, now roams free in the culture at large in the form of events like the Small Press Distribution Bee-In, a spelling bee emceed by Josh Kornbluth. Jack Spicer-biographer Kevin Killian, political commentator George Lakoff, cookbook creator Mollie Katzen, last year's winner Charlie Anders, and many others face off in this orgy of language, liquor, and laughter to benefit Small Press Distribution, a nonprofit distributor of independently published books. Last year saw local writer Beth Lisick misspell ukulele, and 2008 promises to deliver scores of similarly humbling moments. Will Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll misspell luau? --Evan James

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Clinic, Shearwater, 8pm, $17
The Independent 628 Divisadero - at Hayes

Clinic’s path back to form after a half-hearted detour with Winchester Cathedral finds the Liverpool art rockers leaning constructively toward late-’60s alchemy even more than they did on 2007’s Visitations. Although the spastic riffs that curl around Do It!’s stompy garage ditties are as prominent as they were on last year’s outing, opener “Memories” is crowded with spidery, one-string flashiness à la Sonics, while the verses are balanced with circus Wurlitzer-and-maracas waltzes. This switch-up trick characterizes “Free Not Free,” which is angry at the onset but floats into tremolo guitars and hand drums behind singer Ade Blackburn’s restrained delivery. Check the initially sparse “Mary and Eddie” for a blitz of unexpected freakouts that includes harp and a foghorn. Visitations packs a harder edge than Do It!, with a Sundazed re-press sitting in the driver’s seat, but Clinic exhibits a wealth of energy again on the latter, albeit more often cloaked in noisy psych-outs than fuzzbox havoc. — Dominic Umile


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