Night + Day: Calendar Picks for 5/7

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For the Record Dancers Debate the Body Politic, 8pm
Project Artaud Theater - 450 Florida at 17th St.

It's not just a rumor propagated by local dance devotees: The Bay Area really is home to the most happening dance community in the country outside of New York City. The scene here isn't nearly as centralized as Manhattan's, though, so artists tend to lack the same naturally occurring opportunities to pat each other on the back and talk art. Rather than whine about the situation (well, they've done that, too), a group of community-minded dance folk launched the Dance Discourse Project last fall. The goal was to host salon-style conversations about local dance on a rotating series of topics, with each installment featuring a panel of local artists. The refrain at the first installment was somewhat predictable: The SF dance community is "too fragmented." While the debate played out over how to create more dialogue among artists, the organizers sat back and smiled, knowing they'd done just that. . .

Six months on, the vision for a more connected community seems nearer reality than ever. The third installment of the Discourse Project, "For the Record: Dancers Debate the Body Politic," is not only the first to be copresented by an alliance of S.F. dance presenters (ODC Theater, Project Artaud Theater, CounterPULSE, and Dancers' Group), it's also the first to coincide with a performance festival on the same topic (with the same name). The lineup of panelists features some of the best known in the area for tackling political themes, including Flyaway Productions' aerial dance diva Jo Kreiter, butoh artist Ledoh, Contraband icon Sara Shelton Mann, and NYC's downtown darling Miguel Gutierrez (originally a Bay Arean himself). Add ODC Theater's fiery, articulate director Rob Bailis and razor-sharp CounterPULSE forewoman Jessica Robinson, and this tête-à-tête, spanning both stage and salon, may be the liveliest conversation about West Coast dance in years. --Bonner Odell

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Paging Ed Wood: Dead Channels Presents the Starslyderz Experience, 8pm, $5
The Hypnodrome 575 10th St. at Bryant

The sci-fi epic Starslyderz spent four years in post-production, according to a Variety article. No, Michael Bay wasn't attached. But around 150 F/X people found on Craigslist were-- that's where the filmmakers found their talent. They also got that talent to work for free, which is not so surprising when set against another startling fact: They shot the whole thing in a week and change. Nine days! Their total budget was 25 grand. What's going on? Backyard filmmaking, on an awesome, ridiculous scale. The 2006 movie is a sci-fi spoof, a hodgepodge of parody, tribute, and camp, with shitty jokes and some good ones (judging from the trailer, which is all we've seen so far). The graphics have a cheesy sweetness, as do the costumes, which are bright and awful and great. The dialogue is, well, here goes: "Right now, booty is my duty!" The film was a labor of love by writer and director Garrin Vincent, previously known for the three-hour Star Wars the Musical, which he created under the banner of the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School drama department. Yes, he was enrolled.

Tonight, Vincent and producer Mike Budde show up with their film at Dead Channels Presents the Starslyderz Experience. --Michael Leaverton

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Subtle, Facing New York, Clue to Kalo, 8pm, $15
Great American Music Hall - 859 O'Farrell at Polk

Subtle has built a steady reputation for crafting progressive style-melds. Under that moniker, masterminds Adam “Doseone” Drucker and Jeffrey “Jel” Logan aim to satisfy their hip-hop jones throughout Subtle’s amalgamation of indie rock, industrial, and electronic sounds. They’ve miraculously pulled off that sonic combo twice already, artfully avoiding a genre-jammed train wreck.

Although it isn’t a bold forward movement, the new Exiting ARM is a logical next step for Subtle. The Oakland six-piece’s third offering maintains an even keel with its prior works, A New White and For Hero: For Fool, which makes sense given this is the final installment of a trilogy of sorts. The indie-rock to hip-hop ratio has been slightly tipped towards indie’s side here, however. The majority of the disc has TV on the Radio’s influence written all over it, with songs like “Day Dangerous” and “The No” exhibiting interesting drum rhythms caked with fat, distorted synths and guitars. Dope rhymes courtesy of Doseone are sparse, but those peppered throughout the album are worth the wait. The rapper busts fun, old-school flows not unlike Whodini or Big Daddy Kane — if they rhymed over some beefed-up Postal Service drum programming. Exiting ARM finds Subtle living up to its name, taking no drastic risks while avoiding a repetitive disappointment. — Oscar Pascual

Dozens more things to do today over here.


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