Arts + Culture

Party Radar: Sapphic pleasures, Lynchian delights, an indie Hotline …

DJ Sappho plays Underground SF, Fri/30

PARTY RADAR This weekend is stacked like an inflatable drag queen, do they have those yet? I hope not! So let’s just dive into it. But first, let’s pour one out for the Bay Area god of electro and beat mixes, DJ Cameron Paul, who passed away Monday. And then let’s raise one up for Drag Queens Against Guns, making activism, er, pretty again. Drag queens

PS OMG DON’T FORGET ABOUT SISTER’S EASTER ON SUNDAY. MORE DRAG QUEENS!

PARTIES OF NOTE

THU/29 A KATABATIK BENEFIT FOR PEACHES/SAM MAXWELL Sam “Peaches” Maxwell was the last person to make it out of the Ghost Ship fire, and suffered debilitating injuries he’s still recovering from. His journey to recovery has been incredible, and underground Oakland acid/industrial crew Katabatik (who lost their own people in the fire) are throwing this benefit to make sure Peaches has what he needs. I fucking love our community, please come out, or give a little if you can. With special guests Josh Cheon, Justin Anastasi, and many more. (PS I’ll be bartending early at the party, too.) 8pm-2am, $15-50 sliding scale. The Stud, SF. More info here

FRI/30 HOTLINE What happens when nine awesome indie dance parties get together to help save DNA Lounge? Well, let’s just say that last time they had a giant inflatable cat and a snow-making machine. With Popscene DJ Omar, Fringe DJs Blondie K & subOctave, The Queen is Dead DJ Mario Muse, Harder Better Faster Stronger DJs Candy & 2nite, Club Gossip DJ Damon, Indie Cent DJ Haute Toddy, Boy Division DJ Starr, Turbo Drive DJ Netik, and Club Satori DJ Bit. 9pm-2am, $10-$15. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here

FRI/30 SAPPHO AND FRIENDS I can not lie, and I hate to play favorites, but I have to say that Portland’s Sappho is the DJ I most vibe with currently, at least in terms of woweee-zowee psychedelic house, hidden prog-acid gems, and subconsciously burbling ’80s outtakes. It’s all way witchy, subtly poetic, and mind-expanding in terms of WTF selection. Anyway, you will dance. With Jordee and Trevor Sigler. 9pm-2am, $5 after 10pm. Underground SF. More info here.   

FRI/30 TECHNOCLAM: JUANA The Technoclam crew is throwing parties devoted totally to showcasing insanely talented women (the Technoclam site also offers great party guides, mixes, and more), and its fourth party is no exception: DC’s Juana, who got her start “spinning pulsating sweaty drug-fueled disco sessions” and now pounds some lovely techno with the Discwoman crew, makes her debut. With Dhra, Viewfinder, and DpeshMo. 9pm-3am, $5-$10. Public Works, SF. More info here.  

FRI/30 STEREO ARGENTO: DAVID LYNCH Do you like horror? Do you like drag? Do you like entering a dark chamber of gender illusion and coming out screaming with delight (and quite possibly spattered with blood)? Stereo Argento is exactly what you are looking for. This time around, the party takes on David Lynch, justly celebrated for his screwy dream-narratives, but, hey, what about the gore? “From Eraserhead to Blue Velvet to Mulholland Drive, his films have pushed the envelope of narrative filmmaking; bringing their viewers into an uncanny saliva bubble where dreams curdle and nightmares cement.” Go see a bunch of creepy queens bring it all to life onstage. Oh, and dancing with DJs Smac and Topazu. 10pm-3am, $10. the Stud, SF. More info here

FRI/30 DANIEL AVERY The crowd-pleasing DJ’s DJ, who creates insanely lovely, synth-heavy soundscapes that are as descendent from Jean-Michel Jarre as Detroit techno, comes to us from his UK home in advance of new album “Song for Alpha.” This is a Lights Down Low party, so expect non-stop ecstatic dancing (and melty-smiley faces) all night long. With a Direct to Earth takeover in the Red Room. 9pm-3am, $20. Great Northern, SF. More info here

FRI/30 RAVE AGAINST THE MACHINE The Big Ass Amazingly Awesome Homosexual Sheep—better known as BAAAHS—is a giant gay sheep that roams Burning Man, slaying with all-night raves, laser eyes, and mirrorball testicles. It’s also a great crew of DJs and its own soundsystem. BAAAHS takes over the Eagle for a wild dance party, teaming up with the awesome Nark and DAD parties. Don’t be sheepish! 9pm-2am, $5-$10. Eagle SF. More info here

SAT/31 TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY: VISIBILITY INTO ACTION “Join us for a magical evening of celebrating community, moving beyond visibility and putting our words into action. Across the country and internationally there has been an increased visibility of our Transgender and GNC communities. Moving beyond visibility and putting our words into action. The evening will include fabulous entertainment, awards, music, food and drinks. Everyone is welcome! Evening attire recommended but not expected.” 5:30pm-8pm, free. SOMArts, SF. More info here

SAT/31 NICKODEMUS Love him so much! The soulful, global beats master who powers the legendary Turntables on the Hudson parties in NYC is back (with “analog visual wizardry” by Zack Rodell, even.) He’ll be joined by the Groovewell DJs for a night that will wear out some shoes. 9:30pm-3:30am, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here. 

SAT/31 KLANGKEUNSTLER Very friendly, danceable deep-tech beats from this young southern German, coming to us by way of Munich. Lovely to have him on the Halcyon sound system. With Jonboy and Adeli. 10pm-4am, $10. Halcyon, SF. More info here

SAT/31 J.PHLIP Tough, bouncy neats from this Bay Area fave, who was a big part of the Dirty Bird crew but now seems to be striking out on her own path. Some of her mixes from the mid-2010s are classics for me. With Bournemouth’s Flava D. 9:30pm-2am, $10. Audio, SF. More info here

SAT/31 DADDY ISSUES The scruffy gayboy UK party was a smash hit when it landed at the Stud a few months ago — this time, it flies out statuesque host Ollywood to complement hometown DJs Kelly Naughton, Taco Tuesday, and Collin Bass. 10pm-4am, $10. the Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/31 SNEAKS Why not follow up your big gay daddy issues with a big gay sportswear fetish? Girl we have all been there. This massive party hits the A.D.I.D.A.S. spot with great DJs Carlos Souffont and Siobhan Aluvalot. Must wear sneakers and sportswear—no jeans or slacks. NO SLACKS. NONE. 10pm-4am, $25. Club Six, SF. More info here.  

SUN/1 AFTERNOON DELIGHT: EASTER FOOLS The cutest Sunday house-disco-techno dance party in Oakland hosts a costume contest, egg hunt, and DJ Sappho! Dance in the sunshine out on the patio and hop like a liquored-up bunny to great tunes. 3pm-8pm, $10. New Parish, Oakland. More info here

Drag Queens Against Guns

Pictured from left to right: Khmera Rouge, Estee Longah, Kristi Yummykochi, Buka Kay, June Glüm (Bottom) Faluda Islam, Raya Light

On June 12th, 2016, a mass shooting left 49 dead and 53 wounded at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Latin night. As someone who helps organize one of the handful of Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ spaces in San Francisco, it broke my heart. I found myself wondering what would happen if this had occurred here in San Francisco, in our space? How do you respond when a space that is supposed to be safe is flooded with gun violence? How do you fight back, and more importantly, how can we come together to do that.

In response to the Parkland shooting, I wanted to show our community united against gun violence, so I brought together drag queens from all over the Bay Area to speak to issues of gun violence that are important to them. Why drag queens? Drag is inherently performative. It’s a visceral medium of storytelling that forces you to question your conventionality. In times of political unrest, drag is powerful and gives the LGBT community a unique tool to subvert marginalization. As such, drag queens become the perfect way to change the narrative on gun violence, and show it as an issue with deep ties to the LGBT community. 

Photos by Vince Flores and Christine Vo.

Pictured from left to right: Khmera Rouge, Estee Longah, Kristi Yummykochi, Buka Kay, June Glüm (Bottom) Faluda Islam, Raya Light

As a community, it’s time for us to move past living in this supposed post-marriage equality daze, and accept that gun violence is an issue for the LGBTQ community to fight. According to 2016 FBI statistics, race, religion, and LGBTQ identities make up the top 3 categorical targets for hate crimes, with our community accounting for roughly 20% of total REPORTED hate crimes. The term reported here is important to note since many crimes go unreported, and transgender individuals are often misgendered. Marginalized communities disproportionately bear the burden of gun violence, and this is especially true for LGBTQ people of color.

When talking about gun violence, it’s also important to understand that more Americans kill themselves with a firearm than are murdered with one at a 2:1 ratio, and that stricter gun control laws have shown to strongly correlate with lower suicide rates. Suicide involving firearms is fatal 90% of the time. Alternate methods are less deadly, and give time for that individual to be reached out to, to receive help

After Parkland, and now Maryland, policy makers are already offering their thoughts and prayers. Let’s organize our community and push them to do more.

Faluda Islam

Faluda Islam is a drag queen rebel leader bent on liberating the Muslim world from the shackles of Western Imperialism. Infusing San Francisco ideals with a queer Muslim identity, she wants to show the world that Muslims are a nonviolent people. Even though they carry the stereotype of being terrorists, they are not actually responsible for a majority of the gun violence, or event acts of terrorism in America. Historically, more Americans are killed by right-wing extremists born right here. School shooters have a demonstrated profile, so why do we immediately think of Muslim terrorists? Faulda comes in peace. Muslims come in peace. They can come to escape violence or to find new homes. They can be queer, and they can also advocate against gun violence.

Raya Light

 

Our media landscape is fragmented. We have a greater number of media outlets, and those outlets are increasingly reaching specific, segmented audiences. We can get trapped in our own bubbles of influence, and it can be hard to separate fake news from real. What can you believe when there is a non-stop, escalating garbage dump of rhetoric? We can often feel disillusioned, defeated, and silenced, but we can break free from the chaos and find our voice. Listen to the victims of mass shootings. Listen to the Parkland kids. Listen to the survivors of Pulse. If we are going to fight gun violence, we must be engaged in the struggle for what is right. Surveys show that LGBT groups overwhelmingly support gun control measures, it’s just time for us to be a little bit louder about it.

June Glüm

We’re sick and tired of Thoughts and Prayers™. Our elected officials offer nothing but pithy platitudes after each mass shooting, and we’re done with it. Our nation is at a tipping point in the gun control movement, and this mass shooting feels different. The Parkland survivors are inspiring–particularly Emma Gonzalez and Delaney Tarr, two of the strong young women leading the charge–unequivocally rejecting and renouncing offers of thoughts and prayers and demanding action. Our nation has burned through all our thoughts and prayers over the years, and if our legislators won’t take action, WE are the ones who get burned by the continued inaction. Time’s Up for #thoughtsandprayers

Kristi Yummykochi

On February 27th, 2018, the Florida House Appropriations Committee passed a bill that included $67 million for a program to train teachers to carry guns. There is no good research showing that arming teachers, or even putting more armed police in schools is effective. In fact, the good guy with a gun narrative has shown to overwhelmingly incorrect. More guns means more death. Trump has said that “gun-free” zones are invitations for attackers, but then why aren’t guns allowed in congress? The teachers from Parkland and countless other school shootings have told is that they don’t want guns, they want gun control and funding for school supplies instead. It’s time to listen to them.

Panda Dulce

Gun control is a numbers game. It’s no secret that sponsorship of major politicians and mass marketing efforts is what gives the NRA its formidable political clout. In 2016, the group donated more than $30 million to get Trump elected — the highest amount ever spent on a presidential candidate. However, this statistic is indicative of a bigger problem: Over the past 15 years, spending on gun rights lobbying exponentially exceeded that of gun control by nearly tenfold. Not only are we lacking in voting numbers, but we also lack the monetary numbers necessary to bring safety to us all.

We need to unify a voting bloc and target donating entities. We need to fight numbers with numbers. We need to put our money where our mouth is.

You’re invited to the 48 Hills Fifth Anniversary May Day Gala!

Join Tim Redmond, Marke B, and all of us at 48 Hills to celebrate independent media and the revolutionary spirit of San Francisco. Get your tickets here for the 48 Hills Fifth Anniversary May Day Gala!

JUST ANNOUNCED: Rose Aguilar of KALW’s “Your Call” show and Tom Ammiano will be joining us! 

For five years, 48 Hills has been the essential, daily online voice for local news, arts, and culture in the Bay Area. We’ll also be celebrating the groundswell of resistance and peoples’ unity against corporate oppression that we’ve been documenting over the past half-decade.

Mingle with local cultural, arts, political, and labor leaders in the main gallery of the wonderful Mission Cultural Center! Enjoy food from Casa Sanchez restaurant, tasty libations, art by local Latinx artists, music by DJ Marke B., and very special guest speakers!

Best of all, you’ll be supporting important, corporate-free, locally produced journalism—the kind our democracy thrives on. Bring your friends!

Join us Tuesday, May 1, 6pm-8pm for an evening to remember! Get your tickets now.

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND, PLEASE DONATE! 48 Hills is completely community-supported and our Gala helps us raise funds for another year of in-depth reporting and lively arts coverage. Thank you for your support! 

48 Hills is a publication of the San Francisco Progressive Media Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 

Party Radar: The way, way, Wayback Machine

Escort plays Rickshaw Stop, Fri/23

PARTY RADAR I’ve got a horn and I’m gonna toot it! I’ve loved covering SF nightlife, starting way back as an imaginary, omnipresent, somewhat baffling drag queen gossip columnist named Kika YoAss in the mid-1990s, for a little startup called Citysearch. (Twenty years later, Kika came to life, thanks to the magic of Juanita More and Glamamore at their monthly drag makeover party Powerblouse. Never forget!)

Somewhere in the 2000s, I moved to the Bay Guardian with a wee little column called Super Ego, which was weekly when I wasn’t too hungover. Lovey, I can’t even understand half the stuff I wrote back then—but I’m excited to announce that we’ve finally restored a huge portion of the Bay Guardian online archives, including my nightlife musings from 2005-2014.

So if you’re a music scholar looking to see what DJs came through SF back in the heyday of French Touch, minimal house, and hardcore electro (the Bush years were very dark)—or just curious about why I would dedicate an entire column to a product called Ejaculoid, then dive right in: here’s a pair of goggles, and good luck with all those MySpace references.

You’ll also find interviews with Dolly Parton, Joan Rivers (I called her from a port-A-Potty at Folsom Street Fair), Sandra Bernhard, and Madame (yes, the puppet), plus others like Mary Anne Hobbs, Mr. Scruff, Greg Wilson, Amon TobinThe Martinez BrothersBuraka Som Sistema, Pete Tong, Guy Gerber, A Tribe Called Red, Le1f, and even, gasp, Tiësto and Kaskade (both charmingly and surprisingly humble). And of course a billion, zillion locals I adore.

And that’s not even mentioning Na Nach Techno and EpiscoDisco! So if you like my stuff, you just might like more of my stuff. Grazie mille for reading, always. Anyways! 

PARTIES OF NOTE

DJ Tanya Leigh (with Little Foot)

THU/22 TANYA LEIGH Minneapolis rave scene represent! This ace DJ has been on it since 1998 (she was part of the longtime duo Complicit) and is coming in to the Konstruct party to drop some dope, deep Midwest bombs. 10pm-2am, $5. Underground, SF. More info here

THU/22 CLUB BEAUTIFUL: SCIENCE FAIR “HYPOTHESIS: If seven drag performers and one DJ come together at the Elbo Room to perform science experiments on stage, then nothing really ever happened at all.” Finally, the Schroedinger’s Cat of Gender Illusion. 9pm-2am, $10. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.   

THU/22 PHYSICAL THERAPY The head honcho of the Allergy Season “is known for a constantly shifting and abstracted take on club music, from bongo-infused techno to breakbeat science.” Joined by Miagma, Dionysian Mysteries, and Birch Koolman for the new Boomtown party. 10pm-2am, $5. The Stud, SF. More info here

FRI/23 ESCORT The multi-member disco orchestra combined retro glitz with new attitude and stormed the cub scene of the late 00s with big city aplomb and “Cocaine Blues.” Now Escort’s back and ready to roll you round like roller skates. 9pm-1am, $15-$17. Rickshaw Stop, SF. More info here

FRI/23 GREG WILSON An absolute legend who gets me right in the feels every time. The first DJ to mix live on British TV in the 1970s, who later came roaring back with an incredible slew of disco edits (and his patented reel-to-reel effects machine). Essential. 9:30pm-3am, $10-$20. Great Northern, SF. More info here

FRI/23 JUS-ED + DJ QU Classic New Jersey deep house feeling brought by two classic new Jersey personalities who will get freaky on the decks. Last time I saw these guys—yep, Jus-Ed got on the mic, too—I was taken by the spirit somewhere far away I’d never been before. 10pm-4am, $10. F8, SF. More info here.  

FRI/23 MIKE GUSHANSKY Awesome LA techno DJ (and local favorite—he’s part of the As You Like It crew) plays one of the neatest little parties around, Outpost. 10pm-2am, $5. Underground, SF. More info here.  

DJ Eric Bloom of Harder

SAT/24 HARDER SF You don’t always go into a gay party expecting some great music, but when I visited promoter Ricardo Tavares’ party in NYC last fall, I knew I wanted to see it come here. DJ Eric Bloom keeps it steamy deep but super-interesting (touches of robotic Italo Disco and Brazilian funk, sparkling keyboard digressions), with tempos set to sizzle, and the cute boys know what to do. 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

SAT/24 STACY PULLEN Deep and tribal techno tracks for days and a pounding yet still very danceable tempo from this beloved second-wave techno legend. 9:30pm-2am, $10. Audio, SF. More info here

SAT/24 LOVE HANGOVER WITH MIGUELITOOOO I was heartbroken when this cutie moved to Mexico City, but am so glad he’s coming back to spin at this lovely afternoon disco affair at the bear bear (with free BBQ, natch). 3pm-8pm, $5. Lone Star Saloon, SF. More info here

SAT/24 SQUIRRELS ON FILM This great local label and act is at the very forefront of infusing techno and IDM with heady psychedelia. They will trip you out in a witchy way, but not in a corny way. With Lokier, Solar, C.L.A.W.S., Mozhgan, and Its Own Infinite Flower, plus visuals by Michele Armstrong. 10pm-2am, $10-$15. F8, SF. More info here.  

SAT/24 MARK FARINA + HOMERO ESPINOSA Two house heroes celebrate their birthday with a huge hurrah at Halcyon. With The SyntheTigers and Ivan Ruiz. 10pm-4am, $10-$20. Halcyon, SF. More info here

SUN/25 SSION Opening for the great Beth Ditto on her tour, Ssion is one of the most intriguing performers (and video artists — who else would stuff one of our gay porn hometown heroes, Adam Ramzi, into their latest video, not to mention Ariel Pink in drag). Do not miss a gender-bending, highly affecting, danceable spectacle. 7pm, $25-$30. Regency Ballroom, SF. More info here.   

SUN/25 BOOB TUBE: STEVEN UNIVERSE OMG this is a drag/cosplay party celebrating the most adorable Cartoon Network show, with performances, contests, dancing, and more. Last Boob Tube sent up Sailor Moon, and it was glorious. 10pm-2am, $5-$10. The Stud, SF. More info here

SUN/25 SUNSET SEASON OPENER AFTERPARTY It’s that time — the great Sunset Sound System Season Opener party/picnic that takes over Stafford Lake Park in Novato, 11am-7pm, lets us know that spring is here at last. Also essential is the afterparty at Monarch, always full of extra special surprises. 8pm-2am, $10. Monarch, SF. More info here

Screen Grabs: Ramen Heads, Tiny Dance, Que Viva Mexico!

Mmmmm... Ramen Heads

SCREEN GRABS Cinephiles might want to spend their entire weekend at the Roxie, which is offering the awesome revival series “Dark Side of the Dream” as a collaborative effort between former Roxie programmer Elliot Lavine’s I Wake Up Dreaming and current one Don Malcolm’s Midcentury Productions. But not everybody likes that sort of thing (PS what’s wrong with you?!), so here are some other delectable choices in what’s quite a rich week for movie lovers. Which judgment includes the arrival of Isle of Dogs, a new animated film by nearly the only American director (Wes Anderson) we allow to be a weirdo on a major-studio budget, and whose last venture into this particular form (The Fantastic Mr. Fox) was absolute gold. 

PAPER MOON & BARRY LYNDON 
Were the 1970s great for movies? Damn straight, as exemplified by this one-night Castro double bill of two incredible films that were popular successes at the time, though they’re both far too idiosyncratic to attract a wide audience now. Peter Bogdanovich’s 1973 Paper Moon was an outright hit, despite being a B&W Great Depression seriocomedy about a dubious alliance between a con man (Ryan O’Neal) and the child he “adopts” primarily as a business partner (Tatum O’Neal). It would prove Bogdanovich’s (The Last Picture Show, What’s Up Doc?) last hit for over a decade, until Mask (1985). 

There was a more mixed response to Stanley Kubrick’s much more costly 1975 Barry Lyndon, with Ryan O’Neal as the titular early 19th century rogue who charms his way from humble beginnings to marital wealth. Nonetheless, it was a relative box-office success—an near-unthinkable result now for a three-hour period epic of glacial pace and emotional remoteness. One of Kubrick’s more divisive efforts, it remains a thing of extraordinary, hypnotic beauty to some, a flaccid indulgence to others. No one has ever doubted the extraordinary effects achieved by director of photography John Alcott. Even those who found the Thackeray-based saga a stilted bore had to admit it was a ravishing one. Sun/25, Castro. More info here

FILMS BY SALLY CRUIKSHANK
I guess there’s still some hippie weirdness left in Berkeley: Where else would a public institution program a retrospective of films by the marvelous Cruikshank as a kiddie matinee? Not that the wee ones won’t enjoy it… but you may have to explain the concept of “head film” afterward. Her antic, insanely colorful, humorously surreal sensibility proved adaptable to such mainstream outlets as Sesame Street and several big feature assignments, contributing animation elements to films like Twilight Zone: The Movie and Top Secret! But she will always be the idol of High Times readers for her very trippy ‘toons starring quarrelsome critter couple Quasi and Anita: Quasi at the Quackadero (which is in the National Film Registry!) and Make Me Psychic. Fear not for your children’s herbal wellness: Even a pot-o-phobe like me can’t get enough Cruikshank. Sat/24, PFA. More info here

QUE VIVA MEXICO!
If you stick around at the PFA after the hour of Cruikshank madness, you can tally a double bill arguably even higher-contrast than Paper Moon and Barry Lyndon. Que Viva Mexico! was genius Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s attempt to make a six-part, semi-documentary epic about Mexican history and peasant struggle. But the funding ran out, among other problems, leaving him with fifty hours of footage that were only exhibited in fragmentary form during his lifetime. 

Decades later, surviving collaborator Grigori Alexandrov edited that raw footage into a feature based as closely on Eisenstein’s intended structure as possible. The result naturally isn’t entirely complete, or cohesive. But it’s full of stark, stunning B&W images like nothing anybody else was creating in 1931. They suggest what a phenomenal career the Soviet maker might’ve had abroad if politics and commerce hadn’t conspired to hobble his genius—and place him at the fickle mercy of Stalin’s cultural watchdogs. This “Film to Table” screening is followed by a “four-course, prix-fixe meal in a convivial, dinner-party atmosphere” at the PFA’s cafe Babette. There’s a reprise screening (without attached dinner) on April 4. Sat/24, PFA. More info here

RAMEN HEADS
If like me you more or less abandoned Italian pasta for various Asian noodles some time ago—were udon always hiding in the supermarket? How could they have eluded notice for so long?!?—you will probably drool at the very thought of this new documentary. It lets Japan’s “Ramen King” Osamu Tomita take us on a “tasting tour” of the slurpable starch’s master chefs, while also filling us in on its history and fanatical fans. In a word (well, sort of a word): Mmmmmm. Opens Fri/23, Opera Plaza and Shattack Cinemas. More info here.

‘This Black’ screens at the Tiny Dance Film Festival.

TINY DANCE FILM FESTIVAL
The fourth annum of this dance-oriented mini-festival reminds me of a great line by rock critic Robert Christgau, reviewing the album in which Elton John’s hit “Tiny Dancer” first appeared: “Just how small is she?” But there will be no Elton (as far as we know) in this showcase for “the complicated relationship between body and lens—and the choreographers who traverse both forms.” The three distinct programs, all comprised of shorts under ten minutes’ length, encompass work by not just American talents but ones from as far afield as Norway, Slovenia, Singapore and Italy. Sat/24-Sun/25, Roxie. More info here

FLOWER 
One of the most flummoxing critical and audience failures of recent years to my mind was Max Winkler’s directorial debut Ceremony (2011), a wickedly astute sort of latterday screwball comedy in which a neurotic loser (Michael Angarano) pulls every dirty trick in the book to win back the woman (Uma Thurman) he’s obsessed with. So there’s hope for this new black comedy in which an already edgy teen leaps off the cliff of irresponsible behavior once her mom’s boyfriend’s crazy son renders home life untenable. It’s co-written by Matt Spicer, whose own directorial debut Ingrid Goes West was one of last year’s more adventuresome American movies. Opens Fri/23, Embarcadero and Shattuck Cinemas. More info here

THE KING OF KINGS
For decades a staple in church basements and revival tents, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 Biblical epic is rarely seen today. San Francisco Silent Festival very special screening of this newly restored Biblical epic, partly shot in two-tone Technicolor, features David Briggs playing live accompaniment on Grace Cathedral’s 7,466-pipe (!) organ. This reverent depiction of New Testament events, with H.B. Warner as Jesus, is no Passion of the Christ—you won’t risk vomiting from all the torture. Sat/24, 7 pm, Grace Cathedral. More info here

American myth-busting in Roxie’s ‘Dark Side of the Dream’

Humphrey Bogart in 'Black Legion'—a film sued by the KKK.

It’s always good news when there’s a revival series at the Roxie, and this week’s four-day “Dark Side of the Dream” is all gold: A mix of classics and rarities that expands outward from the noir and pre-Code showcases that co-producers Elliot Lavine and Don Malcolm have previously brought to the venue. The theme this time is vintage films that offer some critique of the “American Dream”—one myth that just about everybody seems to believe in, yet which has always been out of reach for many. The films range from 1930s Warner Brothers crime dramas to high noir and ’60s exploitation. 

The resonance of these films in our own very peculiar political era is particularly clear in Elia Kazan’s 1957 A Face in the Crowd, a movie that has really regained some traction of late. And no wonder, since TV’s lovable bumpkin Andy Griffith plays a sociopathic slimebag who purveys a pandering populist image into a dangerous sort of quasi-political celebrity. How audiences were able to accept eight innocuous seasons of The Andy Griffith Show after his skin-crawling performance here is something of a mystery. 

Such trenchant social observation was fairly rare onscreen in the 1950s. But a couple decades earlier, Warner Brothers routinely cranked out socially conscious dramas—three of the best (if not best-known) included here. The revelation among them may be William Wellman’s 1933 Heroes for Sale, which is in the running as the most ambitious 71-minute narrative ever. It sprawls 15 years from WW1 foxholes to flophouses to prison to Depression shanty towns, following the hard knocks given a WW1 veteran (Richard Barthemless) whose heroic battlefield deeds get mistakenly attributed to a cowardly comrade. Almost a compendium of the era’s pressing social issues, it’s a compact wonder. 

Hardly lacking ambition either is Archie Mayo’s 1937 Black Legion, in which Humphrey Bogart plays a not-particularly-bright factory worker whose jealousy of a more industrious colleague’s promotion makes him easy prey for a racist vigilante organization. (Trivia note: The KKK actually sued WB for patent infringement in use of one of their symbols. They lost.) It’s a strong portrait of how disgruntled “nice guys” can become little fascists. The same year the studio also featured Bogart in a rare female-driven “gangster film,” Lloyd Bacon’s very tough Marked Woman—one of Bette Davis’ first great roles, as a “nightclub hostess” who turns state’s witness against her mob boss. It’s among the most brutal and shocking movies Hollywood managed to get made shortly after the introduction of the censorious Production Code.

Probably the rarest film in the series is M, a 1951 American remake of Fritz Lang’s famous 1930 German film, which introduced the world to Peter Lorre. This time it’s David Wayne playing the pathetic child murderer—though as with the original, the focus is more on the city population itself, as fear and anger turn even the criminal underworld into police allies as the manhunt goes on. Though not as innovative as Lang’s original, this version is striking on its own terms nonetheless, particularly for the vivid use of downtown Los Angeles locations—this is not at all a studio-soundstage enterprise. The director Joseph Losey is also represented here by The Lawless from the prior year, a prescient movie about a newspaper editor’s exposing miserable conditions thrust upon Mexican immigrant agricultural workers in a central California town. 

Losey was just at the start of a promising directorial career, one shortly derailed by Senator Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt for supposed Communist sympathizers in the film industry. (He ultimately re-settled in England, thoroughly re-inventing himself as the maker of elegant, arty films like The Servant and The Go-Between—to the point where eventually few realized that he was from Wisconsin, not Hyde Park.) Several other films in the series feature blacklisted talents, including the poetical boxing melodrama Body and Soul (1947), whose star John Garfield, director Robert Rossen and writer Abraham Polonsky were all seriously impacted by the “Red Scare.” Ditto Cy Endfield, who had to work under pseudonyms for a while after 1950’s Try and Get Me! aka The Sound of Fury. It’s a modest but harrowing variation on Strangers on a Train terrain, as a chance meeting between a hapless good guy (Frank Lovejoy) and a swaggering very bad guy (Lloyd Bridges) solders their fates together. 

Able to escape the blacklist was John Huston—though he fought vigorously on behalf of its victims—who between famous screen classics made the comparatively little-known We Were Strangers. It is, however, one of his most overtly political films, with the compelling Garfield (and the iffier Jennifer Jones) among unlikely would-be revolutionists against a corrupt, tyrannical Cuban government of 1932. 

Other films in “Dark Side of the Dream” include longtime “A-list” director Mervyn LeRoy’s 1937 sensation They Won’t Forget, which provided a star-making (if brief) role for Lana Turner as a sexy student whose murder sparks a politically-manipulated trial. It was pretty damn shocking for its time—but doubtless no one then could have imagined anything quite so alarming as Samuel Fuller’s 1964 The Naked Kiss, chronologically the last film in “Dark Side of the Dream.” This not-dissimilar screaming expose of small-town hypocrisy features Constance Towers as a prostitute (they weren’t calling them “nightclub hostesses” by then) who flees her big-city degradation in one of the most lurid opening sequences ever. Aiming to start afresh, she lands in pristine, cozy Grantville—but it turns out this seemingly squeaky-clean burg has a whole lotta hidden sleaze going on, too. A cult favorite, The Naked Kiss is quite possibly the idiosyncratic Fuller’s most flamboyant and outlandish film…which is saying a lot. 

DARK SIDE OF THE DREAM
Fri/23-Mon/26
Roxie, SF.
More info here

‘How To Be a White Man’ explores power and identity with a comic touch

Kevin Glass and Luna Malbroux in Malbroux's 'How To Be a White Man'

ONSTAGE Growing up in rural Louisiana, queer black comedian and social worker Luna Malbroux was pretty familiar with assumptions people might make about her. Hearing fellow comedian Mindy Kaling talk about how she carries herself with the entitlement of a white male made a big impression of her, and partly inspired her to write her play How to Be a White Man (at Burial Clay Theatre, March 23-April 1).

Malbroux, who leads anti-bias and anti-racist workshops, performed in the play with Faultline Theatre company at PianoFight last year. She got good feedback, but some people, including from Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr., who has an M.F.A. in theater from Carnegie Mellon, saw it more as a performance piece than a play.

Jackson, who co-founded the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company, knew Malbroux because they were both doing a residency at the African American Art & Culture Complex, which gave them access to the offices and theater there (“like a African American futuristic We Work,” Jackson said.) They talked about reworking How to Be a White Man, and now they’re putting it on with Jackson directing and Malbroux starring.

Luna Malbroux

In the first version, Malbroux says, there were eight or so characters, and now there are just two.

“There’s a black woman and a white man,” she said. “I don’t want to give it all away, but it explores identity and power in a relationship. Also when I first wrote this, Obama was president [both she and Jackson laugh] and a lot has changed between the summer of 2017 and now, so I wanted to make sure it goes deeper.”

Jackson says the previous play had a lot of different stories in a vignette style, and now it’s possible to go more in depth. Because they share an office with each other as well as others involved in the play, they can check in with each other. This is helpful to her as a writer, Malbroux says, giving her immediate feedback, which she’s used to as a stand-up comic. Asked for an example of an idea she got or something she changed as a result of talking with her co-workers, both Malbroux and Jackson start laughing again. They were thinking about the artistic director of the play, a black woman, and what she said during a conversation about the concepts of the show.

‘How To Be A White Man’ director Rodney Jackson, Jr.

“She said when she was young and starting her own business, she would be taken more seriously if she said she was ‘Stanley Emerson’s secretary,'” Malbroux said. “He was a character she created to do business. We just lost it. I said, ‘I’m going to use this.'”

In How to Be A White Man, Malbroux plays Michelle, about to get a job at a SNL-like show, Avocado Nation, but constantly feeling the pressure to be twice as good, being a black woman in comedy. Her white male foil is played by Kevin Glass.

Jackson, who appeared in Motown the Musical as well as Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, about the Temptations, has directed musicals before, but this is his first time directing something like this, and he says it was fun to get the comedy and drama across just using words. Malbroux thinks this version of the play is easier to connect with, and she’s loving it as a writer and actor.

“The people I work with inspire me on the daily,” she said. “I work with Kevin Glass, and having his support and Rodney’s and doing a play that has such tense subject matter and we all get along and love each other—that means a lot.

HOW TO BE A WHITE MAN

March 23- April 1

Burial Clay Theatre, SF.

Tickets and more info here

Party Radar: Wednesday is the new Saturday

Wednesdays get wild at Housepitaloty.

PARTY RADAR I don’t wanna make too big a deal about it, because I love the close family vibe—but what the hell, if you aren’t out club-hopping on Wednesday nights in San Francisco, you’re missing some of the best DJs and most adventurous clubs on offer. Here’s a brief rundown of my favorite Wednesday weeklies:

MUTANTE From psycho-rave to womb-pulsing bass, the hot weirdos (Xango, NOFI, and Tom Ass) behind this weekly Lone Star Saloon jam get off on otherworldly obscurities, with awesome theme nights like “Amyl House” and “Thot Night.” 

KOSMETIK Hero technoists Matthew Paul and Jordee (who also curates the monthly Mixed Forms party, happening Sat/17), host some insanely talented international and local players to lay down cutting-edge techno tracks at the Stud. 

HOUSEPITALITY The grand-daddy of midweek rave-ups, going on for almost 10 years now and bringing in some of the biggest names in house, techno, and bass. Those names, however, don’t kill the intimate vibe, present even when 400 people are lined up out the door. (And the Housers make sure to book a ton of locals.) I do love this party so much.

BONDAGE A GO-GO A polyamorous playpen that features killer tunes and actually interesting go-gos. The weekly just celebrated its 25th anniversary (!!!)—it’s just behind out longest-running weekly club, Death Guid, in that respect—and offers a fantastic space for all body types and body lusts. Go get hog-tied! (Or just oscillate wildly.) 

So go out already!

OTHER PARTIES OF NOTE

Ambrosia Salad may have moved to LA, but she’ll be forever frozen in Gooch’s amber.

FRI/16 SMOKE AND MIRRORS: THE NIGHTLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY OF GOOGH Goochis everywhere on the scene, and I cannot wait to see his photos of incredible drag and party moments. “Smoke + Mirrors explores performances from the sublimely beautiful to the beautifully grotesque!” 6pm-10pm, free. Ravot Gallery, SF. More info here

FRI/16 TWO ANNIVERSARIES, ONE PARTY I’ll be playing some extra-special ’80s tunes at this party for the GLBT Historical Society (celebrating 33 years) at the GLBT History Museum (celebrating lucky seven years). Drag goddess Landa Lakes performs.  Come support! 7pm-9pm, $10. GLBT History Museum, SF. More info here

FRI/16 JOSH WINK The sock-hatted guru of rave has gone through a few evolutions, but has always kept his distinct ear for quality party techno. “Higher States,” still bangs, of course. 10pm-4am, $20. Monarch, SF. More info here

FRI/16 RØDHÄD Sure it’s cliche, but imagine a mighty bearded Viking pounding at your viscera with up-to-the-minute techno, and you’ll have an accurate description of this German festival fave. He’s actually very sweet and keeps it underground, tho. With Jason Kendig. 9:30pm-4am, $20. Great Northern, SF. More info here.  

FRI/16 MAKEOUT PARTY Pucker up, queers: another monthly installment of the lip-locking dance party is upon us. With two DJs I adore, Elaine Denham and Robin Malone Simmons. 10pm-2am, $10. the Eagle, SF. More info here

FRI/16 CREATURE Amazing party full of fluid genders, sloppy genres, fantastical outfits, demonic drag, and so much more. Basically The Shape of Water set in Liquid Sky. This month’s theme? Future/Present with Shannon Funchess of Light Asylum. 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.   

SAT/17 MATMOS The insanely creative duo helmed SF’s experimental-electronic scene in the 1990s, went on to tour with Bjork and drag pianos across the desert, make an album with a washing machine, and all kinds of thing-a-ma-jigs. A rare appearance by two of my favorite musical minds. 8pm-11pm, $10. San Francisco Conservatory of Music. More info here.  

SAT/17 COURTESY The Mixed Forms party stands by its name, bringing together people from all over the scene for some of the most interesting music. This month: Danish sensation Courtesy brings her impeccable selections to the deck. 10pm-4am, $15. The Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/17 BONDAX When these young Brit brothers popped up on the scene several years ago I was obsessed with the way they rode the popular R&B house wave to wonderfully uplifting and unique shores. Glad they’re back, cannot wait to hear what they’re up to. 9:30pm-2am, $10-$25. Audio, SF. More info here

SAT/17 ESSAIE PAS “Essaie Pas will be a godsend if you like pulsating electronic dance music past and present, from Sheffield to Dusseldorf and beyond: the dystopian synth-futurism of early Human League, Cabaret Voltaire circa Sensoria, Propaganda’s Teutonic lullabies, Giorgio Moroder’s theme from Midnight Express.” Bring it. 9:30pm-3am, $15. Monarch, SF. More info here

SAT/17 FRINCE ST. PATRICK’s DAY BASH I had to throw a St. Paddy’s Day party in, duh. Join DJs Blondie K & subOctave at Madrone for one of the most fun indie dance parties in town, with tons of giveaways and singalongs. Oh, and free green glow rings. 9pm-2am, $5. Madrone, SF. More info here

SAT/17 DADIVERSARY WITH CARRIEONDISCO Too-cute DJs Kelly Naughton and Michael Romano have been throwing their too-cute gay DAD disco party at too-cute Driftwood bar for a full year, and they’re bringing in the incredible CarrieOnDisco to set the decks aflame. 9pm-4am, $5-$10. Driftwood, SF. More info here

SAT/17 SURFACE TENSION LATE NIGHT One of our sharpest-eared techno crews is presenting “a two-room, all-night dance party featuring its four resident DJs selecting left-of-center electronic music well into the wee hours of the morning.” This will close out the CounterPulse Festival with a bang. 11:30pm-6am, $10. CounterPulse, SF. More info here

SAT/17 BEATPIG Um. “Legend has it that St. Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland with his shaft. Funny, at this party there’s plenty of shafts being swung at snakes, too!” 10pm-2am, $5 benefits Transgender Law Center. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.  

SUN/18 DISCO DADDY SYLVESTER TRIBUTE DJ Bus Station John knows how disco divas inside and out, and his legendary Sylvester tribute nights bring out not just the familiar bangers but rare grooves our #1 hometown soul sister gifted us before his departure. 7pm-2am, $5-$7. Eagle, SF. More info here.

SUN/18 DAYTIME REALNESS Air out your wig, let your makeup dry naturally, and get a little flush in those cheeks, as our daytime drag party returns, with DJs Stanley Frank, Siobhan Alovalot, and Vin Sol. 2pm-8pm, $10. El Rio, SF. More info here.  

SUN/18 BRUNCH WITH NIC FANCIULLI AND SKREAM Not sure who will be eating, but this Midway daytime party with one of techno’s big names and post-dubstep poster-boy Skream should be banging. 11am, $15-$25. Midway, SF. More info here

Blackface betrayal and ‘Black Lies’ in Edgar Arceneaux’s new YBCA installation

From Edgar Arceneaux's performance of 'Until, Until, Until....'

ART LOOKS In 1981, Ben Vereen, known for his role as Chicken George in the miniseries Roots, and for winning a Tony in Bob Fosse’s “Pippin,” performed at Ronald Reagan’s inaugural gala.

Vereen danced and sang the song “Waiting on the Robert E. Lee” in blackface, as a tribute to Bert Williams, an African American vaudeville entertainer who was forced to perform in blackface. Then, Vereen took off his makeup while looking in a mirror and singing the mournful song, “Nobody.” But despite its promise to broadcast the entire performance, the television network, ABC, only showed the first half of Vereen’s performance, cutting to Donny and Marie Osmond.

This left it looking as though Vereen had performed a sort of minstrel show for the Reagans, and led to the ruin of his reputation. One African American activist said he was  “insulted, outraged and disgusted.” Actor Ossie Davis called it tragic, and actress Ruby Dee said Bert Williams was turning over in his grave. 

The artist and filmmaker Edgar Arceneaux has made a multimedia video installation Until, Until, Until . . . , exploring Vereen’s performance. He also wrote and directed a live action play of the performance, which showed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at the end of February. The installation is on view at the YBCA through March 25, along with another piece by Arceneaux, a sculptural labyrinth, The Library of Black Lies, which holds a collection of crystallized book presenting variants on African American history.

On Friday, March 16, Arceneaux will be at the YBCA with his friend and collaborator, art historian Julian Myers-Szupinska. Along with talking about Arceneaux’s two works at YBCA, they will discuss history and art and using archival images.

A still from ‘Until, Until, Until…”

Arceneaux says they’ll start off by talking about an image in the middle of The Library of Black Lies of comedian Bill Cosby, accused of drugging and raping multiple women. Arceneaux says the library is a way of examining the stories we tell ourselves. 

“We like our history to be progressive and triumphant, from slavery to Martin Luther King to Oprah,” he said. “But the way we learn is through a series of mistakes and meanderings, and the labyrinth is reminiscent of that experience. Mazes are designed to get lost in, and labyrinths are to find yourself in. In the middle of this one, you’re looking at Bill Cosby, and we’ll be having a conversation about that and how the image is composed and riff on that.”

The two will also discuss Until, Until, Until  . . . , Arceneaux says. When he first learned about Vereen’s performance at the inauguration on a PBS show about 20 years ago, it made a big impact on him. 

“I just remember the emotion of it,” he said. “Seeing him do that in this sea of Republicans – it was so crazy. I had a hard time comprehending how it happened.”

Arceneaux says he wasn’t planning on making art about the performance, but then he met Vereen at a birthday party and talked to him about it, and the singer invited him over and showed him the video of the performance. This made a big impact on him, and is included in the play of Until, Until, Until   . . .  with Arceneaux playing himself. 

Arceneaux is known for his work exploring race and memory and the connections between history and the present. The artist says he considers himself as a conceptualist, taking things apart and putting them back together. He thinks of Until, Until, Until  . . .as a sort of loop, he says, and he remembers when Vereen invited him over to his house to watch the inaugural performance. 

“It was a powerful experience being in that moment, sitting in his living room watching him watch himself portray a man 100 years in the past,” Arceneaux says. “It was a sort of out of body experience, and in that moment, I was thinking there was a story I could tell about the past and how the past is inserting itself in the present.” 

EDGAR ARCENEAUX: UNTIL, UNTIl, UNTIL…
Artist ConversationMarch 16
Until, Until, Until… and Library of Black Lies through March 25
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
More info here

Arts Forecast: Walking the Irish border, making epic poetry

Mica Sigourney and Ruairí Ó'Donnabháin

ARTS FORECAST The Counterpulse Festival is on this week (Wed/14-Sun/18) and its bursting with performance and arts innovation. One of its most interesting moments: aon mhac tíre, nó roinnt mic tíre (Sat/17 and Sun/18)a performance by queer artists Ruairí Ó’Donnabháin and Mica Sigourney, in which the two translate their six-week walk along the 303-mile (499 km) border separating Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic into epic poetry and movement. 

“The border is currently a soft one, it’s very permeable and not set along any specific or obvious division like a road or fence. You may only know you’ve crossed over because the mailboxes or the street signs change color,” Sigourney told me. “It’s kind of a middle ground right now, but there’s obviously so much history along it, including some incredible stories of smuggling that we heard. But all that might change with Brexit, which harden the border and would completely change the economy, split up families… you can see the obvious parallels to what else is going on in the world.”

Kitted out with a paper map, camping supplies, and a few vague notions (as well as a deep history of Irish literature), the two—Ó’Donnabháin a resident of Cape Clear, a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) area, and Sigourney, a San Francisco-based child of an Irish immigrant father—hiked, kayaked, and otherwise found their way along unpredictable paths and met with more than a few characters. (The name of the piece translates to “one son of the land or several sons of the land.”) 

“At one point we met a Russian man named Vladimir from nearby Castleblaney on the southern Irish side, which is known as the St. Petersburg of Ireland,” Sigourney said. “There’s so many Russian people living there, since the Irish left to make money elsewhere. So it brought up a lot of questions about what it means to be Irish now, what makes something Irish.”

The performance itself is more than a tale or a dance of their walk. “There have been similar art projects—endurance, landscape-based, famous ones like Marina Abramovic’s along the Great Wall of China. So we didn’t just want to replicate, but rather translate in some way all of our reactions to walking along this soft border, the difference between someone native (Ruairí) and someone diasporic (me), and the implications and complexity of the history. So afterwards, we went to Switzerland and holed ourselves up, and wrote a mythological epic poem about it all,” Sigourney said. 

The performance consists of the two reading the poetry as they navigate shards of broken glass and other hazards, and involves dance, drag, dual-language interaction, and more. According to Sigourney: “It’s very Irish but also very queer—and it’s about the troubles of being outside of borders, invisible and known.”

MORE UPCOMING ARTS

Sister Spit

March 15: Sister Spit: “QTPOC Cruising the West Tour—San Francisco” Literary powerhouse Sister Spit celebrates its 21st anniversary (!) with an all-star lineup, including Mari Naomi, Juliana Delgado Lopera, and Virgie Tovar for “an evening of provocation, feelings, analysis, astrology, and shade” at the Stud. More info here.  

Now through April 5: “Diasporic Alchemy” At SOMArts, co-curators missTANGQ and Louis Chinn present an art show in which “artists of the global diaspora explore ancestry, mythology and cultural heritage as the foundational elements for transformation and creative mutation.” The exhibition centers artists whose identities as immigrants, activists, LGBTQ, and people of color inform their experience of diaspora. More info here.  

March 15-17: “American Optimism” Something that’s in awful short supply lately, get s a musical jolt from SF Symphony, with a performance of Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and, wonderfully interesting, a world premiere performance of new commissioned work “Sudden Changes” by composer Charles Wuorinen, plus Prokofiev’s “witty and fiendishly difficult Third Piano Concerto,” performed by Uzbek sensation Behzod Abduraimov. More info here.  

March 16-April 1: “Latin Standards” Beloved comedian Marga Gomez’s hilarious and poignant excavation of her family’s past—focusing on that of her Cuban showbiz-wiz dad, and her own history performing at Mission gay bars in the ’90s — returns to the Brava Theatre for more shows (and rolling in the aisles). More info here

March 19-April 7: “Exit the King” Ionesco’s absurdist pay at the Exit Theatre (perfect) teaches us to laugh in the face of death: “King Berenger clings to life like he clung to his scepter, but one-by-one his faculties, staff, and two wives are taken from him until he has no choice but to die, as we all must, alone. But will he die at peace?” More info here

March 21: Relay for Death Every month or so, the Peacock Lounge is transformed into an experimental noise palace featuring some awesome, mind-bending acts. This time: relay for Death, Jim Haynes, AEMAE, The Third Ear. More info here

Granny Cart Gangstas

March 22-31: “Here Kitty Kitty: The Pussy Bites Back” The Bindlestiff-originating, all-women, all Asian-American sketch comedy troupe Granny Cart Gangstas, whose “vags’ persist to resist,” go hard to tickle your panties in these crazy times, with all-new sketches exploring the mundane and absurd. I love them! More info here

March 23: Caminos Flamencos: “BailaHora” Our legendary and spectacular Flamenco troupe, led by Yaelisa, celebrates Wonmen’s History Month with a special program. “The show is a journey revealing the nature of the woman in flamenco: her essence, her humanity, how she reflects her time, how time reflects upon her, the joy, the artist, mother, dancer and the rapture when the woman envelops the art and the art envelops the woman.” More info here.  

March 23: “Chevrons” Through a constant investigation of materials and process, Alex Couwenberg’s paintings are informed by the visual landscape of his native Los Angeles. Mid-century design, furniture, architecture, surf and skateboard culture, color and graphics, as well as hard-edge abstraction all play a role in his work. The paint, pin striping, and finish associated with hot rod and custom car culture also impact the aesthetic of his paintings. Couwenberg’s newest work embraces the V-shaped chevron form, whose sharp edges are incorporated seamlessly into the overall geometric style of the paintings. At Andrea schwartz Gallery. More info here

Alex Couwenberg, Mai Tai, 2008