The Performant

The Performant: Impossible weekend! Or: what to do when there’s everything to do?

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Bicycle Music Festival and "A Clockwork Orange Afternoon"

Oh lordy, let me catch my breath. Weekend, you have officially kicked my ass.

Merely mortal, I found it difficult to plot an itinerary efficient enough to be able to hit every event that beckoned my attention over those bright and sunny 48 hours. Would I attend the annual Juneteenth street festival or a lecture on the benefits of zombie domestication? Journey to the End of the Night or a CLASH scavenger hunt? Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at Stern Grove or Klaus Kinski at YBCA? Cloning myself seems a more attractive option by the day. Read more »

The Performant: The fast and the furious

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FURY Factory turns four

Summertime is festival time in the city, and the streets will stay lively from now to Halloween, barring acts of god/s or unforeseen War on Fun skirmishes. But considering the typical bluster of an average summer day in San Francisco, it’s a relief that a few of our festivals can be enjoyed indoors. Read more »

The Performant: A pox upon’t

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The Coen Brothers meet The Bard in Much Ado About Lebrowski

The best parodies are born from admiration for the targeted subject, be they the tortured plot twists of Spaceballs, the foppish mop-tops of The Rutles, or the beleaguered hero’s quest of Monty Python’s The Holy Grail. In a swoop guaranteed to appeal to worshippers of high and low culture alike, the Primitive Screwheads’ remount of last year’s hit mash-up Much Ado About Lebrowski manages to pay homage to one of the most-produced playwrights in the English language (ye olde Billy Shakespeare) and a pair of our most intriguing modern filmmakers (the Coen Brothers) in one borderline-blasphemous production, with enough in jokes and innuendo from both to keep aficionados of either on their toes. 

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The Performant: Bar Crawl

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Burroughs and Shakespeare served neat, no chaser.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A man walks into a bar. Ouch! Just kidding. A man walked into a bar. He idly scoped out a handsome youth leaning against the wall (Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos Jr.) and began to sing: “I could use that, if the family jewels weren’t pawned to uncle junk…” Music swelled from the five-piece chamber orchestra in the corner of the stage: pizzicato on the violin, a bowed double bass, high-pitched urgent keys. An angular, haunting, sometimes dissonant music; just what you might expect the score for an operetta based on the semi-autobiographical William S. Burroughs II novel Queer to be.

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The Performant 45: Oh Rapture, up yours!

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Gearing up for the end times with Hoodslam

Well another Armageddon scare has come and gone and we’re all still here, as is my dirty laundry which I was letting pile up on the off chance that I wouldn’t need it again. Not that clean clothes were necessary to attend the Judgment Day edition of Oakland-based, amateur-wrestling-and-sideshow-freak extravaganza, HoodslamRead more »

The Performant: Spank it!

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Austin invades SF with Christeene Vale, Wammo, and Guy Forsyth

There’s glamour. Then there’s Glamour. And then there’s Glamour’s myriad permutations, like Drag Glamour. And Drug Glamour. And Diva Glamour. Glamour makes respectable what might otherwise be considered merely ostentatious, excessive, or gauche. Elusive but instantly recognizable, there’s no doubt that glamour can enthrall. But frankly, sometimes it bores. 

There’s nothing boring about Christeene ValeRead more »

The Performant: Vice squad

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The Thrillpeddlers take on Poe, plague, and poop

In Edgar Allan Poe’s grisly tale The Masque of the Red Death, a group of wealthy nobles hole up in a fortified abbey to avoid the ravages of a mysterious ailment sweeping the countryside, which causes its victims to sweat blood and keel over dead in the streets. Read more »

The Performant: Herrre's Johnny!

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Entering The Room

Harley-Davidson. Twinkies. Michael Jackson. Some things are so uniquely American they practically ooze stars and stripes, no matter how far across the borders they stray.

Another all-American tradition – right up there with Miller-in-a-can and Wheel of Fortune – has got to be Bad Movie Night: the deliberate screening of movies so awful they make the viewer scream tears of laughter, or sit in horrified silence, too traumatized by dubious production values or script incoherence to muster the strength to tear their eyes away. Read more »

The Performant: Sing like everyone's listening

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Electric Party Songs and The Darker Side of Broadway

However you feel (or don’t) about the Beat Generation, you have to give Allen Ginsberg credit for his ability to transcend the limitations of that motley crew, always pushing forward and outward in his beatific search for the sublime. Perhaps no other modern poet has better exemplified the endless fluctuations of the underground, and how to eternally roll along with them. Our own Holy Fool: queer Buddhist Jew, vagabond truth-seeker, and the King of May. In all the ways that count, Allen Ginsberg was, and will always be, America. Read more »

The Performant: I’m aware of the dark

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David Thomas and Joanna Haigood explore the shadows of the American DreamRead more »