ASK DR.HAL! To Feature Eric Cash, Spy Emerson, Bitter Water, Whitman McGowan

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

 by Bendt Fluntley
SAN FRANCISCO– Returning from Burning Man, Dr. Howland Owll once more springs into
this Saturday like a Pogo Stick in Lunar gravity.
Yes, supported
by a crackerjack assembly of the Bay Area’s top performance talents, the Show
yet again at San Francisco’s Dark Room Theater. A show that somehow– we know not
how– will be recorded and available in the nearby future as a podcast on RadioValencia.FM.
Once again, as before, the September 14th iteration of the award-winning  Ask Dr. Hal! Show in
its newest home at The Dark Room, San Francisco’s enduring redoubt of wit and unpretentious
will present a complex, multi-tieredperformance unprecedentedly FREE of charge,
harking back
to the old-time days of the Odeon Bar, when none paid to cross the threshold.
It will start with an animated cartoon selected by KrOB. This will probably be a better cartoon
than you have seen in a long time, perhaps even better than you’ve ever seen. This is a fact.
The Ask Dr. Hal! Show is proud to feature the band Bitter Water, the music of Dave Evans and the
vocals of Kelek Stevenson.
-about-town Eric Cash has volunteered to step in for a raucous, roistering rhodomontade.

Famed poet Whitman McGowan will bring the thunder.
Spy Emerson
will contribute comely color & commentary– beware the hidden sting.
Sherilyn Connelly will plumb the sea of I.T. for Thee (and me).
KrOB’s sub-and-super-liminal projections overwhelm the mind’s protections.
Puzzling Evidence
will  cover us with exclusive on-site documentation for his Online Video Empire.
The whole megilla will be set in magnum motion by RadioValencia.FM‘s own Juan Rapido, Left
Coast Host.

(Although emoluments in envelopes will still power the answers and responses from Dr. Hal,
this stipend
will henceforth derive purely from the participation of an already seated
To speak more narrowly, if by this point redundantly, for mere attendance, no fee
need be paid.
At The Dark Room, 2263 Mission St. between 19th and 20th, less than four blocks from
B.A.R.T., Showtime is 10:00 PM, with doors open for this performance at around 9:45.
In the current, monthly run, Ask Dr. Hal! takes place following whatever show is head-
at the popular avant-garde theater, in this case GODZILLA, which should begin
around 8:00 PM.



KrOB Helms Mammoth Show; Rents Castro for Jonathan Demme Concert Film Tribute– LIVE appearances by Toshio Hirano, Legendary Xtra Action Marching Band

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Jonathan Demme’s first four performance films — featuring Talking Heads, Neil Young, Robyn Hitchcock and the late monologuist Spalding Gray.

KrOB’s FILM FARM proudly presents these intimate, phenomenal and rarely seen documentaries in 35MM at San Francisco’s legendary Castro Theatre, all-day Saturday, September 21st, 2013.

The afternoon show will start off at 2pm with “Neil Young: Heart of Gold” (2006), a touching concert film shot in Nashville during a time that Young was facing his own mortality, in the form of both his own father’s death and his own (successful) battle with a cerebral aneurysm. The A.V. Club says of the film, “[Young] sounds simultaneously wary of death and newly aware of how sweet life can be. It’s hard to film icons like Neil Young as anything but icons, but Demme’s film gets past the legend, zooming in on Young’s aged, heroic face and finding an artist as human as the rest of us.”

“Heart of Gold” will be preceded by the short documentary “Waiting for a Train: The Toshio Hirano Story,” (Directed by Oscar Bucher | 20 min. 2009) about San Francisco’s own yodeling Jimmie Rodgers acolyte Toshio Hirano, and a short solo set by Hirano in person.

Starting at 4:40pm, the second afternoon feature is the criminally underseen Storefront Hitchcock (1998), in which Demme gracefully captures the mercurial oeuvre of English singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock performing a riveting solo concert in a (literal) storefront in New York. Salon calls Storefront Hitchcock “so compelling a concert film that it’s easy to forget the chances [Demme] took in making it.”

The evening show begins at 7:30 with Swimming to Cambodia (1987), the first — and greatest — filmed document of Spalding Gray, as he tells mostly true tales of barely surviving the filming of Roland Joffe’s “The Killing Fields”, with a brilliant score by Laurie Anderson. The late Roger Ebert commented, “This is a monologue that has been polished during many hundreds of hours on the stage, and although he makes it sound fresh, he is so familiar with it that he can gallop through a tricky passage with the confidence of an auctioneer. Like a good preacher, some of his power comes from the sheer virtuosity of his speech.”

Then, at 10:00pm, Our Feature Presentation… Talking Heads at the top of their game! Filmed 20 years ago today, give or take a month, Stop Making Sense (1984) has been declared by Rolling Stone and countless others as one of the greatest rock movies ever made — and from the moment David Byrne says “I’ve got a tape I want to play,” you’ll understand why. Beautifully shot by Jordan Cronenweth.

“Stop Making Sense” will be preceded by the Extra Action Marching Band short film “The Burning Wigs of Sedition” (Directed by Anna Fitch & Simon Cheffins | 10 min. 2010), followed by a live performance by the marching punk-rock marauders themselves.

KrOB has been called “San Francisco’s Best Audio and Visual Collagist” by SF Weekly, describing him as “a man following his vision so tenaciously that San Francisco ought to be famous for housing him.” His Film Farm series has brought strange and usual movies to unpredictable places throughout the Bay Area since 2003.

Toshio Hirano is a time and continent-jumping troubadour. He grew up in Tokyo, coming of age when the American folk revival was also hitting Japan, but a chance listen to a Sunday afternoon radio program introduced him to the sound of southern Appalachia. Fast-forward through moves to Nashville and Austin, to marrying an American woman and starting a family, and Hirano is now a popular proselytizer of country legends — particularly his yodeling hero, Jimmie Rodgers — at various venues throughout San Francisco.

The Extra Action Marching Band is a collision of Big Band and ecstatic turmoil. Despite their name, they rarely march, but rather shimmy, crawl, mob and charge. Trumpets pounce like eagles and tubas drip ass-bouncing blurps from fat fingers. Drums shudder under wild eyed and white knuckled drummers, and through it all winds the flag team; glittering and sinuous creatures who masterfully pulsate pom-poms in a hypnotic fantasy. The listener is hoodwinked, soaked, and savaged into giddy abandon.

Neil Young: Heart of Gold & Storefront Hitchcock
Saturday, September 21, 2013
The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St.
Doors open: 1:30pm
Show: 2pm

Swimming to Cambodia & Stop Making Sense
Saturday, September 21, 2013
The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St.
Doors open: 7:00pm
Show: 7:30pm

For more information, visit