Itching to get out of the house? Feeling a little moonstruck? Ever wished our lecture-in-a-bar catchphrase were “the History Channel with beer” instead? Well, you’re in luck, ’cause we have a NNSF grab-bag to fit almost any predilection, with a biologist’s personal account of ectoparasite hell, a history buff’s tales of SF’s WWII weirdness, and an ensemble performance-presentation on Schoenberg’s moon-crazed mime. Be there and be square!

Wednesday, 9/19
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$8, advance tix here
All ages

FB event


“The Year of the Mite: A Scientific Detective Story” by Jane Ishka

Jane Ishka’s family decided to keep a couple of cute, fuzzy baby chicks in the family room for a few weeks, until they were big enough to live in the backyard coop with the laying hens. Baby chicks are so adorable when they scratch their ectoparasites! But it turns out a chicken can host up to 10,000 D. gallinae, translucent mites, each the size of the point of a pin. They bite people, crawl in and out of human pores, carry some really nasty diseases, and reproduce so quickly they have out-evolved most pesticides. Jane the biologist was their favorite host. They were not so popular with her. How did she get rid of them…or did she? Join us for a talk that will make your skin crawl.

Jane Ishka has been a technical writer for various Bay Area biotech companies for the past 20 years (except for a couple years in the early aughts when she taught middle school science, worked twice as hard, and made half the money). She holds an MBA from a somewhat prominent Eastern school, and an MS in molecular biology from a nondescript Western school. She no longer has any pets.


“Prowling Subs and Panic Attacks: Ten Bizarre Stories From World War II San Francisco” by Carl Nicolari

Ever wonder if your granddad’s zany war stories might actually be true? One thing is for sure: World War II-era San Francisco was ground zero for many a bizarre episode that you were never taught in history class. Tonight, we declassify the files of wartime weirdness and reveal ten true stories of riots and racism, POWs and panic attacks, and the real reason the United Nations was founded here. You don’t have to be a military history geek to enjoy this presentation!

Carl Nicolari is a San Francisco native who began exploring and mapping old military fortifications in the Presidio and Marin while still in elementary school. This led to an equally nerdy career in IT project management and a couple of related teaching and book projects.


“Pierrot Lunaire, Cabaret for a Crazed Clown: A Performance-Presentation on Arnold Schoenberg’s Expressionist Chamber Music Masterpiece” by Nonsemble 6

Nonsemble 6 gives a performance-presentation of Arnold Schoenberg’s epic masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire. Scored for voice, piano, violin, cello, flute, and clarinet, this melodrama is about Pierrot, the original melancholy, moon-drunk clown and mime from Italy’s commedia dell’arte. The music ranges in fits of hyperactive expressionism–Schoenberg’s “atonal” music was and still is reviled by many. But in the hands of the competent, this music sings with delicious romanticism, dances the waltzes of Vienna, and claws at the psyche with frightful hallucinations. This presentation will outline the history of the commedia dell’arte, the wildness of Pierrot Lunaire’s poetry, Schoenberg’s use of instruments and voice in his musical storytelling, and the cabaret style of pantomime and costume–and is a special preview for an October 4th performance at the SF Conservatory of Music. (For more information and for tickets, click here.)

Nonsemble 6 is a San Francisco-based sextet committed to pushing the boundaries of the traditional concert experience and engaging audiences with multi-genre collaborations. Their current season focuses on Pierrot Lunaire and on expanding monodrama repertoire, with upcoming commissions by composers including Luciano Chessa, Danny Clay, and Adrian Knight. Nonsemble 6 is a fiscally sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, a nonprofit dedicated to the service of chamber music in California.


DJ Alpha Bravo mans the decks, spinning vinyl and tweeting along to the presentations’ themes. Find out what you’re listening to by following @djalphabravo.