Folk4Spokes 

Slowed-down hoedown in O-town.

It may seem paradoxical to put together a lineup of remarkably serene, mostly acoustic music to raise money for an SF-to-LA bike ride. But AIDS Lifecycle encourages its participants to get creative with their fund-raising efforts. And Mariah Dancing of East Bay rock-folkers Porchlife, hankering to do something for a good cause, contacted her onetime downstairs neighbors at the Breathing Space just in time: "I asked the booker at the Breathing Space about that and he said, 'How about the SF AIDS Foundation? I'm riding for Lifecycle and you could put the money toward my Lifecycle fund-raising instead of toward renting the space for the night.'" And so, Friday night's benefit for the SF AIDS Foundation was born.

This is how it works: Dancing put up the venue rental fee so that the Breathing Space could get it into the SF AIDS Foundation as a donation before the June 5 deadline. (Lifecycle is a collaborative effort between SF AIDS and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.) Then, everything the event makes for the night will go toward either reimbursing Dancing, or, hopefully, making additional donations to SF AIDS. But your $7 cover charges is more than a just a bargain-priced mitzvah -- it's a pittance, when you consider the musical quality it buys you. "These bands are all friends or acquaintances," Dancing enthuses, "and they all are wonderful people who play wonderful music that I love." There's the honeyed, starry-eyed and silver-throated duo Sweetbriar -- as close to Gram Parson and Emmylou Harris as the East Bay's gonna get, at least till someone starts making affordable Nudie suits. The male half of Sweetbriar is also one half of local country-folk brother act Foxgloves Family. Then there's Out Brief Candle, the brainchild of Alex deLanda, recently relocated from San Diego and bearing a hazy weight not unlike the Clientele's whispercore. And finally, the Hope Sandovalisms of SF's Kira Lynn Cain, whom Dancing describes as being "like fallen angels in Twin Peaks, but spookier." The slowed-down hoedown starts at 8 p.m., and the Breathing Space warehouse is located at 3617 San Pablo Ave., Emeryville. All ages.

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