Oktoberfest: Oom-pah-pah your way over to Bubier Park (Andrews Avenue and Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale) for the annual German-themed Oktoberfest. The festival features two full weekends of live entertainment, including the Austrian Trio Grande, Alpine Festival Dancers, John Stanky and the Coalminers, the Medieval Theatre, the Alpen Echos, and the Cincinnati Schnapps, plus games and races and tasty German foods (can you say "schnitzel?"). The fest runs through Sunday and October 18 through 20; festival hours are 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is two dollars for adults; kids under age twelve get in free. Call 954-761-5813. (GC)
Junior Brown: Alan Jackson is the headliner, but the reason you need to head out tonight to the Coral Sky Amphitheatre (601 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach) is for the opening act, Junior Brown, the hottest new honky-tonk guitar sensation to come along in many, many a silvery moon. He plays a tricked-up contraption of his own design he calls a "guit-steel" -- a combination six-string/steel guitar that enables him to switch in midsong from white-hot finger-picked lines a la James Burton to slippery, darting pedal-steel lines lifted right out of the hard-core honky-tonk canon. He's got a bodacious voice, too, that's a dead ringer for Ernest Tubb's, and a passel of old-style, slightly cornball songs along the lines of "My Wife Thinks You're Dead," his first hit. Brown's albums are fine, but you really have to experience him live to understand all the critical hubbub surrounding this hotdogging guitarslinger. General admission lawn tickets are still available for $18.75. The show starts at 8:00. Call 561-795-8883. (JF)
Expressionist Exploits and Surreal Sensations: The Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) and the Florida International University School of Design team up to screen a series of milestone avant-garde art films from the Twenties. The series opens tonight with two 1924 films by French director Rene Clair -- the landmark Dada film Entr'acte (featuring artists Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp in a chaotic chase through Paris) and the prototypical mad-scientist comedy The Crazy Ray (Paris Qui Dort). The films screen at 7:00 p.m. Admission is three dollars. Call 535-2634 for details. (GC)
Ghoul Town: Celebrate All Hallow's Eve as the Art 800 gallery (800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) becomes a kind of artsy haunted neighborhood called "Ghoul Town," beginning tonight with a 7:00 reception and running through November 2. Artist Lazaro Amaral incorporates large, creepy puppets, ghost trains, frightening murals, and other spooky ooky elements, drawn from classic comics and black-and-white horror films, to transform the gallery from bright showplace to dark fantasy world. Admission is free. The gallery is open from Thursday through Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Call 674-8278. (GC)
Cute Boys in Their Underpants: Bad conceptual gay theater gets it below the belt when the EDGE/Theatre (405 Espanola Way, Miami Beach) presents Robert Cole's satirical play-within-a-play. Directed by Miami native Peter Zaragoza, Cute Boys centers around rehearsals for what seems to be the most horrid, torrid piece of flesh-parading, gay-xploitation theater ever attempted. Incidentally, the original Cute Boys, first performed at the off-off-Broadway Vortex Theatre, produced a number of spinoffs, including Cute Boys in Their Underpants Fight the Evil Trolls. Tickets for tonight's benefit cost $20, with all proceeds going to the Shelbourne House, a home for people with AIDS. The play runs through November 3, with performances Friday through Sunday at 8:00. Tickets cost $12. Call 531-6083. (GC)
Santana: Like fellow guitar gods Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana has been fumbling for years in the recording studio, lost somewhere in a fog between momentary inspiration (1987's fine Blues for Salvador) and wretched spiritual mumbo jumbo (practically everything else he's released since 1977's Moonflower). So why bother with his pair of dates tonight and Saturday at the Sunrise Musical Theatre (5555 NW 95th Ave.)? Pick up a copy of 1993's Sacred Fire -- Live in South America, a career-defining testament to Santana's genius that does the job better than either of the coffee-table vanity boxes out there that supposedly round up his best moments. Throughout Sacred Fire, Santana is a man possessed, burning through old landmarks like "Oye Como Va" and turning even his more recent clunkers into things of shimmering, pulsating beauty. Despite his lackluster studio efforts, Sacred Fire proves the man can still do it live. Tickets are $25.75 and $34.75; shows start at 8:00. Opening act for both nights is Ottmar Liebert. Call 954-741-7300 for more information. (JF)
Rocks and Minerals, Gems and Fossils: All that glitters is not gold: It could also be a diamond in the rough, a quartz crystal, a bead of fossilized amber, or a hunk of lapis lazuli. Set your sights on rocks, minerals, gemstones, and fossils of all types from all around the world as the Miami Museum of Science (3280 S. Miami Ave.) hosts its annual two-day rock show. Expert jewelers and lapidaries will conduct lectures on bead making, stone cutting, faceting, silversmithing, and other specialties, and eventgoers can buy lapidary supplies, stones, and fossils. Admission is six dollars for adults, four for kids age twelve and under. The show runs today from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00. Call 895-1055. (GC)
Imperfect Seed: Each year, suicide claims more teenage lives than leukemia and all other forms of cancer combined; research shows that approximately 90 percent of teenagers who commit suicide have psychiatric disorders. The American Suicide Foundation explores this national tragedy with the wrenching story of a mother's struggle with her son's emotional disorder and eventual suicide, written by Carrol Mendelson and Manny Diez, directed by Joseph Adler, and based on the true story of co-writer and producer Mendelson. Imperfect Seed makes its world premiere tonight at 8:00 at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center (1770 Monroe St.), with an additional performance tomorrow at 2:00. Tickets range from $30 to $50; proceeds benefit the ASF/University of Miami Lifesavers "Teen Screen" Program. Call 954-924-8175. (GC)
Oktoberfest: See Friday.
Ghoul Town: See Friday.
Beast and Baker Squeeze the Weeze: Now that they've recovered from their monthlong Miami Rock Festival extravaganza, those lovable radio wackos from WAXY-AM (790) head north to Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale) for another riotous evening of local rock. Eighteen performers and bands, including Sense, Second Son, Stephan Mikes, Y, Rene Alvarez, Black Janet, Jolynn Daniel, Brian Franklin, the Underbellys, Endo, Robbie Gennet, and the Livid Kittens, will perform on three stages. Admission to this eighteen-and-over show is six dollars. Doors open at 7:00; the first band takes the stage at 8:00. Call 954-522-2151. (GC)
Yojimbo: The Cinema Vortex film series takes viewers back to the turning point of American Westerns with the 1961 Japanese samurai film that revolutionized the genre. Akira Kurosawa's darkly comic Yojimbo (1961), starring Toshiro Mifune as a mercenary who wields a sword instead of a six-shooter, was styled after the Western films of the Forties and Fifties; in turn, the film inspired spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone to film 1964's Fistful of Dollars, which made Clint Eastwood an international star. Yojimbo screens today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Admission is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)
Discovery of America Day: Celebrate the European encounter with America as the Hispanic Heritage Festival explodes with a day of Latin American culture, kicking off at noon today at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.). At 2:30, the replica of a fifteenth-century tall ship Heritage of Miami docks, with Christopher Columbus (played by Miami commissioner J.L. Plummer) presenting his discoveries to Queen Isabela (played by Miss Hispanidad USA 1996 Katherine Gonzalez). Following the re-enactment, Latin musicians Johnny Ventura, Andy Montanez, Los Silver Stars, La Gran Union, and Azucar Moreno perform on three stages, along with folkloric music and dance troupes from Panama, Colombia, Spain, and Bolivia. Festgoers can also enjoy traditional foods and arts and crafts from throughout the Americas, plus a children's area with rides and a petting zoo, and a laser and fireworks display at 9:00. Admission is free. Call 358-7550. (GC)
Oktoberfest: See Friday.
Santana: See Saturday.
Rocks and Minerals, Gems and Fossils: See Saturday.
Fishbone: I saw this group of black Los Angeles kids open for the Beastie Boys way back in 1986 (or was it 1987?) and was just stunned -- floored, really. I knew nothing about their handful of releases on Columbia, but their amalgam of crunching hard rock, bulldozing hip-hop, and groove-locked funk rumbled the small Memphis auditorium with an unshakable force. To this day, they've never captured that rumble on tape -- at least not enough for my funk-battered ears -- but a recently released two-disc retrospective, Fishbone 101: Nuttasaurusmeg, Fossil Fuelin' the Fonkay, pulls together the best moments of their oeuvre. Meanwhile, the new Chim Chim's Badass Revenge finds the band on a new label -- Rowdy/Arista -- but still struggling to harness the whomp and wallop of their live sound. They'll be throwing down tonight along with the brilliant rap trio De La Soul and the Goodie Mob at the Cameo Theatre (1445 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $20. Doors open at 10:00. Call 532-0922 to find out more. (JF)
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Blue Ribbon Paintings: Eleven large-scale paintings created by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1984 will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami) through December 8. "The Blue Ribbon Paintings," as they are called, capture Basquiat's energy in a dynamic combination of abstract expressionism and pop art, as well as his desire to celebrate African-American figures and icons within pop culture. This series of silk-screened and direct-painting pieces, kept together by collectors Lenore and Herbert Schorr, stands out as representative of the work that marked Basquiat's contribution to American art of the Eighties. Museum admission is four dollars. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5:00 on Sunday. Call 893-6211. (GC)
Patrick Moore: Iowa, Patrick Moore's gripping second novel, is a coming-of-age story of a young gay man who leaves his small-town life for sexual freedom in New York City. After his lover dies of AIDS, he makes the difficult journey home. Moore's hard-edged prose depicts an emotional tale of American contemporary life. Author of the critically acclaimed novel This Every Night, Moore -- like his protagonist, Wayne -- was born in Iowa and lives in Los Angeles. Tonight at 8:00, meet the man whom performance artist Karen Finley calls "the Tennessee Williams of the Nineties" when Moore reads from Iowa at Books & Books (933 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Admission is free. For details, call 532-3222. (