Banks declare SF Weekly and parent company in loan default

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The Bay Guardian’s lawsuit against SF Weekly and its parent company took a dramatic turn this week when a banking syndicate announced that Village Voice Media has defaulted on its $77 million loan.Read more »

Google sez bike this way

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Just in time for the sun's critically acclaimed debut, the Internets has once again plotted to increase our digital dependence. Google Maps now has a bicycling option!

If you're a biker in San Francisco or Oakland, you don't need me to tell you that you gotta pick your routes around these cities. One false move and you're falling into the ruts of MUNI train tracks or on a freeway on-ramp (don't laugh, it happens... to me). But no longer, or at least less often, will you have to deal with these small catastrophes.

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Coming soon to “a San Francisco sidewalk near you”

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Early this month, San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon explained to the Guardian his rationale for a proposed sit / lie ordinance, which would make it illegal to sit down or lie down on San Francisco sidewalks. “We’re responding to quite frankly what is a tremendous groundswell of pressure from residents and business people about very aberrant, aggressive behavior,” he said. “We don’t have an existing tool to deal with that behavior,” in the form of other city ordinances, he said.

The proposal has been discussed officially during public hearings at the San Francisco Police Commission, the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee, and in a series of editorials at local media outlets. It’s shaping up to be quite controversial.

And if an upcoming event sparked by the debate surrounding sit-lie is any indication, there is a “tremendous groundswell of pressure” on the other side of the coin, too. A group of organizers who recently created a Facebook group called “San Francisco Stands Against Sit-Lie” are also the architects behind a daylong event to be staged on city sidewalks called “Sidewalks are for People!” The event will be held March 27, on “A San Francisco Sidewalk Near You,” according to the event announcement. Read more »

Fine hike was like seeds in a bag of good weed

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By Jobert Poblete

Legislation designed to help pot smokers instead had many of them going all like, “Dude, what the fuck?!?!” But the author is now telling everyone to chill out, no problem, he’s got it under control. Read more »

Occupation! exhibit highlights racism at SF businesses

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By Cécile Lepage

San Francisco has always had a liberal streak, but not so its business community, as a current exhibit highlights. In 1963 and ‘64, San Francisco was hit with massive demonstrations that denounced businesses’ discriminatory hiring practices and demanded equal work opportunity for African-Americans. Crowds picketed on Auto Row, in front of Mel’s Drive-In, Lucky Store, the Sheraton Palace Hotel, and Bank of America.

The Main Library exhibit “Occupation! Economic Justice as a Civil Right in San Francisco, 1963-64” retraces a struggle for economic justice that was specific to the city by the Bay, where thousands of African-Americans had moved to during World War II to work on the shipyards. When the war effort wound down, they were the first to be fired. Only direct actions—sit-ins, sleep-ins, and shop-ins—were able to shake the status quo: they led to more than 260 employment agreements for minority workers. There’s only a few days left to discover this important yet underrepresented piece of SF history: the display ends on March 27. Read more »

Personal shopping at Collage Clothing

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The perfect wardrobe is a collection of vintage beauties and trendy new things, but shopping in this form takes devotion. Thrashing through thrift stores may not be your style and consignment shops often have a tendency to overwhelm with rack after rack of fashion-flops. Alas, Collage Clothing and its queen bee Erica Skone-Rees are making your life easier. Read more »

Joyful noise

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Even if Music by Prudence’s recent Oscar win for Best Documentary Short is currently garnering more blog pixels for its producer’s Kanye-like acceptance speech takedown, African music is experiencing an upsurge in attention these days. We could all use some uplift every now and again, and artists from the developing world, many of them singing through years of conflict and soul crushing poverty, somehow make that missed bus- even that found pink slip- seem like less of an end game.

Plus, some of them sing with the conviction and force of angels.

I'd like to introduce you to the Soweto Gospel Choir. A 26 singer strong troupe of some of the best singers in South Africa, the Grammy award winning Choir performs in big bright dashikis an interesting blend of traditional Zulu songs and “Many Rivers to Cross,” a combination that when stirred together in an exuberant pot yields African gospel. They're coming to the Paramount Theater (Sat/27), and the show should be great. Their music gets soaring, it gets heartfelt, it gets jazzy- it’s an epic listening experience that recalls what it means when the people you’re watching onstage are singing to carry out their mission on earth.

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Thrifting for the the perfect song with tUnE-yArDs

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The deep piles of used goods can be a bit daunting at some of the best thrift stores, but when you find that shimmering prize, the fuzzy feeling is relative to winning a race or seeing your worst enemy trip into a puddle. For the sole member of tUnE-yArDs, musician Merrill Garbus— playing Sat/20 at Bottom of the Hill— her ultimate find was a white purse with row after row of luscious beads.

“I was in high school, living in Connecticut and we’d take trips into New York City to shop at thrift stores,” she recalls, talking to me over the phone while walking in her Oakland neighborhood. “I used to collect purses, even though I never used them.” Read more »

Oh "Mother," where art thou?

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You can guarantee that a movie titled Mother is not gonna be a love fest, ever. And through the lens of The Host (2006) director-writer Bong Joon-ho, motherly love becomes downright monstrous -- though altogether human.

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Closer edits: An interview with classic DJ dynamo Greg Wilson

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In this week's issue of the Guardian, I finally got the total fanboy pleasure of writing about, and talking to, one of my true DJ inspirations, electro-funk originator and dance edit king Greg Wilson. (He'll be performing at Triple Crown on Fri/19). Kicking his career off in 1975, the man has the kind of stamina and skills most spinners can only dream about. (And I didn't even get into the fact that he was the first professional DJ hired for a regular gig at the hugely influential Hacienda club in Manchester.) In the late '70s and early '80s, Wilson provided a crucial link between the often segregated black soul and white dance scenes -- he was known as a "black music specialist," eek -- and his panoramic edits were the fruitful results of his colorblind cross-pollination. Here's our email chat in full, his replies coming after a "brilliant night in Melbourne," Australia.

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Uproot: Feminism and the food movement

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By Robyn Johnson

Peggy Orenstein’s essay “The Femivore’s Dilemma” has caused a bit of a dither, but then gender issues never make for easy conversation. Some light mocking has arisen over Orenstein’s coinage of the term femivore, which, as has been pointed out in innumerous blog comments, means one who eats women. But yes, I think we can agree it’s intended as a portmanteau of feminist and locavore. And it’s the relationship that she draws between these two movements as a way to redefine homemaking that has many people talking.

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alt.sex.column: Ti-ming

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Dear Andrea:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for three years and we have always had the same issue. It takes a long time for him to come, whether I am performing oral sex or we are having anal sex. We've talked about it, and I am always trying to understand what I can do to make him come. Since it takes so long, he always ends up finishing off himself. I would like to be the one who makes him come when I give him a blow job, but I don't know what to do. Please help.

Love,

Spectator

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Bay Area black metal: Ludicra's gripping new "Tenant"

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It's hard to believe, but black metal is around 20 years old. During its second decade, the music has been gradually subsumed into the metal mainstream, cannibalized, recombined, and reinvented. Pulled in one direction by the commercialization of bands like Dimmu Borgir, and in the other direction by the hermetic inaccessibility of solo studio acts like San Francisco's Leviathan, fans and metal taxonomers have circled the wagons around arbitrary criteria, judging bands on whether or not they use a keyboard, or whether or not they're from Scandinavia.

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Who profits from ICE's electronic monitoring anklets?

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One of the many troubling things to emerge from the threatened deportation of the wife and stepsons of Muni bus driver Charles Washington is the extent to which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using electronic monitoring bracelets to track immigrants--and is turning to private contractors to deliver these service Read more »

Appetite: Scotch dreams come true

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For someone whose every day is a taste adventure, I will say a recent, private Russell’s Room tasting at Bourbon & Branch of Highland Park scotches was one of the most memorable I’ve ever been privileged to be a part of. There were only two such tastings in the country: here and in New York. I felt lucky to be one of less than 10 around the table (and only 2 women – scotch remains predominantly a man’s world?) tasting HP’s awesome 18, 25, 30 and 40 year scotches. But the magnificent centerpiece was a just-released, $3999 per bottle, limited-edition 1968 vintage. 

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