Catching up with burlesque star and fashion icon Dita Von Teese

|
()

With a seductive and sexy nod to the past, modern pin-up and burlesque queen Dita Von Teese has been at the forefront of reviving a once nearly lost art form for two decades.

Bringing back the sense of classic style and glamour of the golden days of Hollywood and meshing it with the tantalizing teasing of the old-time burlesque circuit, Von Teese wraps up a two-night stand at the Fillmore tonight with her Burlesque: Strip, Strip, Hooray! show, a live revue featuring not only her own titillating talents, but a host of other performers as well, including Dirty Martini, Catherine D’Lish, and Lada Nikolska from the Crazy Horse Paris.

When Von Teese (real name: Heather Sweet) first got interested in retro styles and the bawdy and risqué performances of the past, there was just a small community of performers around the world that she recalls encountering; two decades later, she has watched the scene flourish and rapidly expand.

Read more »

Developers lobby hard to slash payments promised to Transbay Terminal and high-speed rail

|
()

Will the San Francisco Board of Supervisors let developers of the biggest office towers proposed for San Francisco renege on promises to help pay for the Transbay Terminal reconstruction, extension of rail service to that site, and other public amenities? Or will Willie Brown successfully use politicians that he helped get into office — most notably Mayor Ed Lee and Sup. Jane Kim — to let the developers keep hundreds of millions of dollars in excess profits?Read more »

Owen Pallett on integrity, having his boyfriend as a manager, and the baroque pop of 'In Conflict'

|
()

You probably wouldn’t assume that someone who’s been putting out solo material for nearly 10 years would be best known for their contributions to other artists’ work, but Owen Pallett shows us that it can happen, and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.Read more »

A firsthand account of the 5-alarm blaze in the Mission

|
()

Editor’s note: We received this firsthand account from Ben Rosenfeld, who lives in close proximity to the site of yesterday’s [Thu/4] 5-alarm fire. Read more about the blaze in the San Francisco Examiner.

By Ben Rosenfeld

For those who don't know, we were lucky our building survived a 5-alarm fire yesterday, almost directly behind us (feet away). Fortunately too, there were no serious injuries.Read more »

Kids pushed through immigration court at lightning speed while supes debate legal aid funding

|
()

San Francisco’s efforts to provide legal services for unaccompanied youth who crossed the U.S. border from Central America is heating up as a point of contention between Sup. David Campos and Board President David Chiu, opponents in the race for California Assembly District 17.Read more »

How Big Oil is using front groups to attack global warming regulations

|
()

With California’s landmark measure addressing climate change, Assembly Bill 32, scheduled to begin covering automobile fleets and other transportation sources at the end of this year, Big Oil has been trying to sabotage that process using a variety of front groups and other tactics.

The oil industry failed in its last-minute attempt to get the California Legislature to delay the measure by rejecting AB 69, Fresno Democrat Henry Perea’s effort to exempt automobiles from the regulations, even though vehicles account for more than one-third of the state’s greenhouse gas emmissions.Read more »

Joel Daniel Phillips illustrates the overlooked in 'I Am Another Yourself'

|
()

Joel Daniel Phillips draws people. He draws them with charcoal and pencil and is known for his life-sized renderings of eccentric, seemingly homeless men and women he meets on the corner of Sixth and Mission Streets in San Francisco.

His debut solo show with Hashimoto Contemporary, “I Am Another Yourself,” opens Sat/6 (opening reception 6-9pm; the show runs through Sept. 27). I met up with Phillips to talk about his work and to see his 14 pieces in person.

Read more »

Activists form human barricade to protest crude-by-rail facility

|
()

This morning [Thu/4], at 7am in Richmond, Calif., four environmental activists used U-locks to fasten themselves by the neck to the fence of an oil shipping facility operated by Kinder Morgan. 

They were interlocked with another four activists, who had their arms secured with handmade lock-boxes. “I’m locked to a lock box connected to my partner, Ann, who is locked with a U-lock to the fence,” Andre Soto, of Richmond-based Communities for a Better Environment, explained by phone a little after 8am.Read more »

Local love: Fresh fall jams from Cathedrals, Terry Malts, The Seshen, and more

|
()

You know that feeling where, if you see one more headline about how all the artists and musicians have fled San Francisco and the city's dead and we should all just throw in the towel and pack the car for LA right now, you might throw your computer through a window?

Yeah, same here. Luckily, we also have the antidote: an email inbox that fills up every day with new music from an insane number of Bay Area bands and artists, many of whom would probably be offended if you were to suggest that they do not, in fact, exist.Read more »

Voters still in the dark on campaign funding

|
()

A legislative attempt to shed light on major funders of political campaign ads died in Sacramento last week, and the politics surrounding its demise reflect a split between groups who are normally allies on the left.

The California DISCLOSE Act -- which stands for “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections” – needed a two-thirds vote to pass both houses of the California Legislature, but ended up being withdrawn without ever being brought to a vote.Read more »