Is Ballard the new Byorn?

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Newsom press secretary Nathan Ballard -- who got the job after his predecessor was caught lying to reporters -- has always seemed to me a fairly robotic center-right spinmeister, delivering carefully scripted comments without much feeling or human warmth. Or maybe he just hates me and the Guardian, as I've heard from others at City Hall, which is why he's generally fairly unresponsive to our requests and terse when he finally does answer. Read more »

MIA-Spike Jonze gossip and more Treasure Island views

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Work dat skirt: a stiltwalker at TIMF. All pics by Kimberly Chun.

Sighted backstage on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Treasure Island music fest: Spike Jonze, supposedly dating MIA for a hott minute - though as I write they may be on the offs once again!

Whether or not you dug the lineup (or the wind chill or the femme-mullet count), you had to appreciate the views from the isle. Here are a few more pics from Sunday, Sept. Read more »

Treasure Island fest - another view

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Pulling it together: Doug Martsch of Built to Spill at Treasure Island fest. All pics by Kimberly Chun.

By Steven Touchton

This past Sunday was the first time anyone had ever rented out West Oakland's DeFremery Pool in order to throw a late afternoon pool party featuring spazzy bands. Since it was a private rental, you could only attend by purchasing advance tickets from the Club Sandwich Bay Area Web site. It nearly sold out. Read more »

More treasures from the Island

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By Molly Freedenberg

Still a little fuzzy on what the Treasure Island Music Festival was like? Think blue skies, a slight breeze, and the scenes yours truly captured below.

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Not even the brief power blackout could ruin Zion I's upbeat, playful mood. When the sound and video stopped working, the freestylin' MCs just worked harder to keep the crowd going.

Extra!! Two Ammianoliners today

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

The first Ammianoliner was as usual on his home voicemail:

And the Emmy goes to O.J. Simpson in "Prime Suspect." Did you steal Carol Channing's gown. If it fits, you can't acquit.

Then, the Chronicle's Leah Garchik writes in her Tuesday column:

Before the arrival of the news that Carol Channing's stolen dress had been found, Tom Ammiano called to pin the blame on O.J. Simpson. "If the dress fit/then don't acquit," he said.

Take your pick.

Personal note to Ammiano: Speak up. It's hard to get your one liners without redialing. Read more »

Tonight on KQED: "Lumo"

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A young woman struggles to heal from the aftereffects of a traumatic rape in Lumo, a moving documentary about a tragically common occurrence in the Congo, "where rape is used as a weapon of war." In Lumo's case, she develops a fistula (which makes her incontinent) and may never be able to achieve her dream of being a mother -- plus, her family shuns her. Fortunately, she's welcomed into a hospital for rape survivors, staffed by kindly doctors and counselors, and populated by other women who've been through similar traumas. Read more »

Newsom's rash purge creates legal mess

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Newsom's decision to ask for the resignations of hundreds of city employees and appointed commissioners was a impetuous one made with no legal advice, his press secretary has admitted to the Guardian. And now, the strange and sweeping gesture is raising troubling legal questions and potential long term problems for many city employees. Read more »

The Dirty Projectors killed me with style at Bottom of the Hill

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By Ben Sinclair

At Bottom of the Hill last Wednesday, Sept. 12, a certain Brooklyn band, sounding a bit like an alchemy of Deerhoof and Prince, provoked what I would break down into three reactions: standing around and enjoying great music (the majority of the audience), sort of dancing (a minority), and lastly, small, isolated, and poor attempts at moshing. Read more »

Southern-fried freaknasty

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By Lotto Chancellor

What all can you do with a blues skeleton? For starters, get it high as hell and drown it in whiskey, beer, and more whiskey, then drop it in a vat of chitterling grease and give it a megaphone. Read more »

Treasure Island was just right

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By Molly Freedenberg
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Imagine a concert held in your college quad, add a gorgeous view of the Bay, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what the Treasure Island Music Festival was like this weekend. Read more »