A day in the park

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Who said the only thing you can park at a meter is a car? How about an actual park? That's the idea behind PARK(ing) Day, a one-day global event centered (and founded) in San Francisco, during which individuals and groups construct temporary parks in metered parking spaces all over their cities. The idea? To challenge the way we think about streets and how they're used, as well as to advocate for more urban open space. Read more »

Kickstart my heart

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I love hair metal. I love it more now than I did when it was actually popular and not just popular in this ironic, 80s retro, leggings-are-back sort of way. I’m not sure who to blame for this: My sister’s band, whose show opening for Bon Jovi last year led directly to my obsession with finding “Dead or Alive” and “It’s My Life” on Limewire? My ex-boyfriend Kyle, who wooed me with a metal-heavy mp3 mix? Or maybe the indie-rock hipsters who’ve bored me so much with their anemic (but pretty, I admit) shoe-gazing songs that I’ve had to turn to Journey for a good hook? Read more »

High on High on Fire live

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Early High on Fire, mach I. Courtesy of MTV.com.

By Ben Richardson

There were a few chuckles from the audience when someone enjoined High on Fire to "play the heavy one," and a few more when frontperson Matt Pike replied, "I will."

Levity aside, the good-natured heckling suggested something more profound. Read more »

Broken democracy

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The implications behind today's big news that San Francisco has an unreliable voting system are mind-boggling. It's bad enough that it's going to take weeks of hand-counting ballots before we'll know the results -- not just after this November's snoozer election, but also after the high-stakes February and June contests. Read more »

McGoldrick recall fails

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The Elections Department has notified proponents of move to recall Sup. Jake McGoldrick that their effort has failed. The campaign -- sparked by business interests who oppose the Geary bus rapid transit proposal and McGoldrick's sponsorship of Healthy Saturdays -- turned in 3,844 signatures on Sept. 14, according to Elections officials. Read more »

A totally bogus arrest

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Alex "Grasshopper" Kaplan was at our office today to talk about his campaign for mayor, but he almost didn't make it; the guy, who has been in and out of jail for the past few weeks, got popped yesterday on what has to be one of the more utterly bogus charges in recent memory.

See, Kaplan is under a restraining order; he's supposed to stay away from Sup. Ed Jew. Read more »

Shootin' it with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy

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Murph, murph, murph, murph, murph. Yeah, me and the infamously curmudgeonly James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem are tight li’ dat. No, actually I joke – we’ve only been in touch twice, including the time I corresponded with him on the Rapture in 2003, but I do confess, that the man is a bundle o’ fun - if you like your artist-producer-label-honcho types witty, down-to-earth, relatively unpretentious and workman, and nimble with the gray matter. Read more »

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 »