NOISE: Yum, indie branding means...

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Guardian staffer Joe Pennant was out and about for Noise Pop and ran smack into some free mochi ice cream at Bottom of the Hill - courtesy of the Ice Cream Man.

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Who are these kind, mysterious strangers giving away sweets at all manner of shows? Marketing, promotions, branding, and advertising, naturally! Read more »

Leno announces

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By Steven T. Jones
Invoking the spirit of George Moscone and Harvey Milk "so that we may be worthy of their powerful legacy," Assembly member Mark Leno today announced his candidacy for the Senate seat now held by Carole Migden, setting off a high-profile fight between the two for the Democratic Party nomination next year. "Welcome to democracy in action. Read more »

An evening of esoteric indie rock

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So there’s this guy named Tommy Lee. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Played drums in a little-known rock band? Married some blonde in a red bathing suit? Starred in a salacious home video? Well, apparently this obscure musician is still making his art in the small, private, cult-following-type venues he’s become accustomed to (like Oakland’s Oracle Arena, on two different reality shows, and in a book he’s co-writing, among about a dozen other gigs). Read more »

Hella lot of pictures ... (but not of Hella)

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So I couldn't get tickets to last night's Hella show (with Pop Levi, Macromantics, Tartufi) at Bottom of the Hill (Yes, I tried to get 'em like a civilian. That'll teach me not to use my press privilege...) Which meant that after the Noise Pop Happy Hour at Thee Parkside (where I enjoyed some lovely little lox-and-cream-cheese sammiches), I managed only to go out drinking instead of seeing live music. But that doesn't mean I've nothing to post here. Oh, no. Read more »

Culture war at the Village Voice

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By Tim Redmond

Good article in the Boston Phoenix on the fallout from the New Times-Village Voice merger. The basic point that writer Adam Reilly makes:

The core of the old New Times chain was Southwestern and Southern. And those regions of the country have a different political culture — more socially conservative, more reflexively anti-government — than coastal markets like Los Angeles and New York, or progressive Midwestern enclaves like the Twin Cities. Read more »

Tourk for mayor

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By Steven T. Jones
After an uncomfortable exchange with Mayor Gavin Newsom at the Project Homeless Connect event earlier in the day, Alex Tourk was out with friends (including a long list of prominent people, many still in Newsom's camp) at Finnegan's Wake last night celebrating his birthday and I happened to run into him. Read more »

Fast start in 9

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By Steven T. Jones
The next Board of Supervisors race would appear to be only a faint blip on the horizon -- coming as it does after this year's mayor's race, the presidential primary a year from now, and the state primary fight in June '08 that will feature the Leno-Migden battle royale -- but contenders are already starting to position themselves. Read more »

Noise 'N' Pop

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The line outside Mezzaninelast night may have been ridiculously long (the hidden cost of “free” admission), and the venue may have reeked of body odor (or cheap weed?), but both were worth the entertaining, irreverent kick off to a week of Noise Pop fun. Read more »

Bad day for board conservatives

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By Steven T. Jones
Sup. Sean Elsbernd is the smartest conservative on the Board of Supervisors, but he may now be regretting his latest effort to challenge city spending. This afternoon, he took issue with a $642,000 budget appropriation intended to offset federal cuts in funding for AIDS programs. Read more »

Fighters in City Hall

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By Steven T. Jones
San Francisco City Hall hosted a different breed of fighters today as boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather held a high-profile press conference for their May 5 bout in Las Vegas. The event was open to the public and hundreds of boxing fans seized the opportunity to take part in the spectacle, including Sal Anguiano, who traveled from Los Banos to start the line at 7 a.m. for the noon event. Like a majority of the crowd, Anguiano was rooting for De La Hoya and predicted his boy would knock the mouthy Mayweather out in the third round. Read more »