Caitlin Donohue

Hold onto yer Wiggs, change comin' to Western Addy

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Morgan Fitzgibbons isn't thinking small when it comes to goals for his Western Addition sustainability group, the Wigg Party. “We want to make our community a leader in the transformation in resilience,” he tells me during our coffee date to discuss the group's upcoming anti-boycott “carrotmob” at Matching Half Cafe (Sat/23). 

It's no coincidence that his language sounds a little new age-y. The basis for Fitzgibbons' vision for the Wigglers seems grounded in the PhD of Philosopy, Cosmology, and Consciousness he received at California Institute for Integral Studies. “We're these sacred beings,” he tells me earnestly of his San Francisco community. “This is a sacred movement – I want people to look back in a hundred years and see that.” Read more »

Right back atcha, Big Brother

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I've been dabbling in dystopia of late. A little Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, a little Brazil (1985) and bam! I'm up to my ears in fears of bureaucracy and government subterfuge and omnipresence – as if that's a new thing. 

But on the real, it is a bit discomfiting, the similarities between our culture's visions of the fall. This discomfort sharpens with “black sites” researcher Trevor Paglen's monograph Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes (Aperture), an eerie book of photos and artifacts that acts like a show-and-tell of why we can't trust The Man to level with us. Paglen will be presenting it at City Lights – those anarchos, of course! – Thurs/21. Read more »

Hot sexy events October 20-26

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You thought the real Halloween parties started next weekend? Ha! Wrong on two counts.

For one, you're in San Francisco, so you know this is gonna be a ghoul gala that leaks out into the preceding and following weeks, if not months. Two, the portal to the other world opens the 22nd, not the 31st! (silly) Luckily, you have your deranged BDSM maniacs at the SF Citadel to remind you of the fact with Chamber of Horrors. For those together enough to have assembled their monster 'fit early, a swell party to play out this journey into another realm where “the gods of old reach out from their dark place,” according to the press release. After all, what better place to witness the chaos that will ensue than a good old-fashioned dungeon? Whips at the ready, there's gonna be evil spirits to subdue.

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How they're sitting

44TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: The kids on Haight Street aren't exactly like the stereotype you've been told about

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caitlin@sfbg.com

I've been hanging out with the Haight Street kids. Over the course of a week or so, I smoked weed, drank malt liquor, witnessed nasty run-ins with police officers — all events that anyone who has walked down the sidewalks of that legendary street would expect. But I also met people who'd give away their last dollar to a friend, people who know a thing or two about community, and people who don't see sidewalks only as thoroughfares to commerce.Read more »

On the cheap listings

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Events listings are compiled by Caitlin Donohue. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com.

WEDNESDAY 20

hell strung and crooked Release Party The Beat Museum, 540 Broadway, SF; www.thebeatmuseum.com. 6pm, free. The Beat Museum helps to present a night of intensely creative bards from the world over in anticipation of the release of their new poetry tome. Read more »

Exotic Erotic's 31st round

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Perhaps you've seen them around town. The neon pink fliers announcing that SF's most gloriously trashy tradition, the Exotic Erotic Ball and Expo, beckons saucily to you this weekend (Fri/22 and Sat/23). Were you curious about the providence of the posters' graphic design, this just in from founder-behatted cartoon character Perry Mann: “we're very aware that it's breast cancer month.”

Well that would explain all the boob examiners! 2010 marks Mann's 31st year of organized orgy, which nowadays draws in around 10,000 gawkers and pervs a year for onstage sex shows by world famous porn performers, elaborate fetish costuming, ribald entertainment (“we've got... orgasmic bingo? I don't know what that is,” Mann admits to me on the phone), and surprisingly serious musical guests. Sort of. This year is the Family Stone, minus Sly. “We reached out to Sly,” Mann tells me. “If he can get off his crack pipe, he'll show.” Read more »

Markus James' West African happiness surplus

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In an age of endless crossover between most conceivable forms of music, it's but small surprise that a Caucasian man from Virginia is making blues with West African witch doctors. What rarely gets discussed in these cross-ocean collaborations is the social aspect of the fusion. What did the artists eat for lunch the day they recorded that track? In what language was the “and-a-one” that started off the first take? 

We had the opportunity to chat over the phone with Bay Area artist Markus James, who has parlayed his time with Malian string musicians into elemental blues tracks. You can hear them on both his new album, Snakeskin Violin, and at his live show (at the Ashkenaz, Fri/22) with The Wassonrai, who are West African musicians that rep for jam band track longevity – strains of which James says is indigenous everywhere from Mali to Jackson, Mississippi -- into their already formidable blend of blues past and present. James said (and we're paraphrasing here) that the secret to fusion collaborations all lies in your location-resonation, but that's just his perspective. Read more »

Beating chest for APE

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I used to live in a town where the alternative-alternative (holler!) weekly had a comics page. Paging to the back of said volume each seven days I'd look for Tony Millionaire's joint, Maakies. Millionaire's rounding out a phalanx of guest speakers at this weekend's APE (Sat/16 and Sun/17), so I'm thinking back to the days when his preciously drawn little derelicts marked my Wednesdays.

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Go see Kathy Griffin, the parking's better

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Is Kathy Griffin as irritating as oil stains on a pelican's plumage or does she just play it as such on TV? After speaking with the comedian in anticipation of her live show this weekend at the Zellerbach Auditorium (Sat/17), this much is clear: Griffin is certainly committed to her character.

One would expect no less of a woman who has ridden a red-headed whorl of derision-abrasion from a Suddenly Susan sidekick gig to a six-season and counting reality TV show (My Life on the D-List) – not to mention sold out gigs at Madison Square Garden and a memoir entitled Official Book Club Selection that people appear to be liking. Sure, Stephen Baldwin and Dr. Phil have independently sought to strangle her, but they did so in front of her audience. She's like, the most popular unpopular girl ever, Rodney Dangerfield had he dropped the hangdog and set up a RSS feed straight to TMZ. Read on for our scuffle over philanthropy and sailor-style swearing.

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Hot sexy events October 13-19

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Support your local sex workers! We are lucky to live in a city where those salacious somebodies that will take their kits off in the name of our pleasure and payment don't have to lay down and take it when the man gets all censorious and grabby – lucky to live in a city where St. James' Infirmary exists, that is. The Lusty Ladies agree, and on Sat/16 they're holding their annual Playday for St. J's – 16 hours of girl-on-girl-on-call for justice. Read more »