VISUAL ART A museum-quality show in terms of ambition and achievement, "Surrealism: New Worlds" fleshes out a forgotten, if not effaced, chapter in American art history, even as it incidentally tells the story of the gallery showing it.Read more »
GOLDIES "This isn't a conflict of interest, I hope?" David Meltzer asks. We're smoking on the back porch of his Piedmont apartment with his wife, poet Julie Rogers, about two bottles of wine into our interview, wondering whether he's the first former Guardian contributor to get a Goldie. A decade or so ago, he was writing CD reviews and the odd feature on anything from pedal steel guitar to new age music. Read more »
LIT According to the Bureau of Invented Statistics, 99.9 percent of all poetry disappears into the void. This rate remains steady throughout history, though at certain times and places the figure undergoes radical fluctuations, plummeting to as low as 99 percent. Such periods are eventually given names like the San Francisco Renaissance, or the Elizabethan Renaissance. I mention this because I think Bay Area poetry has quietly entered one of those periods. Read more »
After our recent interview, Shock-G — frontman and producer of now-disbanded rap legends Digital Underground, discoverer of 2Pac, and alter ego of the Groucho-nosed Humpty Hump — e-mails the poem printed above. "I need you to put this in," he writes. "It's my thank you to fans for letting me move on after DU." Plus, he adds mysteriously, "it has many meanings."Read more »
MUSIC/STAGE/LIT When I meet Ise Lyfe in downtown Oakland, the 28-year-old MC is sporting a button-down shirt, slacks, cardigan, and a purple and pink tie. Put a Wall Street Journal under his arm and he might blend in with the lunchtime business crowd. He's fresh from a meeting with one of the distributors of his company, Lyfe Productives, hence rocking business casual.Read more »
Get your shit peeled/ Check the murder rate, the shit's real. Eddi Projex, "Straight from Oakland"
MUSIC/FILM I first met Pretty Black, a member of Yukmouth's Regime crew, in 2005 at the Mekanix' studio in Oakland. He arrived with Husalah of the Mob Figaz to record. Goofing off, Hus urged me to get on the song, so I recorded an intro in mangled French, dubbing the pair "les hommes mobs." Black loved the pronunciation (moeb) and thus began one of my least likely rap-world friendships.
Read more »