SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL "Is this what you wanted/ To live in a house that is haunted/ By the ghost of you and me?"
Likewise, try as its makers might, the specter of Leonard Cohen looms over the short films by Alex Da Corte, Christian Holstad, and the other artists who try their hand at making 11 new pieces inspired by the 11 tracks comprising New Skin for the Old Ceremony, the 1974 long-player that some consider the songwriter's most sublime.Read more »
MUSIC This I know, having heard the name discussed in hushed yet excited tones among ecstatic ex-hardcore kids, having taken in all of two Lightning Bolt shows by Brians Chippendale and Gibson since Ride the Skies (Load, 2001). Having felt the gale-force winds of their live fury while swapping sweat with pinballing strangers. Having tasted the salad and found it delightful. Having waited with anticipation for their next show in the Bay Area—this time the night before they play Coachella.Read more »
FILM With great girl power comes great responsibility — words that only a few of the Powerpuff Girls of 2011 have lived by. Behold the new generation, too young to settle down, prepped to suit up in skintight Lycra or schoolgirl gear, and eager to mete out punishment to the baddies. Girls mature faster than boys, sure, but that diary-keeping wimpy kid reigning the other half of the cineplex would have plenty to jot down in his diary if he met up with one of these slay-belles.Read more »
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL What's the matter with kids today? Young people wrestle with issues that many adults would find beyond their ken at this year's SFIAAFF. Coming of age is a hazard in a Vietnam where street gangs grapple with injustice, under highly emotional — and entertaining — circumstances; in Iran, where oppressive fundamentalism colors even the most carefree youth; and in Hawaii, where the endless party of skate-rat slackitude hits the skids of very adult responsibilities.Read more »
Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio, as the Ramones once quizzed us, ever so long ago? If not that "Video Killed the Radio Star"-era iteration, a leather-clad punky nostalgia for Murray the K and Alan Freed, then do you remember college rock when it became the name of a musical genre in the early 1990s?Read more »
At this point in his 35-year career, Prince is perhaps justified in expecting us humanoids to happily accept anything handed down to us from Mount Paisley Park. But at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Mon./21 — the first of three last-minute concerts planned for the Bay (Thursday’s show was announced Monday night, after more than 30,000 tickets were sold for the first two performances in less than 72 hours), the mood was a curious mixture of intense, polished skill tinged with unexpected insecurity: Prince, in full 52-years-young prodigy mode, broke from the action in one instance with a surprising, “Are y’all having fun?” And heated anticipation and adulation gave way to a brief outbreak of boos -- the audience pressed hard to get into the show, and was loathe to give up its ground after the first encore, hollering with displeasure when the house lights came up. Read more »
MUSIC Peer carefully at the expansive gatefold cover art of Barn Owl's Ancestral Star (Thrill Jockey), and what at first glance looks like two interstellar vessels cruising through the night sky coalesces into something much more grounded, tethered to the spectral shadow of the image's photographer, Barn Owl guitarist-vocalist Jon Porras, holding his hands over the light source in the foreground.Read more »