Kimberly Chun

Goldie winner -- Visual art: Michael Arcega

Where the ha-ha morphs into aha
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Make your way through the twists and turnarounds of Michael Arcega's visual puns and titular wordplay — exhibit one: El Conquistadork, the 2004 Spanish galleon constructed of Manila folders that he launched in Tomales Bay, a point in the historic trade route between Mexico and the Philippines — and you'll find yourself connecting the dots to the Manila, Philippines, native's first artistic incarnation: an elementary school graffiti artist who once went by the tag Design.

"Then I switched it to Sen, then I got turned in and dwindled," Arcega says, recalling his Read more »

Boo!

The scary truth about good music
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER If life is a cabaret, disco, or Costco excursion, then what about the sweet or sucky hereafter? Whether one believes in the interminable after-parties of the afterlife or not, one must get into the spirit of the season as a deathly chill breezes through the bones and the night shadows lengthen; try melting into the 15,000-strong crowd crawling down 24th Street and into Garfield Park during the Day of the Dead procession Nov. 2. Read more »

Cheap, loud, and reunited

We love the Budget Rock Showcase ... plus Two Gallants, UNKLE, and more
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Hey, dude, while you were busy abiding, you totally snoozed on last year's Budget Rock Showcase. We came, we were conquered, we rocked, we rolled, we had joy, we had fun, we had seasons at the Stork. Oh yeah, and we wet our lips, shook our hips, and swore we'd never dip back into that pretty, pretty poison of a garage rock fest, yet said soiree kept dragging us back the weekend of Nov. Read more »

"Stylized Sculpture: Contemporary Japanese Fashion from the Kyoto Costume Institute"

Ravishing, ingenious frocks prove fashion is art
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REVIEW Years after Europunk deconstructionists copped a few tears, ties, and folds from Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo and A-list fashionista Carolyn Bessette Kennedy championed the cutting austerity of Yohji Yamamoto, it's safe to say that the once-coupled Japanese designers and their slight predecessor Issey Miyake have been firmly ensconced as pillars of avant-garde fashion. But that doesn't mean their work — and that of Kawakubo acolytes Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara — is ready to be filed away without another look. Read more »

Pay to play

Check out the checkout: Radiohead, Go! Team, Cave Singers, Soulja Boy, and more
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Some of the sweetest words to deliver to impecunious types like myself: pay what you can. This I can work with — be it a noise show at 21 Grand or the new Radiohead album. After blowing my newspaper wage-slave paycheck on rent, ramen, recreational intoxicants like lychee jellies, and sticker pics of my homegirls in goth Lolita getups, there's not much cheddar left to slap on surplus grillables. Read more »

Gimme lip

Cracking up with the Black Lips. Plus: Ruins, Brutal Sound FX No. 43, Cryptacize, and Matt Pond PA
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Do you believe in magic? Or voodoo? Or the links between ecstasy and long-term memory loss? If you're a firm believer in the last, then you probably can't recall the good ole days of garage rock — and no, I'm not talking about '60s snarlers like the Seeds, the Standells, and the Chocolate Watchband nor '80s revivalists like the Fleshtones, the Chesterfield Kings, and Holly Golightly. Read more »

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: The Sadies

Good to go
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On the horn from his native Toronto, Sadies vocalist-guitarist-keyboardist Dallas Good sounds as courtly and old-world as any immaculately suited and Stetsoned gentleman picker doing time in Boys bands that go by the name of Blue Grass or Foggy Mountain. Read more »

Now there's a Cure

Conversing with the agile Robert Smith, plus Datarock, Girlstock, Yellow Swans, Aliens, and more
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER Are you for reals? Read more »

Last Tango in Shanghai

There's sex in your violence, Lust, Caution posits
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kimberly@sfbg.com

There's a moment in Lust, Caution (Se, Jie) in which you can clearly make out the writing, and this most awkward title's embedded warning, on the wall. The scene: a humid, tryst-friendly boudoir in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Read more »

Mad chatter

Oh, Galactic! Plus: flying snacks and a mess of upcoming live shows
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kimberly@sfbg.com

SONIC REDUCER What flying snacks do not kill me only make me harder, better, faster, stronger — come all ye children of Kanye West and Friedrich Nietzsche. I love San Francisco. Where else can you catch hell and come this close to getting brained by a pupusa hurled by a nattering, nutty nutbag in orangey pink stretch pants? Read more »