Marke B.

Strings of life

Kronos Quartet comes back to wow. Plus: DJ Hell, House Shoes, Rebolledo, Poolside, Nonstop Bhangra, Kele Okereke, more parties

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RIP Colonel Meow

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Alas, minions! Our fearless, fuzzy leader Colonel Meow has passed away. We will always remember him for championing the Cat Pack and sharing his wise words with us. The culling of beloved Internet kitties has begun too soon.

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Throw 'em back

Taking shots at a couple real classics. Plus: Loose Shus, last Debaser ever, Go BANG!, Kafana Balkan, more parties

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO It kills me that San Francisco currently has four — four! — regular parties called Throwback Thursday. Throw them all back, I say, and give us a little effort! Still, there's no denying the power of the past — not just because Michael J. Fox is usually starring somewhere in it, but because the past breeds classics. And when it comes to classics, I have lately been drinking my way right through them.Read more »

Google bus breakdown: a metaphor for our times?

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From Mikey B, owner of Vinyl Dreams in the Lower Haight, comes this epic pic of a sleek shuttle being towed through the rough-and-tumble streets.

Swept away

SUPER EGO Oh hey -- we're not trendy! Plus: Subb-an, Robag Wruhme, Lucidity, Cazwell, Nick Monaco, more nightlife

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Positive starts

GOOD TECH ISSUE Toward a more holistic integration of technology into Bay Area life

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marke@sfbg.com

GOOD TECH Like Tabasco sauce, Lady Gaga, and the color teal, technology in itself is neither good nor bad — it's all in how you use it. (Indeed, you could argue that those first three examples are technological feats in their own right: Just don't use too much, please!) And while battles rightly rage about how the Bay Area's tech industry is reweaving our social fabric, creating and applying technology is an art in itself, albeit one that can have huge economic and political impact.Read more »

RIP Gary Arlington, underground comix hero (UPDATED)

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UPDATE: This just in from Ron Turner: "Hello Friends.  There will be a memorial for Gary this coming Tuesday at 11 AM at 225 Berry St. off 4th, very near the Giants ballpark and the Cal Train station.  Hope to see you there.  It is a modern Senior Center where Gary made his home. Bring stories and memories to share."

Just got word from Last Gasp Press founder Ron Turner that comics legend Gary Edson Arlington has passed away at age 75. In 1968, he opened what is considered the first comic book store in the United States, San Francisco Comic Book Company, which galvanized the hotbed Bay Area underground comix scene (and helped house his enormous collection, too).

As Art Spiegelman told the Chronicle in 2012, on the occasion of the publication of "I Am Not of this Planet," a book of Arlington's colorful artwork published by Last Gasp:

"San Francisco was the capitol of comix culture in the '60s and early '70s; and Gary Arlington's hole-in-the-wall shop was, for me, the capitol of San Francisco."

He was truly a fascinating character who supported local comics and art until the end, and influenced pop culture exponentially. 

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Welcome to San Francisco, "Welcome to Night Vale"

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Hello, listeners. Brilliant breakout podcast "Welcome to Night Vale" has gained a rabid (yet adorably introspective) fanbase since it launched in June 2012. The twice-monthly, 20-minute-long show, created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, takes the form of a surreal newscast, coming to us from "somewhere in the Southwestern United States" by way of Twin Peaks.

Describing a community of indelible characters, it's a twisted take on Lake Wobegone that vacillates cunningly from whimsical to chilling, often veering into outright poetry. "Night Vale" also recalls the golden age of radio plays: even though it lacks sound effects and depends mostly on the deep, hypnotic voice of narrator Cecil, it summons the entrancing atmosphere of such classics as "The Shadow."

And now it's coming to the Victoria Theater for a big live show-reading on Tue/21. Expect seismic things, tiered heavens, off-limits dog parks, magic lightbulbs, hovering livestock, public service koans, and the heirarchy of angels.

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A first glance at 'Looking'

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Imagine a place where all the gay men are masculine, well-built, physically unselfconscious, and fashionably tousled; where young male artists and young male people of color mingle with young white male techies (yet are still happily banished to Oakland or work the door at Esta Noche); where having a "lazy eye" or being "slightly portly" renders you disqualified for relationships; where HIV, addiction, and politics barely exist; and where everyone is drenched in soft-spoken sophistication, vague existential ennui, and puppy-eyed cuteness.

This isn't quite San Francisco (yet), but it is the San Francisco of gorgeously produced, play-it-safe-so-far gay-themed HBO series Looking (it begins airing Jan. 19) -- at least the first two episodes, which previewed tonight at the Castro Theater. It's too early of course to pass any kind of judgment on the entire series, which in many ways may be an accurate reflection of current gay culture, and I maintain very high hopes, especially with such good actors, writers, and attention to detail involved.

But let me tell you: I have never wished more for a stereotypically sassy drag queen to stomp onscreen and break some shit in my life.

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In 'tuni

Martuni's still serves 'em stiff. Plus: Avalon Emerson, QBERT, SF Album Project, Levon Vincent, Disco Daddy, Stimming, more parties

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