Sean McCourt

Takei wisdom at San Francisco's 'Star Trek' convention

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Bay Area Trekkers (don’t call them “Trekkies”!) set their coordinates for the city this past weekend as the official 2012 San Francisco Star Trek Convention took over the Westin St. Francis in Union Square, filling the hotel and the surrounding area with a galaxy’s worth of creative costumes, collectibles vendors, parties, and an impressive slate of stars from the franchise’s 46 year and counting history.

Several of the most esteemed names in the Trek universe made appearances over the course of the three day fete, including George Takei and Walter Koenig (Sulu and Chekov from the original series), along with Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, and Martina Sirtis (Data, Geordi, Worf, and Counselor Troi from The Next Generation).

Fans enthusiastically listened to behind the scenes stories and heard the actors share their thoughts on being part of the Star Trek universe, and also asked about some of their other projects and outside work.

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Toasting the titan

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Special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen had to invent unconventional techniques to bring his movie magic to the big screen when he revolutionized the world of fantasy film making in the 1950s and 1960s. His work on Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953), among many others, has influenced several generations of filmmakers that grew up watching his stop-motion creatures.

Harryhausen's life and incredible career are celebrated in a new documentary, Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan, an expansive look not only at the man and his work, but also the huge influence he continues to have in modern movie magic. Featuring interviews with Harryhausen (now 92), alongside Hollywood heavyweights like James Cameron and Steven Spielberg, the film is having its United States premiere Sat/8 at San Leandro's Historic Bal Theatre thanks to Bay Area Film Events.

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The Vaselines move beyond 'Kurt Cobain’s favorite band'

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Hailing from Scotland in the late 1980s, The Vaselines released just a couple of EPs and one full album before originally calling it quits after two short years together. However, thanks to fans like Kurt Cobain, who covered three of their tunes with Nirvana, and exposed the band to larger audiences around the world, new generations have fallen in love with them in the ensuing years. Read more »

Danzig on Doyle, his fans, Verotik, and that Metallica anniversary

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Glenn Danzig has spawned a cult following with his dark and brooding voice, and the sinisterly seductive imagery of his lyrics. From the early days – some 35 years back – as front person for horror punk icons the Misfits, to metal-infused Samhain, and finally to the eponymous Danzig, where he achieved a degree of mainstream success, he has taken macabre themes, blasted them with an obsessive sheen, and come up with some of the most hauntingly memorable songs this side of hell. Read more »

SF-born legend Terry Bozzio on UK's reunion, his dad's accordion, and the importance of drum lessons

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Bay Area-born and raised drummer extraordinaire Terry Bozzio (who plays the Regency Ballroom Fri/18 with reunited band UK) has performed with Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Jeff Beck, Fantomas, and a host of other musicians over the years. Recognized as one of the best modern drummers, he has recorded a variety of instructional videos, been honored by Guitar Center’s RockWalk in Hollywood, and has created some of the most insane custom drum sets ever seen on stage. Read more »

Lindsey Buckingham's live show comes down to one

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With an arsenal of a dozen guitars and several amplifiers lined up behind him, Lindsey Buckingham wasted no time delving into his extensive catalog of songs Monday night at the Fillmore.

Striding up to a lone microphone stand wearing his signature blue jeans, v-neck t-shirt, and black leather jacket, the singer and guitarist launched into an hour and 15 minute set that spanned a broad spectrum of his career, covering a wide swath of solo material in addition to some of the mega hits he created as a member of Fleetwood Mac.Read more »

Teese and thank you

Burlesque revivalist extraordinaire Dita Von Teese reveals all!

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STAGE With a seductive and sexy nod to the past, modern pin-up and burlesque queen Dita Von Teese has been at the forefront of reviving a once nearly lost art form for two decades.Read more »

Lindsey Buckingham sows his own seeds

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For nearly 45 years, Lindsey Buckingham has been writing and performing songs with an indelible impact on rock'n'roll; and several of those tracks are nearly universally considered to be among the pillars of the classic rock pantheon. Read more »

Letters from Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson

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As the guitarist for Hole, Eric Erlandson was at the center of the alternative rock explosion of the early 1990s, a member of one of the most popular and controversial bands of the time, and a friend and confidant to one of the scene’s most influential players, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. Read more »

GWAR honors deceased guitarist's return to the home planet

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Those sleazy, salacious scumdogs of the universe in GWAR wasted no time in unleashing their riotous brand of musical mayhem on Friday night before a packed audience at the Regency Ballroom, with fake blood spraying and splattering the audience as quickly as the first notes came screaming out of the amplifiers. Read more »