Sean McCourt

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 »

Punk rock Robin Hoods

A user's guide to Pirate's Press Records

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MUSIC In today's modern music world, when iTunes and MP3s have dominated the mainstream market, and digital distribution is now the norm, a lot of vinyl aficionados wax nostalgic about the thrill of buying a new record, pulling out the disc, checking out the gatefold art, reading the liner notes, and enjoying a multifaceted musical experience.Read more »

Cock Sparrer is mates first

The chummiest punk band you've never heard of celebrates 40 years

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC While it may not be a household name in the mainstream music world, Cock Sparrer has been one of the most beloved and influential bands in punk rock for four decades and counting.

Hailing from the East End of London, childhood friends Colin McFaull, Mick Beaufoy, Steve Burgess and Steve Bruce — who all remain members of the group today, along with Daryl Smith, who joined in 1992 — formed the band in 1972.Read more »

Large, in charge: "Elephant Seals" at the SF Ocean Film Festival

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Featuring an incredible variety of fascinating films about the ocean and its importance in nature, along with the role it plays in our society, the ninth San Francisco Ocean Film Festival (running now through Sun/11) showcases programs ranging from documentaries on marine life and environmental science to surfing videos and parables about pollution.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the short film Into The Deep With Elephant Seals (screening Sat/10), which offers a unique look at how marine biologists are using new technology to study the elephant seal population at Año Nuevo, just down the coast from San Francisco. Filmmaker Sheraz Sadiq, who produced the film for KQED as part of the station’s excellent QUEST series, says that he and his colleagues had wanted to do a story on elephant seals for some time, but had waited for the right mix of criteria to be met before setting out to do so.

“We wanted to take a different approach, we wanted to highlight the use of technology and the brilliant researchers who are pioneering the use of this technology to understand more information about elephant seals — where they go, what they eat, how long they dive,” he explains.

Read more »

Cheers, puppeteers!

Gelfling classic The Dark Crystal is 30 years old -- join the celebration at Castro Theatre, but watch out for Skeksis

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Showcasing the boldly imaginative and innovative talents of the artisans at the Jim Henson Company, the 1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal broke new ground when it came to visual special effects and believable creature creations.Read more »

Come, as you are

YEAR IN MUSIC: An impassioned fan flocks to Seattle and Rasputin Music for Nevermind's anniversary

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YEAR IN MUSIC While thousands of shoppers — many appearing unfocused in their consumerist abandon — swarmed around me in the midst of Black Friday madness a couple of weeks ago, I knew exactly what I was looking for. Indeed, it was the only thing on my shopping list — the only thing that could make me get out of bed early the morning after Thanksgiving.Read more »

Visual wizard

Talking special effects with Bay Area legend Phil Tippett

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Having brought life to a host of magical creatures and creations in movies including the original Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic Park (1993), RoboCop (1987), Starship Troopers (1997), and more, special effects legend Phil Tippett's film credits span more than three decades and counting.Read more »

Weird Al Yankovic never misses a beat at the Fox

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For someone who got his start in the music business by recording his first single in the men’s room, “Weird Al” Yankovic has certainly come a long way. Forging a wildly successful career that has lasted three decades and counting, the master of musical parodies hit the stage at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Sunday night, proving that while his act is hilarious, his talents for showmanship and performance are no joke. Read more »