Sean McCourt

The Damned celebrates 35 years of punk at Slim's

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The Damned first turned heads back in 1976. On Saturday night, the UK punk band took to the stage at Slim’s as part of its 35th Anniversary Tour and proved it's only grown better with time. Read more »

Spellbound

Houdini's fascinating magic endures at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

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Harry Houdini: the name conjures up a multitude of images and ideas about what a magician and escape artist should be. The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is currently celebrating that rich and long-lasting legacy with Houdini: Art and Magic, a new exhibit featuring a collection of vintage photographs, event posters, archival film, original props, art installations, and more, focusing on the world's most famous magician — who died in 1926, on Halloween.Read more »

Think this is Judas Priest's final concert? You've got another thing coming

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With some of the most memorable and recognizable heavy metal anthems ever put to tape or performed live, Judas Priest has been at the forefront of the scene for some 40 years now. Featuring singer Rob Halford’s piercing vocals, the twin guitar attacks of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, and the rock solid rhythm section of Ian Hill and Scott Travis, the band has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Birmingham, England, where it earned the moniker, “Metal Gods.” Read more »

The killer next door

Kane Hodder, a.k.a. Jason Vorhees, tells his story in Unmasked: The True Story of the World's Most Prolific Cinematic Killer

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TRASH Having terrified generations of horror film fans with his portrayals of some of cinema's most feared and iconic characters, Kane Hodder is a modern monster movie legend.Read more »

Write what you know

Will Viharo lives, breathes, and bleeds pulp fiction

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Hey Nikki! Sixx heads to SF to sign his new book, "This Is Gonna Hurt"

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Known not only for his fiery stage presence and key songwriting contributions as bassist for Mötley Crüe, Nikki Sixx gained a notorious reputation for his off-stage antics as well, particularly his legendary appetite for drugs and debauchery. Sober now for several years, Sixx detailed many of these early escapades and horrors in his 2007 book The Heroin Diaries.

He returns — just in time before a major summer tour featuring Mötley Crüe, Poison, and the New York Dolls, which hits San Francisco June 15 — with the follow up, This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through The Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx (William Morrow), a look at his post-addiction life that finds him a successful author, radio host, and of course, still rocking the stage as a member of the Crüe and Sixx: A.M. Read more »

A long time ago, in a galaxy not far away

Tom Wyrsch's Back to Space-Con blasts off to 1970s sci-fi conventions

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arts@sfbg.com

SCI-FI DOCUMENTARY Recalling a simpler time — before mass commercialization and marketing took over the world of science fiction, pop culture, and fan conventions — local filmmaker Tom Wyrsch's new documentary Back To Space-Con conveys the story of the home-grown, grassroots-fueled sci-fi conventions of the 1970s, told through interviews with the people behind the events, fans who were there, and rare footage shot on location here in the Bay Area more than 30 years ago.Read more »

Transylvania twist

Scarin' up memories with the Monster Squad's Fred Dekker

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM For many devoted fans of horror films who grew up in the 1980s — especially those who were monster kids in spirit or became one in the ensuing years — the 1987 movie The Monster Squad has a special, firmly staked place in their hearts.

Paying tribute to the icons of the classic Universal monster pantheon while weaving a modern storyline into the mix, writer and director Fred Dekker created a now-cult favorite, a film that is scary and funny, entertaining and touching all at the same time.Read more »

SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY! Monster trucks, y'all!

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For many of us that grew up in the 1970s and 80s, the recent slew of TV commercials for this weekend’s “Monster Jam” monster truck event in Oakland has been bringing back a flood of fond memories, with the overly-exaggerated and amped up announcer wildly informing us about the stampede of horsepower that is about to come thundering into town — though it’s Sat/26, not SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY as it seemed most of the ads back then proclaimed.

Generations of kids have undoubtedly imagined being in the driver’s seat of Bigfoot, Grave Digger, or one of the other many colorful and burly monstrous machines over the years, going to live shows, watching them on TV, or playing with their Hot Wheels toys in the backyard.

One Bay Area native who has gone on to actually become a professional monster truck driver is Kelvin Ramer, who was born and raised in Corralitos, down in Santa Cruz County. Ramer’s retro cool custom creation is Time Flys, a monster truck based on the body of a 1934 Ford pick up, which he drives for his own family-run team, the appropriately named Living The Dream Racing.

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Forget "Deborah" -- Debbie Gibson is back!

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Despite having had a nearly 25-year (and counting) career in show business, singer Debbie Gibson is still full of youthful energy and excitement when talking about recent projects and what she has planned for the future — perhaps that is due in part to the fact that she had her first hit single and taste of fame when she was only 16 years old. The ever-vivacious Gibson is particularly excited about taking part in a benefit concert and cabaret show tonight here in San Francisco, “One Night Only: A Shrektacular Holiday Celebration,” which will also feature the cast of Shrek currently at the Orpheum Theatre, and raises funds for the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.

“Pretty much if I’m available, I can’t say no to this organization,” says Gibson, who has always been heavily involved with helping charitable groups throughout her career. “I really enjoy these intimate shows with solo theater performers, and it’s kind of a perfect fit for me — obviously I bring my pop persona to the table, but at the same time I’m part of the theater community, so it makes perfect sense really.”

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