MUSIC In 2004, shortly following the Napster-fueled revolution of file-sharing, the preeminence of the album as popular music's default narrative device was endangered. And forget vinyl; the medium had been left for dead a generation earlier. That year, though, David Barker had an idea.Read more »
After more than 40 years in San Francisco, the progressive independent bookstore Modern Times may have to close its doors in the near future, but not before issuing one final appeal for help from the community.
In the 1990s, Modern Times managed to survive chain retailers' predatory business strategies and cheap prices. More recently, it was able to withstand changes in the industry due to the increasing popularity of e-books and online retailers. More than half of the independent bookstores in the country shut down between 1990 and 2011.Read more »
In 1971, a group of radicals broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole a bunch of documents about J. Edgar Hoover’s surveillance program targeting dissidents and antiwar activists.
Thanks to their criminal act, which they followed up by anonymously sending copies of the files to major media outlets, awareness of FBI spying under Cointelpro penetrated mainstream consciousness.Read more »
STREET SEEN Located on a strip of Valencia that lacks not for the twee and handcrafted, the opening of Little Paper Planes might strike city dwellers as a bit of anti-news. Of course there's a new place to shop for necklaces in the Mission. Obviously, the shop floor emphasizes artists who use locally-sourced materials. Oh, its gorgeous inside and former Design*Sponge senior editor Kate Pruitt designed the sweetly geometric shelves and displays? DUH. Next gift shop please.Read more »
Adobe Books lives on… we hope. The Mission’s beloved 23-year-old bookshop – which reported it would be going out of business multiple times last year – now has plans to stay open as a collective.
Adobe owner Andrew McKinley first reported his shop would be closing in spring of 2012, and then again late summer. His reason: an excessive rent increase for his storefront, in a building at 16th and Valencia Streets. Unless someone was planning to swoop down to be the store’s financial superhero, the proposed rent was too high and McKinley was sure he could no longer afford to keep the shop afloat.
VISUAL ART It starts with the streets. Walls, the texture of walls, rough and colored in swirls of graffiti letters. Walls you feel you could reach out and touch their cold and grit. Establishing shots — the streets of San Francisco in the dot-com era. The photos are of their times: an unattended shopping cart in the streets appears as early as page three. Soon follows the spray-painted legend, "Don't let the good times fool you."Read more »
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 »
Perhaps it's indicative of our societal aversion to life's end that Jory John just finished an email interview with the Guardian. How else would one explain the meteoric success of his tiny book, lightly filled with illustrations of dinos, Yetis, and ponies bemoaning their dead friends in deadpan one-liners? Seriously, they he and co-author Avery Monsen hold Tumblr records, and Ellen DeGeneres once tweeted about them, and their book is now available in Catalan. Surely, in All My Friends Are Dead they have crafted the most Internet-ready nugget known to humankind.
Small surprise then, that All My Friends Are Still Dead (Chronicle Books, 108 pages, $9.95) is now tromping about, introducing us to the rolling 'bot of eternal isolation, a Godzilla with daddy issues, and a real bitchy toothbrush-toothpaste duo. We hollered at John to find out how life has changed since he became a ruler of the Internet. Read more »