Interview

Sipping lattes with the transmale program specialist

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“People at sex clubs are looking to hook up. It’s usually my safe sex practices that get me turned down more and not the fact that I’m transgender” 

I thought it would be cute to conduct today’s interview in a bathhouse sauna. Instead I found myself sipping a soy milk latte in one of the Mission’s many hip coffee shops -- not as intimate of an option, but probably better for my note taking. For once, I was on time, and I patiently awaited San Francisco sex educator Niko Kowell.Read more »

In bed with the cuddle expert

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“I’ve been enveloped and swimming in love the last few years”

It’s early Saturday morning, and I’m quickly putting fresh sheets on my bed. The door bell rings before I can finish, and I run down the stairs to a incredibly punctual, smiling, and shirtless Travis Sigley, the cuddle therapy practitioner.

Sigley is a San Francisco-based, specializing in private appointments, group sessions, and workshops on non-sexual intimacy. I invited Sigley over to have a conversation about his line of work -- and to find out why this beautiful man is always shirtless. He greets me at my door with a big hug. His handsome face and sun-kissed body make it easy to imagine spending an hour in my bed wrapped in his loving arms.

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Talking with Etgar Keret (supposedly)

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You can't imagine the writerly crisis I experienced typing up the questions for my Etgar Keret interview. What responses could I possibly elicit from Israel's most prominent fabulist that would rival the odd, sparkling stories of his latest, Suddenly, a Knock on the Door (FSG Originals, 208pp, $14)? Better just to publish one of his pieces, perhaps the titular account of a man forced at gunpoint to overcome writer's block or the story of the guy who falls (via a buried gumball machine) into a world populated by characters from the fibs he's told over the year. Read more »

Parra's world gets a wall at SFMOMA, spun at Mighty

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How about this: for your first museum piece you can take the entryway wall of the second floor of the SFMOMA. It's a bigger surface than you've ever painted on before. Just do whatever. You usually decorate skateboards and coffee mugs with your work, but putting your bird-faced, omni-stilletoed characters in front of some of the world's most voracious art fans isn't a big deal.

Oh, and the passers-by aren't going to know that you're the artist, so they'll probably offer some critique. You're good with criticism, right? Also, don't upset the children. And then your band can play a show at Mighty (Thu/29). Read more »

Interviewing Anonymous

We chat with one of the legion of hactivists using the Internet to organize allies and attack enemies

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yael@sfbg.com, steve@sfbg.com

There have always been journalists and activists devoted to safeguarding the free flow of information, but the age of the Internet has brought a new set of opportunities and challenges — and a new generation of loosely affiliated online enforcers collectively known as Anonymous.Read more »

Pamalot

The divine Ms. Grier is coming to the Castro!

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Say the name "Pam Grier" and certain things come to mind: the iconic poster for her 1973 breakout, Coffy, about a nurse turned vigilante ("the baddest one-chick hit squad that ever hit town!"); or her cool-as-ice, career-reviving turn in 1997's Jackie Brown.Read more »

Where there's a Will

The comedian tries something old (nudity!) and something new (Spanish dialogue) in Casa de mi Padre

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM You gotta love a guy who is willing to poke fun at his man handles. But the consistency with which Will Ferrell is willing to drop trou has had even Terry Gross wondering, what's with the vast expanses of exposed carne asada, dude?

Ferrell's new Casa de mi Padre — a Spanish-language jab at telenovelas, spaghetti-burrito westerns, and just plain low-budget moviemaking, circa the early 1970s — is no exception. It, er, climaxes with a sweet, sweet love scene, complete with close-ups on rumps.Read more »

Tumblr king: An interview with the co-author of 'All My Friends Are Dead'

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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 »

C'mon inside "Silent House" with co-director Laura Lau

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Yep, it's another remake of a foreign horror movie — but Uruguay's La casa muda is obscure enough that Silent House, which recycles its plot and filming style, feels like a brand-new experience. Co-directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, last seen bobbing in shark-infested waves for 2003's similarly bare-bones Open Water, apply another technical gimmick here: Silent House appears to be shot in one continuous take.

Though it's not actually made this way, each shot is extraordinarily long — way longer than you'd expect in a horror film, since the genre often relies on quick edits to build tension. Instead, the film's aim is "real fear captured in real time" (per its tag line), and there's no denying this is one shriek-filled experience.

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Bounce to this: Rusty Lazer does Mardi Gras

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Due to health problems, Big Freedia had to cancel her and Rusty Lazer's Noise Pop gig at Public Works Sat/25. The event been transmutated into a big gay dance party with Double Duchess, DJ Bus Station John, and more. You should still read this interview, though.

With all its technicolor thrift flair, Mardi Gras costumes in state of midway-preparedness, and sleepy passels of breakfast-cooking houseguests, Jay Pennington's New Orleans clapboard house is pretty hallucinatory on the Saturday afternoon of Carnaval weekend. Staring out the window waiting for the bounce DJ to call me up for our interview, I was to be excused for imagining that the shed in the side lot was producing actual chords while the New Orleans monsoon that raged outside hit it. Read more »