Messages to the next police chief

|
()

While researching Tasers in the wake of last week's police commission hearing, I came upon an online series published while the city of San Jose was considering candidates for police chief. Created by Silicon Valley De-Bug as part of an effort with San Jose's Coalition for Justice and Accountability, the project featured the messages of people who wished to share their personal stories with the next top cop. Read more »

Why does anyone still trust PG&E?

|
()

The Bay Citizen's got a good report on how PG&E cobbled together the San Bruno gas pipe out of bits and pieces of whatever was around, and a nice liveblog of the NTSB hearing on the explosion. Read more »

5 Things: March 1, 2011

|
()

Each day, our editors pick five (or so) things that might interest you

>>1. FEEL THE HEAT Here is a map of downtown San Francisco's extensive underground steam delivery system.

Read more »

The Chronicle doesn't like democracy

|
()

Remarkable editorial in the Chron today on the mayor's race. The point seems to be that there are too many candidates:

If most of this herd stays in the race, no door knob, mail slot or voice-mail queue will be safe.

Too many people running for office. Too many choices for the voters. Imagine how awful that could be. And to what do we owe this tragic set of circumstances? Ranked-choice voting and public financing.Read more »

John Ross memorial takes the streets

|
()

A standing-room-only crowd gathered at United Mission Presbyterian Church on 23rd and Capp Feb. 25th to remember Guardian correspondent and hell-raising investigative poet John Ross. John's old friends Q.R. Hand, Hermann Bellinghausen, Frank Bardacke, Kevin Quigley and me spoke; his kids, Carla Ross-Allen and Dante Ross, gave moving remeberances. Read more »

Bug artist under glass

|
()

Kevin Clarke is riffling through drawers, tossing around their various contents and muttering to himself, “I can’t believe I can’t find the lingerie.”

On every surface of his Richmond home, which doubles as his studio, the instruments of his trade are scattered: pins, needles, razorblades and film. But this isn’t some sort of dungeon, and Clarke’s job isn’t to indulge clients’ fetishistic fantasies. His trade is insect art, and the lingerie is for his beetles.

Clarke is a trained conservation biologist who now spends his days boiling butterflies and spreading insect wings, creating whimsical dioramas and gorgeous butterfly wing necklaces he bills as “museum quality insect art.” This year marks the first that his company, Bug Under Glass, has been his sole source of income, but Clarke’s fascination with all things creepy-crawly started long ago. Read more »

Noise Pop Live Review: Dominant Legs and How to Dress Well

|
()

Synth and bass, rock and roll, some combinations are easily matched, but when you put How to Dress Well on the roster, pairings aren't as obvious. Dominant Legs' mangy pop was an odd precursor to Saturday night's How to Dress Well performance at Cafe Du Nord, but then again, what flatters eerie falsetto and awkward emotions? 

San Francisco's Dominant Legs played like summer in a bottle. Happy guitars, lots of cowbell and rad bass made the winter weather outside melt. The only thing missing was sunshine, or lights in general. Half the band was hidden from the crowd due to a lack of lighting-- particularly the adorable Hannah Hunt. One disgruntled lady in the audience voiced her disapproval by shouting, "We can't see the pretty girl in the blue dress," to which Hunt meekly responded, "It's green." Case in point. 

Read more »

Appetite: Gin for a winter's night

|
()

A favorite experiment: gather a few industry and non-industry friends, taste a specific spirit side-by-side, sample it in the same cocktail recipe, and compare notes. Gin seemed appropriate for a rainy winter's night.

While gin is fabulous all year 'round, there's something about its bracing herbal and citrus qualities that evoke winter, particularly in Northern California where crisp air and sunny days mingle to create the mild backdrop that spawns our wealth of citrus at its peak. Read more »

SFBG Radio: North Africa, oil, and cotton

|
()

Today Johnny talks to economist Johnny Venom about the situation in North Africa and explains how there's a surplus of oil right now in the United States, how the real price hike is going to be cotton -- and how the revolutionary fervor is going to play out over the next few weeks. Listen after the jump. Read more »

5 Things: February 28, 2011

|
()

Each day, our editors pick five (or so) things that might interest you

>>OSCAR AND ANN L.A. performance artist-sitcom regular Ann Magnuson is one of our favorite people ever (ask her about crashing in our tent at Burning Man). Sure she's pretty famous, she ruled '80s downtown New York, and she is, in fact, the Power of Pussy. But she's funniest when she's just straight-up laying down some home truths. Here's her viral Oscar rant and here's the film she should have won an Oscar for: Read more »

Chiu announces run for mayor

|
()

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu announced his candidacy for mayor today, becoming the eighth major candidate in a field that will likely continue shaking out in the coming months.Read more »

Comedian Amy Dresner talks sober comedy

|
()

Twelve-steppers say in order for an addict to get on the road to recovery, it’s essential that they accept their addiction. But for comics Amy Dresner, Ian Harvie, and Felon O’Reilly, successful recovery is not just about acceptance: it’s about turning addiction into one big, serious joke. It might sound like funny business, but standing onstage with the mic and some yuks has been the only way all three have been able to maintain their sobriety. Now, they're bringing the laughs throughout the country on their “Laughs Without Liquor” comedy tour, donating proceeds to local “sober living” causes along the way. Lucky for us, March 5th brings the tour to SF.

Read more »

Worst American Idol ever

|
()

Ok, American Idol. I sat through four hours this week. And yeah, Randy is Randy and Steven Tyler is a rock god and J-Lo is so pretty it makes my teeth hurt, but:

I miss Simon. Because everytime somebody really mangled a song, he'd remind them that "this is a singing contest."Read more »

Spirit and soul

Cody ChesnuTT moves past The Headphone Masterpiece to create freely in new ways

|
()

Having uprooted from his native Atlanta to chase his musical dreams in L.A., Cody ChestnuTT and his band, the Crosswalk, landed a deal with Hollywood Records and got as far as recording and mixing a debut album, Venus Loves a Melody, before things went south. In 2002, ChestnuTT took his bass, drum machine, keyboard, guitar, organ, microphone, and headphones into his bedroom and single-handedly crafted his debut album, The Headphone Masterpiece (Ready Set Go). Read more »

Live Review: Paula West brings the best things to the Rrazz Room

|
()

There's a short list of outlets for female crooner aficionados these days. Sure, there are winning classic vocals from the likes of Madeleine Peyroux or Jane Monheit. But I've yet to witness the poignancy of Billie Holiday, the sass of Eartha Kitt, the sultriness of Julie London, or the sheer perfection of Ella Fitzgerald, in any current-day singer.

Though Paula West may not be a legend, she has become a leading international jazz vocalist and local treasure. Watching her perform every year for the past decade, I can vouch: she keeps getting better. She hasn't recorded an album since 2002 and those she does have fail to fully capture the essence of live performance. Live, her impeccable breath control and diction shine, as does her soulful longing and contrasting wry humor. Read more »