Arthur Szyk: beauty in fairy tale... and Stalin

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Nowadays, being up on the news can actually make us stupider (more stupid, damn!), but when cartoonist Arthur Szyk was sketching his dense, fantastically detailed news caricatures, politics were still in need of explication – and all the more better if it was beautiful to boot. How else can one explain why one of the most whimsical artists of the 1930s and '40s became best known for his sketches of Hitler and Stalin playing poker?

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Appetite: In Tequila with Fortaleza

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Fortaleza is truly a special tequila. On my recent visit to Tequila, Mexico, this distillery enchanted with its agave covered hillsides and haunting caves. Fortaleza means fortitude, though in Mexico, you'll find their bottles labeled Los Abuelos in memory of the grandfathers of Guillermo E. Sauza, the fifth generation producer who passionately runs Fortaleza by old world methods. He comes from tequila royalty as a Sauza... Read more »

New Year's Eve 2011 parties

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As always, we recommend attending several parties on New Year's Eve — just to spread your personal brand of bubbly around (and change up the scenery a bit.) Below are some recommendations for maximum impact, all of which take place the night of Fri/31. Chin chin! (Check out our Music Listings for even more.)

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Maybe bankruptcy would save California

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First of all: ain't going to happen. The state needs to spend $6.6 billion on bond debt, and has more than $50 million available. No default looming. I'm with Robert Cruickshank at Calitics: The law shouldn't give bondholders first claim on the state's money. But it does.Read more »

Fine (and found) dining with Wild Kitchen

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Wild boar, Monterey squid, light-it-yourself flambe -- local, wild edibles are foraged and transformed into multi-course gourmet meals, as ForageSF hosts underground restaurant Wild Kitchen. Dig in to this SFBG exclusive.

Year in Music: Pantha du Prince's Top 10 (+1) of 2010

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Phill Niblock, Touch Radio 57
Efdemin, Chicago
Konrad Sprenger, Versprochen
Avey Tare, Down There
Foxtrot Echo Lima Tango fanzine
Autechre, Oversteps
Moritz Von Oswald Trio, Live In New York
Live jams by The Sight Below in New York
Sohrab, A Hidden Place
John Roberts, Glass Eights
Craig Haines, Until the Point of Hushed Support Read more »

Spoiled mayor wants to get his way

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I guess it's no surprise that Gavin Newsom takes his political cues from the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. But this spoiled-kid choose-a-mayor-I-like-or-I-won't-leave attitude isn't pretty. Newsom has chosen a new office; it's no longer his business who the folks he left behind want to put in Room 200.Read more »

Year in Music: Jesse Kivel of Kisses' Top 10 Albums of 2010

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Beach House, Teen Dream
CEO, White Magic
Nite Jewel, Am I Real?
El Guincho, Pop Negro
Owen Pallett, Heartland
The National, High Violet
Joanna Newsom, Have One On Me
Ra Ra Riot, The Orchard
Delorean, Subiza
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Before Today

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Year in Music: John Cobbett of Hammers of Misfortune's San Francisco Top 10 of 2010

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Farmers Market (Thursdays, Bartlett between 21st and 22nd streets). Finally, a farmers market in my neighborhood, and it opens just in time for breakfast!
Dishammer, Under the Sign of the D-beat Mark. For some reason this record made me very happy in 2010
Healthy San Francisco. I got your public option RIGHT HERE Read more »

Year in Music: Alexis Georgopoulos of Arp's Top 10 of 2010 (+1)

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Durutti Column, "Stucki"
CFCF, The River
Oni Ayhun, "Untitled (OAR003–B)"
James Blake, Klavierwerke
Mario Basanov, Caribbean Girl
Sun Araw, Off Duty and Boat Trip
Charanjit Singh, Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat
Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Macho
Tensnake, Coma Cat
Tame Impala, Innerspeaker
The Radio Dept., "Heaven's On Fire"

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Hot sexy events December 22-28

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Santa was a freak. Think on it: he gets around by whipping those reindeers’ tender flesh (hello, dom), sneaks in your house at night to kiss your mama, and has a bizarre obsession with whether you’ve been naughty or nice. To me, that sounds like… well someone who reads this column, that’s all. And it very much clears up Chaps’ much-heralded holiday hours (on Fri/24 and Sat/25 they’re open from 8 p.m.-late). Would you like to sit on Santa's lap? Get cruisey, all you ho-ho-hoes -- it’s Christmas time for the weekly sex events.

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The Performant: Big ideas, small packages

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Taking size of the One-Minute Play Festival and Monsters of Accordion

I’m a sucker for miniaturization. Sushi erasers, super-strong magnets, marzipan fruit baskets, teeny-weeny screwdrivers; anything you can pack into a matchbox or stuff into a watch-pocket makes my spirits soar. So I was naturally keen to take in the One-Minute Play Festival at Thick House. Sixty-three 60-second plays performed in a quicksilver stream of actors, action, and scene. A good example of where miniature does not automatically equate “cute” or “precious” but rather “succinct” or “direct,” the one-minute play is an exercise in brevity and restraint.

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SFBG Radio: The year in review

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In today's episode, Johnny and Tim talk about the crazy year that was 2010. Listen after the jump. Read more »

Ma seeks to ban raves in latest War on Fun offensive

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Someone needs to tell Assembly member Fiona Ma that the '90s – with its myopic War on Drugs mentality, ascendant rave scene, and chest-beating “tough on crime” political one-upsmanship – are over, even though we're still paying that era's bills. Because Ma just introduced AB 74, which seeks to bans raves in California.Read more »

Does Mayor Newsom represent SF workers or San Mateo politicians?

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"Does Newsom represent local workers or San Mateo politicians?" That’s the question being asked  at City Hall today. And it’s threatening to deliver an unwelcome kick to Mayor Gavin Newsom on his way out of City Hall’s revolving doors, as dozens of unemployed construction workers deliver 1,000 Christmas cards that residents of Bayview Hunters Point, Chinatown, the Mission, the Tenderloin and South of Market have signed. Read more »