Avi Buffalo: Young enough to sound old

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Only one member of Avi Buffalo-- playing Fri/23 at the Independent and Wed/28 at Amoeba-- has reached drinking age, but the SoCal band's sound is drenched in aged whisky and cheap beer. A shot of their genuinely '70s rock burns in your chest but tastes smooth on your tongue, making it hard to believe such a vintage sound can come from a group with fresh ink on their high school diplomas.Read more »

Yann Martel brushes off the haters

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Last night, Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, and the new spectacularly panned follow up effort Beatrice and Virgil, took the stage at Kabuki Sundance Theater to speak with fellow writer Laura Fraser.

One can almost hear the semi colons when Martell speaks. “What makes life go well is not just external success; it’s how you feel about it.” It’s well and good that he seems relatively undisturbed by reviews of his work, because otherwise he might be a little ruffled these days; despite the phenomenal triumph of Life of Pi, the New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani heads up a long list of unimpressed critics, calling the new book “disappointing and often perverse.” Read more »

DCCC: Thumbs down on sit / lie

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San Francisco's Democratic County Central Committee voted last night in favor of a resolution opposing San Francisco’s proposed sit / lie ordinance, a law backed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Police Chief George Gascon that would make it illegal to sit or lie down on city sidewalks. Gabriel Haaland introduced the resolution, and it passed with overwhelming support. Read more »

Appetite: 3 upcoming events covering sips 'round the world

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From Dry Creek Valley barrel-tasting  to the snowy peaks of Austria, here are a trio of flavorful events that encompass a full range of delectable vino.

4/22 Wine Enthusiast's Toast of the TownRead more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Erika and Drew, 18th Street and Valencia

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War -- or a million more teachers?

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I love these kinds of statistics. You want a reminder of why this country seems so broke all the time? It's right here, in this nifty Consumer Federation of California report, brought to you by Calitics. California taxpayers have spent $38 billion supporting the war in Afghanistan -- a war that has little point and that we can't possibly win. Read more »

Green cards in hand, Washingtons want Newsom to discuss immigrant youth policy. In person.

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Tracey Washington and her 13-year old son heard today that their green card applications have been approved. This means that they will not be deported to Australia, and their personal immigration nightmare is over. Read more »

The Daily Blurgh: Leaf us alone

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Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond

If a tree falls in San Francisco will anyone hear it? Probably. But more importantly, concerned citizens will be able to track the felled arbor online thanks to the Urban Forest Map.

*****

Get out your Legos: Berkeley Art Museum/PFA is looking for new architectural proposals.

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Big kids appreciating little movies -- "Celestial Navigations" explores the work of Al Jarnow

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It was science disguised by fun, flashy animation, and people everywhere ate that stuff up like it was a bowl of chocolate-covered bran. Filmmaker Al Jarnow is a dude who managed to make learning fun on Sesame Street and far more intersting than the overbearing bird and crabby monster in a can. Most people had no idea who was creating the incredible shorts that appeared on that show, but if you were a kid or parented one in the past 50 years, you're bound to recognize his work. And now with an escavation of over 45 films, Celestial Navigations -- playing Thurs/22 at Red Vic Movie House -- brings Jarnow's magic back for some instant reminiscing.

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John Ross: Time travelling down the Mississippi

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 Editors note: John Ross is wandering the country on a book tour, sharing his observations of Obamalandia, 2010. You can read his previous dispatches here and here  

I. Role models

 

When I finally made Chicago, they were all waiting for me down there two blocks south of the end of the Blue Line, through the wrought-iron gates of Forest Home Cemetery, past the ostentatious mausoleums of fabulous gypsies and clustered around the heroic monument to the Haymarket Martyrs: Red Emma, looking a little dingy these days; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the Rebel Girl; William Z. Foster, the CPUSA's most rigid ideologue and the leaders of its black sector Henry Winston and William Patterson; the anarchist femme fatal Voltairine de Cleyres; hobo-ologist Ben Reitman; and, of course my personal role model, Lucy Parsons, who outlived her Albert (hung by the State for the Haymarket frame-up) by 50 years, traveling this poisoned landscape from sea to stinking sea speechifying to the masses and hawking her incendiary pamphlets to make ends meet. A single wilted rose adorned the soft granite pillow that bears her name and dates.

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The message of 555 Washington

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The San Francisco supervisors not only rejected the environmental impact report for the condo tower next to the Transamerica building; they did it unanimously. And although the developer could still go back and write a new EIR -- one that takes into account all the many, many issues this one ignored -- that seems unlikely:Read more »

Sexy events April 21-27

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We're all feeling a little smoothed out from yesterday's 420 festivities -- why not take that newfound ease, and apply it to some fun new sexy events? A little cowboy action with a glass of wine and a lasso tryout? Maybe you'd like to bend over to your desire to learn more about the art of spank? Whether you're into choppers or fatties, this week has tons of chances to let it alllll hang out. Read more »

Internal poll shows Harris with healthy lead

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A source in the Kamala Harris for Attorney General campaign tells the Guardian that an internal poll recently conducted by David Binder Research shows Harris to have a comfortable lead in the crowded Democratic field, favored by 25 percent of registered Democrats compared with 9 percent who support Rocky Delgadillo, the former Los Angeles City Attorney. Read more »

MTA board approves controversial budget

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By Adam Lesser

City Hall needed an overflow room to accommodate all the disenchanted Muni riders who showed up to protest the two-year San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency budget plan yesterday (4/20). The budget locks in a 10 percent service cut through July 1st, 2011, at which point the MTA board is hopeful that the service cut will be lowered to 5 percent. The controversial budget was adopted on a 4-3 vote, and now goes to the Board of Supervisors, where progressive supervisors have already signaled opposition to the service cuts. Read more »

How to make a bumble bee latte

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So, there I was, sitting with a friend, at a table in the bay window of Farley’s coffee house, when a bumble bee started buzzing around inside the window pane, right next to us.

It was pleasantly warm and bright sitting in that window, and I could see how that bee could have swirled out of the wind and into this sheltered spot.

But when the bee started bumbling in loud bee tones, I decided it was time to spring into action.

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