There are few fandoms so charmingly enthusiastic as the hordes of video-hounds who treasure Troll 2 (1990), by many accounts the worst movie ever made. This past Saturday night, the East Bay took its turn in the publicity blitz for Best Worst Movie, a documentary about the Troll 2 phenomenon, directed by the ridiculous horror flick’s then-child star Michael Paul Stephenson. Stephenson appeared with his costar George Hardy in San Francisco on Friday, but only Hardy was on hand for the Saturday night screenings at Berkeley’s Shattuck Cinemas.
While much of the mainstream is still poking fun at the hair bands and taking pot-shots at the easy-listening fluff, the '80s have snuck back in for a full-on revival. Kids who grew up in the decade of Ninja Turtles and parachute pants surely have the fondest memories, and two of those kids play poker-faced homages to the era as Holy Ghost! Full of flashy synths and smooth vocals, Holy Ghost goes a step beyond the copycat ambiance of Ariel Pink or the sly winking of Francis and the Lights or Chromeo, passing up tongue-in-cheek for reverence.
Someday, an enterprising cultural archivist is going to compile a history of air-musicianship. I've got to assume that the phenomenon long predates the headbanging era. Maybe it's just because I get a kick out of imagining top-hatted fops sawing away on invisible violins, but the instinct to mime an instrument just seems so natural that I have to assume people have been doing it for centuries. I mean, nobody teaches you air guitar. When you hear a sufficiently righteous riff, the hands just take over. Read more »
Soon I'll be posting my interview with Ekhi Lopetegi of the Barcelona group Delorean, whose new album Subiza might be the year's most resplendent. Lopetegi had things to say about luminsecent atmosphere, building songs from vocal samples, the greatness of Prefab Sprout, the rewards and dangers of love, and the rude brilliance of New Order, as well as the looseness of Barcelona's community of musicians. But for the sake of timeliness, I'm posting his thoughts on Rafael Nadal, before Nadal faces his arch-nemesis and the only player to have beaten him at Roland Garros, Robin Soderling, in the Sunday final of the French Open.
Oliver Luby has long been the most public-spirited employee of the San Francisco Ethics Commission, the one person in that office who repeatedly exposed powerful violators of campaign finance rules and blew the whistle on schemes to make the system less transparent and effective, drawing the ire of Director John St. Croix and Deputy Director Mabel Ng in the process.Read more »
MEXICO CITY (June 3rd) -- The turtles of Caribbean Mexico are an ancient race. Their ancestors paddled with dinosaurs and prehistoric fish. Kemp's Ridley turtles were burying their eggs in Gulf Coast sanctuaries countless millennia before the Olmecs, Mexico's matrix civilization, installed their mysterious giant heads on the Veracruz plain. The presence of turtles in indigenous iconography is evidenced by artifacts displayed in anthropological museums in Mexico City and Jalapa Veracruz. The 20th Century naturalists recorded "arribos" ("arrivals") of tens of thousands of Kemp's Ridley females at Rancho Nuevo beach Tamaulipas; with few exceptions, Kemp's Ridleys (named for an amateur turtle-ologist and the smallest and rarest of all sea turtles) nest only at Rancho Nuevo and Padre Island, Texas.
But for Gulf waters, turtles are like canaries in the coalmines. The 1979 blowout of Ixtoc 1, a Mexican National Petroleum Company (PEMEX) platform off the southern state of Tabasco, gushed uncontrollably for nine months. Read more »
The following is a sentence you wouldn't be reading a year ago. Yesterday, I went grocery shopping in West Oakland. But, thanks to James Berk, and his fellow worker-owners at the Mandela Foods Cooperative, I did – and way more importantly, residents in an area that went without a source of produce and other healthy foods for years now have a place to buy the food they'll need to make dinner. Berk's being honored for his work by the Robert Redford Center's “The Art of Activism” award (Wed/9), another fist pump from Bob for the Bay's finest community leaders. Read more »
6/5-6/6 - SUNSET CELEBRATION Cruise down to Menlo Park this weekend for Sunset Magazine's annual celebration weekend, a key South Bay event for foodies and wine lovers. Plenty of the Bay Area's best will make an appearance, with a street food spirit pervading this year's line-up. Our own Ryan Farr grills up special dogs for the event: Crispy Crunch FrankaRoni (deep fried mac n’ cheese squares with franks) and cheddar brats (pork/bacon/cheddar sausage). Read more »
It's interesting that the Examiner and Chron both seem to be pushing the same slate of 24 candidates for the Democratic County Central Committee -- and most of the folks on the list are not incumbents. Read more »
Today, Johnny talks to Sarah Phelan about the garbage that is threatening to bury us all -- and that state's new move to ban paper and plastic bags at grocery stores. You can listen after the jump. Read more »
Today, I’m dedicating Michael Franti’s “Say hey, (I love you)” to the entire Redevelopment Commission and the four Planning Commissioners who approved the City’s final Environmental Impact Report plan for Lennar’s Candlestick/ shipyard development. I'm doing so, not because I love these commissioners, who are all mayoral appointees, but because they all seem to love everything about the final report, despite ongoing concerns about building a bridge over an environmentally sensitive slough, taking park land for luxury condos and unresolved questions about the Navy’s cleanup of the shipyard.(Yes, the EIR doesn't address the toxic cleanup, but does it make sense to approve it before the Navy has completed its cleanup assessment plan?) Read more »