The Performant: A mutable feast -- or, theater, buffet-style

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If the venerable San Francisco Fringe Festival is a full-on Circus Circus-style, all-you-can-eat-buffet, I like to think of its kid cousin the San Francisco Theatre Festival  -- which took place Sunday, August 8 -- as more of a pu-pu platter. Tasty little morsels of performance presented in manageable, bite-sized chunks designed to whet the appetite for the main courses (the full productions) to come. I don’t know about you, but when I’m confronted with the choice between dainty nibbling, or cleaning each plate as it comes, I tend to adapt the life-is-uncertain principle and gorge myself on all the available goodies in sight.

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New and improv-ed

San Francisco Improv Festival returns to link past and future

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The launching of the San Francisco Improv Festival, back in 2004, signaled a major resurgence for improvisational theater in the Bay Area, long dominated by the exceptional BATS (Bay Area Theatre Sports) and related groups, but recently joined by a host of newer outfits as well. The rollicking festival attracted eager audiences, while bringing together a somewhat disparate local and intergenerational community of improvisers with national and even international acts. Read more »

How to save Muni

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Editors note: In this week's paper, we offered a series of proposals for discussion at the community congress Aug. 14th and 15th. Here's one that we couldn't fit:

By Jerry Cauthen

San Francisco is a transit-first city, yet its bus system is perennially in crisis. Everyone knows Muni needs fixing—but how do we do it in a way that honors the needs of both drivers and riders, while deepening San Francisco’s commitment to sustainability and transit innovation? How do we maintain and improve service when Muni and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency face deep budget deficits and service cuts on a regular basis?

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SFBG Radio: Crash

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This week, Johnny and Johnny talk the bad numbers and go where no one else dares--is a world wide depression headed our way?

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Will the Potrero power plant be shut down by the end of the year?

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At the beginning of 2010, the official word was that an undersea high-voltage power line called the Trans Bay Cable would go live in February, supplying up to 40 percent of San Francisco's power. This was the missing piece of the puzzle that would finally lead to the shuttering of Mirant's Potrero power plant, which activists and city officials have railed against for years. Read more »

Same-sex marriages set to resume in California

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Same-sex marriages in California will resume on Aug. 18, barring a higher court issuing a stay. Judge Vaughn Walker today announced that he is removing the stay against new same-sex marriages that was in place since his ruling last week that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure banning gay men and lesbians from getting married, was unconstitutional.Read more »

Edgar Wright vs. the World

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Go here to read Sam Stander's review of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in this week's Guardian. What follows is Stander's complete interview with director Edgar Wright.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: What is your favorite visual effect or sight gag in all of Scott Pilgrim?

Edgar Wright: Oh my god. There’s so much … I probably have to pick, off the top of my head, I like watching the twins scene because it was only very recently finished, so I’d have to pick that.
 
SFBG: How did you originally get involved in adapting Scott Pilgrim?

EW: I was given the book six years ago, when the first volume came out, by … the producers who had kind of leapt on the rights to it before it was even in bookstores. And I really loved the book, and I thought it would be a really interesting thing to try and adapt. At that point there was only the one book. [We] began a five-year process of working on it as [author Bryan Lee O'Malley] continued to develop the books, so the development of the film and the books kind of went in tandem in places. So it’s kind of been, six years ago I was given the book, and now the final book just was released, and the film is coming out, too. Read more »

Te Vaka paddles up with news from the South Pacific

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Opetaia Foa'i's mother's ancestral home is sinking into the ocean. And he's not supposed to talk about it. Tuvalu, comprised of four South Pacific Islands whose combined mass comes to a grand total of ten square miles, has its own language, a distinct cultural heritage like many of its neighbors. But what struck Foa'i (who was born on Samoa and raised in an islander community on New Zealand) saw when he went back was that rising ocean levels had reached up the air strip his plane landed on. So he wrote a song about it. His music and dance group, Te Vaka (which comes to Great American Music Hall Fri/13) plays music that evokes not only the ancient tales of those faraway seas, but also the fact that they matter, here and now. Read more »

Court upholds Bay Guardian verdict

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In a dramatic victory for small independent businesses in California, the state Court of Appeal ruled Aug. 11th that the state’s Unfair Practices Act protects the victims of predatory pricing as long at they can prove that a bigger company sold its product below cost and did so with the intent of damaging the smaller competitor. You can read the decision here.Read more »

'Love Over 60' adds wisdom to poetic desire

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    It’s fair to say that a lot of Western love poetry is biased towards youth and the male perspective. You could blame the influence of the British Romantics, who for all their unquestionable genius were essentially a bunch of horny twentysomethings who discovered that eloquence could get them laid. You could trace the prejudice back to Renaissance sonneteers, to the Greco-Roman Classics, or even to the general patriarchal bent of our culture. Politics—identity politics included—are pretty inimical to art, and you’d be missing the point if you looked at the whole corpus of poems dealing with sex and desire and saw only a conspiracy to propagate male supremacy and ageism. Still, it doesn’t make you a philistine if you point out that female voices—especially the older ones—are sometimes excluded from this particular canon. Read more »

Former employees saw problems coming at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate

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This week's announcement that Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) was severing ties with Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) came as no surprise to some former employees, who have for months been trying to sound the alarm that the chapter was being mismanaged, had major financial problems, and was in a steep decline that could threaten important reproductive care services that low-income women rely on. Read more »

Immigrant advocates accuse ICE of "pattern of dishonesty"

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A coalition of national civil rights organizations held a August 10 press conference to discuss recently released internal government documents that they say reveal “a pattern of dishonesty” regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) program. Read more »

The 5000 faces of Lil B

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By Willy Staley

Meeting people you know only from the Internet is a bizarre experience. I share my tedious thoughts with people on Twitter all day, and I read theirs, and yet I don't know the first thing about them as a person, and they know nothing about me. There are precious few opportunities to actually meet these people, and I like it that way. Lil B the Based God's sold-out late July show at Santos Party House in Lower Manhattan would not be one of those nights. Lil B without the Internet is inconceivable. In some ways, he is Internet hip-hop culture personified, embodying both its great potential, and its childish shortcomings. A lot of Internet people would be in attendance, I learned, from both my Tumblr and Twitter feeds. Read more »

Si se puede, making a difference: El Tecolote turns 40

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It was with relish that I awaited my interviews with El Tecolote's managing editor, Roberto Daza, and its founding editor Juan Gonzales on a homey couch in the paper's modest office on 24th Street. Being a community journalist, it isn't every day that you are able to check out the digs of another community newspaper – particularly one with as storied a history as the Mission's bilingual go-to for news on social issues that affect the historically Latino and working class neighborhood. El Tecolote is celebrating forty years of activist journalism this month, kicking off with an opening reception tonight (Wed/11) at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts of an exhibit featuring their extensive photo archives. 

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Hot sexy events August 11-17

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It's nice to see a couple of homegrown boys cinching their ties to their community. Dan and JD of Two Knotty Boys make some of the city's more evocative bondage scenes – scroll through the galleries on their website for various visions of unrestrained restrained beauty, like two Manic Panic red heads impelled by the boys' handiwork to assume an intimate “cuddle.” It's this kind of imaginative use of ropes – they also do a series of “decorative bondage” in which corsets, bras, panties, and even dresses are crafted onto models by tightly pulled knots and loops – that make them the perfect teachers of the art. Couples especially are invited to their class at Good Vibrations this week (Wed/11): just remember to bring your ropes and you're bound for inspiration.

 

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