Snap Sounds: New Young Pony Club

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NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB

The Optimist

(The Numbers)

New Young Pony Club really got me revved when they released their debut album Fantastic Playroom [Modular, 2007] and packed it with a whole ranch full of songs for hot gallops and rapid romping. Now that it's been a good chunk of years, the London five-piece claims they've grown up and grown out of their label contracts-- they've become totally self-produced, self-funded and their new album The Optimist (fresh on the shelves this week) is self-released. Is it self-improved? Neigh (as in a horse noise and symbolizing my uncertainty).

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Duncan Sheik to sing with the San Francisco Symphony

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Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing” was ranked #88 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s, but in the past decade, the singer and composer has been winning even fancier gold awards for his musical theater scores. This week Sheik’s singing with the San Francisco Symphony-- Wed/7- Sat/10 at Davies Symphony Hall-- and performing the world premiere of the orchestral arrangement of songs from The Whisper House.

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The Daily Blurgh: Howdy, gaybor!

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Tuesdays will occasionally be given over to a guest columnist. This week, please welcome a bitter queen.

Have you heard? Gayboorhoods are becoming extinct. So sayeth Matt Katz tosday in Obit mag, a self identified straight man who has spent enough time among that mythic fairy land, "where gay people lived and hung out, somehow fulfilling stereotypes while simultaneously stimulating social justice" (via hand jobs?) to tell us of the local color that once flourished there and to lament their passing.

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Editorial: Avoiding a taxicab meltdown

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300 medallion holders who are now more than 70 years old will be allowed to sell their permits and pocket the money

The pilot program to privatize taxicab permits is a done deal. It's a mistake, and its going to cause serious problems, but at this point, short of a new charter amendment, there's not a lot anyone can do about it. Under the 2007 measure Proposition A, the Municipal Transportation Agency has the authority to revamp the rules for how cabs are regulated, and the MTA board, appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, has approved the privatization plan.

But the implementation rules can still be written to prevent some of the worst possible results.

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Farewell, Jay Adelson's obsidian Tesla

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News that Jay Adelson, chief executive of Digg, has stepped down as head of the company and will be replaced by Kevin Rose, Digg’s original founder, as the new CEO, has got the technological world atwitter.Read more »

Benefits: April 7-April 13

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Ways to have fun while giving back this week

Thursday, April 8

1369 Lights
Be among the first to get a copy of the new Moholy Ground Magazine, the New Photography Journal. Meet Moholy Ground staff and featured artists and enjoy cocktails and music from DJ BoomBostic spinning soul, motown, and funk. The Moholy Ground Project publishes nonprofit art journals and books and provides low cost promotions and marketing to art organizations and individuals involved in the art community.
7 p.m., $5
Blue Six Acoustic Room
3043 24th St., SF
www.moholyground.org

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Quick Lit: April 7-April 13

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Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Wednesday, April 7

How to Defeat Your Own Clone
Hear authors Terry Johnson and Kyle Kurpinsky deliver educational and entertaining advice on how to survive the not too distant bioengineered future at this reading of their recent book, How to Defeat Your Own Clone And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution.
7:30 p.m., free
Booksmith
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688

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RJD2's music is a trip-- even for him

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Skip the Blockbuster run of predictable action flicks and let an RJD2 album call the shots. The record may spin, but your mind will cartwheel with scenes of drama, horror and thrill of your choosing. Allow the blaring horns to signal a wild chase, the sampled soul to spur images of a powerful protagonist and the hip-hop bass to conjure up a dreary, urban setting: the music of RJD2 --playing Wed/7 at The Independent--  is a mind-driven movie reel.Read more »

Saturday voting -- and how to fund it

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Alex Tourk, a local political consultant who was once Gavin Newsom's campaign manager, came by today to pitch us on his latest project: Saturday voting. He's generated a fair amount of press on the concept, and it sounds like one of those thing nobody could oppose; why not open the polls an extra day? In fact, why not open the polls from Friday until Monday? Why Tuesday, anyway?Read more »

Live Shots: Edible Art Contest, Omnivore Books, 04/01/10

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Foodies filled Omnivore Books in Noe Valley on Thursday night, some to compete and some to eat, for the first Edible Art Contest. The competitors were judged on taste and creativity and the mix of entries were quite impressive. 

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Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Sue (and Duncan), Broadway and Polk

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In Roma with Fishtank Ensemble

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In the United States, the term “gypsy” has come to signify a certain bohemian nomadry. A silver bangled, many skirted, sultry way of banging a tambourine. But more deeply,“gypsy” refers to a rich cultural Euro-Asian heritage, more correctly termed Roma -- a culture that has brought to the world the frenetic riffs and musical arabesques of Roma tunesters Fishtank Ensemble, who will play at the DeYoung Museum Fri/9. Read more »

Passing and tipping the hat at Mission Street Food

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Oh yeah, I’d been around the block. I’ve crawled these mean food-strewn streets we call the Mission. I’d noshed my way between the tasty chicken tacos at El Toyanese truck and the delectable $1.25 carnitas numbers at the mobile Gallo Giro. I’d caught the creme brulee cart in action, caramelizing on the spot and passing out the freebies in Dolores Park. I’d partaken in the bacon dog as the vagabond seller scooted down the block, away from the ooshing bouncer at Bruno’s. Read more »

Roundup of depressing environmental news

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At the Guardian, we’re busy putting together our annual Green Issue to commemorate Earth Day. It’s great that recycling and general concern for the planet have been on the rise over the past 40 years, but I can’t help but notice a few Prozac-worthy reports on the environmental front recently. Read more »

The Daily Blurgh: But will it blend?

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

Last Wednesday (forgive our slowness) the New Yorker offered a tantalizing sneak peak at Andrew Pilara's soon-to-be-not-so-private collection of more than 2000 photographic works, a rotating selection of which will be displayed at Pier 24. Not only is the speed at which Pilara -- the president and senior portfolio manager of the RS Value Group and a member of SFMOMA's Board of Trustees – has amassed his staggering collection astounding (six years!), but the quality and breadth of his holdings would send any photography curator worth their salt into apoplectic fits. In addition to name-dropping Jackie Nickerson, Vera Lutter, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Marilyn Minter, and Dorothea Lange, the New Yorker also mentions that Pilara owns all fifty-two of Lee Friedlander’s “Little Screens” (which SF's Fraenkel Gallery last displayed in 2001) and all of Garry Winogrand's “The Animals.” In the words of Rachel Zoe, "I die."

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