When John Ross left Terminal Island, the federal prison in Los Angeles, after serving a couple of years for refusing the Vietnam draft, the warden shook his head and said: "Ross, you never learned how to be a prisoner."
I'm not writing the epitaph for whatever gravestone he has or doesn't have, wherever it might be in the world, but that's what I'd put on it: "John Ross, 1938-2011. Never learned how to be a prisoner."Read more »
CAFFE PASCUCCI, SoMa - I feel like I'm back in Italy at brand new Caffe Pascucci, the first outpost of a popular Italian chain. The crisp, white space is chic and soothing, even as the place buzzes with the Italian families and individuals already frequenting the place within merely days of opening. It's not just because the menu is loaded with dozens of types of espresso, cappuccinos and iced coffees topped with banana or doused with amaretto. Read more »
Anika's self-titled album on Stones Throw is getting play these days, but not as much talk about its cover versions as one might expect. The time seems right to serve up a few of the originals next to Anika's versions and ask which you prefer. We're able to do this with two songs: "Yang Yang," written by Yoko Ono, and "I Go to Sleep," written by Ray Davies and made popular by the Pretenders. (Produced by "beak," a.k.a. Geoff Barrow of Portishead, Anika's interpretation of the latter is very Joe Meek-meets-Cluster-meets Flying Lizards.) Before the jump, I'm also including links to some of the sources of other lovelorn tracks on Anika, including truly amazing live film/video recordings of the teen-death anthem "Terry" by Morrissey-favorite Twinkle, and Skeeter Davis's plainly bereft "End of the World."Read more »
Kudos to the New Yorker for bringing Daniel Alarcón to the attention of the eastern rag's audience. The Oakland writer is one of the three West coast scribes from the New Yorker's 20 Under 40 "young" writers anthology who will be reading at City Lights Books on Weds/19. I suggest you go check up on the event – if not for the magazine's time-proven track record of tagging future lit stars, then because the more people in this country who read Alarcón, the less likely we are to plunge our country into madness.
A dear friend and former classmate of mine, Sarah "Uppie" Updegraff, recently began working the night shift as a nurse at the NICU, the Tucson hospital where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in intensive care. Read more »
Tucson was a disaster, a tragedy, possibly a result of overheated political rhetoric driving a deranged man to action. It was also the result of a national culture that makes it too easy to obtain a powerful weapon.
I looked at the top three stories on SFGATE this afternoon, and here they are:
Over the course of nine full-length albums, Neurosis has proven its metal mettle, at least on record. To truly appreciate what the band is capable of, however, you'd have to witness one of its legendary live performances, which despite their decreasing frequency are becoming more and more transcendent. Next week, Bay Area headbangers will have two opportunities to do so, both at the Great American Music Hall, where the band plays its first hometown shows since New Year's Eve 2008.Read more »
As the old progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors dissolves into uncertain new political dynamics, everyone has been looking for signs of what's to come, large and small. Do the new committee assignments mean the moderates will have more power? Have identify politics moved to the forefront? If the new marching order is “getting things done,” what kinds of things will get done?Read more »
Since the horrific shooting of Rep. Giffords and the loss of Judge Roll, Christina Green, and four other innocent bystanders, folks have been grappling with the role of violent rhetoric in triggering the tragedy. And now the National Day Laborer Organizing Network has set up A History of Hate: Political Violence in a Rogue State to chronicle political violence and intimidation in Arizona since 1987, which is when U2’s Bono received a death threat because of his stance on Martin Luther King.
“Something strange happened toward the end of the Joshua Tree tour,” Bono noted in a 2006 interview. “We had campaigned for Martin Luther King Day in Tempe, Arizona, where the tour opened back in April. There was a governor there called Mecham who was holding out against it, and we had got involved in local politics there and took a stand. We went back to Tempe at the end of the tour, in December, to play the Sun Devil Stadium.” Read more »
Sam Love and I rented a camper van and decided it would be our home for the next three weeks, as we made our way loop-dee-loop around the south island of New Zealand. A few hours in, we realized that there aren't that many people in New Zealand (but tons of sheep!) and townships are quite spread out, resulting in very few radio stations.
I guess I'm still recovering from New Year's Eve? Wow. Everybody still on a roll put your hands up, aye. This week promises to push us ever deeper into the breach, with several offerings from regular parties to freak all out about — and most important, help shake off the ghosts of your hangover. Forget that whole "raw egg in Tabasco sauce with a spoonful of honey" or whatever. The real remedy for weeks-after hung-up woes is dancing, dancing, dancing. And maybe a little hair of the dog. Or, in my case, a little pug named Jose Cuervo, who somehow snuck in to the club in my sequined baguette. Read more »
Ed Lee’s swearing-in as San Francisco’s first Asian American mayor was a historic occasion, especially in light of the city's dark history of supporting the Chinese Exclusion Act. And it led to an impressive hands-across-the-water moment when Oakland Mayor Jean Quan arrived to see the Board vote for Lee.
But after Campos declared the progressive majority dead, folks across the city started debating the meaning of "progressive." And after San Francisco got its first sighting of Mayor Lee's wife and family, everyone was left wondering what his rapid ascension means for the mayor's race in November. Read more »