In Japantown yesterday, pet owners walked small dogs dressed in mini kimonos to the beat of taiko drums. The festivities were on account of the 43rd annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, one of the state's largest celebrations of Japanese culture. The Sapporo beer gardens lubricated sale of T shirts and bento boxes, and Safeway had erected a pop up grocery store near the main stage.
But in the basement of the Kabuki hotel, one could follow makeshift signs to a cultural display without brand names and ID checks. Small meeting rooms held samurai swords and their aficionados, traditional paper doll creations and creators. The Cherry Blossom Festival had created this peaceful forum for an array of Japanophile collecters and crafters.
I usually go to the California state Democratic Conventions, but I missed this one, so I've had to rely on news coverage to find out what happened -- and it's been pretty slim pickins. To read the Chron's politics blog, you'd think the whole thing was silliness and parties, although Carla Marinucci got a fun comment from party Chair John Burton, who thinks the only thing that will drive the youth vote in November is pot.Read more »
Immediately as Passion Pit took the stage, I felt like I stepped into hipster church for the masses. The synths hummed as the band members took their places, the electronic buzz replacing a pipe organ's call before mass. The over-produced stage lighting blinded my retinas like a messiah's second coming and shone a halo of white above front-man Michael Angelakos (even his name sounds heavenly). The kids roared with excitement, shouting hallelujahs in the form of song titles, all hands in the air, praising the dance party to rain down the beats.Read more »
Cooler than their cucumber sound, The xx took a laid-back approach to their Friday night performance, showing little, if any, enthusiasm. The British three-piece is chill, totally sexy and anything but poppy on their recorded work; no one expected a party and yet fans were left with much to desire come the end of the show.Read more »
Digital music files are the Snuggie of the music industry; so comfy, so easy, but it's fleece is cheap and one dimensional. Vinyl is a thick quilt, a layered labor of love Grandma crafted just for you-- a product that brings about a whole new quality of life when you're wrapped beneath it. Strange analogy, but if you're unfamiliar with the loveliness and depth of vinyl's sound possibilities, Record Store Day-- this Sat/17 at locations across the Bay-- is your day to give 'em a spin. Read more »
For all the hype about Tax Day Tea Parties, include two in San Francisco this afternoon, it was progressive causes that put the most protesters on the streets today. In fact, at a 1 p.m. Tea Party outside City Hall, the teabaggers were way outnumbered by journalists and satirical “teabaggers” doing street theater. Read more »
Major Lazer-- playing Fri/15 at Mezzanine-- is a cartoon Jamaican commando who lost an arm during the secret Zombie War of 1984 and then was ever so fortunate to have the US Military replace his flesh with a prosthetic laser gun. Diplo and Switch, a.k.a. the producers behind the music mascot, have quite the imaginations and as they put it, an extensive love for the Jamaican music our country often forgets to credit. Major Lazer is their way of exploiting the exploitation.
Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond
The 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival takes place next week, but over in France preparations are being made to reset the international festival circuit clock when Cannes '10 kicks off in May. The full-line up has been announced, and I am already curious about the new titles from Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Godard, Gregg Araki, Hong Sangsoo, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and many more. Here's to some of these being snatched up for SFIFF 54. And yes, there were movies 54 years ago.
As far as advice columns go, I’ve always been partial to E. Jean’s bon mots in Elle, if only for her use of the term ‘whipsawed by confusion.’ But for a swift, re-motivating kick to the rear, I’ve never read anything like the gems dished out by You’re a Horrible Person, But I Like You, The Believer’s new tome of celebrity counsel.
By way of example, here’s Zach Galifianakis’ “ways to kick-start a satisfying life.”
1. Start reading Teen People
2. Rent a stretch Hummer to go see Noam Chomsky speak
3. Model your life after the movie Sideways, but instead of wine make your passion Mountain Dew
4. Ask a state trooper where the closest gay bar is
5. Have a Super Bowl party with no television Read more »
Emails are rocketing around San Francisco political circles in anticipation of an April 21 meeting of the Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC), the policy-making body for the Democratic Party in San Francisco. Committee members are slated to discuss the city's proposed sit/lie ordinance, a controversial measure backed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and Police Chief George Gascon meant to afford police more powers for dealing with hostile youth occupying sidewalk space. Read more »
Just days after a San Francisco trial aired the ugly battle between Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern and some of his former top aides in the Bay Area, Stern has confirmed that he’s resigning after 38 years in the movement, 14 as head of SEIU.Read more »