Looney AutoTunes: KMEL on a Saturday morning, and when urban radio was urban radio

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When I made the promise to listen to 106 KMEL for this piece, I fantasized about a weekend afternoon listening to hip-hop from the golden era of the mid-'90s. I expected a few aggravating commercials, maybe an abrasive deejay or two. Nothing I couldn't handle, right? Wrong. Dead fucking wrong. Read more »

Extra, extra, read all about it: Hard French returns

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Spring has sprung and anyone walking by El Rio last Saturday would have seen the telltale signs -– a line of fashionably dressed folk spilling down the block, distant sounds of yesteryear audible from the street, and if that wasn't enough to get you interested, then the wafting scent of outdoor grilling was sure to get you through that door to find yourself at the best daytime soul BBQ and dance party to be found anywhere. Yes, another year of Hard French is upon us. Read more »

Hot sexy events: March 9-15

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Hole-y moley, it's time to say sayonara to Chaps, compadres – again. After assuming the name of the classic leather bar that called the DNA Lounge's address home in the '80s, Chaps II (as the 1225 Folsom location is formerly called) is switching identities to Kok Bar SF. Is the new moniker a sly wink to the once-was Kokpit bar of San Francisco gone by? Or have we perhaps been spending too much time at the new GLBT History Museum? Regardless, Saturday the 19th will be Chaps last night open before it metamorphs into Kok, which will reopen April 1 at 9 p.m. for cruising good times. 

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Editorial: Gascón's conflict

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There's a good reason that not too many police chiefs become district attorneys. Obviously, not a lot of cops have law degrees, but it goes beyond that. The district attorney is supposed to monitor the police, to investigate criminal behavior by cops, to make sure the people out on the streets aren't doing anything that will screw up cases in court.

But that didn't bother former Mayor Gavin Newsom (who apparently doesn't think that conflict-of-interest statutes apply to him). Newsom appointed Gascón to the D.A.'s job despite some serious concerns about the operations of the Police Department — and problems at the SFPD have blown up yet again. Four times in the past two weeks, Public Defender Jeff Adachi has released videotapes showing undercover cops entering residential hotel rooms without a warrant. The videos appear to contradict the information that the officers presented in their written reports, and the pattern of conduct has caused interim Chief Jeff Godown to suspend the entire undercover narcotics unit at Southern Station. Read more »

Live review: Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise tour

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I caught up with the The Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise tour as it made its stop at the Independent in San Francisco on Sat./5, and it was nothing short of magical. A dozen or so core members of the Elephant 6 Collective rotated instruments and played each others' songs. It was like a slice of Athens, Georgia performing on a holodeck-cum-stage for a bewildered SF audience that didn't know what to expect. Read more »

Garlands

The Ides of March herald the 18th anniversary of goth-industrial club Death Guild -- arise for a three-day black celebration. Plus: Peter Murphy

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SUPER EGO Despite its fixation on a fathomless past, the goth scene has endured — and sometimes embraced — a cadaverous host of contemporary challenges and styles. From mall-joke commercialization and media scapegoating to cyberpunk, steampunk, Burning Man Mad Maxiness, gamer chic, and now Facebook (not to mention a deliciously strange marriage to industrial music's macho posturing throughout), goth has seen it all and lived to tell.Read more »

...And gaming for all

The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco provided plenty of hype -- and even a little controversy.

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GAMER For a second there, the mighty PR machine seemed poised to devour the Game Developers Conference. The communal, feel-good GDC was built on sharing ideas, and in recent years the modest think tank had grown exponentially, as established game developers and publicity houses descended on downtown San Francisco with glossy preview events and headline-stealing announcements that previewed things to come at the summer E3 expo. Read more »

The end?

Merce Cunningham Dance Company says goodbye, leaving a void in its wake

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DANCE Looking at the magnificent and elegant Merce Cunningham dancers perform Pond Way (1998), Antic Meet (1958) and Sounddance (1975) in the by no means sold-out Zellerbach Hall on March 3 made me sad. Each of these works showed such skill, beauty, and intelligence. Yet they left me pessimistic about the future of a precious repertoire.Read more »

5 Things: March 8, 2011

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>>1. PETA HOPS We had no idea that Anchor Steam is vegan. Now we can throw back a case and pet our potbellied pig, Sir Skrumpkins, guilt- and irony-free. (Apparently many beers use animal gelatins for filtration.)

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Board to approve highly staged mayoral question time

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When San Franciscans voted on two occasions to require the mayor to meet publicly with the Board of Supervisors to answer questions – most recently in November when voters approved a binding measure after Gavin Newsom ignored the preview measure – I don't think they had in mind the sterile, staged process that the board is poised to approve today.Read more »

Malasadas: Today at Goat Hill pizza

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Phil Andrade, proprietor of Goat Hill Pizza on Potrero Hill, popped up this morning at the monthly meeting of the Potrero Hill Merchants Association with a special  treat for the august assembly: a plate of wondrous malasadas. He is offering the malasadas as a Goat Hill special at two for $l all day today (Tuesday, March 8) or until the supply runs out.  I had two this morning, hot and smothered with powdered sugar and Phil's Portuguese blarney. They were wonderful and I am heading back for more.

When I arrived at Goat Hill, Phil was in his white chef's outfit,  breaking eggs and ladling them into a big bowl as a crucial first step.He explained the marsalada came from a recipe of his mother, who waa Portugese and  came from the province that originated theconfection. The marsalada  was produced on the Tuesday before Lent, which is why the day is called Fat Tuesday.  After Tuesday and a fill of marsaladas, the idea was to fast during Lent, Phil said.

My recommendation: let's lobby Phil to make the marsalada on a regular basis all the year round.  And thus contribute to the real "taste of Potrero Hill."

Goat Hill Pizza, 300 Connecticut St, halfway up Potrero Hill.  Read more »

Board to vote on resolution opposing HANC eviction

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Last week, Mayor Ed Lee met for around 45 minutes with Ed Dunn and Jim Rhoads of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) Recycling Center, Melanie Nutter of the Department of the Environment, and some others who have been in discussions over HANC's pending eviction from Golden Gate Park.

"The mayor wanted us to consider alternatives to the site we're in," Rhoads told the Guardian after the meeting. He noted that ideas had been floated about relocating HANC to a parcel owned by the Port of San Francisco in District 10, or creating a mobile recycling unit. Read more »

Mystery of the school lunches -- revealed!

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Editors note: My son, Michael, constantly complains that none of the reporters who cover the public schools (including me) ever talk to the students. We listen to school board members, adminstrators, parents, sometimes teachers -- but the kids never get a voice. I agree -- it's a problem. So when his sixth grade Language Arts class at Aptos came by the Guardian for a field trip (thanks, Ms. Oryall), I decided to let them write their own story, about whatever was bothering them. Read more »

Hilton breaks ranks and reaches a deal with its workers

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After an 18-month contract impasse, hotel workers in San Francisco landed a breakthrough deal when Hilton decided to settle with its union’s negotiating team, which was announced by both parties in a press conference today.Read more »

5 Things: March 7, 2011

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Each day our staff picks five (or so) things we think might interest you

>>FLY AWAY DOLO Well, we called it – feather extensions have officially blown up. The trend hit Dolores Park this weekend, when extension mavens Featherluxe set up shop for parkside hair flairing Saturday afternoon. Check the group's Facebook page for news on when they'll be back for more.

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