Soul with a "Q"

Queer monthly outdoor party Hard French returns with vinyl sunshine

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MUSIC How do you know spring is coming in San Francisco? Trusty Mission venue El Rio starts throbbing once a month to the sweet soul sounds of yesteryear, and a hot, youthful crowd of queer dancers (and friends) floods the spacious patio to capacity. Although there are many parties in the city that cater specifically to gay men, Hard French is one of a handful that has built a successful formula on welcoming everyone — lusty femmes, trans jocks, DIY freaks, fairy stoners, vinyl junkies — while staying true to its spirit of retro-tune vitality and lean toward old-school R&B.Read more »

The Mutaytor's latest album burns bright and deep

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A year ago, I got the opportunity to watch The Mutaytor record its latest album, "Unconditional Love: The Westerfeld Sessions," in the William Westerfeld House, a mansion on Alamo Square with a rich history. Read more »

The Performant: Pop up the jam

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Appear and disappear at Noise Pop with Nobunny and Battlehooch

There’s a pop-up explosion going on out there, and it’s insidiously cornering the market on all our fun. It’s become well nigh impossible to stumble down the street without coming across a pop-up "gallery boutique ramen restaurant poodle salon performance space" and even more impossible to not want to avail oneself immediately of its fleeting charms. It’s the precarious ephemerality of pop-up ventures that makes them so enticing—the knowledge that at any moment the ability to tap into this particular experience will be gone forever. Granted, if you examine any particular moment in time closely, you’ll come to a similar conclusion, but sometimes it’s best to just go with the spontaneous flow, even if it’s a little bit manufactured.

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Beth Ditto, "I Wrote the Book"

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See video

One of our favorite Katy Perry-shredders, Beth Ditto serves a "Justify My Love"-era Madonna look and the kind of sound Madonna lost touch with after her first album. Guardian Video Issue cover star Justin Kelly made a fab recent Gossip video, but this teaser from an upcoming solo EP hints that it might deliver the dancepop Rick Rubin didn't for Ditto's group.

5 Things: March 3, 2011

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

>>1. SUSHI FROM SPACE "U. F. T Ume Fried Tai: fried red snapper in u.f.o shaped sushi served with balsamic raspberry sauce"

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A game of GOP chicken in Sacto

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Will any Republicans crack and allow a vote on taxes in June? That's what everyone in Sacramento is wondering, and the insiders I've talked to say they think it's an even bet. Without a couple of GOP votes, Gov. Brown and the Legislature won't have the two-thirds majority they need to put a measure before the voters that would stave of horrifying cuts.

But there's plenty of backroom intrigue: Calitics points out that Read more »

American Idol: The women struggled a bit

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Not as great a night for the women, I have to say. The guys pretty much blew everyone away, but I only saw one Idol-class performance from the women, and I saw a lot of pretty weak stuff. The good news: Pia Toscano. The last one on stage, after the final commercial, just when I was trying to hustle the kids off to bed, and we just had to sit down and shut up and listen. Read more »

The future of the San Francisco left

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That, at least, was the title of the Milk Club forum March 1. Quite a panel, too: Sups. Avalos, Campos, Chiu, Kim and Mar. Tim Paulson from the Labor Council. Former Milk Club Prez Jef Sheehy. Tiny from Poor Magazine. And me.Read more »

Facebooking your solidarity

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Freaky days, these, what with the war on NPR, Planned Parenthood, and Wisconsin. Freaky enough that people feel the need to make a gesture, which is what Wigg Party neighborhood activists were doing last night while most of us were finishing up that third glass of wine, tucking in the childrens, or being lame and sleeping. Facebook solidarity, baby – social network activism.

“We do feel the larger progressive agenda is really being attacked at this moment in time.” Morgan Fitzgibbons heads up the Wigg Party, Western Addition's neighborhood sustainability group that by night throws bean sprouting classes/parties in a four-story Victorian called the Sunshine Castle and by day works with the SF Bike Coalition on improving the Wiggle, among other ventures. Read more »

What can't be said

With The Unsayable, Hope Mohr and veterans make dance from the experience of war

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DANCE Rehearsing The Unsayable at the Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab, the performers of Hope Mohr's newest work march together. The row of marchers is composed of her company members (Cameron Growden, Derek Harris, Risa Larsen, Rogelio Lopez Garcia, and Tegan Schwab), and artistic partners who are war veterans (Carol Roye, Katharine Conley, Paul Ramirez, and David Fish). Read more »

Beady beady

SUPER EGO: Mardi Gras parties a-plenty this year. Plus: Miss Toolbox Pageant, Le Castle Vania, and New Wave City's last night at DNA Lounge

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SUPER EGO Mardi Gras is one of those time-honored party traditions I always forget. Usually, I'll pass by some unfortunate gay man covered in plastic Miller Lite beads passed out on a Castro curb, a bedazzled mime mask slipping from his gradually unclenching fist. Then I'm all like, "Oh, it's Fat Tuesday," and I totally know what I'm giving up for Lent. I love my Castro gays! They're like a tragic calendar of fetes.Read more »

As close to the lens as possible: A (too brief) Q&A with David Weissman

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One of the strongest aspects of the film We Were Here is the intimacy and depth of its interviews (read our review here), so it's with embarrassment and regret that I'm presenting this relatively casual Q&A with director David Weissman with the caveat that it's been marred by a snafu. While transcribing, I discovered that the 'Rec' button on my ancient tape recorder had been triggered when it was in my carrying bag, and a sizable portion of the talk – including passages about archives, filmmaking, community, San Francisco, the cultural influence of The Cockettes, and a younger generation's view of AIDS – had been replaced by the muffled sound of footsteps and traffic. The conversation is lost, but the story isn't: We We Here is screening at the Castro Theatre through Thurs/3. Here's some of what Weissman and I discussed. Read more »

Redevelopment debate full of bum choices

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At the Potrero Hill Democratic Club’s debate about Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to ax local redevelopment agencies to balance the state’s $26 billion deficit, folks attempted to evaluate if redevelopment agencies are essential for job creation and community revitalization, if reform, not total destruction, is possible, and if bum choices are all we have to look forward to Read more »

Sorry, Chuck, it's not over yet

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A Saturday editorial by the Chronicle's C.W. (Chuck) Nevius suggested that the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council (HANC) Recycling Center would face final closure this coming Friday, March 4, because the Recreation & Park Department had issued a notice stating that the lease would be terminated on that date. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The right's agenda failed

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Today Johnny has a profound revelation at the gym: For 30 years, the right wing in this country has had its way. Almost every part of the right's economic and foreign-policy agenda -- tax cuts for the rich, cuts in welfare, deregulation of financial institutions, dramatic increases in the military budget -- has come to pass. We've seen, and we see today, the results of that agenda. It doesn't work. So why does anyone still take it seriously? Listen after the jump.

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