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@Large: Ai WeiWei on Alcatraz" highlights contemporary struggles for freedom of expression

This Week's Paper

feast coverFEAST: How to eat and drink your way through Rio, Paris, Italy, the California Coast, the exotic Outer Richmond, and more! Plus: Climate change protesters flood New York, and comedian Lakshminarayanan's 'Nerd Nation.' Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Capitalism, performance art, and a whole lot of ass-shaking: Notes from a Beyoncé and Jay Z show

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First off: To review a Beyoncé and Jay Z show, in the traditional way that music writers generally review live music — assessing and critiquing the sonic experience, the songs performed, the technical skill and effort put into reimagining and translating studio albums into an engaging performer-audience interaction — is totally missing the point.Read more »

Marc E. Bassy on breaking down musical boxes

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As a member of 2AM Club and a songwriter for artists like Chris Brown and Sean Kingston, San Francisco-raised Marc Griffin is an experienced pop music craftsman. But as Marc E. Bassy, solo artist, he's a forward-thinking R&B auteur with more of an ear towards the genre's growing experimental fringe. Only The Poets, Vol. Read more »

PROMO: Win Tickets to Viva Las Vegas at Paramount!

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VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964) - Race car driver Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley) is down on his luck in Las Vegas. The Grand Prix is just around the corner and his race car needs an engine! Lucky has to take a job as a casino waiter, and luckily, there's that redheaded bombshell Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret) to help him. And luckily, Lucky Johnson can SING! Read more »

Alternative event to National Night Out shifts focus away from surveillance

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Aug. 5 marks National Night Out, an annual event promoted by local governments and law enforcement agencies geared toward ending neighborhood violence and promoting public safety.

In San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee is scheduled to join Police Chief Greg Suhr and District Attorney George Gascon at a Visitacion Valley playground for a National Night Out gathering. A host of other neighborhood block parties are scheduled throughout San Francisco and Oakland as well.Read more »

San Francisco's shame and triumph: remembering the I-Hotel

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San Franciscans today may be tempted to feel we're unique in our struggles with evictions and displacement, but one need not look far back to see rental struggles woven into our history. Yesterday the Manilatown Heritage Foundation celebrated the anniversary of the fall of the International Hotel, a mass eviction etched in the psyche of San Francisco.Read more »

PROMO: San Francisco Street Food Festival

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La Cocina’s San Francisco Street Food Festival on Saturday, August 16th, is a celebration of community, culture and entrepreneurial spirit.  Where micro-entrepreneurs and informal food vendors cook next to James Beard Award winners and Michelin-starred chefs.  Where every block is a barbacoa to bhelpuri to banh mi exploration of flavor (although probably not all at once), all on the same street, and all at the same price. Read more »

Eff you, gravity! Watch this skater fly over a fence at the new SoMa West skatepark

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The Guardian recently covered the unveiling of the SoMa West skatepark, a new skate spot giving a glint of hope to the city's skate scene. And despite the crowing of the fist-shakers at the Chronicle (quit that damn noise, you hooligans!), our trip to the new skatepark found folks having a grind-happy grand ol' time.Read more »

All the buzz: a report from CoffeeCon San Francisco

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Whether your caffeinated allegiances lie with Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, or a non-coffee drink, CoffeeCon San Francisco offered something to appeal to everyone’s cravings on July 26. Venturing out of Chicago for the first time, the consumer coffee festival boasted a multitude of roasters — many of them local and therefore well-acquainted with using glorious Hetch Hetchy water in the brewing process — and a wide variety of presentations to intrigue both casual coffee drinkers and connoisseurs. Plus, unlimited coffee samples!

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Happy Hour: The week in music

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Happy Friday, friends, and welcome to August. We're only about a month away from summer weather!

As happy hour draws closer, here's a look back at the best music and music news we heard and saw this past week:

-- Sharon Van Etten shone in a free, intimate (though packed-to-the-gills), Pandora-presented evening at The Chapel on Tuesday night [July 29]. Read more »

SF's newest grassroots coalition is backed by a company valued at $10 billion

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It seems people are agitating for change on all sides of a debate swirling around Airbnb, the San Francisco-based apartment-sharing company whose new logo, by the way, is rumored to be something special.Read more »

Read the memo detailing Mayor Ed Lee's punishment of supervisors who supported Muni

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The story is snowballing.

Mayor Ed Lee is furious at supervisors who voted for Sup. Scott Wiener's Muni funding measure, and told reporters Monday he would hold them "accountable."

News of the mayor's retribution has circled round, and the timing of a memo issued by Kate Howard, the mayor's budget director, has raised eyebrows. The memo directs city departments to prepare for budget cuts she said are called for due to Wiener's measure.Read more »

Watch: Lil B's "No Black Person Is Ugly"

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Because we've all been proving in this space lately that we're intelligent, forward-thinking adults who can talk about ethnicity with nuance, sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the history of class issues and race relations in the U.S. and elsewhere, I'm just going to go ahead and post this new video from the 24-year-old East Bay rapper Lil B, aka Brandon McCartney, aka the Based God — who I am morally and perhaps legally obligated to mention is a product of the fine, tiny Albany public schools that (years before him) nurtured yours truly, among others — without too much commentary. Read more »

Tears, beers, and bruises at Slim's with Andrew Jackson Jihad

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Andrew Jackson Jihad may be the most important punk band in America, but they sure don't look like it. They're cheerful and (relatively) clean-cut. They don't want you to crowd-surf. They don't move around a lot, and when they do they're self-conscious about it. They don't use any distortion beyond a pretty, almost psychedelic phaser. They're technically proficient enough that they could probably back up Dolly Parton if they wanted to. Read more »

Kim's affordable housing ballot measure gutted then approved

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Housing is out of whack in San Francisco, and Sup. Jane Kim's affordable housing ballot measure would've gone a long way towards fixing it. But that was then. Now, things are more uncertain. Read more »

Flaming Lotus Girls bring SOMA to Pier 14

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Following in the tradition of Burning Man artworks returning to San Francisco for temporary public installations, my beloved Flaming Lotus Girls have installed their colossal steel and light sculpture SOMA at Pier 14. And this Friday, Aug. 1, they’ll be hosting a dance party reception from 5-9pm to celebrate the occasion.Read more »