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How a high-minded countercultural experiment ended up on everyone's bucket list

This Week's Paper

weekcoverGrover Norquist brings the Black Rock blues as Burning Man Jumps the Shark! Pro-Palestine protesters block the boat, fed-up teachers take strike vote, and crack cocaine sentences may soon get smoked. Plus: Myron & E lay down street soul at Noise Pop, Nick Monaco belts out his Mating Call, and Aubrey Plaza slays in Life After Beth. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Avalos: I have not buckled to anyone's pressure over local hiring

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Last week, Sup. John Avalos introduced Local SF legislation to require contractors to meet a local hiring goal of 50 percent. Read more »

Civil rights groups demand Secure-Comm documents from ICE

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In a turnabout from the usual immigration-related situation (in which ICE demands documents from immigrants) civil rights groups in Washington, DC. Arlington, VA. Santa Clara, CA. and San Francisco are requesting the release of documents concerning opt-out procedures in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's controversial "Secure Communities" program. Read more »

Alex Cox goes "Straight to Hell" (and to the Roxie)

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If you’re looking for a Halloween film fix outside of the usual slasher movies and traditional fright night fare, the Roxie’s got you covered.

Starting Fri/29 and running all weekend, the theater has a series of cult picks lined up. Friday night brings old-school sci-fi flicksThe Creature with the Atom Brain (1955) and The Man From Planet X (1951) to the screen in 35mm archival prints. Sat/30, check out the UK gore-fest Corruption (1968) or The Brood (1979), one of David Cronenberg’s first films. And on Sun/31, there will be a double Halloween dose of director Alex Cox, with Straight to Hell Returns (2010) and Searchers 2.0 (2007), complete with an appearance from Cox himself. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's look: Tonaka, Fillmore and California Read more »

SF vote-by-mail provides early political snapshot

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San Francisco’s Department of Elections had received 41,620 vote-by-mail returns so far That’s a fifth of the 210,993 vote-by-mail forms that were requested this year.
And while we don’t know which districts these folks voted in, we do know how they were registered: Over half were Democrats (24,153 votes), a quarter were decline-to-state (10,563 votes), and a fifth were Republican (5,565 votes). Read more »

Oddball billionaire wants to wreck California

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Okay, this is really scary. An oddball billionaire who used to have homes in New York and Florida but now lives just in hotels -- and who has no apparent connection to California -- is going to spend $20 million promoting a plan to restructure the state. Read more »

A Celtic violinist Jimi Hendrix?

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“Can you tell me why they call you the Jimi Hendrix of the violin?” I'm chatting with Eileen Ivers, Bronx-born one-time house blue electric violinist for Riverdance. One must admit, it seems like a curious moniker. Over the phone, Ivers dissolves in laughter. 

“I wish I could,” she finally continues. “One wonderful gentleman from some paper put that. I'd love to think that in some way -- he had such a love of blues and roots -- I don't know, I won't even go there, but I feel so connected to the instrument.” Oh, plus she integrates into her concerts (one of which will be rocking Freight and Salvage Thu/4) liberal doses of jams, electric violin, wah-wah pedal, and, dare we say, soul? “I love to put that to an audience to open their minds -- this instrument can rock out as well.” The pieces are beginning to come together... Read more »

Sfbg Radio: Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll

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You want to save the American economy? Try legalizing sex, drugs and roc 'n' roll. That's Johnny's proposal. listen up after the jump. Read more »

The Performant: Extreme Theatre Sports at “The Great Game” Marathon

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This weekend, despite the rain, I attended a marathon. Fortunately for my running shoes, it was a marathon of theatre indoors at the Berkeley Rep -- an epic play cycle of 19 vignettes set in Afghanistan, entitled “The Great Game”. Ever been to a theater marathon? Like any test of physical endurance, it’s not for the faint of heart. You have to prepare for it. Hydrate well. Wear comfortable clothing. And above all, pack plenty of snacks.

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Hot sexy events: October 27th-November 2nd

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So you loved it when the princess in Disney movies was tied up, but aren't quite sure if you're ready to make the move to complicated (read: spendy) ropes and harnesses? No fear, my dear! Alluring ropes lady Midori is here to teach you how to hold down your naughty loved one with the aid of but a few handy scarves at her upcoming Good Vibrations class (Mon/1). Can you believe you can make a dildo harness from a kicky accessory? Come to think of it, dildo harnesses might just be the most kicky accessory of them all...

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Flash: I won't be throwing out the first pitch today to open the World Series

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Amazing.  Peter Hartlaub nominated me Tuesday (Oct. 26) in his Chronicle pop culture column to throw out the first pitch to open the World Series game in San Francisco. 

In the spirit of  "getting the rest of the country into the swing of things" in San Francisco,  he also nominated actor Sean Penn, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. And he suggested Lawrence Ferlinghetti read the national anthem, that Tony Hall sing the national anthem,  that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence become the new ball dudes, and that a slow-moving  flotilla of Critical Mass kayaks make the other boats late for the game in McCovey Cove.   Read more »

French Cinema Now! Two to see -- and one to avoid

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The San Francisco Film Society's "French Cinema Now" kicks off Thurs/28 with a week of spankin' new Gallic films. Not sure which flick to choose, budding Cahiers du Cinéma contributor? Read on for a batch of brief reviews.

Copacabana (dir. Marc Fitoussi) It feels strange to call Copacabana subtle, especially when the film’s main character Babou (Isabelle Huppert) is consistently over-the-top. But this is a slight comedy, a character study to showcase Huppert’s considerable talent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Copacabana depends on its strong lead, and there are few stronger than Huppert, one of the most dynamic and adaptive French actors working today. Read more »

Local metal review: Slough Feg's "The Animal Spirits"

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All good heavy metal strives to challenge the listener, pushing buttons and boundaries. Some of its most successful incarnations make people downright uncomfortable, achieving escalating extremes of tempo, tuning, and tone.

Slough Feg is one of San Francisco's most unique underground bands, an honorific that stems directly from its unique approach to the challenge of challenging. Eschewing thrash's BPM arms race, death metal's knuckle-dragging celebration of “brutality,” and black metal's dissonant, low-fi navel-gazing, the quartet (now two decades or, if you prefer, five drummers old) manages to discomfit with an unlikely tool: melody. New album The Animal Spirits was released Tues/26 on Profound Lore Records.

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Your first world series is always the best

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Dick Meister. former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeistersf.com, which includes more than 250 of his columns.

Whoopie! Our valiant Giants are in the World Series again, for the fourth time since they moved to the city from New York in 1958. Pretty exciting, the first series for the Giants since the 2002 series that was won, alas, by the New York Yankees.

Pretty exciting stuff coming up in this year's series too, Giants vs. Texas  Rangers. But it was more than excitement that swept San Francisco during that first SF Giants World Series and the regular season leading up to the series.  It was near-hysteria. As a young reporter for the SF Chronicle in those days, I felt it up close and very personal. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's look: Elain and Joelen, Fillmore and Clay Read more »