Grover 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
Predictably, I have no idea what I will be wearing for Halloween. The predicament of an anti-brand costume shopper is a dire one in today's Halloweenie world -- we are forced down one of two routes when celebrating everyone's favorite not-for-kids-anymore holiday. You can (a) do the decent thing and spend hours rummaging through every Goodwill in the city for high five kudos at the house party this weekend or you can (b) drop a cool fifty on a prepackaged 'stume everyone's going to "get" immediately. Read more »
As Wikileaks' Iraq war logs continue to reveal the disturbing reality of Bush's illegal war, and its founder, Julian Assange, continues to be demonized for leaking this information, military families are left wondering if their loved ones were endangered by the actions of rogue military contractors, if Iraqis were tortured by other Iraqis because of the failure of the Bush administration to crack down on this abuse—and whether the same thing is happening in Afghanistan. Read more »
Coming into work this morning, I was greeted by the sight of D10 candidate Eric Smith standing under a San Francisco Bike Coalition tent near the railroad/freeway intersection at 16th and 7th Street in Potrero Hill.
Curious, I stopped by their tent where I was greeted by a hearty handshake from Smith, and plenty of input from the Bike Coalition’s Marc Caswell and League of Conservation Voters president Amandeep Jawa about why they support Smith. Read more »
Of course the Guardian staff didn't have the dough for tickets to Game Five of the Giants and Phillies battale royale for the National League crown. But hey, the real party was outside the park -- so Caitlin Donohue (by land) and Rebecca Bowe (by sea) staked out where the real fans were hangin' -- and caught a little animalistic behavior and political fracas in the bargain. What more could you ask of a ball game? Game Six is on Sat/23 at 4:57 p.m.
Thomas J, Coates, a big time investor in apartments and mobile homes, has dropped a total of $225,000 into five independent expenditure committees that are trying to push conservative-friendly candidates and measures over the victory line this fall. Read more »
Proposition 23, bankrolled by out-of-state oil interests, threatens to reverse California’s environmental progress by suspending its landmark climate change legislation, Assembly Bill 32. Titled the Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32 would place enforceable limits on major polluters and spur the creation of green businesses. But if voters approve Prop. 23, progress on transitioning to clean energy could be stalled for decades. The Guardian published in-depth coverage of Prop. 23 in the Oct. 13 issue. Read more »
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.
So, as the Washington Post 's Paul Farhi reported recently, hunter Harry Whittington is still suffering from the effects of being shot accidentally by hunting partner Dick Cheney in Texas four years ago.
I'm sure we're all sorry about that, about how Whittington still has the lead pellet that pierced his larynx when the then-vice president swung around abruptly and fired away at a flight of quail. We're of course sorry, too, about the 30 or so other pieces of shot still inside Whittington out of some 200 that slammed him, and the scars he bears. Read more »
There's mezcal and there's Del Maguey. You may have heard me talk about Del Maguey mezcals and the line's founder, Ron Cooper, in the past. A session with the gentle yet passionate Ron (like his mezcal seminar at 2010 Tales of the Cocktail) is an experience you're not likely to soon forget. Even the way he describes fermentation stays with you: "wild creatures eating sugar, farting carbon dioxide, pissing alcohol!"
I'm leaving for Mexico next week, so sipping Del Maguey was getting me in the south of the border mood -- even though I'm going to Tequila vs. Oaxaca, where most mezcal is produced. For the unfamiliar, mezcal is a spirit made from the heart (piña) of the maguey, an agave plant native to Mexico. Piñas are roasted underground, giving mezcal its distinctive smoky properties. Mezcal is the peaty scotch of tequila, which by definition is a mezcal made specifically from blue agave in Tequila, Mexico. Read more »
Morgan Fitzgibbons isn't thinking small when it comes to goals for his Western Addition sustainability group, the Wigg Party. “We want to make our community a leader in the transformation in resilience,” he tells me during our coffee date to discuss the group's upcoming anti-boycott “carrotmob” at Matching Half Cafe (Sat/23).
It's no coincidence that his language sounds a little new age-y. The basis for Fitzgibbons' vision for the Wigglers seems grounded in the PhD of Philosopy, Cosmology, and Consciousness he received at California Institute for Integral Studies. “We're these sacred beings,” he tells me earnestly of his San Francisco community. “This is a sacred movement – I want people to look back in a hundred years and see that.” Read more »
In today's Appetite installation, Virginia Miller ranged near and far (in a fabulous pair of vintage pumps, as is her wont) in search of the meatiest hunk of sandwich available for hungry city souls. Sink your teeth into one while watching your -- cross your fingers -- new league champion baseball team. Go Gigantes!
Iran's authoritarian regime still gets away with locking up artists and intellectuals for their opinions. (The renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi spent three months in prison this year for speaking his mind in public.) The contours of this system of political persecution come to the fore in the most personal and riveting of terms as longtime Iranian dissident, journalist, and author Houshang Asadi talks about (and reads from) his new memoir, Letters to My Torturer: Love, Revolution, and Imprisonment in Iran, in conversation with journalist and author Jonathan Curiel (Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots) at Berkeley Arts and Letters. The event is co-sponsored by the National Iranian American Council, Amnesty International, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.
100 Years After WWI: The Poll Diaries - Franz Ferdinand, the band, has shaken up some summer music festivals in recent times, but 100 years ago in the summer of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination shook up the world. In Chris Kraus's 2010 drama film The Poll Diaries, young Oda (Paula Beer) rejoins her aristocratic German family in Estonia. Throw in an Estonian anarchist and a society on the brink of World War I and you'll find there isn't too much hope for love. The Poll Diaries is the first film in the Goethe-Institut's weekly WWI film series and is an apt film to spearhead the selection of poignant, beautifully melancholy wartime movies. 6:30pm, $5. Goethe-Institut San Francisco, 530 Bush, SF. (415) 263-8760, www.goethe.de
Murder City Devils -- Combining elements of garage rock and punk with dark organ lines and caterwauling vocals, Seattle rockers The Murder City Devils were a musical powder keg from 1996 to 2001, just waiting to be lit by a live audience. After a five-year break up, the band has sporadically reunited for concerts here and there, but hadn't put out a new record until this month, dropping The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands, its first album release in 13 years. Fans can look forward to hearing the new material, along with old favorites, when Spencer Moody and cohorts hit the stage in what always promises to be a gloriously unpredictable and incendiary performance. 8pm, $22. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF. (415) 885-0750 www.slimspresents.com
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - The God of Dub may be pushing 80, but his live shows and constantly evolving studio production are not slowing down. Lee "Scratch" Perry, who helped to transform reggae into an aurally and technologically complex genre while virtually inventing "the remix," released a new album, Back at the Controls, earlier this year. The work was a true group effort, both because it was a collaboration with Rolling Lion Studios' producer Daniel Boyle as well as the fact that it benefited from a thriving Kickstarter campaign. To complement his new record, Perry embarked on an ongoing world tour, which hopped over to Europe for a three-month stint starting in March. Now back in the States, Perry looks to continue dazzling audiences with his idiosyncratic fashion, pulsating beats, and exhilarating reworkings of timeless classics from every kind of music. 79pm, $25. Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-1421 www.theindependentsf.com
My Drunk Kitchen with Hannah Hart - How many YouTubers have baked brownies with Mary-Louise Parker (of Weeds fame) while drunk? Hannah Hart, the mastermind behind the "My Drunk Kitchen" YouTube channel, has come a long way since her first video, in which she set out to make grilled cheese — getting by with a little help from her friend, wine — and realized mid-video that she didn't have any cheese in the house. She appears this evening to promote her new cookbook, which is chock-full of tasty recipes (ones she made up while writing and hasn't tasted) and spontaneous fun. And hey, she has drunk Jamie Oliver's stamp of approval, so what more could you ask for? 7pm, free. Books Inc. 601 Van Ness, SF. (415) 776-1111, www.booksinc.net
Name Drop Swamp Records + Quiet Lightning - This new collaboration between independent SF record label Name Drop Swamp Records (Fox & Woman, Split Screens) and the long-running lit and spoken word series Quiet Lightning brings together live music, poetry, and performance for an evening that's sure to draw a crowd full of all kinds of artists — in addition to those being featured on stage. Featured performer Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba is someone you won't get to see in a small room for too much longer, thanks to her unique, rich vocals and skilled storytelling through song. The door is sliding scale and the aim is for this evening to be the first in a bimonthly series at the Emerald Tablet (sorry, "Em Tab,") so get in before it blows up. 5 - 9pm, $10-20; no one turned away for lack of funds. The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno, SF. (415) 500-2323, www.emtab.org
Built to Spill - Boise's Built To Spill has been churning out heartbreakingly lovely indie rock songs for over 20 years. Doug Martsch, formerly of Treepeople, formed the group in 1992. Since then, the band has gone through a whirlwind of lineup changes with Martsch as the only constant, but have managed to create seven equally beautiful, reverb-heavy studio albums. Martsch's music has been cited as a major inspiration by such indie rock royalty as Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. Though it's been five years since they've released an album, Built To Spill's live show hasn't declined a bit. This three-night run at Slim's is a very special event, and certainly not to be missed. With Slam Dunk, The Warm Hair. 8pm, $28, Slim's 333, 11th St, SF. (415) 255-0333, www.slimspresents.com
Fucked Up Toronto's Fucked Up might be the most ambitious punk band on the planet. This six-piece hardcore band has been releasing more and more epic and boldly experimental records since their explosive entrance to the scene in 2001. The group has even been recognized by the Canadian government, winning the prestigious Polaris Prize in 2009 for its incredible, sprawling punk-rock opera The Chemistry of Common Life. Their most recent effort, Glass Boys, maintains their hardcore edge while finding more rock depth, borrowing simultaneously from Dinosaur Jr. and Negative Approach. The record asks questions about what it means to be an aging and successful punk band. Known and notorious for their tempestuous relationship and wildly unpredictable live shows, Fucked Up is one of the best hardcore bands and certainly one of the best live acts on the road. Tijuana Panthers, The She's, 8pm, $20. The Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-1421 www.independentsf.com