Fall Arts preview: movies, concerts, festivals, theater, dance, nightlife, videogames, gallery shows, and more. Plus: hip-hop tricksters Souls of Mischief return, local police gifted military weapons, witness comes forward in Alex Nieto shooting. Articles Online | Digital Edition
I read BeyondChron every day, and Randy Shaw, who operates the site, and Paul Hogarth, his managing editor, often have interesting commentary. But I’m constantly annoyed by people who run what by any stretch is a journalistic operation, but don’t follow the basic rules of (even alternative, activist) journalism: When you’re going to say something nasty about somebody, you call that person for comment.Read more »
It was one of those knockout weekends during which rabid electro kids and throbbing bluegrass fans, twirling gay flaggers and hot-pink breast cancer walkers all blurred into, well, a blur. Hell if I remember most of it. But it's a dazzling blur, a blur you can really take a shine to, kind of Brazil-shaped with opalescent edges, undulating there in the partially cloudy air, a 4G jellyfish lingering on the event horizon.Read more »
Walking up to Bimbo’s and seeing “Jon Spencer Blues Explosion” sprawled across the marquee in big, bold font, I kept thinking how crazy it was that the group hadn’t performed in SF in over eight years. Though just coming off a five-year hiatus, JSBX has been spewing their sweaty mix of punk, blues, and good old-fashioned rock and roll for nearly two decades. With all three members of the New York trio well on their way into middle age, last Wednesday (9/29/10) was a reminder that these guys were doing their thing long before groups like the White Stripes or the Black Keys were even blips on the radar. And beyond that, it proved they haven’t lost a single step. Read more »
On every level — federal, state and local — the Nov. 2 election is critical. Californians will decide whether a billionaire with no political experience and a failed business executive with right-wing views should be the next governor and senator. They'll address a long list of major ballot measures. In San Francisco, voters will decide the balance of power on the Board of Supervisors, weigh in on ballot measures that could deeply affect the local budget, and decide whether this city wants to allow a harsh crackdown on the homeless.Read more »
Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Eileen Hirst reminded me today that 75-80 percent of the people behind bars at the San Francisco County Jail are still in the pre-trial stage. Hirst first shared that stastic with me earlier this year, when the jail got dumped from the list of buildings that will be earthquake retrofitted, if voters approve Proposition A this fall.Read more »
We ran out of space in today's print edition and couldn't publish either of the two opeds I wanted to run, so I'm posting them here. The first one is by the chairman of the SF Democratic Party.
By Aaron Peskin
As one of the most Democratic cities in California, San Francisco has a special responsibility to make sure we help elect a Democratic ticket on November 2nd. We always take that responsibility seriously – but this year we will have the pleasure of helping elect our own to statewide office: Gavin Newsom as Lt. Governor, Kamala Harris as Attorney General and even native son Jerry Brown as California’s next Governor.
To hear father and son artistic team Rene and Rio Yañez talk about San Francisco's Day of the Dead celebration is to realize how much the holiday has taken on its own light here in the city. “It's about personal experience, but also politics,” Rene says. The duo have crafted another year of homage to the dead around us -- and in so doing also reflect a shifting scene in San Francisco art.
No art event in the city reflects evolving tradition more than the Yañezs' yearly exhibit of Dia de los Muertos altars at SOMArts Cultural Center (opening Fri/8). As the three of us sit in Rene's office at SOMArts next to the cow brain in a mason jar on top of which the elder Yañez -- the center's director of special projects -- has stacked a pair of headphones and a plush Taco Bell chihuahua, Rene tells his son and myself about the first public Day of the Dead celebration in San Francisco. Read more »
In San Francisco's Presidio, one of the few national parks that is mandated to pay for its operations with the proceeds from development, historic preservation is often undermined by commercial concerns. And critics contend the proposal for a big new hotel at the Main Post is a prime example of that model's shortcomings.Read more »
Nine hundred thousand people and over 70 bands braved the drifting fog banks for this weekend's 10th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. With a crowd that size, you have to think logistics. So at my interview with HSB bankroller-birthday boy Warren Hellman well before the madness, I asked who were the up and comers to look out for. I chicken-danced our way through Speedway Meadows accordingly.
“The Ebony Hillbillies,” Hellman told me, chuckling over lead singer – and as the band's press kit explains, “bones” of the group -- Gloria Gassaway's penchant for abrupt audience interaction. The HSB performance would be its first in the Bay Area, and Hellman was happy to have been its means of infiltration, particularly for Gassaway's no-nonsense stage presence. “She's quite a woman,” he said. Read more »
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
Mission of Burma - It's been 33 years since Boston's Mission of Burma unleashed its initial volley of sound, an EP and an album, Vs., followed by more than 20 years of silence. While the band unleashed 70 minutes of recorded material before an unfortunate breakup spurred by singer and guitarist Roger Miller's worsening tinnitus, the group grew in stature for the next two decades. After an unexpected reunion in 2004, Mission of Burma has released four additional critically-acclaimed albums. The most recent, 2012's Unsound, is full of impossibly fast tempos, odd tape-loops, and complex rhythms — generally the band's modus operandi, but even more amped up than ever before. Truly ageless and anything but a nostalgia act, the band hasn't visited the West Coast in upwards of four years. This set should include both stuff from the '80s as well as newer albums, along with (if we're lucky) a couple of delightfully dissonant Beatles covers the band's been known to play on special occasions. 7pm, $20. Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-142, www.theindependentsf.com
San Francisco Zine Fest - Put down your iPhone, tablet, or other glowing device and stop thinking about zines in the past tense. DIY culture is thriving, and the San Francisco Zine Fest — which returns to Golden Gate Park this year — spotlights indie artists and writers, small presses, and the readers who love them. This year, there'll be panels on "Race, Gender, and the Future of Zines" and "Creating Feminist Spaces in DIY Culture;" an "Intro to Silkscreen" workshop; and a rather impressive slate of exhibitors and special guests, including Ryan Sands (Youth in Decline), Tomas Moniz (RAD DAD), and illustrator-cartoonist Hellen Jo. Today, 11am-5pm; Sun/31, 11am-4pm, free. SF County Fair Building, 1199 Ninth Ave, SF. www.sfzinefest.org
Oakland Pride and Festival - San Francisco may get all the glory, but Oakland? Oakland's where Sheila E.'s from, and that, friends, is why Oakland's annual pride celebration gets the drum queen as a headliner and celebrity grand marshal. The festival, which will take over downtown Oakland until 7pm, features three stages with a stacked bill full of live music, a children's area, a senior area, and a "wedding pavilion" where couples will be able to tie the knot — there's a story for the grandkids. And of course, food, booze, and all your favorite LGBT organizations will be out in style. Worth the BART trip? And how. 5 - 9pm, $10-20; no one turned away for lack of funds. Parade starts at 10:30am, festival 11am-7pm, $10. Parade: Broadway & 14th St; festival: Broadway & 20th St, Oakl. (510) 545-6251 www.oaklandpride.org
12th Annual Cowgirlpalooza - Dust off your best boots and work up an appetite for hooch, because this party on the Mission's sunniest patio — that's El Rio's — will have you cuttin' a rug to the best country crooners the Bay Area has to offer, including the Patsychords (a Patsy Cline tribute band), Velvetta, Jessica Rose, and more. Enthusiastically encouraged: Boots, checkered shirts, creative belt buckles, lassos, getting there early. This annual shindig, thrown by the bar's beloved, longtime sound guy Frank Gallagher, fills up in less time than it'd take you to watch City Slickers again. 4pm, $10. El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF. (415) 282-3325, www.elriosf.com
Gina Arnold Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series of compact volumes examining popular albums offers a range of both musical styles (Dusty Springfield, ABBA, Jethro Tull, DJ Shadow, Sonic Youth, Van Dyke Parks, Guns N' Roses, Celine Dion) and authors (John Darnielle, holding forth on Black Sabbath). The 96th entry comes from veteran rock journalist and recent Stanford Ph.D Gina Arnold, whose take on Liz Phair's 1993 grunge-grrrl thesis Exile in Guyville offers what the New York Times calls "the most curious" entry in the 33 1/3 canon, taking a "free-form" approach rather than simply combing through each of Phair's lo-fi anthems. Seems kinda perfect, considering Phair's own unconventional music-biz approach — plus, any excuse to revisit "Fuck and Run" is always welcome. 7:30pm, free. Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF. (415) 626-1409 www.booksmith.com