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CAREERS + ED ISSUE Artists find their way into video games, despite a boom-and-bust industry

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 How to survive as an artist, Careers + Ed issue, Google bus impact, public housing switch, robot advances, 'Under the Skin, more. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Oliver Stone hits the spin cycle with South of the Border

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Gosh I love a good bite of propaganda. But maybe instead of "good" I should demur to “appealing”; it's probably a bit redundant to say that I don't brook with the smug-mongering on FOX, and even if it's couched in concern for the personal safety of Americans, the advisories that our government puts out on the countries of our brothers and sisters in South American scared the dickens out of my mom when I decided to do Carnaval in Colombia.

Point being, we're surrounded by propaganda. And I know Oliver Stone thinks so too. The fact appears to be the motivation behind his new movie South of the Border (opens Fri/16 in Bay area theaters), in which he travels down there to meet with Hugo Chavez and seven other leaders of what he believes to be the new Bolivarian movement. “I think that there has been so much unbalance [in American coverage of Latin America] that we are definitely a counter to that,” the director told the New York Times. Read more »

SFBG Radio: The Mehserle verdict -- and beyond

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Today, Johnny and Tim talk about the Mehserle verdict, the riots, and what comes next. You can listen after the break. Read more »

Meg, Jerry and the Latino vote

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It's easy for political analysts to talk about "the Latino vote" as if 15 million people in California all shared exactly the same views and cared about exactly the same issues. Which is nuts: Latino voters are a diverse group.Read more »

Newsom's ambitions trump local needs

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I guess that's nothing new, and I could have written the same headline dozens of times over the past couple of years. But in this case, the Bay Citizen has a nice scoop -- Newsom personally scuttled a deal that would have created a $50 million annual stream of affordable housing money because he didn't want to be on record supporting any new taxes.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Melissa, Union Square

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Snap Sounds: Björk and Dirty Projectors

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BJÖRK AND DIRTY PROJECTORS
Mount Wittenberg Orca

Mount Wittenberg Orca is neither the first nor last time Björk sings about oceans, mothers, and plant life (re: “Oceania”). But now, she has the genius of the Dirty Projectors ­– in particular, producer and Dirty frontman David Longstreth – looking at Mother Nature, too. Read more »

Taming finance in an age of austerity

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By Joseph E. Stiglitz

NEW YORK – It was not long ago that we could say, “We are all Keynesians now.” The financial sector and its free-market ideology had brought the world to the brink of ruin. Markets clearly were not self-correcting. Deregulation had proven to be a dismal failure.

The “innovations” unleashed by modern finance did not lead to higher long-term efficiency, faster growth, or more prosperity for all. Instead, they were designed to circumvent accounting standards and to evade and avoid taxes that are required to finance the public investments in infrastructure and technology – like the Internet – that underlie real growth, not the phantom growth promoted by the financial sector.

The financial sector pontificated not only about how to create a dynamic economy, but also about what to do in the event of a recession (which, according to their ideology, could be caused only by a failure of government, not of markets). Whenever an economy enters recession, revenues fall, and expenditures – say, for unemployment benefits – increase. So deficits grow. Read more »

SF business community just opposes government

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Mayor Gavin Newsom and his business community allies often accuse progressive members of the Board of Supervisors of being too “ideological” in their proposals, particularly when they involve revenue or regulations. But a looming battle over reforming the city's business tax – one of three new revenues set for a special Budget & Finance Committee meeting tomorrow (7/9) at 11:30 am – shows that an ideological aversion to taxes of any kind drive Newsom and the business community more than their stated concern for “jobs” and the “economy.” Read more »

Oakland reacts to Mehserle verdict

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The jury has reached an involuntary manslaughter verdict in the murder trial of Johannes Merserle, the former BART cop who shot and killed Oscar Grant, and Oakland City Hall has been evacuated in anticipation of the response. The judge has announced that the jury rejected the two more severe verdicts -- 2nd degree murder and voluntary manslaughter -- which could prompt an angry response from some protesters.Read more »

Caution! Don't miss Very Be Careful's next SF gig

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Who do you drink to? I guess it really depends on what you're drinking. Moonshine: The Devil Makes Three. Thug Passion: Tupac. Shot of a Patron, beer back: Very Be Careful. And hell no I'm not getting mom on you -- that's the vallenato five-piece from Los Angeles that's ready to party with you next week at The Rickshaw Stop (Thurs/15). VBC, formed by brothers Ricardo (accordian) and Arturo (bass) Guzman, sticks pretty close to the sounds that originated in their hard-partying parents' homeland in the sun-soaked Colombian Caribbean coast. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Wavves

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WAVVES
King of the Beach
(Fat Possum)

With King of the Beach, Nathan Williams, Billy Hayes, and Stephen Pope have finally stopped adding “v”s to their name. After Wavves (2008) and Wavvves (2009) of unpolished lo-fi, these San Diego-based upstarts have elevated to a dreamier, more whimsical sound (re: “When Will You Come”). Yet Wavves also hearkens back to Blink-182, Sum 41, and the bygone days of summer in the '90s. The new album's delightful pastiche is thanks, in part, to Dennis Herring, who's produced the likes of Counting Crows, Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, and the Hives. Goodbye dissonant noise; hello pop punk! Read more »

Docs! More Another Hole in the Head reviews

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More bloodthirsty coverage of the San Francisco IndieFest's horror-fest offshoot, Another Hole in the Head, in this week's Guardian.

Another Hole in the Head’s two documentary offerings concern themselves with the distinctly American roots of two related strains of genre filmmaking. Elijah Drenner’s American Grindhouse traces the history of exploitation film, with a particular focus on the grindhouse theater as a cultural institution. Narrator Robert Forster recounts the tendency of even the earliest films to cater to prurient interests, and how the establishment and eventual dissolution of the Motion Picture Production Code stimulated the development of exploitation subgenres. The featured film clips are impeccably selected, mixing titillation and shock with a healthy sense of humor about the over-the-top absurdity of films like Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975). Surprisingly candid interviews with gore luminary Herschell Gordon Lewis and blaxploitation director Larry Cohen prevent the film from taking on a too-self-important tone — these folks knew they were making b-pictures, and were damn proud of it. One of the most charming aspects of the documentary is the juxtaposition of different attitudes, wherein one interviewee will sing the praises of a classic, followed in quick succession by another talking head declaring it to be trash. It feels like John Landis gets the most screen time of any subject, but his charisma as well as the breadth of his oeuvre make it seem appropriate.

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Gore ... and bores: more Another Hole in the Head reviews

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More bloodthirsty coverage of the San Francisco IndieFest's horror-fest offshoot, Another Hole in the Head, in this week's Guardian.

Grotesque (Koji Shiraishi, Japan, 2009) When did gorno stop being sick and start becoming sad? In Koji Shiraishi’s Gurotesuku, or Grotesque – banned in the UK – a chainsaw is brought to chests, arms, legs, and fingers when really it should be brought down on this celluloid garbage. Shiraishi presents a film that is sloppy, badly written, badly acted, and is above all things, deeply unentertaining. The plot is as thin and drawn-out as one of the protagonist’s intestines: While on a date, two dumbfucks get picked up by a craaaaaazy doctor (at least I think he’s a doctor – and I think he’s lost his board certification) who proceeds to do sick but unoriginal things to them (sawing off a girl’s fingers and stringing them on a necklace for her BF? C’MON!). There are some brief moments of respite, albeit painfully acted and ridiculous respite, but the torture tries not to let up its chokehold on the audience. Unfortunately, it just ends up being a chokehold on our time. Fri/16, 5 p.m. and Sun/18, 7 p.m., Roxie.

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Boxer's better off than Brown

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I know this is political heresy, but I was encouraged by the results of the Field poll on Boxer and Fiorina. I remember back in 1982, when Milton Marks, then a liberal Republican state senator, challenged incumbent Congressmember Phil Burton -- the legendary Democratic leader -- with an anti-incumbent message fairly similar to what Fiorina is throwing at Boxer. Read more »

I, in the sky

Ariel Pink: the myth, the former solitary man, and the current group leader

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There's a moment during You Think You Really Know Me, the 2005 documentary on 1970s Midwest cult artist Gary Wilson, when the filmmakers acknowledge that their subject is not necessarily as weird as his music. "I thought he would be a little bit more," says Christina Bates, coowner of the defunct Motel Records, which reissued Wilson's 1977 jazz-rock curio You Think You Really Know Me to much acclaim. Bates' voice trails off. "He's really in complete control of his image."Read more »