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
A few months ago, Impact Theater premiered Enrique Urueta's Learn to Be Latina, a raucous satire of market-driven multiculturalism that pivoted on the ethnic dos-and-don'ts of the music industry. That production only partly prepares one for Crowded Fire's premiere of the Bay Area playwright's latest effort, Forever Never Comes. Read more »
President Obama had the right Oval Office setting, a moment in time of genuine public outrage with the oil industry, and even an eloquent setup, telling Americans “the time to embrace a clean energy future is now” and saying we shouldn't deterred from bold action by “a lack of political courage and candor.” And then...nothing. Once again, Obama has failed to follow up his rhetorical candor with the courage to do what needs to be done. Read more »
It’s that time of year again! You know, the time when Ulysses happens. That’s right, it’s Bloomsday, the holiday commemorating James Joyce’s epic modernist tome, ranked by the Modern Library as the greatest novel of the 20th century. The novel’s events span a single day — June 16, 1904, the date of Joyce’s first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.Read more »
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (James Kent, UK, 2010) A BBC production set in the northern English countryside of the early 19th century, James Kent’s The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister depicts the amatory adventures of a gentlewoman landowner (Maxine Peake) in search of a “female companion” with whom to live out her days. The narrative is somewhat breathless, the seductions equally so and yet a bit anemic, and our strong-willed, fearless heroine is admirable without being entirely engaging. Still, besides tapping into the Jane Austen slash fiction demographic, this tale of pre-Victorian bodice ripping and skirt lifting among the female gentry offers the considerable thrill of being adapted from the actual secret diaries of the titular Miss Lister, decoded by a biographer 150 years after her death. A documentary in the festival, Matthew Hill’s The Real Anne Lister, offers a complementary version of her story. Thurs/17, 7 p.m., Castro. (Lynn Rapoport)
I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan, Canada, 2009) The title I Killed My Mother suggests a different kind of movie from what it actually is. But that’s OK: though not a crime thriller, the film is still a tightly wound, high stakes drama. Writer-director Xavier Dolan stars as Hubert, the angsty son of the titular mother. When you consider that Dolan’s script is autobiographical — and that he was only 20 when the film was made — his performance becomes all the more impressive. As the mother, Chantale, Anne Dorval is also a force to be reckoned with. Despite its presence as part of a queer film festival, I Killed My Mother is not all that “gay” in the traditional “gay movie” sense. Hubert’s relationship with Antonin (François Arnaud) is secondary — what’s important is how his refusal to share it with his mother affects her. That helps make the movie a refreshing alternative to many more mainstream offerings. Sat/19, 6:45 p.m., Castro. (Louis Peitzman)
Santa Rosa got a little more groovy this weekend for the estimated 30,000 to 35,000 that attended the 32nd annual Harmony Festival, three days that were so epic my ability to narrate them cohesively has been called into question. Assembled here are some bits and pieces from the scene.
Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay
Thomas Kinkade: "painter of light," shameless boozehound. (Also: Doesn't the mugshot totally make him look like a champion poker player or a washed up bookie? I always thought he would be more Bob Ross than Hunter S. Thompson).
A month ago, when BP ascended to the top of the list of corporate villains, the company’s stock took a thrashing. But now the panic selling seems to have gone into reverse: BP’s stock rose today, even as lawmakers in Washington intensified their criticism, other oil companies claimed they would have done a better at handling the spill, and BP said it was speeding up payment of large commercial losses due to the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Read more »
People have felt powerless to counter BP's devastating and unstoppable oil leak, but Bay Area activists have finally settled on a target for their outrage: BP-owned Arco gas stations, which sell some of the cheapest gas around. On Friday, protesting activists blocked an entrance to the Arco on Fell Street, and tomorrow (6/16), the Sierra Club will hold an 11 a.m. protest outside the Arco at 3400 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland.Read more »
“Story Matters Here.” AMC’s tagline should tell you something about their primetime gestalt. With two of television’s most acclaimed dramas in its lineup -- Mad Men, a show I admire but can’t love, and Breaking Bad, hands down the best show on TV -- AMC seems destined to be heir apparent to HBO’s kingdom of smartly written dramadies and tragicomedies (Treme, True Blood, and this fall’s Boardwalk Empire, to name a few). Read more »
Everyone’s reading the tea leaves after the local election. The November supes races will be a huge deal, and it’s really tempting to try to figure out what the DCCC results mean for the fall. Paul Hogarth at BeyondChron takes it on here. Chris Daly (no surprise) disagrees.
Have you ever seen a musical where most of the characters couldn’t read? It really is a novel idea, isn’t it? That’s what Doug Simon and Bud Davenport are here for! The hack musical theater hopefuls who basically constitute the whole cast of Scott Brown and Anthony King’s Gutenberg! The Musical! know that writing a musical is hard, so they’ve done all the work. It’s just up to the bigshot Broadway producers in the audience (purportedly) to make their dreams come true. In Beards Beards Beards: A Theatre Company’s production of the rather madcap little play, which premiered Thursday at Exit Stage Left in San Francisco, Austin Ferris and Joey Price play the two sickeningly sincere song-and-dance men to a tee.
The defeat of Prop. 16 showed that unlimited corporate spending on a ballot initiative doesn't guarantee victory.
EDITORIAL The single most important number to come out of San Francisco on election night was this: 67.49 percent. That's how many people in this city voted against Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s monopoly measure, Proposition 16. It's a statistic that ought to be posted somewhere on a wall at City Hall to remind everyone in local government that the voters sided overwhelmingly against PG&E and in favor of a public option for local electricity.
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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