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
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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Meg is proud of her success at EBay. I wonder if she's proud of shoving one of her employees. I know, I know -- Meg was a tough-love employer who demanded the best and would tolerate nothing less. She relishes the reputation that, as the NY Times says, she
was known as a demanding leader who did not hesitate to express displeasure with employees who failed to live up to her standards.Read more »
Out of all the new additions to our food and drink scene last month -- and there were quite a few -- these spots launch with the promise of becoming SF classics. As always, read more about restaurants, bars, travel, food and drink in my newsletter, The Perfect Spot.
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
Men Without Hats If you don't know the band, you know "The Safety Dance," and if you think you don't know "The Safety Dance," you'd know it if you heard it. Practically synonymous with '80s music, the Canadian New Wave band's 1983 hit is as ubiquitous as a party-starter as it is as a meme and an artifact from their weird, coldly distant decade. But while Ivan Doroschuk and his crew could have just sat back and enjoyed their shiny new houses throughout the '80s, the band has soldiered on with a stream of albums that have been largely absent from record collections in the States but still fly off the shelves in their home country. If you count yourselves among these loyal American fans, leave your friends behind and come see them at the DNA Lounge. T8:30pm, $15 DNA Lounge 375 Eleventh St., SF (415) 626-1409 www.dnalounge.com