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How a high-minded countercultural experiment ended up on everyone's bucket list

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weekcoverGrover 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

From the Blogs

Californian beards are the best beards in the country

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all photos by Simone Paddock

Glory upon ye, Californians, for your beards have triumphed! Yes, even without the competitive edge of Jack Passion (two time Full Natural Beard world champ and Bay resident, who sat this one out to emcee), the Golden State prospered with three out of four first places at the National Beard and Mustache Championships in Bend, Oregon this weekend. Per his promise, Jack Passion filled us in with what went down with the beardos.Read more »

Editorial: No matter who wins on Prop 16, full speed ahead with CCA

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EDITORIAL Proposition 16 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s monopoly power grab — has to rank as the most venal, corrupt abuse of the initiative system in California history. The utility spent nearly $50 million to pay for a misleading signature drive, mount a campaign of lies and distortions, create bogus front groups, and flood the airwaves with ads — all in an effort to convince Californians to vote against their own interests. It's a case study in why the state needs initiative reform (a ban on paid signature gatherers and limits on corporate campaign contributions would be good places to start).

At press time, we didn't know how the election would turn out — but this much is clear: San Francisco needs to move ahead with community choice aggregation and continue to push for public power anyway.

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SFBG Radio: Johnny and Tim on June 8 ballot props

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Today, Johnny and Tim talk about the June 8th ballot props, why Republicans ought to vote No on 16 -- and the monopoly power of PG&E and Comcast. You can listen after the jump. Read more »

Three words: Vote June 8

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The problem with the June 8th ballot is that the Democrats aren't fighting with each other.Read more »

Citizen Kane just got smaller

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By Ryan Lattanzio

It should come as no surprise that Netflix has just previewed its new iPhone app. That's right. Now you can stream unlimited movies for a small monthly fee on your cell phone. Writer Ramu Nagappan of Macworld says it will offer "the full Netflix experience: you can stream video (over Wi-Fi and 3G), view recommendations, browse genres, and access your queue."

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World's best (sharp-dressed) drummer?

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See video

You decide. (h/t Nick Larimer and Richard Bott)

Appetite: Celebrating Sailor Jerry, tattooist and rum

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What do tatooing and rum have to with each other? Well, there's a rum named after one of the most legendary tattoo artists of all time, Sailor Jerry. It's his own personal recipe, distilled in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and is truly a beaut. Bracingly strong at 92 proof, it's got a spiced, caramel burn that goes down smooth on its own as it does in a cocktail (Dark & Stormy, anyone?) It lingers pleasantly while also delivering a punch. Kind of like the colorful Jerry himself? Read more »

The best worst I've ever had

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By Sam Stander

There are few fandoms so charmingly enthusiastic as the hordes of video-hounds who treasure Troll 2 (1990), by many accounts the worst movie ever made. This past Saturday night, the East Bay took its turn in the publicity blitz for Best Worst Movie, a documentary about the Troll 2 phenomenon, directed by the ridiculous horror flick’s then-child star Michael Paul Stephenson. Stephenson appeared with his costar George Hardy in San Francisco on Friday, but only Hardy was on hand for the Saturday night screenings at Berkeley’s Shattuck Cinemas.

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If crime in San Francisco was shown as peaks and valleys

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...it would look like this.

And what a revealing landscape the city suddenly becomes.

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Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Anna, Valencia and 19th Street

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Live Review: Holy Ghost!, Fillmore, 6/3/2010

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By Peter Galvin

While much of the mainstream is still poking fun at the hair bands and taking pot-shots at the easy-listening fluff, the '80s have snuck back in for a full-on revival. Kids who grew up in the decade of Ninja Turtles and parachute pants surely have the fondest memories, and two of those kids play poker-faced homages to the era as Holy Ghost! Full of flashy synths and smooth vocals, Holy Ghost goes a step beyond the copycat ambiance of Ariel Pink or the sly winking of Francis and the Lights or Chromeo, passing up tongue-in-cheek for reverence.

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Hot air: The passion and Hot Lixx of air guitar

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By Zach Ritter

Someday, an enterprising cultural archivist is going to compile a history of air-musicianship. I've got to assume that the phenomenon long predates the headbanging era. Maybe it's just because I get a kick out of imagining top-hatted fops sawing away on invisible violins, but the instinct to mime an instrument just seems so natural that I have to assume people have been doing it for centuries. I mean, nobody teaches you air guitar. When you hear a sufficiently righteous riff, the hands just take over. Read more »

The Daily Blurgh: Justice, mad scientists, C.R.E.A.M.

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Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond

Assholes: Hit-and-run driver arrested!

*****

Science: Stanford whiz kids develop buggy-like electric car; resemble Beverly Hillbillies.

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Delorean is pulling for Rafa

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Soon I'll be posting my interview with Ekhi Lopetegi of the Barcelona group Delorean, whose new album Subiza might be the year's most resplendent. Lopetegi had things to say about luminsecent atmosphere, building songs from vocal samples, the greatness of Prefab Sprout, the rewards and dangers of love, and the rude brilliance of New Order, as well as the looseness of Barcelona's community of musicians. But for the sake of timeliness, I'm posting his thoughts on Rafael Nadal, before Nadal faces his arch-nemesis and the only player to have beaten him at Roland Garros, Robin Soderling, in the Sunday final of the French Open.

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Ethics boss finally ousts Luby, a crusading public advocate

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Oliver Luby has long been the most public-spirited employee of the San Francisco Ethics Commission, the one person in that office who repeatedly exposed powerful violators of campaign finance rules and blew the whistle on schemes to make the system less transparent and effective, drawing the ire of Director John St. Croix and Deputy Director Mabel Ng in the process.Read more »