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@Large: Ai WeiWei on Alcatraz" highlights contemporary struggles for freedom of expression

This Week's Paper

weekSpringing from Alcatraz: Dissident artist Ai WeiWei's @Large exhibition rocks the rock, and Project Censored 2014 uncovers the year's most important (but under-covered) stories. Plus: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass lifts our blues, and Awesome Tapes from Africa taps seldom-heard sounds.  Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Streets of San Francisco: City talk

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On Friday, May 7 at 12 p.m., I stood at the intersection of Van Ness and Market with a pen, notepad, and die in hand. The pen and notepad were used to capture discernable language overheard, while the die served to dictate the initial direction of my walking as well as the decision made at each new intersection. The following is a transcription of one-hour of that journey—eventually the die led me to the ocean—or an attempt to quilt together found language from San Francisco’s streets. Read more »

What happens when Lennar doesn't have a say

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Today the Planning Commission holds a hearing about Lennar's massive development plan for Candlestick and Hunters Point Shipyard, a plan the Guardian has been critically tracking for years, but the Mayor's Office and a non-profit called the Center for Creative Land Recycling have been busily promoting (check out the above video clip). But one thing they won't be talking about is the Alternatives For Study that Arc Ecology proposed, Bionic developed and Urban Strategies reviewed two years ago, in an effort to improve the developer's otherwise Foster City-like vision for the heart of District 10 in the city's southeast sector.

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Mission possibility

Meklit Hadero makes music of the word and world, from San Francisco

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Meklit Hadero's voice exudes music. A casual conversation over morning coffee can feel like an impromptu personal performance by the San Francisco jazz musician, because even her speaking voice has rhythm.Read more »

Appetite: A couple April openings worth visiting

Out of all the new additions to San Francisco in April, these two restaurants launch with the most promise

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Parada 22 brings some much-needed new blood to the Upper Haight. It's cheap, tasty Puerto Rican food with Cuban influences in a bright, aquamarine space showcasing an eclectic mix of South American antiques and knick knacks, while Latin jazz plays over the speakers. The concept is current and breezy: order at the counter, eat at picnic tables or stools, or take to go. I've been twice so far and the food has been consistently good... Read more »

Director Travis Mathews makes gay porn intimate, cuddly, relatable

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Travis Mathews is quickly making a name for himself in the San Francisco film scene. A short film culled from his In Their Room series earned him top honors at the Good Vibrations’ Independent Erotic Film Festival last year. Now he’s working on I Want Your Love, a full-length scripted feature. Although Mathews has only completed one demo scene, the project is already generating online buzz. I spoke to Mathews about his inspiration for I Want Your Love and how the short scene fits into the bigger picture.

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Live Shots: Fact/SF presents "The Consumption Series," Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, 5/6/2010

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Intimacy and personal space play a large role in Charles Slender's new dance-theater production entitled The Consumption Series from dance company Fact/SF. (The show continues through Sat/15.) As my girl date for the night, Suzy Q, put it: "I've never been that close to live dancers in my whole life!"

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Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look:  Natalie and Beth, SF State

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The Daily Blurgh: Follow that bird!

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

Forget the Double Down: Here's a map of the Bay Area's best fried chicken spots

 

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Consumer Watchdog launches air strike against Prop. 17

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For decades, respected consumer advocate Harvey Rosenfield has been battling Mercury Insurance and other corporations that have sought to undermine Proposition 103, the landmark car insurance regulatory measure that he wrote and California voters approved in 1988. But he's never felt the need to advertise on television, until now.Read more »

Streets of San Francisco: ICP goes for inner city phame

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If you live in San Francisco and pay attention to public art, you might already be familiar with the work of longstanding Bay Area graffiti crew Inner City Phame (ICP). Their prolific murals – diverse in style and magnetic in form – grace walls across the city. There’s a tribute to Malcolm X on Third and Kirkwood in Bayview-Hunters Point, featuring intricately crafted aliases free floating among inspired quotes. On a vibrant wall on the corner of 19th and Mission, comic book characters from Ironman to Dr. Evil swing between stylized names forged in cracked stone. An Azteca-themed mural up the street on 25th has a jaguar warrior getting down with the gods. And ICP also curates the street level walls of the Defenestration building on 6th and Howard (that old tenement hotel with furniture flying out of the windows), making a dynamic open-air gallery out of abandoned space. Wait, who said graffiti wasn’t art? Read more »

SFBG Radio: Tim and Johnny on Meg's collapse

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On today's SFBG Radio, Tim Redmond and Johnny Angel Wendell talk about the sudden collapse of Meg Whitman's once-mighty lead in the GOP primary and the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. You can listen after the jump. Read more »

Films shed light on Prop 16, but lack funding for prime time

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The No on Prop 16 campaign is fighting back against Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s advertising blitzkrieg for Proposition 16, the anti-democratic ballot initiative it has bankrolled to secure its monopoly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more »

It’s reigning men!

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Thrillpeddlers peddle more Cockettes in Hot Greeks and SF Playhouse gets kinda Guignol with Slasher

On the principle that when you’ve got it you should really flaunt it, San Francisco’s Thrillpeddlers essay their second revival of a musical by the storied Cockettes. Hot Greeks, which premiered in midnight performances at the old Palace Theater in 1972, was the gleefully crazed cross-dressing troupe’s only other fully scripted musical besides, of course, Pearls Over Shanghai, which Thrillpeddlers revived to long-running fame almost a year ago and which will run in repertory with the limited-run Greeks.

While not the Oresteia or anything, Hot Greeks is more than an excuse for a lot of louche, libidinous hilarity. Okay, not much more. But it is a knowing little romp — supported by some infectious songs courtesy of Martin Worman (book and lyrics) and Richard “Scrumbly” Koldewyn (music and additional lyrics, and musical director-accompanist for the revival) — wedding trashy high school romance with the trashy ancient Greece of Aristophanes and the Peloponnesian War.

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Whistling in the dark: Noir returns to the Roxie

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It’s hard to guess what fictive icons of popular culture will endure and which will evaporate from the collective memory. In the 1940s, probably few would have imagined kiddie heroes Batman or Superman retaining marquee value into the next century. Bigger bets would no doubt have been placed on the Shadow, the Saint, and the Whistler, long-running radio men of mystery with uncanny (but not exactly supernatural, or super-heroic) abilities to witness the moral misdeeds of mortal men, not to mention their inevitable comeuppance.

In fact, the S-men usually doled out that payback themselves. Even more evanescent than his compatriots, the Whistler was less hands-on, more a Greek chorus sardonically telling the tale of each episode’s protagonists, gloating over the impending arrival of their just desserts. He was never a participant -- was even a He, or an otherworldly It? He was, simply, a gimmicked-up omniscient narrator, the storyteller’s own voice turned into a character slash-framing device.

As a result the Whistler probably didn’t seem natural movie material -- what can you do with a character that isn’t seen and doesn’t interact with others? Yet the 13-year series’ popularity was such that Columbia Pictures took the plunge anyway. The result was eight films made between 1944 and 1948, six showing during the two weeks of “I Still Wake Up Dreaming!,” Elliot Lavine’s latest noir revival extravaganza at the Roxie -- in restored 35mm prints struck for the occasion, yet. (The Whistlers will also play Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive May 29-June 5.)

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Ending the crackdown is as easy as ABC

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Sup. Bevan Dufty brought a surprise guest to the “Death of Fun” panel at SPUR that we each served on last night: Steve Hardy, director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, an agency that has played a key role in the crackdown on San Francisco nightlife.Read more »